Monthly Archive for March, 2008

Six Minutes entered the public speaking blogosphere six months ago.

Whether you discovered Six Minutes months ago or days ago, thank you for your readership.

Due to rapid subscriber growth lately, I’m going to mark the occasion by:

  • highlighting reader favorites;
  • summarizing the regular features; and
  • looking at future articles.

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Every Saturday, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.

This week’s selection includes:

  • a free visual design e-book;
  • educational speaking tips;
  • audience issues;
  • Toastmasters speech contest updates;
  • and many more…

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Visualizing Information for Advocacy: An Introduction to Information Design teaches you how to visually communicate your ideas.

This free ebook was created by John Emerson as a tool to help advocacy groups:

  • Tell their story more effectively;
  • Make their message more compelling; and
  • Use information design techniques to do it.

You may not speak on behalf of an advocacy group, but every time you speak, you are attempting to deliver a message. Your message will be more compelling if you understand and apply the visualization principles in this guide.

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Each year, MIT professor Patrick Henry Winston delivers an open lecture entitled How to Speak.

Positive word of mouth spread over the years, and the event now draws a beyond capacity crowd with people sitting uncomfortably on steps and the floor to listen to Winston. You can learn from the master teacher from the comfort of your web browser by viewing the lecture video.

In the 45-minute lecture, Winston delivers dozens of practical tips for speaking effectively, particularly when teaching. This article highlights seven of the best.
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Every Saturday, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.

This week’s selection includes:

  • speech preparation;
  • a book review;
  • making a great first impression;
  • storytelling;
  • visual aids and slideware;
  • and many more…

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I previously reviewed the fabulous Presention Zen book by Garr Reynolds.

My favorite aspect of the book was the hundreds of sample slides which illustrate design principles, particularly those illustrating before versus after transformations.

I’ve just discovered a great online resource from Garr Reynolds which contains a representative sample of the book contents.

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Learn to speak the language of motivation with Fire Them Up!, the subject of the latest Six Minutes public speaking book review.

Fire Them Up focuses not on short term steps (things to do), but on seven qualities of inspiring business communicators (things to embrace).

The target audience is broad: CEO, salesperson, manager, merchant, entrepreneur, coach, teacher, pastor, and parent.

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Imagine yourself speaking at the World Championship of Public Speaking. You’ve written a speech from your heart, and you deliver the best performance of your life. When the winner is announced, it’s you!

Possible? Yes.
You can win.

That which separates those who win from those who do not win is not lifetime speaking experience nor contest experience. Not gestures. Not vocal variety. Not rhetorical devices. Not overall delivery skills.

The most critical discriminator between those who win and those who do not is preparation.

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Every Saturday, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.

This week’s selection is an educational feast. Get comfortable, and dig in to topics such as:

  • speech preparation;
  • hand position;
  • humor techniques;
  • the “rule of 6” for slides;
  • and many more…

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The opening article of the Speech Preparation Series outlined a six-step process for speech preparation.

This article focuses on the sixth step: critiquing your speech so you can learn from your strengths and weaknesses. Thus, a self-critique is really the first step in preparation for your next speech.

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Have you heard this claim?
Practicing makes me robotic. My speeches are better and more natural if I just work from my outline.

This may be acceptable for scenarios where you don’t care about the result, but in all other cases, it’s hogwash.

The eighth in the Speech Preparation Series, this article provides practical ideas for maximizing the benefit from your practice time.

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