Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Public Speaking Tips:
Weekend Review [2010-01-15]

Week In Review

Six Minutes weekend reviews are back for a third year of bringing you the best public speaking articles from throughout the public speaking blogosphere.

This review features topics including:

  • speechwriting lessons from Martin Luther King Jr.;
  • structuring your presentation logically;
  • becoming aware of your voice;
  • benefits of a flip chart;
  • mistakes with visuals;
  • speaker habits;
  • stages in a professional speaking career;
  • and more!

From the Six Minutes Archives

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  • Scott Schwertly logically presents how to structure your presentation logically.

Structuring your presentation logically makes it easy for your audience to follow along and understand how you came to your conclusions.  Think about your presentation’s structure as a road map that guides your audience from point A to point B.  Just as you wouldn’t give driving directions by throwing a bunch of street names out to your friends and hoping that they order them correctly and then turn the right way on each, you shouldn’t present your topics haphazardly.

Delivery Techniques

  • Kate Peters lists 10 ways to become more aware of your voice.

Just as your physical appearance, your voice can represent you either effectively or ineffectively. The question is, how do you make the switch from creating your voice through reaction and imitation to creating your voice through thoughtful application of knowledge? The answer is: you start by listening objectively.

Visual Aids

  • Tom Ferguson lists several benefits of using a flip chart. (Thanks, Chris Witt for the link.)

It doesn’t need to be plugged in, rebooted, the lamp won’t blow and it doesn’t care about my laptop or its screen resolution. It can be used everywhere and anywhere and it can even be put on the table in the middle of all those brainstormers! Best of all, this no-nonsense low tech tool doesn’t require any special training or skills and can be used by anyone who can write and that usually includes just about everybody on the project team!

  • Dave Paradi reports on a call to be judicious with PowerPoint in the US military.

“The format of intelligence products matters. Commanders who think PowerPoint storyboards and color-coded spreadsheets are adequate for describing the Afghan conflict and its complexities have some soul searching to do. Sufficient knowledge will not come from slides with little more text than a comic strip. Commanders must demand substantive written narratives and analyses from their intel shops and make the time to read them. There are no shortcuts. Microsoft Word, rather than PowerPoint, should be the tool of choice for intelligence professionals in a counterinsurgency.”

  • Jon Thomas lists six mistakes with visuals which destroy your credibility.

I feel that there are some errors and omissions that are simply inexcusable and when they show up in a presentation, the audience should rightfully feel insulted.  If nothing else, give your presentation a quick run-through to ensure none of these have reared their ugly heads.

  • Vivek Singh reminds you not to put important text or images on the edge of your slides.

One possible problem which I have seen quite often is that the edges of the slides get cut due to adjustment problems. The projection does not fall in sync with the screen on the wall.

  • Jan Schultink suggests Google Street View as a source for presentation images.
  • Ultra-local: if your presentation somehow is set in a certain location, go there!
  • If your presentation is in the area of retail, urban planning, Street View is a great way to give examples of let’s say Starbucks stores in a few different cities, in a few different formats
  • Nancy Duarte gives 5 rules for “creating world-changing presentations.” Watch the video below, or check out Nancy talking about it.

Speaker Habits

  • Kelly Decker critiques a Google product launch presentation.

My guess is that the amount/time of preparation wasn’t the problem…it was HOW he prepared! (Which, unfortunately, is WAY too common.)

Likely spent all his time studying the market opportunity, adoption rates, features/benefits, competitive landscape, and perfecting the business abstractions.

  • Andy Budd shares 7 lessons for public speaking.

[G]ood speakers aren’t just orators. They’re people can who see the stories hidden inside complex sets of data and are able to expose these relationships in a logical and structured manner. Good speakers are storytellers, plain and simple.

Professional Speaking

  • Ian Griffin examines five stages in a typical speaking career.
  • The dream is born.
  • The journey begins.
  • A business materializes.
  • The work expands.
  • Reflection is inevitable.

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