Best Public Speaking Articles: Weekly Review [2008-09-06]
Every Saturday, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.
Topics featured this week include:
- an interview with Nancy Duarte;
- the “admonishing finger” gesture;
- effective pausing;
- light versus dark backgrounds; and
- delivery of speech evaluations.
Week in Review: Six Minutes
The feature article this week was the first in a series of interviews with fascinating individuals in and around the speaking industry:
- Interview with Nancy Duarte, Author of slide:ology
Learn Nancy’s motivations for writing the book, her advice for bringing about positive change in the presentations corporate culture, her tips for speech rehearsal, and much more.
Week in Review: Public Speaking Blogosphere
- TJ Walker reminds us that what you say is more important than how long you say it.
Many speakers make the mistake of conceptualizing their speech in terms of length. They think “I am giving a 30 minute new business pitch.” Or “I am giving a 25 minute quarterly review.” This is the wrong way to think about your presentation. Length should be a secondary thought. Making your points come across in an interesting, memorable way is what counts.
- Jeff Brenman weighs in on the debate concerning light or dark slide backgrounds.
Dark slide backgrounds look best on electronic displays …
Solid-white backgrounds make it super easy to add beautiful, dynamic images to your slides.
- Nick Morgan discusses the use of admonishing finger, particularly as it is used in political speeches.
The disease is the admonishing finger and its use in public speaking. It’s the first finger, and it’s the one your mother waggled at you when you were five and got caught stealing a cookie.
Here’s the problem. We don’t like the gesture. It reminds us of when we were five and naughty, not a place most of us want to go.
- Nick also describes effective use of pauses.
You can always tell an inexperienced teacher or speaker by the way they respond after they ask the audience a question, or for some kind of feedback. They will wait a heartbeat, and then answer the question or add a comment themselves.
That’s fatal, because it sends out a message to the audience that the speaker (or teacher) will ask questions, and then answer them. So the audience can simply sit there passively, doing nothing, and check out, intellectually speaking.
- Dave Paradi provides tips and encouragement to cut down your paper usage when printing handouts.
They may sound like small things, but consider a 45 slide presentation … By implementing the ideas above, … a reduction of over 62%! Every little effort counts.
- Dave Wheeler takes inspiration from Darren LaCroix and offers several approaches to deliver speech evaluations in a manner that will be accepted by the speaker.
[Note: You may also be interested in a previous Six Minutes article: The Art of Delivering Speech Evaluations.]
The “Challenge Approach” works with some speakers, but not with all. It can be started “With everything you did right, the one thing that would take your speaking to the next level is …” This statement should grab the speaker’s attention and may even motivate them to see if they can really “take their speech to the next level”!
- John Kinde interviews Ken Egervari about lessons learned in the Humorous Speech Contest.
I completely lost the audience when I said the word “prostitution.” The energy in the room completely changed at that point–you can even feel it when listening to the voice recording. I started to understand that Comedy Club and Corporate humor are two different things.