Without further ado, I’d like to share 10 presentation resources and tips that’ll have you doing flips. Admittedly, you’ll first have to first scrape away that layer of cheese spread on the intro sentence. However, that little rhyme fittingly reflects my feelings that you will find some great value in this post.
Recently, I partook in 10 days worth of binge listening to a popular public speaking podcast, “Time to Shine”. If you are not familiar, this show interviews a wide range of speaking professionals. I must say, the guests I listened to offered up some pretty chunky bits of advice.
In trying to better serve you, I compiled some of the highlights to share. However, the love didn’t end there.
I matched up a presentation resource that would allow you to further investigate and study a noted topic. That info can be found in a set of Killer Public Speaking Resource Sheets found below for the taking. In reflecting the M.O. around here being all about empowerment and improvement, I thought that It would be great if you could start to implement some of the advice these professional speakers promote. The worksheets will help with that!
Topic: Audience Connection
Insight: If you are scared to to share personal info, you will not connect with an audience.
*Why this is critical: Ask any speaking pro and they will tell you that, “Connecting with your audience is an absolute necessity for allowing your words to resonate, have impact and move your audience.” By the way, that last sentence pretty much sums up the objective of public speaking. So yeah, this point is a biggie. One MAJOR way to do this is through the art of storytelling.
Insight: Be wary of giving your speech with the same tone and intonation.
*Why this is critical: This is an easy one to comprehend. Just think back to one of the all time great cult films, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. Do you recall the teacher doing roll call and repeating the words, “Bueller…? Bueller…? Bueller? Do you remember that teacher’s tone being very monotone and life sucking? Well, even if you don’t recall or have never seen this movie, common sense tells us that a monotone voice will do one thing. It will lose people’s attention.
One tip according to Sarah, is to rehearse your speech in different emotional states. For example, try practicing your speech a few times while speaking in a happy, excited or calm voice. By doing so, you will be playing with your voice in new and different ways. This will allow you to inject your presentation with more ways to hold audience attention.
Topic: Data Presentation
Insight: In presenting data, consider the purpose of the visual. Think about what insight the data provides. Understand context of data. Learn basics of design.
*Why this is critical: Quick question, How many boring slides of data have you been presented? Too many to count? Yeah, I hear ya. This is an area waaaaay too many people fail to nail. Poorly presented data will have NO impact, no matter how compelling the data is in your mind. If your audience can’t comprehend it or filter it in such a way that makes it relevant to them, then you will have failed.
Topic: Handling Q&A’s
Insight: Q&A’s should be an activity a speaker looks forward to doing.
*Why this is critical: Yes. Yes. Yes. This is a golden opportunity to truly connect with an audience. If you want more reasons as to why this is important, read this post. Suffice to say, connection is critical for you to have an impact and direct whatever call to action you are trumpeting.
Two tips to handle this include SOLID preparation. If you know your topic, this need not be a stressful situation. One more nugget from Tuffnell is that it is quite useful to have a moderator fielding the Q’s. This simple tip will give you a few more seconds to formulate a response.
Topic: Speaker Self-Development
Insight: To be a good speaker, it is critical to understand the science and art behind presenting.”
*Why this is critical: Yes, unfortunately like most things in life, excellence demands work. However, the fact that you are reading this tells me that you are one of the AWESOME, self-motivated folk who get-off on this sort of thing. You my friend, need not worry about this as you are currently bettering yourself by simply reading this post and filling in your worksheet. Nice work! Keep it up!
Insight: The challenge of our century is to COMMUNICATE clearly. Everyone is trying to stand-out. How well do you?
*Why this is critical: As Diana notes, we have the tools of communication and the technology. With global economies, our voices are competing to be heard with people all over the world. The level with which we need to raise our game has been heightened. To persuade or educate or sell, you need to be able to reach people in the most effective and concise manner. Anything less than than stellar communication will fail to move people towards action.
Insight: Speakers who are having an impact are speakers who have passion.
*Why this is critical: Yes, you got me. I do carry a slight bias toward this topic. I ABSOLUTELY feel that having passion is critical, indispensable, essential, vital, crucial *any other adjectives I could insert?* to crafting and delivering presentations that resonate.
Now, I know that from time to time, you may have to give a presentation on a topic that is less than exciting. I understand that. However that doesn’t mean you can’t harness your passion. Trust me on this. If you want to learn more about how to find your passion for even the most mundane speaking occasions. Be sure to read up on this post here.
Topic: Emotional Control
Insight: Becoming a better speaker keys: believe in yourself, overcome life challenges, find a mentor, become an expert and take action.
*Why this is critical: All of those points unto themselves are great and could demand an entire blog post on their own. However to keep this short, it is vital that you find ways to keep the controls of your mind firmly in hand. Don’t let your emotions wrestle the gearstick from your logical self.
Those piles of “bleep” we occasionally find ourselves walking through in life *and presentations* are sometimes unavoidable. Ways to navigate these challenges include finding someone who has been through the proverbial ringer. Take action and learn from that person.
Insight: Your speech is all about the audience.
*Why this is critical: Wait…What? I thought this topic was on handling fear. Don’t fret, it most certainly is! What Dowd and many others–including yours truly– believe is that when you switch the focus from yourself to the audience, a magical thing happens. A degree of the fear or anxiety you once had begins to dissipate. Is this strategy full-proof?
Unfortunately, no. However, it is one essential weapon in this battle against anxiety. Plus, as noted in an earlier summary, audience connection should ALWAYS be your goal anyways. No matter your level of anxiety, this notion should always be at the forefront of your mind.
I should close this summary off here but I just can’t do it. Here is one more tip pertaining to this point. After you finish delivering your presentation, quickly notice where your thought is.
If it is centered on yourself and you find yourself asking, “I wonder how I did?” or “I hope I didn’t make a fool of myself.” then you are centered on the wrong thing.
A better line of thinking would most certainly be, “I wonder how the audience felt about it?” or “Did the message resonate with them?”
Do you see the difference?
One set of questions is centered on yourself while the other is on the audience. AGAIN, I can’t stress this enough. You want to be audience centered and NOT self-centered. In doing so, you might actually notice your fear subsides.
Insight: Keep an eye out for good stories, anecdotes and humor in media. Take notes and file them accordingly for future use.
*Why this is critical: Having a coherent message is critical, however writer’s block happens to the best of us. One way to combat this is to follow Jenner’s advice. Simply keep a log on things that catch your attention. Recording it in some manner is essential because chances are, you won’t remember it otherwise. “Jot the thought” should be your mantra here.
My personal tip: Take advantage of the “Notes” section on your phone. I always have mine nearby and it takes 20 seconds for me to record a new thought entry. Get in this habit and you will find your thought library inevitably teaming with shiny bits of informational rubies. These tiny insights could be the basis of your next presentation!
Well, there you have it. Ten tips from seasoned pros, former world speaking champions and people who downright care.
Now, onto some other goodies. As promised I have some presentation resources I’ d like to share.
I want YOU to be the best you can be when it comes to public speaking. However, this does take some action. Passive intake of this info will not be enough. However, I know that isn’t you. You are part of the 99% of my readers who get this and will take some sort of step towards improvement.
So this is what I have done.
As noted, I have created a thorough yet amazingly simple collection of Public Speaking Resource Sheets to go along with this information.
Each idea from this post is contained in the workbook. You can use it to quickly re-scan the post. It can help you identify areas you would like to consciously go after from a skill-development perspective. Don’t worry, I did the heavy lifting here. You simply give a few single word answers to some basic Qs and you will have a plan for improvement in under 5 minutes! *fist pump*
One other thing that may entice you is that I also added a few book recommendations for each topic the speaker recommends you address.
Finally, I have even included a couple of life-hack tips to grab a couple of these bestselling books for free! Don’t worry, there are NO shady methods promoted.
So now you will have the plan and resource list to go about improvement. That is why you came here in the first place right? So, what are you waiting for? Let’s do this!
Grab the Public Speaking Resource Sheets and take that first step to improvement.
Post Disclaimers – in case you care about this sort of thing:
- The order of speakers is completely random.
- If you click on each speaker’s name you can listen to their actual interview. *Sweet huh?!
- My takeaway from the podcast is not representational of the entire interview. It is just something that resonated with me.
- I paraphrased ideas. The words I chose will not always align to the speaker’s exact words in the interview.
- I have no formal relationship to “Time to Shine.” I am simply a fan and value the content.
As always, I’d be honored if you shared your comments or felt inspired enough to blast any part of this post out into the social sphere!