PowerPoint Alternatives – From Browsers to Blogs, Part II
In Part I of PowerPoint Alternatives, I talked about presenters who use HTML to display the visual portion of their presentation. Now that blogs are popular, some speakers are using blogs as presentation tools, including Steven Cohen of Library Stuff fame. Here’s a presentation he created in a blog last February and his post on the Note that he used Blogger, a tool that is free and can get you up and running with a blog in just a few minutes. Downsides of using a blog instead of PowerPoint include a busier screen that you would find on most PowerPoint presentations. Also, a blog entry is not going to fill the screen the way a PowerPoint slide will, so it could be more difficult for the audience to read. From the presenter’s standpoint, getting the slides in the proper order is cumbersome; you need to tweak the dates and times so as to get the blogs to display in the proper order, then remove the date from the blog template, since in this context, it’s irrelevant.As with HTML, the advantages of using a blog are greatest when you be presenting using a live Internet connection. You can include the links you want to visit in the blog/web page, and easily link out to web sites. The blog also makes a great “take-away.”
Since you only die once, but you could live to give many speeches, why not learn to make public speaking easier? Here’s what I did to help me take center stage—joyously!—at my book launch event:
Use humor in presentations to make yourself more likable. Humor is a great rapport builder which knocks down audience resistance to your message. Make sure you space it throughout your presentation. You will subconsciously or consciously be tagged as trite by the audience members and out of touch if you tell a joke at the beginning and then forget humor for the rest of the presentation.
(Ref: Wake ’em Up Business Presentations Page 4)http://www.antion.com/wakebook.htm
Sometimes it can be a huge challenge to be funny.
But being funny and using humour are incredibly powerful tools in public speaking. They can make an audience relate to your message. They can provide contrast to a serious subject and lighten the mood, making the audience more receptive. They can improve your image as a speaker and as a person.
Sometimes humour can be spontaneous and that is oftentimes the most effective it will be. But sometimes it takes practice and serious attention to writing the speech to create that spontaneity – faking it till making it is one of the rules of public speaking after all!!
We can research jokes. We can copy the successful styles of speakers who use humour.
And another way is to learn from the comedians. While comedy is different in many ways from public speaking, or maybe can be seen as a specialised form of public speaking, there is much that can be learned from the comedians and implemented in your speeches.
Larry Wilde did just that. He interviewed great comedians for a book and learned much in the process. He interviewed famous comedians like Woody Allen, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, George Burns, Johnny Carson, Phyllis Diller, Bob Hope, and Jerry Lewis.
And now you can hear an interview with Larry Wilde about his experiences and the education in comedy that he gained. The interview is conducted by none other than Patricia Fripp, herself an award-winning speaker.
Learn the inside secrets of America’s greatest comedians. Hear the collective wisdom of the people who defined American comedy.
from “10 Days to More Confident Public Speaking”
(Chapter 5 – pages 107 – 110)
Copyright, 2001 Philip Lief Group Inc & Lenny Laskowski
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.
1. Respond naturally to what you think, feel and see. – It’s natural for you to gesture. If you inhibit your impulse to gesture, you’ll probably become tense.
2. Create the condition for gesturing, not the gesture. – When you speak, you should be totally involved in communicating – not thinking about your hands. Your gestures should be naturally motivated by the content of your presentation.
3. Suit the action to the word and the occasion. – Your visual and verbal messages must function as partners in communicating the same thought or feeling. Every gesture you make should be purposeful and reflective of your words so the audience will note only the effect, not the gesture itself.
4. Don’t overdo the gesturing. – You’ll draw the listener away from your message. Young audiences are usually attracted to a speaker who uses vigorous gestures, but older, more conservative groups may feel your physical actions are overwhelming or irritating.
5. Make your gestures convincing. – Your gestures need to be lively and distinct if they are to convey the intended impressions. Effective gestures are vigorous enough to be convincing yet slow enough and broad enough to be clearly visible without being overpowering. For example, if you are conveying excitement about a point or topic in your speech, show it in your face such as with a big smile. If you are excited and don’t show it, your body language sends a negative message. Your gestures need to match your words and the mood you are conveying.
6. Make your gestures smooth and well timed. – This rule is the most important but also the hardest. Why? Gestures have to be somewhat planned in advance so you can incorporate them during your speech rehearsal. In addition, practice sessions allow you to get a sense of how early you need to start your gesture so it coincides with the point you are making. Every gesture has three parts:
* The approach-Your body begins to move in anticipation.
* The stroke-The gesture itself.
* The return-This brings your body back to a balanced posture.
The flow of a gesture – the approach, the stroke, the return – must be smoothly executed so that only the stroke is evident to the audience. While it’s advisable to practice gesturing, don’t try to memorize your every move. This makes your
gesturing stilted and ineffective. For example, you’re standing on the left-hand side of the stage (the audience’s left) and you need to use the flip chart to illustrate a
point, but the flip chart is on the far right-hand side of the stage (the audience’s right). You may say to your audience. “Let’s take a look at it on the flip chart.”
As you start this statement begin walking toward the flip chart (the approach). Your goal is to start your gesture early enough so you can walk naturally toward the flip
chart. At the word “flip” place your hand on the flip chart. This combined walking and placement of your hand on the flip chart is the gesture or the stroke. After a
brief moment, place your hand on the flip chart and then take your hand and move it to one of your resting positions. This is the return or completion of the gesture.
7. Make natural, spontaneous gesturing a habit. – The first step in becoming adept at gesturing is to determine what, it anything, you are doing now. For example, pay attention to the gestures you use in everyday conversations and try to use these gestures during your presentation. If you prefer, you can videotape your practice speech. The camcorder or video camera is truthful and unforgiving. If you want to
become a more effective speaker, you need to make the camcorder your best friend. Recording yourself is a surefire way to eliminate your distracting mannerisms. Videotape yourself and identify your bad habits. Then work at eliminating them.
All of my private executive coaching sessions and seminars, use a video camera to help the participants “see” what they are doing and what changes they need to make. To improve gestures, practice – but never during a speech. Practice gesturing when speaking informally to friends, family members, and co-workers.
Simply Speaking…Selling Yourself & Your Ideas E-Zine
Published by Lenny Laskowski
Copyright LJL Seminars(tm), 2003
All Rights Reserved
Writing an essay, taking a pop quiz, and giving a speech probably are three of the tasks students dread most. Speaking in public terrifies many people of all ages. Adolescents are not immune. It doesn’t matter that they may be speaking only to their closest friends; most students feel very nervous because peer pressure is so intense. Usually there are a few students who delight at being given a chance to address their classmates. Over time with practice, the rest can learn to enjoy making oral presentations. They simply need to learn a few secrets.
The steps involved in writing a good essay are the same as those used to prepare a good speech. Both require the student first to organize his ideas and then to present them systematically. This helps readers and listeners to understand his line of reasoning.
Secret #1 is to write an “outline essay.”
The first sentence answers the question, or makes a general statement. Each of the following sentences expresses a single reason or argument to support the first sentence. Think of these sentences as “bullet points;” students will elaborate on these points with facts and details in subsequent paragraphs. The last sentence offers a preliminary conclusion.
The “outline essay” becomes the first paragraph of the paper. It provides an overview of what the student is going to tell the reader. Then he actually tells him in the paragraphs that follow. Finally, he uses the final paragraph to remind the reader what he was told. The “outline essay” provides the student with a road map for presenting his ideas in an orderly manner.
The outline essay also can function as a “crib sheet” for presenting the essay’s content orally to the student’s classmates. So what? How does this make it any easier to stand up in front of the class and give a speech?
Here is secret #2: It is not necessary to memorize every sentence in the essay.
The other people in the class won’t have a copy of the essay in front of them. They don’t know what the student wrote. It won’t matter if he leaves out a few minor details. All that matters is presenting the ideas in a logical sequence to make it easy for classmates to understand them. Think about it: What do folks fear most about giving a speech?
A) They are afraid of appearing foolish.
B) They are afraid of losing their train of thought.
No one enjoys listening to someone reading a speech word for word. It sounds awkward and stilted. More important, it prevents the speaker from making eye contact with individuals in the audience. A relaxed speaker can use vocal tones and voice inflections to add another dimension to the content of a paper, causing it to be even more persuasive.
Accomplished public speakers always know their material well, yet they present it as if they were merely having a conversation with the audience. After writing the essay itself, a student should be familiar with its content. It should be fairly easy to address his or her classmates about the essay’s topic, referring to the outline essay occasionally to stay on track. Giving a speech provides students with a taste of what it’s like to be in “Show Biz.” The fear of ridicule is offset by the delicious sense of power that comes from delivering a speech, which is well received by the audience. Presenting an essay orally to classmates is excellent training for becoming a competent public speaker. This skill can be useful to students for the rest of their lives..
Michael Strong created the ColorCode System to teach his daughters afflicted with A.D.D. how to write an essay. By demonstrating visually the format of a properly structured essay, the ColorCode System enabled his daughters to grasp this important concept in less than 30 minutes. The pattern of the colors helped them think logically and organize their ideas. They used those ideas to write an outline essay, which became the first paragraph. By following the format illustrated in the color-coded sample essay, they learned how to present their ideas systematically for every essay assignment, regardless of topic. They began writing good essays and getting better grades. Both daughters gained admission to their “first choice” college. You can learn more about the ColorCode System at http://essaywritesystem.com
Michael Strong earned a Diplome from the University of Lyon, France; a B.A. in Political Science and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During the ’60s, he served as a Page Boy in the British Merchant Marine, a Private 1st Class in the US Marine Corps and a Midshipman at the US Naval Academy. During the ’70s, he taught school; opened Town Hall – the legendary Chapel Hill nightclub; managed Brice Street Band and ran the UNC Campus Mail Service. From 1983 until he retired in April 2009, he worked as a stockbroker and as a Certified Financial Planner. He and his wife Nancy have been married 38 years and live on 12 wooded acres 5 miles south of Chapel Hill NC.
Some speaking sins, like the occasional “ah” or “um”, will not doom your presentation. With good content, you can earn forgiveness from the audience for those sins.
Other speaking sins are so grave that when you commit them, your speech or presentation is certain to fail. This article reveals the seven deadly sins of public speaking.
by Peter Jeff
End your speech with an attitude, not a platitude.
Instead of firing off a perfunctory “thank you,” consider launching fireworks of final passionate thoughts from the podium.
Have you talked in front of many people? Have you wondered what to do in order to get your ideas across?
Any public speaker who has faced a crowd of listeners knows that humor has a great effect and brings out a point like nothing else. I have talked to many presenters and all of them say they have a number of jokes up their sleeve, as well as visual gags — CARTOONS.
It’s embarrassing for the nervous speaker and it’s embarrassing for the audience – those awkward, horrible moments when something goes wrong, something embarrassing happens. They are an experience neither the audience nor the speaker wants to have to endure.
Here are four situations where you can smooth out those embarrassing moments … and a powerful strategy to use in the future.
1. The mental blank
That terrible moment when someone loses complete track of what they are saying – there is a blank, their face drops, and then becomes more and more frantic. This is painful not only for the speaker but for the audience. Develop a strategy now so that if, despite your best preparations, a blank happens, you have something to say. You could remark, “Oops I’ve lost it” and maybe you can add some appropriate humour (“Must have left the speech in front of the mirror!”) and then add something like “Now where was I?” Look at your notes if necessary – “We were talking about …” If it’s really bad, ask the audience. Whatever strategy you use along these lines, you keep the audience, and yourself, moving on, returning to target and none of you is embarrassed. So if you fear the blank moment, be prepared with a strategy that will allow you to deal smoothly with the situation.
2. The audience is bored
It’s a moment that nervous speakers dread – to realise that most of your audience is bored. They’re glassy eyed, maybe even falling asleep, chatting or texting on their mobile hones. Horrors! Worse still and more embarrassing is the presenter who becomes frantic, attempting to regain attention. Avoid the whole situation if you can by ensuring you have variety wired into your presentation, and have something up your sleeve that you can move into if necessary. Introduce a new visual. Involve the audience. Change your stance, body language or walking pattern. Stop. Stand still. Whatever you use, it will become a smooth, professional piece of your presentation instead of a situation that embarrasses you and your audience.
3. Dry mouth
Do you have a persistent dry mouth? Then take a glass of water with you. Before the speech, organise a place to put it and then choose a time where you can drink without interrupting the flow of your speech. Incorporate this into the planning of your presentation and your visualisation of your successful presentation. If it does interrupt, then find a way to explain it, incorporate it, or joke about it.
4. Those other embarrassing physical symptoms
The same applies to anything else you expect might embarrass you or detract from your speech. If you cannot overcome the physical symptoms in the lead up to the speech, then these are the ones you need to develop strategies for.
And use this same set of tactics for any other symptoms like blushing or shakes –if they detract from your speech – find a way to
or joke about it.
Then you will have defused any embarrassment that you feel or your audience feels.
In all of these situations where you might make mistakes or have a mishap, there is one underlying powerful principle that works to avoid embarrassment:
“It doesn’t matter what happens. What matters is how you deal with what happens.”
It really does not matter!. The embarrassment for everyone lies not in the event itself, but in how you respond to it. So instead of being embarrassed, respond, instead, with professionalism and confidence. Be as prepared as you can for whatever may arise, and be prepared to explain, incorporate or joke if something does happen. Then you will have been able to deal with it, confidently and professionally – without embarrassment.
The added bonus? You are reducing your nervousness and increasing your confidence in the process.
Did you know that public speaking nerves are good? They keep you on edge, push you to produce your best work.
Let this eBook show you how to harness your nervousness and be successful.
Before you have to face giving another speech or presentation,
arm yourself with these simple proven strategies that will guide you to success and confidence.
E-Book – “How to overcome your fear of public speaking” http://www.consultpivotal.com/nerves_ebook.htm