Public Speaking Quote for the Day

“Broadly speaking, the short words are the best,
and the old words best of all. “
— Sir Winston Churchill

More quotes about public speaking

Seven Key Ways to Gesture Effectively

Gestures are reflections of every speaker’s individual personality. What’s right for one speaker may not be right for another; however, if you apply the following seven rules, you can become a dynamic, confident speaker who uses gestures well.

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Concluding Your Presentation: End With A Bang, Not With A Whimper

Your conclusion should do much more than simply tell your listeners that your presentation is over. Your entire presentation, in fact, can hinge on the final impression you make. It’s that last impression that can linger the longest. So preparing a strong ending to your presentation is every bit as important as preparing a strong opening.

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The PowerPoint of no return

A FRIEND RECENTLY joined a multinational company where she was required to undertake several business training courses. In one particular course, she emailed her assignment as a Word attachment. The assignment was promptly
returned ungraded because she didn’t “effectively answer the question”.

She was, however, invited to resubmit the assignment, which she did and shot straight to the top of the class.

It was a remarkable turnaround by any standard – all the more so because, aside from the addition of two or three extra sentences, the content of the resubmitted assignment was identical to the original. The only significant change she had made was cutting and pasting her assignment into a PowerPoint template. Unless PowerPoint makes you more intelligent – and it’s a safe bet that it doesn’t – the lesson of the course was that form trumps content any day.

Loved by some, loathed by many more, PowerPoint has become a byword for much that’s wrong with contemporary culture.

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More on how to use Powerpoint

Three essential body language tips

For anyone who has done some training with me, you’ll know that I don’t focus on body language when presenting. People can get obsessed by trying to look convincing or slick, and neglect the content of their presentation. They perform
all the textbook hand gestures, and what comes out of their mouths doesn’t match up. A bit like watching 100 chavs pour out of a limo. It just doesn’t seem right.

Sometimes however I do give advice on body language for presenting – especially when it detracts from the message.

Here are the 3 biggest body language presentation pitfalls, and what you can do to avoid them:

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Presentation Nerves Part I

There seems to be hundreds of theories and opinions about nerves in relation to making a presentation. Possibly one of the more famous sayings is that it is okay to have butterflies, as long as they are flying in the same formation.

Other people say presentation nerves are built-in anticomplacency buttons, ensuring that we are always on edge and performing to our best.

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More on overcoming public speaking nerves

Don’t.Read.Your.Dumb.Slides

From the Shameless Self Promoter

I suspect some folks do put up the charts and bullet points and text-dense slide for the simple reason that they believe the information will speak for itself, so they won’t have to do all that pesky work of presenting it in an interesting and useful way.

Here’s a hint: IT WON’T.

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Engage your audience when you speak

How do you make your presentation more interesting to your audience?

Perhaps the most important technique is to include them when you speak.

You can choose your words to engage your listeners — or leave them out. If you leave them out, boredom is the probable result.

In this article, I’ll give you some specific techniques for crafting your content in a way that grabs the attention of your audience.

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More on writing great speeches