Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Best Public Speaking Articles: Weekly Review [2009-01-03]

Week In ReviewOn Saturdays, we survey the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.

This week’s review features topics including:

  • the best communicator of 2008;
  • public speaking resolutions for 2009;
  • basics of sketching (at a whiteboard or flipchart);
  • brevity in humor; and
  • new public speaking books for January.

Six Minutes

Week in Review: Six Minutes

Week in Review: Public Speaking Blogosphere

Resources for Speakers – Recent Releases

First look!
Here’s some of the best public speaking books recently released:


  • Olivia Mitchell references a study from Richard Mayer which emphasizes the importance of keeping all aspects of your presentation relevant to your message.

Don’t include a story that is interesting and emotionally engaging but not 100% conceptually relevant. Though in the short-term you’ll keep the attention of your audience, it will sacrifice focus and understanding of your core message.

Delivery Techniques

  1. Brevity makes strong structure.
  2. Brevity clarifies.
  3. Brevity gives focus.
  4. Brevity creates scarcity.
  5. Brevity teaches discipline.
  6. Brevity makes you appear funnier.

Visual Aids

  • Doug Neff points out that you can create great visuals with your own props and camera.

I LOVE this slide! And it’s not even really a slide. He didn’t use PowerPoint at all. He just wrote out his recipe in black magic marker on some cardboard or parchment, surrounded it with the ingredients themselves, then framed it nicely with a camera. Beautiful!

  • Laura Bergells believes that PowerPoint slides with simple images and minimal words have swung the pendulum too far.

You can feel, see, and hear the pendulum swinging all around you!

  • 1987? Lotsa words. Lotsa bullet points.
  • 2007? Few words. Simple pictures.

How about making 2009 the year of the middle way between these two approaches?

  • Dave Gray demonstrates “some basic rules for napkin sketching.” Really, it’s more than that. The basics of sketching apply when you present with a whiteboard, flipchart, or any other live drawing medium.

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Speaker Habits

[…] take a few minutes to note down in a journal what went well that presentation and what didn’t work so well […] The benefit of noting it in a journal is that you can see patterns emerge. […] Use the trends that appear as a more reliable indicator than the reactions of a single audience.

  • Lisa Braithwaite offers six ways to improve the training environment for employee orientations.
  1. Bring toys and candy.
  2. Incorporate breaks and movement.
  3. Vary the visuals.
  4. Incorporate interaction.
  5. Give opportunities for bonding.
  6. Make orientation a celebration.

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