Monday, May 18, 2009

21 Secrets to Becoming A Good Speaker

Not just giving formal talks talks….
Discuss ideas of a project.
Influence a friend, colleague, or boss.
Tell people what you did, and why it matters.
Get people’s “mindshare”.

Presentation skills can be acquired.
Anybody can be a good speaker!
Bill Gates
Kai-Fu Lee

Communication skills.
Preparing the Talk.
Delivering the Talk.
Handling Q&A.
21 secrets to becoming a good speaker.

Communication skills. 7%
Preparing the Talk. 38%
Delivering the Talk. 55%
Handling Q&A.

“Without effective delivery,
a speech of the highest mental capacity
can be held in no esteem.With effective delivery,
even one with moderate abilities may
surpass those of the highest talent.”
-- Cicero

“The man who can think and does not know
how to express what he thinks
is at the level of him who cannot think.”
-- Pericles

Speaking is not like writing!!!
Use simple words.
Don’t use complex sentences.
Can you understand this:
The development of this frightful means of destruction was ardently demanded by the perils of the time and situation. Simultaneously, however, a new paradoxical situation has been…. is upon us continually. One cannot defend oneself effectively any more.

Project & resonate your voice.
No “UM”s and “ER”s. (Pause instead).
Silence is a tool (To draw attention).

Play your voice with pitch and tempo.
To amplify a point, slow down, speak loudly, exaggerate intonation, pause in the right places.
“You are right. I am wrong.” – Stalin to Trotsky
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” -- John F. Kennedy
BAD EXAMPLE : “I welcome this kind of examination, because people have to know whether their president is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.” -- Richard M. Nixon
Don’t use it everywhere!

John Kennedy:
“You need to contribute to your country”’
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”.
Quayle vs. Benson Debate:
Quayle: "I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency."
Answer 1: “Jack Kennedy is better than you.”
Answer 2: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.“

Visual Skills – THE most important:
Appear trustworthy & respectful.
US Election 1960 was won on visual skills.
Components of Visual Skills:
Look forward at audience (trust).
Don’t shift eyeballs; don’t look in corner.
Don’t look too much at computer screen or your notes.
Look at people’s faces (not eyes).
3-6 seconds per person.
Shift randomly.
Nod, smile, use facial expression.

Stand up when talking.
Walk around = informal.
Rock, shake, lean too much.

Gesture complements talk.
Should come naturally, without thinking.
Make sure they match!
Need to exaggerate a little
Especially with large audience.
Don’t fidget or put in pocket.
Videotape whole talk & watch.
Can improve hand gesturing!

Show emotion!
Most of the time:
“I care a lot about this.”
“I really believe in this.”
“I love my work.”
Sometimes (in response to questions).
“This is the most outrageous thing I’ve ever heard.”
“I will have nothing to do with this.”

You’re the salesman.
First lesson for salesmen:
“Tell them what you’re going to say.
Say it.
Tell them what you said”
Very similar to a term/research paper!

People will not remember everything.
Have ONE clear walk-away message.
What do you want people to remember in 3 months?
The answer to the question: “How was the talk?”
Repeat it!

Say something provoking!
Give a (very short) outline/overview.

End with a BANG!
Repeat the message.
Say thank you.

Preparation (80% time)
First prepare outline (recommend : Word).
Then modify outline for:
Logic, convincing, flow, transitions….
Actual Slide Writing (20% time)
Should come almost directly from the outline.

Visuals only support your talk.
Spend more time on your talk!
Simple and clear.
1 idea; 3 sub-concepts; <= 6 lines.
Readable – Big & color-coordinated.
Use 2 colors if you are not color-coordinated!
Don’t read from the slides!

Don’t lose people.
Use grayed out outline.
If idea is complex:
Try really hard to avoid complex slides, but…
If you must use it, use layers (prevent read-ahead & lack of focus).
Use right types of animation (natural, not ostentatious).
Remember to change slides for printing.
Keeps the talk interesting.
Don’t overdo it.
Should be tied to content.
Ordering :
2,N, N-1, N-2,….3, 1

Record & listen to every talk at least twice!
Best : PowerPoint features.
OK : Tape recorder.
Must do sometime :
Ask experienced speaker to critique.
Style, logic, timing per slide.

Running out of time is a disaster.
Write how much time should remain on each slide.
After you’re more experienced….
No longer necessary to record.
Every new talk still must be rehearsed.
Bring notes if you aren’t confident.

Perfect English not necessary.
Know your limitations.
Don’t use fancy words, complex sentences.
Don’t take any chance of looking silly.
OK to bring cheat notes!

Always make an outline.
PowerPoint notes; Word Outline.
Don’t have to use it.
It may be best to READ a speech.
No excuse not to be fluent! (practice!)
Don’t stare at paper.
(Memorize it if you’re prefer).

“Do the thing you fear
and the death of fear is certain.”

Audience Participation

Best way for people to remember!
Ask audience a question.
Anticipate their answer(s)!
Respond with something interesting AND relevant.

Be Yourself
Learn the skills; don’t copy the styles.
You must be yourself to be credible.
Many styles could be effective:
Bill Gates – Brilliant technologist.
Steve Ballmer – Powerful salesman.
Steve Jobs – Passionate evangelist.
You can adapt your style, but don’t exceed your “comfort zone”:
Bill Gates – Brilliant technologist  great strategist.
Steve Ballmer – Powerful salesman  trustworthy CEO.
Steve Jobs – Passionate evangelist  technology visionary.

What You’ll Learn Today
Communication skills
Preparing the Talk
Delivering the Talk
Handling Q&A
21 secrets to becoming a good speaker.
Q&A is your chance to:
Amplify your points.
Increase your credibility.

Dealing with Questions

Easy Questions.
Amplify your points!
Hard Questions.
No need to answer directly.
But don’t hide!
Narrow Questions.
Take offline.

#1 Anybody can learn to give a good talk.

#2 Don’t give a talk unless you’re passionate.

#3 Use simple and clear words.

#4 Play your voice to focus on key points.

#5 Silence is a great tool.

#7 Tell them what you’re going to say.
Say it.
Tell them what you said.

#8 Have ONE clear central message for:
the question “How was the talk”

#9 Open your talk with something thought-provoking

#10 Slides should be simple & clear.

#11 Don’t read from your slides.

#12 Order your demos

#13 Rehearse & listen to each talk
at least twice!

#14 Time your talk on every slide.

#15 It may be OK to read from a script.

#16 Stay awake!

#16 Stay awake!
Drink 3 cups of coffee before your talk.

#17 It is possible to hide nervousness.

#18 Tailor your opening remarks
to the occasion.

#19 “If you only remember one thing from
this talk, you should remember XXX”

Drink 3 cups of coffee before your talk.

#20 Humor & Interactivity must be
relevant and well-planned.

#21 Q&A can help you
more than the audience.

Giving a talk is easy.
It just takes:
A little passion.
A lot of practice!

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