Article Category: Weekend Reviews

Public Speaking Tips: Weekend Review #90

Week In Review


Six Minutes weekend reviews bring the best public speaking articles to you.

This review features topics including:

  • the power of simplicity;
  • the line between communication and manipulation;
  • pitfalls when ending a presentation;
  • balancing content, delivery, and visuals;
  • the benefits of practice;
  • and more!


  • John Zimmer praises the power of a simple message, as demonstrated by Hans Rosling in a 45-second talk.

Rosling has a passion and a gift for making complicated data interesting and understandable for his audiences. …

Recently, at the TEDx Doha Conference, Rosling gave an impromptu presentation during an interview. Billed as the “shortest TED Talk ever given”, it is only 45 seconds. And yet, there is much to be learned from the presentation perspective.

  • Phil Waknell considers the line between communication and manipulation.

The audience’s own interest is the magical ingredient of any presentation. If you can always clearly act in the audience’s interest, you will never be accused of manipulation, no matter how many influence techniques you use. And if you can find a way to meet their needs while also meeting yours, then everybody wins.

Delivery Techniques

  • Ben Decker cautions us with 6 ways not to end a presentation.
  1. Never blackball yourself.
  2. Don’t step backwards.
  3. Don’t look away.
  4. Don’t leave your hands in a gestured position.
  5. Don’t rush to collect your papers.
  6. Don’t move on the last word.

PowerPoint and Visuals

  • Ben Decker promotes using empty black slides.

Once you’re done with the picture, graph, or supporting information, you need to remove distraction by moving to a black slide. The black slide creates the illusion that the projector is off, and brings all eyes back to you, so you can influence your listeners. …

Move to a black slide and use that time to explain something in more depth, tell a story, facilitate some group conversation, or transition to a new idea.

Speaker Habits

  • Alex Rister writes on the necessary balance between content, delivery, and visual presentation.

Consider which of the presentation “legs” you are best at… Consider which needs the most improvement. We must work to make each of these legs sturdy so that our presentation can connect with others; move people; and change the world.

  • Denise Graveline outlines 7 advantages of practice:
  1. Look like you didn’t need practice
  2. Remember more of what you wanted to say
  3. Roll with the punches
  4. Work out your stumbles ahead of time
  5. Try a new speaking skill with lower risk
  6. Build a stronger structure for your speech or presentation
  7. Hit those grace notes
  • Gavin McMahon ponders the 6 types of presenters.

There are 6 types of presenter. If you understand which one you are, if you understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie, you can get better.

  1. The Coach
  2. The Inventor
  3. The Counselor
  4. The Storyteller
  5. The Teacher
  6. The Coordinator

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Comments icon2 Comments

  1. Steve says:

    I was just looking over some of Richard Greene’s stuff and he was also focusing on simplifying. He said to go over each area and try again and again to get it more and more concentrated and simplified, without losing any of the important message.

  2. Craig Hadden says:

    Thanks Andrew — great to see you back!

    Here are a few more recent posts for presenters. I hope you find them as helpful as I did:

    When planning your talk, Susan Trivers suggests starting with your call-to-action and working back from there in a 4-step process. She gives concrete examples of each step for a particular talk, to show how the process works.

    In this video and blog post, Carl Kwan gives a 3-step process for “How to choose presentation topics that ROCK”.

    On my own blog, I feature Brendon Burchard giving a masterful presentation with a flipchart instead of slides, and I analyse 4 techniques he uses to grab and hold our attention.

    I hope you enjoy those posts too, and find them useful.

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