It’s no secret that no one is born with all the qualities and skills of a highly regarded public speaker. The only way to reach that status is by continuously striving to be a better version of yourself on stage. One way to do that is to take a moment to reflect on your performance after every presentation. We’ve listed a few tips for conducting such an evaluation.
When you feel anxious before your speech, there’s a simple trick that can bring some welcome relief: constructive self-talk. Instead of fretting over worst-case fears, or just trying to “gut it out” and ignore the horrible anxious nerves, try talking yourself down with the phrases below. They’ve been proven to help restore focus, mend confidence and build positive energy.
The Gantt chart has become a standard tool for organizers and managers across the world. With good reason: it’s a highly effective way to visualize, plan, coordinate and manage multi-faceted projects and processes. It brings together a project’s tasks, who’s responsible for each, when each should start and when it should finish in order for the whole project to run smoothly to a successful conclusion. Of course, projects rarely go exactly according to plan, but even when things go off the rails, the Gantt chart makes it far easier to set things right again, and still pull off a happy conclusion.
Apart from presentation props, what should you bring to a presentation engagement? Here’s a list of items to include in your presenter’s kit. Bring them along and you’ll be prepared to recover from unexpected issues that can crop up on presentation day.
Laptop and vital accessories
Even if you’re invited to use a computer at the presentation venue, bring along your own laptop. Ideally you’re familiar with it, comfortable with it, and know how to de-bug it if it misbehaves. At the least you’ll be more comfortable with it than a strange new computer! Don’t forget to bring your charger, too. You know how batteries have a nasty way of running down, right in the middle of something important…. Read more
Have you ever bought a tool after a sales person showed how many ways it could be used? Have you ever ordered a kitchen utensil after seeing a chef use it in an infomercial? Have you ever signed up for a free app trial after a representative explained how it worked and what it could do for you?
A product demo is a powerful way to convince potential customers to buy your product. Explaining a product’s attributes and benefits isn’t always a walk in the park, though. It requires thorough product knowledge, strong persuasive skills, and an effective presentation.
Here are five tips for product demos that sell – whether one-on-one or to a crowd. Read more
It’s rarely a good idea to read speeches. Reading a speech glues your eyes to your notes, making it difficult to make eye contact and establish a connection and rapport with your audience – or to gauge your listeners’ reactions. Reading keeps you anchored to the lectern, unable to explore the stage or move freely.
Further, when reading from a script, your delivery is almost always affected – not wholly natural, and lacking your usual presence. Since you’re focused on reading the words correctly, there’s a tendency to lose the meaning behind them. Your normal (genuine and convincing) tone, emphasis, rhythm and inflections are lost. You risk sounding monotonous, insincere, even unprepared. Read more
Metaphors are microphones – they amplify your message.
Presenters often employ metaphors, both in their slides and in their speeches. By likening a new thing or concept to something familiar, they facilitate comprehension and heighten impact. This mechanism is especially handy for introducing a theory, a concept, or other intangible. Read more
Remember that stage as you were growing up, when “why?” was what you asked the most? Everything around you was fascinating, from the commonest of objects and people’s behaviors, to the color of the sky and animals’ sounds. But as the years go on, that wondering inquisitiveness fades, for most of us. To reawaken your natural curiosity, we’ve gathered five speeches meant to inspire that lively curiosity and urge to explore.
From chocolates to milestones
If there’s one thing Twitter has taught us, it’s how powerful conciseness and clarity can be. A 140-character tweet cuts out the unnecessary, redundant, and flowery words, encouraging tweeters to send straight, strong messages to their networks.
When writing a speech, remember Twitter’s implied advice to all its users: be clear and concise. There’s some truth to the idea that a lengthy speech is an indicator of your expertise and experience. After all, the more proficient you are in your field, the more ideas and stories you have to share with your audience. However, length does not necessarily equate with quality. If you over-write, hoping to impress your audience or to make yourself feel good, you’re going to end up with a lot of extra talk that adds nothing but vagueness.
Though it’s true that a picture can be worth a thousand words, we still rely upon words to carry the complete message and the full story. They capture the narrative, clarify the abstract, conceptualize the unseen. When Chris Burkard gave a TED talk in 2015, he showed the audience jaw-dropping photos and videos of what he does as a surf photographer. But it was only through his words that the audience could fully appreciate his challenging quest for the perfect waves, in the most remote beaches of the world. His visuals impressed; his words inspired. His photos portrayed the outcome; his words described the process.
Because words produce a different kind of impact, effective presenters are careful to invest ample time in brainstorming key messages, finalizing speech outlines and framing relevant stories. Yet on some days, you’re at a loss for words. You can scarcely find any workable words at all, or your word choices just won’t adequately convey your thoughts. Read more