Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Public Speaking Tips: Weekend Review [2009-10-24]

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

This review features topics including:

  • tools for presenting with Twitter;
  • pauses to highlight key statements;
  • better bullet points;
  • Pecha Kucha;
  • confidence and charisma;
  • gender differences;
  • speaking on a panel; and
  • energy zappers to avoid.

Resources for Speakers

  • Olivia Mitchell compiled 10 tools for presenting with Twitter.

Presenting while people are tweeting is challenging – but also adds a new dimension to the presentation experience for your audience. Gradually tools are being developed to make it easier for you as the presenter to manage the backchannel.


  • John Watkis argues that the right words are more important than using fewer words.

If brevity isn’t the key, what is? I would say the key to being memorable is to use the right combination of words. That doesn’t mean you ignore time limits or overload your audience with information. It just means you should choose the appropriate combination of words to drive your point home and make your speeches more memorable.

Delivery Techniques

  • Debbie Fay suggests pauses should surround key statements in your speech.

Your use of silence before, during and after the telling of the really important thing allows your audience the opportunity to digest it. To let it sink in. Even to repeat it to themselves in their own heads.

Visual Aids

  • Mike Pulsifer reminds you that the best visual may not be a slide deck.

[…] The visual impact obtained through these two monster print-outs could not have been obtained on a slide. […]

When presenting, don’t be afraid to mix in some low-tech visuals if it will help you drive your message home. And to think, I didn’t even mention the effect it has refocusing the audience’s attention on you.

  • Brent Dykes completed his 5-part series on bullet points.
  1. Consistency
  2. Bullets
  3. Layout / Structure
  4. Usage / Text Density
  5. Content and Delivery
  • Olivia Mitchell outlines how to prepare a Pecha Kucha presentation.
  1. Have a theme
  2. Plan your outline before the slides
  3. Spend more than 20 seconds on a point
  4. It’s better to finish earlier than later
  5. Rehearse

Speaker Habits

  • Scott Schwertly compares confidence and charisma.

Although people sometimes use these words interchangeably, they are actually two different things. In fact, one is the foundation of the other, though having the first doesn’t necessarily guarantee the second. For our purposes, confidence is an internal state, while charisma is a learned, practiced, and mastered skill-set.

  • Kathy Reiffenstein gives 10 tips for speaking on a panel.
  1. Stand in the audience’s shoes
  2. Be prepared
  3. Use stories
  4. Anticipate questions
  5. Don’t use slides
  6. Interact with the other panelists
  7. Be respectful
  8. Don’t answer every question
  9. Be conscious of how you look when you’re not speaking
  10. Provide your bio
  • Jim Anderson analyzes the challenges of presenting to audiences of the opposite gender.

[…] there are still differences between the sexes and a skillful presenter has to know about these differences and find ways to steer around them.

  • John Kinde identifies six energy zappers which can sabotage your talk.
  1. Your attitude
  2. Eye contact
  3. Warm ups
  4. Room seating
  5. Room lighting
  6. Distractions

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Find more helpful public speaking articles in previous weekend reviews which are published regularly on Six Minutes.
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