Public Speaking Can Be Fun

Free Public speaking skills tips, techniques, and advice by presentation skills expert Jacki Rose, Top Performance. Follow me on Twitter:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Using Props for Public Speaking

I once saw a speaker with a tray of props, which can be great. The problem was, she would say what she wanted to say about the prop, then search in her box of props for the actual prop while saying “where is it, I thought I put it in here, maybe I don’t have it, I can’t find it.” Eventually she found it. This went on for just about every prop. If she had prepared ahead of time and put her props in the order she was going to show them, then the presentation would have gone a lot smoother. If you have props and don’t prepare, not only will your presentation not run smoothly, but you will waste time, and you may lose the interest of your audience.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Is Talking Faster The Answer when Presenting?

Recently I saw someone speak who had 20 minutes. When the card went up to let her know she had 10 minutes left, she was shocked and said, “10 minutes, really?” Then she said, “I better talk faster.”

Soon the card went up to again. This time it read that she had 5 minutes left. She couldn’t believe it, only 5 more minutes! She spoke even faster.

Most people don’t realize how fast time goes by when they are presenting.

The advice I give my clients who want to improve their public speaking is to prepare for a 10 minute presentation that you could give in 20 minutes. This way, you can take your time, make it interactive or have time for questions, and get everything said that you want to say (and that needs to be said) to get the results you want from your audience.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Peter Brock and Public Speaking

I never heard of Peter Brock, but then again I barely know who Tom Brady is. In other words, I do not follow sports at all. So what does this have to do with public speaking skills? I had the privilege of hearing former Patriot player, Peter Brock, speak at the Corridor 9 Chamber of Commerce breakfast. I say priviledge because of one reason. Not because he was a Patriot player, not because he had a great message, and not because he had great stories, but because he was a great presenter. What made him great? 3 things...

1 - He was just himself
2 - He kept us engaged
3 - He had us laughing from beginning to end

Humor can be very effective in presenting, especially when it's self effacing humor, which is what Peter Brock used a lot. He was so much fun to listen to, even though I have no interest in sports. He made it very interesting!

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Podium Power for Presenting

Do you think speaking behind the podium gives you a powerful presence? It may make you feel safer. It may make you feel more secure. It may make you feel a little less nervous. But... does it give you a powerful presence? Yes and No. It all depends on how you present, not so much where you present. However, I find that speaking from the center of the platform, as close to your audience as possible, is the place of command and respect.

Standing in front of the podium, center stage, will help you to appear much more powerful! You need a powerful presence for your message to be powerful and make the powerful impact that you most likely want.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Is PowerPoint Powerful?

In every one of my programs I get asked the same question? “How do you feel about PowerPoint?” Since I am asked this question over and over again, there obviously is some doubt in many of your minds on if you should use it or not, even though so many people are using it.

Should You Use PowerPoint? Read full article...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Stop Pacing

Are you one of those people who pace back and forth while you present? I used to be and when I did, I was more nervous, appeared less confident, and it distracted from my presentation.

It’s okay to move, but try to remember this rule of thumb: walk, stop, talk. Do not talk while you are walking or pacing. Stop when you want to talk. Feel free to walk to one side of the room (not speaking) and when you stop you can then talk. However, if you can, just stay center stage. It’s the place of power and command and everyone will see you. Just remember to make eye contact with everyone.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Unexpected Humor

When your audience laughs when it is unexpected, let it go. The more they laugh the more energy there will be in the room and the more upbeat your presentation will appear.

What to do when your audience laughs...
Shut up. Let them laugh. It’s the best thing that can happen in your presentation. If you talk over their laughter, they will not hear what you say. If you cut their laughter short, you are taking away impact from your presentation. So let them laugh, laugh, laugh.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Humor – when, what, why

When? Any time! If you do it in the beginning, you will break the tension in the room, you will help your audience members be more comfortable, and you will get them in an attitude to stay awake, alert, and alive.

If you have humor in your closing, you will send them away feeling great!

What? Personal stories are the best. Never tell a joke for many obvious reasons (they may not laugh, they may have heard it before, they may be offended).

Why? It will keep your audience engaged and feeling good. The better they feel during your presentation the more they will remember it in a positive light.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Did You Give A Good Presentation?

How can you tell? Here are a few ways:
1 – Did anyone come up to you after your presentation to shake your hand, share a personal story, or thank you for your presentation?

2 – Were people leaving your presentation before it was done? I don’t mean one, two, or three, but several.

3 – Did your evaluations come back with all poor or fair check marks? If you got a few, don’t worry about it. Pay attention to the majority. If you get a lot of poor and fair remarks, don’t get upset. Learn from it, and practice what you need to practice, and do it again with much improvement.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Speak and Become a Celebrity

Recently I’ve been speaking at a lot of corporate Toastmasters Clubs where there have been approximately 50 people in attendance and I realized that when it comes time to ask for volunteers to get up and speak, and improve their public speaking skills immediately. Hardly anyone wants to volunteer. Why is that????

Because most people are afraid of making a fool out of themselves in front of their peers, they do not feel safe. They think they will be judged, made fun of, etc. They will never be able to go to the cafeteria again incase they bump into one of those people who saw them get up and speak.

Usually, when you present in front of groups of people you get instant admiration. Presenting in front of a group of people puts you on a whole new level. You just may become a celebrity.

A couple of summers ago I was on a bike trip with 2,000 cyclists. In the middle of the trip, one night there was a talent show. I got up to give a cute little speech about my bike trip across the country. For the rest of the trip I was treated like a celebrity. People would bike by me and say, “that’s the girl who gave that speech!”

Don’t be afraid to get up and speak in front of your peers or anyone else. And when you do get up to speak, take command of the room and speak with confidence. You may be judged, but you will be judged in a good way and it may even make you a celebrity.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Key to A Great Presentation is to...

speak with total confidence. You don’t have to feel confident to speak with confidence. However, if you do not speak with confidence, your audience will have no confidence in you or what you are telling them. If you ant your audience to benefit from your presentation, tell them with total confidence whether you feel it or not.

Here is a tip to help you with that. Imagine how you would present if you did have total confidence. Present that way. When you start to present that way, you will feel confident and when you feel it you will become it. I’m sure by now you have heard the saying, “whatever you focus on you manifest into your life.” It works for everything, including improving your public speaking skills.

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