Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Public Speaking Tips: Weekend Review #84

Week In Review

Six Minutes weekend reviews bring the best public speaking articles to you.

This review features topics including:

  • opening and closing your speech;
  • new public speaking books;
  • increasing your precision;
  • using quotes effectively;
  • working with images in PowerPoint;
  • mastering a webinar;
  • managing audience expectations;
  • and more!

From the Six Minutes Archives

One Year Ago from Six Minutes

Recently on Six Minutes…

Resources for Speakers – Public Speaking Books

Check out these recently released public speaking and communications books:


  • Vivek Singh suggests boosting your credibility by increasing your precision.

In our daily lives we make lot of statements which are generic, approximate and not concrete. They are not false. They are not misleading but they are less convincing. If we become more specific in the way we communicate, we can become much more convincing.

  • Denise Graveline dissects how to use quotations in speeches.

Stop and think about it: How may times have you used a quotation in a speech? For some speakers (and speechwriters), a speech isn’t a speech without a quotation…or three. I’m just wondering whether you know why you’re using a quotation…and whether it’s working for you as well as it might.

  • Rich Hopkins urges you to grab the audience’s attention.

Dramatic Openings and Shocking Statistics Create Thought – the right statements made to the audience can put them in a particular state of mind, either by jolting them out of the one they are in, or by challenging their belief system. If your introduction has gained their attention and built rapport, this opening can be more effective as a thought builder than an attention getter.

  • Lisa Braithwaite covers the pros and cons of self-deprecating humor.

Self-deprecating humor allows us to be smart, funny and confident, while also demonstrating modesty and humility about those qualities. After all, a person who uses self-deprecating humor has to be confident, or she wouldn’t risk making fun of herself! […]

However, you should be careful when using self-deprecating humor:
Use it too frequently and you begin to appear less confident.
Use it too emphatically and you look like you’re fishing for compliments.

PowerPoint and Visuals

  • Ian Griffin offers a 3-article series (part 1; part 2; part 3) on the basics of using images with PowerPoint.

At a recent Toastmasters Club meeting, Tevis encouraged us to appreciate the impact of adding pictures to PowerPoint presentations. Unlike plain text, a memorable photograph adds to a talk without distracting from the speaker.

It was obvious from the discussion that some Club members did not know the basics of how to find, save and manipulate images. Since this is part of my day job, I offered to write up a series of simple ‘how to’ guides for Windows XP users.

  • Ellen Finkelstein advocates using anticipation to keep an audience engaged.

Speaker Habits

  • Olivia Mitchell presents 18 tips for conducting an engaging webinar.

1. Use more visuals

This is the major difference between a face to face presentation and a webinar. In a presentation, the audience can see you and if there’s no visual slide, their attention will be focused on you. But in a webinar, if there’s no visual or you have the same visual for an extended length of time, their visual attention will wander.

I used twice as many slides as I would for a face to face presentation – I had 85 slides for a 30 minute presentation, and most of these slides had some animation. Keep things moving visually.

  • Kathy Reiffenstein lists 6 ways to manage audience expectations.

As a speaker, you will always deal with audience expectations.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they’re always the lens through which the audience hears, interprets and values your message.


While meeting or exceeding any expectations the audience may hold is a worthy objective, a sensible parallel one is to learn to manage them.

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Comments icon2 Comments

  1. Great roundup as usual, Andrew! I’ve got about ten tabs open now to go read all these great articles!

  2. TJ Walker says:

    Very thorough, as always. I especially liked Denise’s comments on quotes.

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