Best Public Speaking Articles: Weekly Review [2008-12-06]
On Saturdays, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.
Just a few of the topics featured are:
- speech critiques;
- commonly mispronounced words;
- using maps in presentations; and
- underdressing when speaking.
Week in Review: Six Minutes
Two articles were featured on Six Minutes this week.
The first gives you suggestions for dozens of public speaking gadgets and gifts; the second gives you tips on how to land a new job so that you can enjoy dozens of public speaking gadgets and gifts.
- Gifts Public Speakers Really Want: Dozens of Christmas Ideas
- 9 Steps to Conquer Nerves and Communicate Clearly in Interviews
Week in Review: Public Speaking Blogosphere
- Speechwriting expert Brian Jenner reviews the bestseller The Lost Art of the Great Speech: How to Write One — How to Deliver It by Richard Dowis.
He mentions the role of the subconscious. Speechwriting is one of the few activities where you can go away and do something completely different and make a case that somewhere in your brain a gremlin is still working on your script. […]
The book focuses on the things that many speakers pay no attention to, like how they will be introduced. […]
[…] this will take pride of place on my bookshelf.
- Rowan Manahan analyzes visuals, body language, vocal variety, humor, and passion in a speech critique of Mark Gungor.
The stage is a strong, simple setup, which helps position the ideas. A woman’s bust on the left side, a man’s over on the right. Pleasing, familial backdrop […] Strong, clear repetition and reinforcement of his ideas. And the whole thing underpinned with laughter to lock the messages home.
- Olivia Mitchell provides a detailed speech critique of Malcolm Gladwell.
As I’ve done with other presenters (Al Gore, Seth Godin) I’ve analysed the proportion of evidence (examples and statistics) to points/discussion in his presentation.
Evidence made up 76% of Gladwell’s talk.
In Al Gore’s presentation, 60% of the presentation was evidence, and in Seth Godin’s case 67%. These are all great presenters – take a look at this metric for your own presentations – and benchmark yourself against these guys.
- Sue Hershkowitz-Coore describes a speaker who knows how to present data.
Rather than simply spew meaningless research, before providing “answers” she asked questions. Kind of like Jeopardy but totally different. She said: Tell me what you think. Do you think X went up or down? Do you think Y was better or worse? Do you think Z was more prevalent or less? After each question, she waited. And you know what happened? The 750+ attendees answered. Down. Better. Worse. And then, with her data, she confirmed or corrected. With her data!
- Maeve Maddox highlights 50 words commonly mispronounced which may damage your credibility as a speaker. For example:
13. chaos – The spelling ch can represent three different sounds in English: /tch/ as in church, /k/ as in Christmas, and /sh/ as in chef. The first sound is heard in words of English origin and is the most common. The second sound of ch, /k/, is heard in words of Greek origin. The third and least common of the three ch sounds is heard in words adopted from modern French. Chaos is a Greek word. Say /KAY-OS/, not /tchay-os/.
- Cathy Paine explores the issues of using maps in presentations.
Maps get over-used because they can be a lazy way to “add some more graphics” to a presentation. […]
Maps are a unique category of infographic. Unlike charts or graphs, which look nothing like the real-world data they represent, maps reflect the shape of the real world acting as a two-dimensional data view of a three-dimensional reality.
- Holly Buchanan adds fuel to the debate: what message are you sending if you underdress for public speaking?
You see, Guy [Kawasaki in his book Reality Check] feels that underdressing communicates this message:
“I’m smarter/richer/more powerful than you. I can insult you and not take you seriously, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Wow – how interesting. I always feel that underdressing communicates this message:
“I’m not professional enough or smart enough to want to dress in a way that will impress you.”
- Olivia Mitchell’s latest article describes how to get the most out of Toastmasters. [Sara Marks and Jeff Bailey responded.]
For new Toastmasters
- Take every opportunity to speak.
- Ignore your assigned evaluator (most of the time)
- Find a trusted mentor to give you feedback
For experienced Toastmasters
- Don’t copy the Toastmasters way of using PowerPoint
- Videotape yourself
- Pretend its a different audience
- Repeat a speech several times
- Speak at other clubs and conferences
- Enter Toastmasters competitions