Make the points in your speech easily and cleanly with analogies

Sometimes, as speakers, we need to make a point that is just too new, or strange, or huge or threatening for our audience to grasp. It can certainly be a challenge and I am so grateful for analogies and the way they can easily and simply and cleanly do the job that we need to do in sharing that information.

An analogy works by relating the element that we want the audience to understand to something that they do understand, something with which they are familiar. It works because we are not very good at remembering concepts that come as words or as numbers, but we retain and understand far better if something is left in our minds as a picture or an image, particularly if it is something we have already seen or experienced. And that’s what analogies can do, leave your audience with an image and an understanding that they will remember long after your presentation has finished.

Analogies are extended similes and metaphors, and because they link your new or difficult concept to something that is familiar and understood by your audience they create a very human aspect to your point – and, by extension, to you as the presenter. Martin Luther King, in his “I have a dream” speech, compared the needs for civil rights to cashing a cheque. He said,

“In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a cheque. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of colour are concerned…”

This is a metaphor, but it cannot stand on its own. King could have said “We have come to our nation’s capital to cash a cheque.” But to make it understood and easily grasped he extended it with an explanation and it became an analogy, a powerful analogy.

As speakers we can all do this – compare our concepts that might be difficult to understand and remember with something that is relevant to our audience, something that resonates with them, something they can picture. And because it is their right brains that process that picture, it will remain with them after we have finished the speech. We have used an analogy to create a connection that will guarantee success for the point we are making.

And finally, to make that connection more powerful, make it relevant, make it resonate. Choose something that will appeal to your audience, something they understand, something they relate to. Use your research into your audience to guide the choice.

When it comes to finding analogies, look to your own life. Keep the major points of your speeches in the front of your mind as you move around your day. Look to the things around you, the people, the stories, the events, particularly with those points in mind. You will find that there are analogies everywhere, once you start thinking about things in that way. And because they are your own comparisons, from your own thoughts and your own life, they will have a powerful authenticity to them.

It can be a lot of fun, finding those analogies, and in the process you have a very useful tool to use.

© 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 admired, rehired as a speaker, confident and sucessful, with the 30 speaking tips. Click here for 30 speaking tips for FREE. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com
 
 

Ambition

“The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.”

-William Shakespeare

Public Speaking tip – 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.

Delivering Powerful Presentations with or without Slides 

The Naked Presenter

By  Garr Reynolds

When we learn to present naked, we reach our audiences by communicating the essence of the message, stripping away all that is unnecessary and embracing the ideas of simplicity, clarity, honesty, integrity, and passion. If “slideware” is used, the slides never steal the show or rise above serving a strong but simple supportive role. The ideas in the presentation may or may not be radical, earth shattering, or new, but there is freshness to the approach and content that makes a lasting impression. 

In this invaluable resource from the author for the best-selling books Presentation Zen andPresentation Zen Design, you will discover how to get to the core of your message and deliver presentations that are as natural as they are memorable. Whether you are just in the planning stages or need advice for a talk that begins in an hour, you’ll find wisdom in The Naked Presenterthat you can use to connect deeply with your audience and deliver a great presentation. => http://bit.ly/ewrrwk

Patient success

“Impatience never commanded success”

-Edwin H. Chapin

Preparation – your key to confident public speaking

One of the most powerful sources of confidence in public speaking is knowing that you are prepared. During the nervous stages, you can continually reassure yourself that you are prepared and can visualise all the aspects of the successful presentation that you have prepared. As far as I am concerned, this will provide the major part of your confidence.

Probably one of the greatest sources of nerves is the fear of having a mental blank. Sometimes they happen but being prepared will prevent most of them.

Each person has their own way of keeping track of what they have to say – of remembering it. Some people memorise the whole presentation. Some people read the whole speech. Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages. But most people create a compromise and, if possible, use notes.

Two very important parts of your speech are the opening and the closing. If you memorise those you can be sure you will use the words you chose for the greatest impact, and you can concentrate on delivery and especially on eye contact. You can choose to read them, but you will need to find other ways of giving them power. You probably should also memorise the punch lines of your jokes, and any words you are quoting verbatim.

If you use notes, make them large enough to read at a glance. Find a way to keep them in order and number the pages in case they do get mixed up. Make symbols or punctuation marks for ways you want to present e.g. pauses, facial expressions. And before you present, choose the sections you can comfortably cull if you find you have less time than expected.

Rehearsal is vitally important. You will develop your own system, but here is an example of a schedule.

Despite what you may have written, say the speech in a style that is as close to conversation as your event or function will allow. Written and spoken language are entirely different.

Say the speech straight through, full of mistakes and corrections. This allows you to find the areas that need work.

Record the speech, or say it to a mirror or use a substitute audience (the family pet will do if there’s no one else suitable!) This gives you a feel for creating communication and impact.
Have a dress rehearsal. Wear the clothes you will wear so you know what works best and how to cope with the outfit. Practice with any visuals you intend to use.

Make very sure you can keep your speech or presentation to an acceptable time.

Final preparation countdown for the event itself:
– Confirm the time and date
– Create and check any handouts
– Make a packing list and check it at the last minute. e.g. handouts, — white board markers, handkerchief (yes, Mum!)
– Arrive early so that you can make sure you are prepared and can then go through your Preparation Routine
– Contact the liaison person to confirm details
– Unpack. Make sure you have water handy and that any equipment is set up and that it works as you expect it to, or become familiar with the equipment provided.

I can only reiterate that one of the best antidotes to the fear of public speaking is the reassurance that you are prepared.

© 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 admired, rehired as a speaker, confident and sucessful, with the 30 speaking tips. Click here for 30 speaking tips for FREE. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com
 
 

Make sure your audience follows you by giving them Signposts

People will hear and understand what they expect from a presentation.

If they do not hear what they were expecting then they will be confused and tune out.
If they do not understand the point of the presentation they will tune out.

It is important from the start of the presentation to cue the audience into who you are, what your credentials are and what you are going to do with them.

This does not have to be spelt out in words. There are all sorts of ways using references, body language and stories, for example, to set the scene and cue into what to expect from the presentation.

And this needs to continue throughout the presentation. Bridging between points should be seamless, but needs to, nevertheless, give those same cues as to what is happening and what to listen for.

One of the most powerful cues is the cue for a conclusion. This can wake people up. They are always ready for the wrap-up, and obviously the final point is one thing that they will remember (if you make it memorable) along with the opening.

So if you want people to give you attention and engage with your material throughout the speech give them the signposts they need so that they know what to listen for.

…………………………….

© 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. This has been tip number 10 in the 30 speaking tips. In just 6 months time, you could be well on the way to being admired, rehired as a speaker, with the 30 speaking tips. Click here for 30 speaking tips for FREE. Join now or go to http://www.30speakingtips.com
 
 

Do you know where you are going?

“The audience only pays attention as long as you know where you are going.”

– Phil Crosby