Quotation about Public Speaking

It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.

~~ Mark Twain

(Thank you so much for your insight, Sir, again!!)

Be confident in becoming a Speaker, not a PowerPointer

So much is written about the problems of PowerPoint. There are so many lists of dos and don’ts for PowerPoint presentations. But in the end, the answer to producing an engaging, successful presentation actually does not originate in the use of PowerPoint itself. It originates in the speaking skills. Good PowerPoint presentations are presented by people who are good speakers first, and who apply those skills to their PowerPoint as well.

A good speaker does not allow PowerPoint to be a wall to put between themselves and the audience. She uses it as a visual aid to the words and the presentation style of the speech. It is not the dominating feature of her presentation. It has to be the speaker, who leaves the impact and the memories with the audience, not the PowerPoint slides, excellent though they may be. Her speaking skills will make the difference. PowerPoint simply supplements them.

With or without PowerPoint, a good speaker will respect his audience. He will prepare the speech so that he can give full attention to the audience and engage fully with them. If he is reading his slides, or using them as a memory prompt, then that respect is obviously diminished. Did he care so little for this audience and this occasion that he could not be bothered to fix his material in his head so that he could engage with them?

With or without PowerPoint, a good speaker will be able to engage with her audience using many techniques. Speaking is so much more than the words used. If it were not, then those words could be put on the slides and emailed or printed and posted. Making a presentation in person gives you a vastly increased chance of persuading, inspiring or affecting your audience with all sorts of vocal, content and presentation techniques that are completely impossible with words alone. So if you put all of the words on the slides, or many of the words, then the attention of the audience is focussed on those words and you waste the power of your presentation techniques.

With or without PowerPoint, a good speaker has the skills to maintain attention and engagement. This negates the need for flashy, distracting animation. It negates the need for multiple slides for each point. The slides should be unobtrusive and supportive of the spoken word, not the focal point of engagement and attention.

With or without PowerPoint, a good speaker is prepared. In PowerPoint, this means having words in a font size suitable to the room so that they can be read easily by anyone in the audience.
She knows how to use the equipment and has set it up and tested it, if at all possible before the presentation begins.
She can adapt her presentation to allow for audience interaction. The presentation is flexible so that she can respond to questions and obvious needs specific to this audience.

She has spent the time necessary to make the slides as effective as possible. This means giving time to design, ensuring all backgrounds, layouts and font are consistent. It means ensuring that the backgrounds are simple and do not create distraction from the main point and image. It means choosing images and words that support the message and no more. It also means choosing images that will appeal to this particular audience as well as establishing the brand and personal image that she chooses to represent. None of this can be done successfully by either putting the presentation together at the last minute or chopping pieces from other presentations that were not designed for this audience or situation.

All of these attributes of a good speaker – respect for an audience, being able to engage an audience, and being prepared – are also what make a PowerPoint presentation successful.
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(c) Bronwyn Ritchie
If you want to include this article in your publication. please do. but please include the following information with it:

Bronwyn Ritchie is a professional librarian, writer, award-winning speaker and trainer. She is a certified corporate trainer and speech contest judge with POWERtalk, a certified World Class Speaking coach, and has had 30 years experience speaking to audiences and training in public speaking. In just 6 months time, you could be well on the way to being confident, admired, successful, rehired. Click here for her 30 speaking tips FREE. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com 

Just a thought … Are you living, or being lived …?

“What is it that makes all of us end each day with the sense that we have not lived our time, but have been lived, used by what we do?”

— Jacob Needleman

Overcome obstacles and convey your message with confidence, poise, and persuasiveness

The 7 Principles of Public Speaking

Richard Zeoli

With The 7 Principles of Public Speaking, Richard Zeoli makes the common sense, gimmick-free program he’s offered to business leaders and political candidates available to everyone. => http://bit.ly/IjaYFJ

Quotation about public speaking

“No more than six words on a slide. Ever. There is no presentation so complex that this rule needs to be broken.”

– Seth Godin

Public Speaking success comes from knowing your audience

Your audience knows whether you are speaking to them, of just presenting information. They will either feel the connection or tune out very quickly. With any conversation, whether it be informal or a formally presented speech or something in between, you keep that conversation going by choosing things to talk about that interest the other person, get them responding. So you need to know what interests your audience, what they will respond to.

This is what underlies the construction of most of your content.

It is the reason to talk about the benefits of a product instead of the features.

It is the reason to use language the audience understands.  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.

And if your presentation has been advertised in media or in a conference program, the material in that advertising is what drew people to your session, so try to stick to it, or they will disengage very quickly.
 So research you audience before you create your presentation if you can.

 Find out as much as you can – their age range, gender, income levels, dreams, needs, wants, culture.

 You can gain much from a registration form.

 You can ask the event manager.

 In your preparation routine, you can mingle with them before your speech.

 Then you can use that information in constructing your speech. If you need to persuade, for example, you can use your knowledge of their interests and dreams.

 You will choose language that they understand, and that is not irritating or offensive to them, and subject matter to suit that audience – themes, supports, anecdotes all will be tailored to them. Find out how best to dress, speak and what will meet their needs, or solve their problems and you have the first step to keeping their attention.

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(c) Bronwyn Ritchie
If you want to include this article in your publication. please do. but please include the following information with it:

Bronwyn Ritchie is a professional librarian. writer. award-winning speaker and trainer. She is a certified corporate trainer and speech contest judge with POWERtalk, a certified World Class Speaking coach, and has had 30 years experience speaking to audiences and training in public speaking. In just 6 months time, you could be well on the way to being confident, admired, successful, rehired. Click here for 30 speaking tips FREE. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com 

Thought for the Day – Detachment

“Until we take how we see ourselves (and how we see others) into account, we will be unable to understand how others see and feel about themselves and their world. Unaware, we will project our intentions on their behavior and call ourselves objective.”

— Stephen Covey

A clear, engaging guide, not only for those speaking to the business world.

Working the Room
by Nick Morgan

Through entertaining and insightful examples, Morgan illustrates a practical, three-part process—focusing on content development, rehearsal, and delivery—geared toward engaging an audience on every level: emotional, intellectual, and physical. Presenters from novices to seasoned orators will learn how to:

• Craft an “elevator speech” that concisely nails the key message.
• Prepare a compelling “story line.”
• Rehearse effectively.
• Involve the audience.
• Choreograph body language to reinforce the core idea.
• Channel nervousness into positive energy and passion.
• Master the technical details of voice, posture, gesture, and motion during delivery.

Whether speaking to a handful of employees or a keynote audience of hundreds, anyone can use these principles to give speeches that challenge minds, impassion hearts, and empower audiences to change the world, one idea at a time. http://bit.ly/IwOYLn

Quotation about public speaking

Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.

Dionysius Of Halicarnassus

To Overcome Fear of Public Speaking, You need to Understand the Underlying Causes. 

Once you can identify the causes that are underlying your public speaking nerves and fear, you can choose the strategies you need to build your confidence, use the fear and present successfully.

Most people suffer from some fear of public speaking. The survey that identified it as America’s number one fear was accurate then and remains so today. But the causes of that fear can differ from person to person.

One of the most important steps towards overcoming the fear of public speaking is to identify the things in your life that have created the fear and then choose the strategies that relate to those causes and that will conquer the fear and allow you to harness it to enhance your presentations and speeches, not destroy them.

So let’s list some of the factors that underlie the fear of public speaking and see which ones apply to you. 
 
The first on the list is the fact that fear of public speaking can run in families. I’m not sure if there is a genetic cause for this but I do know that if you have seen your parents or a family member speaking or performing confidently in public, then you will most likely see it as something you can do too. But if you see fear and aversion to public speaking then you will probably adopt that as part of your culture as well.
 
The second factor lies in the way your brain functions. It may be that your brain is not functioning in a way that builds confidence. It is possible that the neurotransmitters that allow your brain to transfer information are not operating as they should

Previous personal experience can affect our confidence in any situation. Teasing of any sort can destroy confidence and if it was associated with public speaking then any chance of future confidence in public speaking will be shattered. Thoughtlessly expressed criticism can do the same. A teacher, peer or parent can destroy confidence with unthinking negative comments.

Beliefs. Many people’s fear of public speaking is founded in the belief that they are responsible for always creating a positive impression … and its corollary that if they do not create this wonderful impression then they have created a disaster. Your family, your peers and your associates, not to mention the media, can all contribute to this expectation of any situation. So if you feel an unreal demand on you in terms of the need to create a great impression then anything you do in public will be fraught with anxiety.

Because people fear public speaking they then set up systems to avoid it. Any opportunity is met with avoidance, rather than either a positive expectation, or a confident attempt that could be the basis of development. And then that avoidance becomes a habit – it self-perpetuates. 

So … did any of those scenarios strike a chord with you and your experiences? Did you recognise any of them acting in your life? It may even be that more than one of these factors is present in creating your fear of public speaking.   Rest assured, though, that for each, there are strategies that can be used to overcome it. Use them in conjunction with some other processes and you have a strong, guaranteed basis for developing confidence and skill in public speaking.
 
(c) Bronwyn Ritchie
If you want to include this article in your publication. please do. but please include the following information with it:

Bronwyn Ritchie is a professional librarian, writer, award-winning speaker and trainer.
She is a certified corporate trainer and speech contest judge with POWERtalk International, a certified World Class Speaking coach, and has had 30 years experience speaking to audiences and training in public speaking. In 30 weeks time, you could be 3 times the speaker you are now. Click here for Bronwyn’s FREE 30 speaking tips. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com