Six Minutes weekend reviews bring the best public speaking articles to you.
This larger-than-usual new year’s edition review features topics including:
- best-selling speaking books;
- recap of the 12 days of Ask Six Minutes;
- the best and worst communicators of 2011;
- techniques to be persuasive and memorable;
- non-verbal communication tips;
- and much more!
From the Six Minutes Archives
Since our last review a month ago, we’ve been busy with a New Year’s guest article from Christine Clapp:
… and the 12 Days of Ask Six Minutes …
- How Many Slides Should You Have? How Many Slides Do You Need?
- How to Stop Saying Um, Uh, and Other Filler Words
- How to Dress for Public Speaking
- When is the Best Time to Distribute Handouts?
- How to Make Reading a Speech Not Like Reading a Speech
- How to Weave Statistics Into Your Speech
- 9 Do’s and Taboos to Eat, Drink, and Speak
- 3 Common Ways Speakers Sabotage Themselves
- How to Thrive When Speaking Outside
- Why You Must Relish Every Opportunity to Speak
- How to Ace the Short, Impromptu Speech
- Bookending Your Speech: A Master Technique
Remember that your questions are welcome anytime. I’ll answer as many as I can, either via email or in future Six Minutes articles.
Resources for Speakers – Public Speaking Books
In weekend reviews, we usually feature recently released public speaking and communications books. Because there are few of these books this time, I thought I’d feature the best-selling speaking and communications books instead.
First, the best-selling speaking books among all amazon.com customers:
- Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson
- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
- Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte
- The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo
- slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte
And here, the best-selling speaking books among Six Minutes readers like you:
- Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: 21 Powerful Secrets of History's Greatest Speakers by James C. Humes
- The Story Factor by Annette Simmons
- Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds
- Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion by Jay Heinrichs
- Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun
Not surprisingly, seven of the ten books listed above have been reviewed on Six Minutes, with an eight (Resonate) coming soon. You can find all Six Minutes book reviews here.
- Ben and Kelly Decker list the 10 best and worst communicators of 2011.
Our Top Ten Communicators List is all about Trust and Vision. Happily, we start with the Best list, where we honor those who communicate and lead well. Unfortunately, those who dominate the Worst list have garnered most of the attention in 2011 – for lack of trust on the high end and deception on the low end.
- Denise Graveline highlights the power of emotional, personal storytelling.
But 17-year-old Kayla Kearney, a student at California’s Maria Carillo High School, reached far beyond the hall in which she spoke earlier this year when she used her assembly appearance to come out to her peers and identify herself as a lesbian. [...]
Difficult stories make the most compelling content: Part of finding your voice as a speaker involves telling difficult-for-you stories. That’s emotionally tough for the speaker, but yields great results in dramatic impact and in audience reaction–and makes your speech memorable.
- Mike Consul states 7 time-tested persuasion techniques.
- Tell them why
- Anticipate and address objections
- Lisa Braithwaite challenges you to create a memorable one-liner.
It’s not easy to come up with a brilliant and memorable one-liner. But when you’ve got a good one, that one sentence can be the difference between your audience walking away with only a vague memory of your topic and your audience sharing your message with everyone they know!
- Kare Anderson also strives to craft a memorable statement.
The stories that grab us are those with the most vividly apt illustrations. Interestingness, like a cork, always bobs up to the top of our attention.
- Alex Rister delivers a suite of non-verbal communication tips.
Within the first six seconds of meeting you and shaking your hand for the very first time, John Smith has already formed an opinion of you. Similarly, when you begin delivering a presentation, your audience takes that six seconds to size you up and develop their first impressions. Often, before you even speak your first word, the audience has already made up their minds about you. [...]
Since your nonverbal communication (your face and body signals) are so important to making a first impression, let’s examine them. There are five simple ways to ensure you make a positive first impression: posture, facial expressions, clothing, gestures, and engagement.
- Barbara Moynihan dissects the issue of speaking rate.
You need to think of ABS:
A – Accelerate, at times speak a bit faster
B – Brake, remember to pause
S – Slow, reduce the rate at times
PowerPoint and Visuals
- Garr Reynolds cautions us to avoid using technology to fix presentations.
As more digital tools become available at a faster pace, it will be the intentional selection of less, the willingness to say no to more, and the thoughtful practice of restraint that leads to the clearest communication and best presentations.
- Chiara Ojeda shares a slide deck with a plethora of slide design inspiration.
If the slides do not appear above, click here to view the original.
- R. L. Howser relates the importance of matching visual metaphors to abstract concepts.
You can use PowerPoint to associate images with your ideas. If you are selling computer network security, an image of a bank vault door will anchor the concept far better than a dozen bullet points of technical data can. [...]
You can use an action, a sound, an image, an analogy, a story or an acronym to anchor your abstract concepts to something that is easier to understand and remember.[...]
Make it easier for your audience to recall what you’ve told them. Give them something tangible to associate with your concepts.
- Nick Morgan reminds us not to feel embarrassed about being embarrassed.
What happens when we get embarrassed is that we feel shame for the initial faux pas, then we blush, and then we get embarrassed that we’re showing signs of being embarrassed. There’s a double jeopardy going on, especially if we think everyone has seen the blush as well as the initial incident. And so the moment feeds on itself. [...]
In short, being embarrassed means that you’re human, and we like you better for it. So don’t dread those moments of embarrassment as a speaker or a communicator – they’re doing good things for you with your audience.
- Alex Rister explains how to use ethos, pathos, and logos to establish a strong instructor/student relationship.
Aristotle’s three modes of persuasion are important in any persuasive speech, but on the first day of teaching a new course, ethos, pathos, and logos are required. These tools are imperative in a persuasive speech because they tackle all of the audience’s concerns and needs. On the first day of teaching a new class, the three modes of persuasion are necessary in establishing your personality as an instructor and in creating both the classroom culture and the norms of the course.