Best Public Speaking Articles: Weekly Review [2008-06-07]
Every Saturday, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.
Topics featured this week include:
- the value of videotaping yourself;
- choosing between a slow or fast speech opening;
- using simple language;
- dealing with hecklers;
- choosing appropriate images; and
- a pair of articles examining the three Presidential candidate speeches from last week.
Week in Review: Public Speaking Blogosphere
- Sue Hershkowitz-Coore addresses what she has learned to make it as a speaker.
In fact, had you asked me what I was going to do about my annoying habit, I innocently would have asked what annoying habit? Until I watched the videotape. OMG. Forty-three times in 3 minutes I used the word, okay.
- Olivia Mitchell itemizes 6 reasons why face-to-face interactions are critical for influence.
This got me thinking about whether we will continue to have face-to-face presentations. Does face-to-face presenting have an edge over video-conferencing and other online presentation technology?
- James Feudo provides advice for handling questions from three types of audience members.
Regardless of why the person is asking a lot of questions, it can be an annoyance to the rest of the audience so you need to address it. […] So we’ll group them into three categories: the Eager Learner™, the Show Off™ and the School Bus™.
Political Speech Analysis
- Colin Moorhouse analyzes Tuesday night speeches from John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.
You would think on the day when the Democratic nominee for President was finally settled that the players who all had a significant stake in the occasion would rise to the oratorical challenge.
Not so much in the case of two of them.
- Nick Morgan tackles the same three speeches and comes to remarkably similar conclusions.
[…] public speaking aficionados were treated to a wonderful set of case studies from the last 3 candidates standing — how not to do it, why it did her in, and how to win.
- Pete Ryckman dissects the decision between the slow open or the fast open to a speech. This is a new perspective (for me) on an old debate.
So which one do you choose — open slow or open fast? It depends on how well you know the audience — and how well they know you.
- Jessica Hatchigan shares a speechwriting lesson she learned about simplifying language and shortening sentences.
Throughout my career as a speechwriter, I do not once recall an executive asking me to rewrite a speech to make the words “bigger” or the sentences longer and more complex. On the contrary, I can recall being twice asked – I didn’t need a third request – to further simplify language and to shorten sentences.
- Daily Writing Tips focuses on using the active voice to strengthen your writing (and your speechwriting too).
Sentences written in the active voice are also less wordy than those in the passive voice – and cutting unnecessary words always improves a piece of writing, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.
- Lisa Braithwaite cautions against using the grandmother cliche.
So why allow these stereotypes to persist in your writing or speaking? If I were in the room and a speaker used one of these clichés, I’d have a pretty hard time listening to anything else he said. And imagine all the grandmothers in the room who he’d be insulting?
- Gary Guwe shows 5 things not to do with your body.
[…] the showing of your palm is a sign of safety and submissiveness. It shows that you’re safe because you’re ‘clean’ and unarmed. Conversely, the purposeful showing of the back of your palm is interpreted as a sign of authority and aggression
- Jason Peck shares how you might deal with hecklers in your audience.
The are different reasons why people heckle.
More often than not alcohol is involved. Sometimes an audience member feels that they can do a better job than the person they’re listening to. Where that logic comes from I don’t know.
PowerPoint and Slide Design
- John Windsor looks at strategies for choosing relevant presentation images.
As photographs go, this [handshake photo] is very well executed (great lighting, well-composed, etc). As a story, though, it’s tired and overworked. If you do a search on “handshake” in iStockphoto, you’ll find 3625 pictures. […] does it say anything or help advance your story? Probably not. The strongest way to express the underlying idea is merely to say it in a heartfelt way.
- John Spaith delivers some unfortunate news: attending Toastmasters meetings won’t make you a professional speaker.
I took piano lessons in high school, had a lot of fun, and am OK at it still. But I’m not Oscar Peterson. […] I went into Toastmasters with the same expectations. I’m way, way better at speaking and leadership then when I first joined five years ago […] If I did ever want to turn pro, the learning curve would be much shorter because of what I’ve learned in TM.