American Speaker’s top tips from 2011
Each month, American Speaker brings you loads of advice for developing outstanding presentations. Here are some of the highlights from 2011!
Help the media create a buzz
If you expect local media to attend your presentation, prepare notes for them, suggests Marty Weintraub, CEO of aimClear and a frequent speaker at industry events. Encourage the media to use those notes to write stories for their publications or to send live tweets during the event. Remember to keep the information free from promotional language about your business or organization. Journalists will toss materials that present a biased viewpoint.
— Adapted from “Tips on Being an Effective Speaker by the Experts,” Melissa Fach, Search Engine Journal, http://www.searchenginejournal.com.
Your audience won’t remember all the facts that your graphics show, so give them one takeaway that they will remember. When possible, relate it to something they already know. Example: “Last month we served 60,000 customers. That’s enough to fill Yankee Stadium and still leave 3,000 people standing.”
— Adapted from “11 Unusual Methods for Being a Great Public Speaker,” James Altucher, The Altucher Confidential, http://www.jamesaltucher.com.
Warm up a meeting room
Set out fewer chairs than you think you will need for your audience. You will gain confidence when you speak to a full house, and if a few extra attendees show up, you can create a “standing room only” impression when you hustle to set out chairs for them.
— Adapted from The Productivity Handbook, Donald Wetmore, Random House Reference, http://www.randomhouse.com.
Think twice before agreeing to speak
Before you accept your next invitation to speak at a conference or trade show, ensure that you can commit to attending the entire event. If you arrive right before and leave right after your time slot, you could offend the attendees, the conference hosts and other scheduled speakers. Show up early and stick around the entire day to prove your commitment to the event, to network and to show respect for the other speakers.
— Adapted from “Speaking of … Speaking: Lessons Learned From Hundreds of Presentations,” Jeff Swystun, http://www.business2community.com.
Begin with benefits
Resist the urge to frontload your speech with details of your organization’s history or your credentials. For the first few minutes, the only thing that matters is showing your listeners how listening to you will benefit them.
— Adapted from “Improve Your Presentation in Less Than an Hour,” Mark Sincevich, Presentations Magazine, http://www.presentations.com.
Don’t bluff or bluster
If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so and offer to find the answer. Suggest to the questioner that you will telephone, email or visit to deliver the answer. Phoning, emailing or visiting can be a good way to make further contact after the presentation.
— Adapted from “Handling Questions,” http://www.mypublicspeakingtips.com.
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