Articles in category: Delivery Techniques

In previous articles in this series, we learned how to plan and how to lead group discussions. In this article, we dig deeper into effectively managing different personalities that you will encounter as a discussion leader.

In an ideal world, everyone in your discussion group would actively participate, support the opinions of others, be respectful, and be a positive influence in all ways and at all times. The discussion would proceed swiftly and successfully towards achieving the objectives. Sadly, I have yet to lead a discussion group in such an ideal world.

In the real world, discussions can go awry in a thousand different ways. Often, the largest obstacles you will face come in the form of participants who exhibit traits of challenging personas. They may be doing so accidentally or they may be doing so deliberately; either way, you are responsible for managing these behaviors.

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The first article in this series explained how to plan a group discussion.

In this article, we describe best practices when leading a group discussion.

There’s much more involved than simply getting people in a room, waving a magic wand, and declaring “Discuss now!” Your role as a discussion leader is complex and requires great mental dexterity and tact. How can you keep the discussion steadily flowing in a productive way at the right pace towards achieving your objectives?

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If you give a great speech, but nobody can hear you, does it really count?

Before your message can transform your audience, the sound of your voice must be heard by your audience. It sounds really simple, but I’m shocked by how often I have to strain to hear a presenter.

In this article, we examine strategies for being heard and varying speech volume to improve your effectiveness.

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Your eye contact impacts your ability to connect with your audience and, by extension, your effectiveness as a speaker. In this article, we offer simple strategies for producing more eye contact and better eye contact.

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Making eye contact with an audience is one of the most terrifying things about presenting a speech in public. Because it’s scary and difficult, several myths about eye contact exist to help us cope with our fears. These myths swirl around meeting rooms, conference halls, Toastmasters clubs, and classrooms, and if you listen closely, you might hear presenters whispering them to one another.

Unfortunately, none of these myths help a presenter’s delivery.

In this article, you will learn why these myths don’t work, and discover how you can move toward effective eye contact instead.

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A long-time reader asks:

What’s the average speaking rate? Is it better to speak faster or is is better to speak slower?

In this article, we answer these questions and look at the factors which influence your speaking rate, a critical component of your delivery.

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The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides is the latest in a series of best-selling presentation books by Garr Reynolds (of Presentation Zen fame). While his previous books inspired his readers to craft better visuals, this book teaches readers how to deliver more naturally.

This article is the latest of a series of public speaking book reviews here on Six Minutes.

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Full-day training courses offer many challenges for speakers, including:

  • massive preparation requirements;
  • physical and mental fatigue (for both the speaker and audience); and
  • maintaining interest requires dynamic delivery and varied presentation techniques.

If you can overcome these challenges, you can provide significant value for your audience.

This past week, I was fortunate to attend a series of full-day training courses (Usability Week 2012 in San Francisco, offered by the Nielsen Norman Group). While my focus was building my usability knowledge, it was also a great opportunity to learn from people who speak regularly around the world. One of these speakers was Marieke McCloskey, who taught my first session of the week.

This article offers 28 tips for designing and presenting training courses inspired by Marieke’s strengths and areas for improvement.

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Effective use of speech pauses is a master technique.

If you do it right, nobody is conscious of your pauses, but your ideas are communicated more persuasively.

If you do it wrong, your credibility is weakened, and your audience struggles to comprehend your message.

In this article, we examine:

  • benefits of effective speech pauses;
  • techniques for using pauses naturally (there are more than you think); and
  • communications research which provides clues to why pauses help us communicate effectively.

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This article is part of the 12 Days of Ask Six Minutes.
This event is over now, but you can send your questions anytime.

Several readers sent in questions related to impromptu speeches, including Matthias K.:

I’m pretty comfortable when I have days or even weeks to prepare a speech, but I REALLY struggle when I’m asked to speak at a moment’s notice. Do you have any tips for impromptu speaking?

In this article, you’ll find a set of tips that will make you shine the next time you are asked to speak on the spur of the moment.

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This article is part of the 12 Days of Ask Six Minutes.
This event is over now, but you can send your questions anytime.

Speaking outdoors is one of the most difficult challenges faced by a public speaker.

Do you know how to overcome the obstacles in this difficult scenario?

An anonymous Six Minutes reader asks:

Every speech I’ve heard given outdoors has been pretty much a disaster. Have I just been unlucky, or is this an impossible venue? Is there any way to succeed?

In this article, we’ll examine the unique challenges of speaking outdoors, and give several tips for effectively getting your message across.

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