Articles in category: Delivery Techniques

Do you ever feel nervous when speaking?

Does it seem like the audience knows you are nervous?

If so, read on! This article may instantly make you a more confident and more effective speaker.

The previous article in the Cognitive Bias series studied the Spotlight Effect. This article examines a closely related bias known as the Illusion of Transparency. We will define this cognitive bias and offer several everyday examples. Then, we’ll study how the Illusion of Transparency affects both the speaker and the audience. We’ll conclude with strategies to mitigate these impacts.

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The first article of the Cognitive Bias series defined cognitive biases and introduced the core idea that cognitive biases impact both the speaker and the audience.

This article examines the Spotlight Effect. As we’ll do throughout this series, we define this specific bias and offer several everyday examples. Then, we’ll study how the Spotlight Effect affects both the speaker and the audience. We’ll conclude with strategies to mitigate these impacts.

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You may think that you are a sensible, rational thinker. You likely believe that you’re open-minded, objective, and someone who sees the world as it is.

Unfortunately, your brain is playing mind games with you.

In reality, while you are incredibly intelligent, you’re susceptible to a swarm of cognitive biases which constantly pull you toward irrational thoughts and judgments.

This article is the first of the Cognitive Bias series — a collection of articles which examine cognitive biases, describe how they impact you and your audience, and explore practical strategies you can use in response.

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Body movement is an aspect of public speaking that often gets ignored. Unfortunately, this leads to two extreme behaviors that are equally bad:

  • A speaker who stands rigidly on a single spot for their entire presentation, or
  • A speaker who moves constantly in dizzying motion

True effectiveness lies in between these two extremes, with purposeful body movement that complements the speaker’s message, and adds authenticity to the overall delivery.

In this article, we reveal 7 benefits of body movement for speakers, review a series of negative body movements, and share 18 practical tips for purposeful movement that enhances your overall presentation.

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Only one of the following statements is true. Do you know which one?

  1. You should never use notes because you will look unprepared.
  2. You should always use notes because memorization weakens your delivery.
  3. You should never use slide text as notes.

In this article, we identify scenarios where a full script is warranted or where memorization is advisable. For all your speaking scenarios in the middle, we discuss 21 tips for using notes effectively.

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Having a speech disorder—whether it’s a stutter, a slur, or a lisp—can make a presentation extremely frightening.

I should know. I’ve had a lisp for my entire life.

Though I’ve gone through years of therapy to correct it, I still have difficulties with the letters S and Z. I have always been very self-conscious of it. When speaking in public, I’m afraid of how it will affect my message.

I understand that my lisp isn’t going to magically disappear. I’ve accepted that. I’ve also decided that it won’t hold me back. I didn’t want to miss out on a wonderful opportunity just because I sound a little weird on certain sounds. Because of this decision, I’ve given speeches which include the classic best man speech, award acceptance speeches, and persuasive presentations helping people to change their lives.

In this article, I’ll share five tips for gaining confidence as a speaker when you have a speech disorder.

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Presentation Patterns: Techniques for Crafting Better Presentations uses an innovative format to illuminate the elements shared by strong presentations and the habits shared by strong presenters.

The authors — Neal Ford, Matthew McCullough, and Nathaniel Schutta — are highly experienced conference presenters with a knack for exposing the truth in presentations around us.

This article is one of a series of public speaking book reviews from Six Minutes.

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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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