Six Minutes weekend reviews bring the best public speaking articles to you.
This review features topics including:
- PowerPoint and the Rule of Thirds;
- new public speaking books;
- persuasive techniques;
- training session tips;
- creating memorable story characters;
- effective use of pauses;
- new features in PowerPoint 2010;
- dealing with hecklers;
- and more!
From the Six Minutes Archives
One Year Ago from Six Minutes…
- How to Improve Your PowerPoint Slides with the Rule of Thirds
Design tips for non-designers! The rule of thirds is easy to apply, and will make your slides much more attractive.
Two Years Ago from Six Minutes…
- How to Practice Your Presentation
Part of the speech preparation series, this article shows why practice is essential.
Resources for Speakers – Public Speaking Books
Check out these recently released public speaking and communications books:
- 365 Powerful Ways to Influence by Donald Hendon
- The ABC's of Speaking by Thom Singer
- Body Language: 7 Easy Lessons to Master the Silent Language by James Borg
- The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics: The Dos and Don'ts of Presenting Data, Facts, and Figures by Dona M. Wong
- Delivering Training Workshops: Pfeiffer Essential Guides to Training Basics by Janis Fisher Chan
- Nick Morgan delivers a 7-article series on persuasive techniques.
- Phrase your arguments so that your listeners can hear them.
- Have a clear goal in mind.
- Break your communication down into problems and solutions.
- Deal in stories, facts, and tropes.
- Make sure your communication is articulate. Is there a real alternative? Is the idea consequential? Do the words shock but not surprise?
- Cut through the clutter of information overload by dealing with safety issues.
- Be willing to confess something.
- Diane DiResta offers 13 tips for designing a fun and memorable training session.
- Understand how people learn.
- Tell stories.
- Use props.
- Let them teach you.
- Get physical.
- Play games.
- Organize creatively.
- Pair up.
- Get them moving.
- Give them aha’s.
- Provide download time.
- Use music.
- Get visual.
- Doug Stevenson details how to create memorable characters in your stories.
The way you describe your characters, physically, allows your audience to form a mental image of them. […]
Don’t stop with, “My friend Mark was supposed to pick me up at the airport.” Go deeper. For example: “My friend Mark is about 6 feet, 3 inches tall and about 150 pounds. We used to call him “Daddy Long Legs”… with a mustache. He was a real string bean of a guy who worked as a computer tech – a real nerd, an absolute genius with computers. So Mark, this lanky, nerdy guy, was supposed to pick me up at the airport and bring me home after my long trip.”
- Denise Graveline urges you to be bold in your speechwriting.
[…] you need to be bold to be an effective speaker. Respectful and qualified won’t help you create that vital connection with your audience, whether you’re in a meeting, a presentation or giving a speech.
- Craig Senior discusses effective use of pauses.
What you are doing during pauses:
- listening with the audience (observing them)
- giving the audience time to absorb and respond
- getting a prop
What the audience is doing during pauses:
- listening with you (observing you)
- Kathy Reiffenstein offers tips for speaking with a teleprompter.
- Read the script through several times without the teleprompter.
- Speak naturally
- Know your teleprompter operator
- Have a few people in the audience while you are rehearsing
- Take a hard copy of your speech with you
- Kate Peters paradoxically offers 10 ways to destroy your voice.
- Avoid drinking water.
- Pitch your voice as low as you can get it and force the sound out.
- Jan Schultink contrasts two charts drawn from the same data to show how to use visuals to support your persuasive argument.
- Echo Swinford lists 65 new features in PowerPoint 2010.
That’s a lot of new features. How will you take advantage of them?
- John Zimmer criticizes the 1-6-6 “rule” for PowerPoint.
- I have also seen this rule called the 1-5-5 Rule and the 1-7-7 Rule, with necessary changes to the numbers of bullet points and words per bullet point. I have chosen the middle ground.
- The “Rule” is not a rule at all. It is nonsense.
- Lisa Braithwaite offers suggestions to overcome your tendency to say too much.
- The most critical factor is timing yourself.
- Create a time cushion when you practice.
- Keep your eye on the clock.
The best way to deal with a heckler is to do your best to prevent them from becoming a heckler in the first place. A heckler can show up in any audience and so part of your preparation to give a speech, you need to spend some time taking steps to defuse the things that might set a heckler off.
- Olivia Mitchell also writes about how to handle hecklers.
- Manage your own emotional state.
- Let the heckler have their say.
- Use reflective listening before you respond.