Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Best Public Speaking Articles: Weekly Review [2009-02-07]

Week In ReviewOn Saturdays, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.

This week’s review features topics including:

  • new public speaking books;
  • storytelling patterns;
  • errors when ending a presentation;
  • content vs. emotion;
  • engaging your audience with questions;
  • creating your own PowerPoint photos; and
  • slides for color blind audiences.

Week in Review: Public Speaking Blogosphere

Resources for Speakers – Recent Releases

Be the first to check out some of the best public speaking books recently released:


Here are some of the key elements of the Hero’s Journey, which is also referred to as the Monomyth:

  1. The Ordinary World – this is the part of the story that sets up the normal life of the main protagonist. Little Red Riding Hood skips around her mother’s house whilst her mum bakes. Luke Skywalker noodles around on his desert farm, that sort of thing.
  2. The Call to Adventure
  3. Refusal of Call
  4. Crossing the First Threshold
  5. Tests, Trials and Allies
  6. The Ordeal
  7. Refusal
  8. Crossing the Return Threshold
  9. Resurrection
  10. Elixir
  • Bert Decker warns against these six errors to end your presentation.
  1. Don’t step back.
  2. Don’t look away.
  3. Don’t move on the last word.
  4. Don’t raise your hands.
  5. Don’t rush to collect your papers.
  6. Never blackball yourself.
  • Kathy Reiffenstein discusses the necessity to balance content and emotion.

At the end of the day, it’s not an either/or proposition between content and emotion. These two elements are like a dance…having all the technical steps down perfectly is merely the placing of the feet on the floor. It doesn’t become a “dance”, flowing and graceful, until the two partners put their heart into those steps.

Delivery Techniques

  • Olivia Mitchell covers engaging your audience with questions.
  1. Warm up your audience first.
  2. Don’t let them settle into a passive mode.
  3. Move from easy to more challenging questions through your presentation.
  4. Signal your question.
  5. Frame your question so that people know exactly what you want.
  6. Ask your question slowly and clearly.
  7. Make it easy for people to answer.
  8. Wait for answers.
  9. Use the answers you get.
  10. Do not humiliate anyone.

Visual Aids

  • Mike Pulsifer shows how to create slide “stock photography” by yourself.

Have you run into a situation where you need a photo for a slide and you either can’t find one that works and looks just right on services such as iStockPhoto or for a shot like this, you can’t justify paying for a photo of some Sharpies?  […]

I set up my white board on my driveway and arranged my subjects on the white board with the composition I was looking for and with the sun to my side.

  • Geetesh Bajaj explores how to design slides for color blind audiences.

Making sure that your PowerPoint slide content has enough contrast so that it can be effectively viewed by those who have visual disabilities is a very important area. Many studies have been done on this subject — however I’ll show you how you can quickly make sure that all the slide content you create is suitable for color blind audiences.

  • Jan Schultink points to scientific research about how colors influence behavior (think colors of PowerPoint slides)

Stressful colors like red might enhance effectiveness of getting things done. Blue “calm” colors are better for coming up with that brilliant idea.

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