Public Speaking tip – Watch your language

Consider your audience when you are choosing your language.

Speak to them in a language they understand.

Look at your technical terms, and any jargon that they may not understand.

Use examples, stories, quotes and other support material that has relevance to their lives and their interests.

You will keep their attention and their interest.

Writing a speech? Make Numbers Work for You

Speakers can use numbers to support key points. But too often, speakers use their data in place of key points, piling on number after number and, in the end, driving their audience to despair. Here are a few tips on how to use numbers to good effect.

Thought for the day

“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”

– Bernard M. Bruch

5 Ways to Make Your PowerPoint Presentation Stand Out

When making a presentation, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of relying on your PowerPoint slides to help get your message across. Although PowerPoint may be a great tool to help you present your information in a creative and interesting way, it’s dangerous to rely on it fully as this will just turn your audience off from what you’re saying.

Here are 5 tips to help make your presentation stand out from the crowd.

1. Be Compelling

PowerPoint is a great tool to put together eye-catching presentations, but remember that your audience has come to hear you, not look at a slide. So by all means make your PowerPoint presentation look professional and engaging but don’t forget that your speech needs to be compelling too. Remember, your slides are there to support your spoken presentation, not the other way round!

2. Keep it simple

Don’t overwhelm your audience with a mass of data, graphics and animations. The most effective PowerPoint presentations are simple – charts that are easy to understand, and graphics that reflect what the speaker is saying. It’s been suggested that there should be no more than five words per line and no more than five lines per individual slide. Any images, graphs and animations need to back up the information, not confuse the audience.

3. Be Engaging

Many of us have sat through a presentation where we have spent the whole time looking at the back of the speaker’s head! They have spent so much time reading off the slides, they don’t engage with the audience. PowerPoint works best with a speech that augments what’s on the screen rather than just reading off the slide. Remember, you need to interact with the audience in order for them to engage and listen to you.

4. Don’t use PowerPoint!

There’s a time and place for PowerPoint. It should only be used as an accompaniment to the presenter’s script so let the screen go blank if you need to. This gives your audience a break, but also helps to focus their attention on what the presenter is saying, especially during the question and answer session.

5. Rehearse and edit

Once you’ve drafted your speech and slides then rehearse your presentation. Do this preferably in front of someone else to ensure that what you are saying and presenting can be easily understood. If something comes across as distracting or confusing then get rid of it. Remember to keep the needs of the audience in your mind at all times as they are the ones who will be the ultimate judge of how successful your presentation has been.

Valerie Eaton is the owner of Smart VA Ltd, providers of virtual assistant support to small businesses and self-employed professionals. They specialise in providing a wide range of general administration support, as well as email marketing, website updates, document and presentation design and event administration. Find more information about our services on our website, and if you want to discover some great tips for small businesses then check out our free guides on the Free Resources page.

Debunking the myths of public speaking

I spend a lot of time playing devil’s advocate, so this article appealed immediately.

Mike Smith writes

We’ve all heard how frightened nearly everyone is of public speaking. Maybe that’s understandable, but it creates the potential for lots of misinformed conventional wisdom spread by people who have to make presentations but haven’t had the opportunity to learn what really works.

To help correct some misperceptions about what creates better presenters and presentations, here are eleven public speaking paradoxes for reluctant presenters to accept, embrace, and follow:

and the first heading had me hooked …

1. Minimize your public speaking nerves by looking for as big an audience as possible.

Catch up with the whole article here

Today’s quotation about public speaking/speech

Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars. ~
Gustave Flaubert

… but oh I am enjoying the challenge of trying!! are you?

Learn lessons from an academy-award winning slide strategist

with Nancy Duarte

Why did Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” win an Academy Award? It was, in large part, how the information was illustrated that made it impactful. Nancy Duarte’s firm created those visuals. She’ll share how to adapt what worked for an Oscar-winning documentary to your presentations.

You have worked hard to prepare for your next presentation. You’re well-rehearsed and your concepts are brilliant. But maybe you should step back and take one last long look at your slides, because an audience can either listen to what you’re saying or read your slides — not both. Do you know if your visuals are overwhelming with too much information or do they help cement your concepts? Do you know the signal-to-noise ratio of your slides? Slides are supposed to clarify or amplify the message. Instead, they’re often a crutch for the presenter to remember what to say. Learn how to break that behavior and create slides that bring meaning instead of distraction.

In this webinar you will learn:

• How to create visuals that support your brilliance, not detract
• Why you have to understand the difference between a document and a slide
• How thinking like a designer will make your presentation memorable
• How to determine your signal-to-noise ratio and reduce the noise
• How to get your ideas to stand out!

Special note: To view this webinar, you’ll need to be in front of an Internet-connected computer.

More information =>

Note: Everyone who registers for the teleseminar will get the MP3 recording of the session for free. Those who register or order the recording will get a link to a recording of the webinar.

Today’s read – Boring to Bravo

Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve & Inspire Your Audience to Action

By Kristin Arnold

This book shows experienced presenters how to transform boring monologues into scintillating dialogues by employing simple yet powerful presentation techniques. It features 90-plus practical techniques for engaging and interacting with an audience. Drawing from her extensive experience as a nationally recognised speaker, the author gives readers tips that apply to any presenter. Readers will be amazed at their ability to attract, involve, and inspire by incorporating just a few of the author’s suggestions. It offers a proven methodology for upgrading any presentation. By taking a collaborative approach to the communication process, the author shows the reader how to care, connect, and converse with the members of any audience. Incoming NSA president with strong promotional platform: as the incoming president of the National Speakers Association, the author will promote the book on a nation-wide tour. An experienced team facilitator and military veteran, the author has a large platform of clients, including the Coast Guard, NASA, and the IRS.

You can get the book here =>

Use volume for power in your presentations

Make sure you vary the volume of your presentation as well as the pitch and pace.

It is possible to speak softly and project.

Like the “power pause”, this is another powerful way of keeping attention..

Volume has its place, but if you have ever dealt with an icy stare combined with quiet anger then you will know the power of quiet control in comparison to emotional loudness.

So use a quiet voice for power, but use it sparingly.

Voice Power. The Care and Feeding of the Professional Voice

A comprehensive article on voice, this one …

Whether it’s the rich, resonant tones of Richard Burton, the breathiness of Marilyn Monroe or the nasality of Fran Drescher, the sound of the voice conjures up an image—an impression—and can influence perception.

Speakers know how to use the voice for effect but don’t always use the voice effectively. This can cause a variety of illnesses which can prevent speakers from doing what they do best—speak.

and it goes on to give basic, practical ways to care for and cure the voice. I have saved it here in the library