Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Public Speaking Tips: Weekend Review [2009-07-18]

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

This review features topics including:

  • revealing personal information in speeches;
  • the value of mnemonics;
  • when to address opposing arguments;
  • PowerPoint 2010 preview; and
  • handing difficult Q&A.


  • Jim Anderson cautions us on revealing irrelevant personal information.

Sharing personal information just because it makes a great story […] is a bad idea. You need to make sure that the story ties in with what your speech is all about. If it doesn’t, then skip it.

  • Vivek Singh discusses the value of mnemonics for trainers.

Whenever you give a presentation where you want the audience to memorize a tricky list of things or a very important concept, help them with a Mnemonic. You can also make the audience think of a Mnemonic on the spot. I have done that many a times. This will not only ensure they understand what you present but also remember it for a long time to come.

  • Richard Garber advises sharing bad news early.
    [This advice is given in the context of a debate, but I think it applies in standalone presentations as well — acknowledge weaknesses in your argument early and counter them.]

You know there is a weakness in your case – negative information that would damage your position. Should you:

  1. Make sure to bring it up before your opponent does.
  2. Ignore it and hope that he or she does not bring it up.

Visual Aids

  1. More “cinematic” transitions
  2. Animation painter
  3. Better video integration
  4. Backstage view

Speaker Habits

  • Denise Graveline suggests techniques to handle difficult Q&A.
  1. Create a bridge between the question and the answer.
  2. Remind the audience of your focus today.
  3. Beware of argumentative questions…and deflect them.
  4. Acknowledge the persistence of the persistent questioner.
  5. Breathe, smile and stay calm.

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Comments icon1 Comment

  1. Allyncia says:

    Mnemonics are extremely valuable for getting students to retain the information as well as remember who taught them! Lots of repetition of that during the presentation can be fun too. Great mention here!

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