Public Speaking Blogosphere: Week in Review [2008-03-01]
Saturday signals a scan of the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.
Just a few of the topics featured this week are:
- speech preparation;
- conquering stage fright;
- visual aids;
- Toastmasters contests; and
- speech analogies.
Week in Review: Six Minutes
The Speech Preparation Series launched this week with the first three articles:
- How To Prepare a Presentation
An overview of a six-step preparation process, and a roadmap for the topics to be covered by the other nine articles.
- Selecting a Speech Topic
Advises speakers to select topics which have three characteristics: the speakers is knowledgable, the speaker is passionate, and the audience is interested. Also distinguishes between the topic and the core message.
- Don’t Skip the Speech Outline
Encourages speakers to start writing with a speech outline, and provides several speech outline examples.
Seven more articles are coming that will cover speech writing, editing, staging, body language, vocal variety, and practice.
Week in Review: Public Speaking Blogosphere
These are the best public speaking articles I read in the past week.
- John Windsor offers an analogy between presentations and dining out to demonstrate that content isn’t everything.
Dining out and presentations are both multi-sensory experiences. The taste of the food is not all that matters, and the content of your presentation is not all that affects an audience.
- Darren Fleming offers a series of tips for presenting to a client in the boardroom. e.g.
If using PowerPoint, never skip a slide in front of a customer. If you do, you will give the impression that you are hiding something from them.
- John Watkis makes several compelling arguments for scripting your speech.
- you avoid going on tangents
- you get your main point across with clarity
- you’ll be able to manage your time more effectively
- you won’t leave out important details
- you won’t include unnecessary details
- you can generate a media buzz for your organization or cause
- you will be using a model of previous successful speeches
- Gretchen Rubin shares 17 tips for conquering stage fright. e.g.
[…] the most effective tip is the one that people with stage fright will least to want to follow: do more public speaking! It truly does get easier with practice.
- Lisa Braithwaite says it is okay to be exhibit traits of a novice public speaker while you are building your skill.
Well, I didn’t come out of the womb performing (although my mother might disagree). I had to learn the skills and become comfortable onstage just like everyone else.
- Eric Feng discusses the merits of researching your audience with a pre-program questionnaire.
- Garr Reynolds distills public speaking insights from Sir Ken Robinson.
- Gavin Meikle questions whether humor is a good way to start a speech.
- Carol Kinsey Goman examines the relationship between non-verbal communication and leadership.
Articles about Visual Aids
- Robert Lane interviews Chantal Bossé on the topic of working with a presentation professional.
- Craig Strachan offers a free 34-page e-book dedicated to better PowerPoint habits.
- Craig also has a suggestion to use PowerPoint as a visible stopwatch to show when your presentation will begin.
- Dave Paradi points out how to obtain free bonus images from istockphoto.com for use in presentations.
Toastmasters (Contest) Blog Articles
- Rich Hopkins describes his club contest victories.
- Yow Kia describes his victory.
- Jeff Bailey shares advice for speech contest hopefuls.
- John Spaith encourages contestants: may the most passionate win!
- Wayne Botha suggests that organizing a speech contest is excellent project management training.
Analogies to Use in Your Next Speech…
For speech inspiration, here’s another index card gem from Jessica Hagy. I love this sketch because it offers a wealth of possible analogies that you can employ in a speech. When you are trying to convey the concept of “neutralized” (as in the sketch) or deflated or cancelling out, try something like this:
- “This tax bill will destroy our economy like a wooden stake through the heart of a vampire.”
- “The sight of my daughter negated the stress of the work day just like bureaucracy negates good ideas.”
Jessica’s book Indexed is an inexpensive, but rich source of speech inspiration.