Public speaking, presenting or present-ing…

PublicSpeaking

This week I was asked if I could help someone with some public speaking training and I immediately thought back to the training sessions I’d attended, what I’ve previously taught people and what I’ve learnt from the great and yet very different public speakers I’ve seen and worked with…

Whether the talk is on a motivational subject or a technical topic the speaker can still be inspirational or inspiring. And they do that through using their voice both the tone and the energy, the passion they show when talking about their subject, the confidence but not ego they have. They never have an attitude of I’m better than you or that I’m right and you’re wrong, and are never dismissive when someone asks a question as they know if someone has asked it then at least one other person will be thinking it.

Its also about how they make you feel – even someone delivering a technical presentation will make the audience feel something – and invariably you’ll remember the feeling long after you’ve forgotten the detail of the content. And you got that feeling because the speaker made a connection with you, what they’re doing is giving you a gift of being present and connected with you… so they’re presenting, being present and giving you a present of themselves and their knowledge and experience… (don’t you just love the phonological ambiguity of the English language?)

Most days we are speaking publicly whether it’s to a small group of people in a team, to the whole organisation or perhaps as a more formal presentation; here’s a few tips to make that a better experience…

 

  • Before you start, take a breath with the ‘audience’ and just look at the faces of a few people to make a connection… perhaps count the number of people wearing glasses in the front row
  • Don’t ask questions during the session, leave those to the end as people will lose the connection with both you and the presentation whilst they try to answer them
  • Don’t use acronyms unless you explain them and the same with very technical phrases
  • Don’t start a presentation with all about you, the audience wants to know what’s in it for them…
  • Only use notes for guidance if you get lost… and don’t just read from the screen if using a presentation… people want to know detail and context
  • Make sure there’s structure in what you are saying as this makes it more memorable.
And as we’ve said before no matter what you do speak from the heart and not just your head…

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