Best Public Speaking Articles: Weekly Review [2008-06-14]
Every Saturday, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.
Topics featured this week include:
- interviews with public speaking bloggers;
- a new speaking portal;
- audience analysis;
- speechwriting tips;
- PowerPoint cheers and jeers;
- a winning Toastmasters speech; and
- political speech analysis.
Week in Review: Six Minutes
June is a busy month as I am designing and delivering a multiple-session training course. I will be featuring lessons learned in a future Six Minutes article.
Despite my absence, there were two developments involving Six Minutes in the past week:
- Francisco Saraiva interviewed me about public speaking. This interview is one of a series of interviews with public speaking bloggers conducted by Francisco. Many of the bloggers featured regularly in the weekly reviews have also been interviewed, including Simon Raybould, Nick Morgan, Diane DiResta, Craig Strachan, Wayne Botha, Susan Trivers, and Ian Griffin. Check them out.
- As mentioned earlier this week, Guy Kawasaki and the team at Alltop have added a speaking.alltop.com category page which highlights recent articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.
Week in Review: Public Speaking Blogosphere
- Olivia Mitchell outlines 6 ways to do audience analysis online.
Many presenters ask their audience at the beginning of the presentation what they’re most interested in. That’s a waste of your audience’s time.
- Craig Strachan reveals his 10 truths of public speaking.
- Dave Paradi debates when to give your audience the handout that you prepared.
- Brian Jenner points us to a 7-minute speech from Philip Collins — former speechwriter to Tony Blair — who gives four precepts for effective speechwriting.
- Get your topic right.
- Think about your opponent. A speech seems like a monologue, but its actually a staged dialogue […] with an imaginary opponent that you are arguing against.
- Get your argument straight. If you’ve got something to say, distill it, and build out from there
- Write appropriately.
- Lisa Braithwaite provides tips for storytelling in a presentation.
But not just any story: It was my story. It was a real story. And it was an emotional story.
PowerPoint and Slide Design
- Sumeet Moghe suggests using a flip chart instead of PowerPoint for your next training session.
When we as trainers build a flip chart based on discussions in class, it provides a strong visual anchor for the shared learning that the group arrives at.
- Wayne Botha encourages you to develop signature slides for your presentations.
Think – Which slides have worked well for you in the past? Use them in future presentations and continue refining your signature slides. You will deliver better presentations with signature slides.
- Jeff Bailey considers the problem with many PowerPoint slide presentations: lack of continuity.
There is no flow between the slides; the presenter doesn’t tie the content of one slide to the next. It is a staccato, non-fluid, jumping from one slide to another. This type of thing can be very painful to watch. Why does it happen?
- Paul Gibler reflects on three decades of presentations moving from overhead transparencies to “Death by PowerPoint”.
If you were really cool, you got your marker out and marked on the overhead as you spoke to the audience. […] In the Harvard Graphics and PowerPoint era, […] You could throw in the spinning figures, cartoons and lots of words to make your point.
- Rich Hopkins shares his District-winning speech Glorious Victory.
Political Speech Analysis
- Nick Morgan pits Obama versus McCain in an oratorical battle.
Senator Obama’s oratorical skills are already widely praised, so I won’t go there. Instead, I’ll talk about ways he could improve.
- Andrew Abela reports on PowerPoint design mistakes made by all three Presidential candidates.
That said, as a voter I think I would prefer to see details on their proposed policy initiatives instead of all this polling information; knowing what others think is not really going to help me decide how to vote.