Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Public Speaking Tips: Weekend Review #93

Week In Review

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

This review features topics including:

  • presenting to executives;
  • avoiding business jargon;
  • delivering a eulogy;
  • moving while speaking;
  • slide design constraints;
  • and more!

Reader Favorites from the Past (August 2009)

Recently on Six Minutes


  • Bruce Gabrielle writes 5 tips for presenting to executives.
  1. Get to the point in one minute.
  2. Talk about problems winning in the marketplace.
  3. Sell a vision before discussing the details.
  4. Lead with stories, not data.
  5. Don’t be afraid of executives; be afraid FOR them.
  • Michelle Mazur suggests alternatives for common business jargon.

11. Cross pollination

“By bringing together the two teams, we are hoping you can cross-pollinate.” We are getting bees in the office? Isn’t than dangerous? Bees sting.

Oh, you mean — “share ideas.”

  • Claire Duffy gives five tips for delivering a eulogy.
  1. Keep it short
  2. Keep it in perspective
  3. Keep it true
  4. Share personal stories
  5. Keep it about the person
  • Christopher Witt lists several types of personal and organizational stories.

Leaders can tell stories that are personal or organizational…as long as the stories serve the purpose of the speech. (Personal stories are, well, more personal. They carry more emotional power. They are riskier to tell, and their payoff is potentially greater.)

Delivery Techniques

  • Carol Kinsey Goman busts five body language myths.
  1. Body language is 93% of communication.
  2. Liars don’t make eye contact.
  3. Crossed arms always means resistance.
  4. Eye direction is correlated with lying.
  5. Using body language to make a positive impression is inauthentic.
  • Denise Graveline urges speakers to use less time.

No one really wants the speaker to speak the full amount of time. No one. A speaker who shows not just a healthy respect for time limits, but errs on the less-is-more side, will win the day and get more praise, applause and love from the listeners. Leave them wanting more.

  • Ben Decker discusses moving around while speaking.

If you find yourself glued to one spot when you’re presenting, try to increase your tether length. Imagine it stretching out five feet – and give yourself permission to move within that expanded area. Once you’re more comfortable with moving, try increasing your range to ten or even fifteen feet. The most confident, effective speakers stretch their limits to the max and move freely throughout an entire room.

PowerPoint and Visuals

  • Angela DeFinis argues that “visuals” ≠ slideware.

So, when was the last time you used a chalkboard, an overhead projector, a whiteboard, a flipchart, or even no visuals at all? […]

It’s easy to become complacent and narrow-minded about the types of visual aids we use—or don’t’ use. It’s also easy to fall into the trap of thinking that to be effective, a visual needs to be cutting edge and show off the latest visual gymnastics that PowerPoint can produce.

  • Laura Bergells advises designing slides iteratively with constraints.

Ironically, simplicity isn’t as simple as it sounds. It often means using restraint. Holding back can be really difficult when you’re using slideware that offers you zillions of design options. Like a kid in a toy store, you can be tempted to play with all these distracting features — and forget to connect to your audience with solid content and excellent presentation skills!

  • Chiara Ojeda teaches three ways to blend text with images.

So, you’ve taken or found some amazing photographs to use in your slides, but some of the images are rather “busy.” You learned from studying Presentation Zen that empty space is a good thing, and that the picture superiority effect is best applied when images are paired with one impacting idea. So, you want to combine images and text in a way that is going to reduce noise and maximize signal. How do you do this without causing competition between the image and the text?

  • Also from Chiara Ojeda is this motivational slide deck: (click the link if you are viewing this article somewhere that the slides do not appear below)

Speaker Habits

  • Barbara Moynihan gives tips for remembering names.

Look at them and try to come up with a way to help you remember their name by creating a mind-picture. For example, I met a guy recently called Niall. I created an image of his head bursting through the iris of an eye – the more ridiculous the better and adding action really helps it stick.

  • Lisa Braithwaite advocates presenting as if it were a rare opportunity every four years.

The difference between Olympic athletes and (many) speakers, however, is that elite athletes push themselves to do better ALL the time. Not just when the Olympics roll around. […]

Speakers, however, frequently do the bare minimum to get through an engagement. They put their presentations together at the last minute; they pay no attention to who’s in the audience, and they focus only on their own comfort and convenience by reading from bullet-laden slides and drowning the audience in data.

Video: Every Presentation Ever

This … is… awesome! I hope you laugh as hard as I did.


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