When you give a presentation or speech, have you ever wondered if you might be speaking too fast? That’s certainly a very common issue. So, statistically, it’s quite likely that sometimes you do talk too quickly when you speak in public.
Why’s speaking quickly a problem? Well, there are 2 reasons:
- It can make your message harder for people to absorb.
- It tends to make you sound nervous, which causes people to subconsciously wonder why you feel that way. In turn, that makes them less willing to trust you and your message.
I heard a slightly contrary view about speaking fast
So when I heard a slightly contrary view about speaking fast, I found the new viewpoint refreshing and thought-provoking.
It came from Jean-Luc Doumont, a speaker-coach to academics and scientists, who just this week finished his 1st ever series of lectures in Australia.
Here’s what he said:
How much do you take notice of audience feedback? Positive feedback feels great, but on the other hand, negative feedback can sting!
In this 1-minute video, professional speaker Josh Shipp shares some neat advice on how to shape your attitude to feedback:
I loved several things about Josh’s video – especially the quotes below:
In this post, you’ll see the tips I found helpful (and the lessons I learnt) when hosting a series of internal training webinars in WebEx Training Centre. If you apply these tips and lessons, you should find it easier to host smooth events yourself (in WebEx or a similar system, like Adobe Connect).
You can click any of these links to jump straight to the relevant section of this post:
You might’ve heard some people (especially members of Toastmasters) say not to thank your audience at the end of your talk.
But you’re less likely to have heard any reason for that advice. So in this post, you’ll find these 4 topics to address that issue, and to help you with your speaking:
How do you decide whether to tell a deeply personal story in public, such as at work?
In this 4-minute video, Kindra Hall gives you 3 ways to help you choose whether (and how) to share a tricky story like that:
Recently, I came across Kindra’s work online, and I love it! She shares some great advice, and the topic she’s passionate about is storytelling.
In this video, her 3 main points are:
Here’s a quick quiz for you…
Do you know how to do these tasks in PowerPoint with just a few keystrokes:
Well, read on to find out, and see how other neat PowerPoint shortcuts can help you.
When you build a deck of presentation slides, how do you keep on track? If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve sometimes felt pressure (from yourself or some-one else) to include more and more content.
You know, like:
- Background on your topic, even though most of your audience doesn’t care (or already knows it)
- Existing slides on your topic, but which were made for a different purpose
Here’s one great tip that’ll help you resist pressures like those, and it comes in just a
20-second video clip from experienced speaking-coach Jim Endicott:
As Jim suggests:
What do the president of the United States, TED talks, and the key message in the book Made to Stick have in common? Simply this – they’re all known by acronyms:
- POTUS for President Of The United States
- TED for Technology, Entertainment, Design
- SUCCES from Made to Stick.
You might be wondering what that has to do with your talk or presentation. Well, coining your own acronym can help you neatly and compellingly convey your core message or call-to-action.
That’s what I often do with my own content, using acronyms like FiRST, Aim, or PACE. And as you can tell from me citing 3 examples that I’ve coined, I love acronyms!
I’m not the only one, either. Near the end of this post, I list acronyms used by many other speaking-coaches, including:
- Garr Reynolds, author of several books on presenting, such as Presentation Zen
- Craig Valentine, former World Champion of Public Speaking
- Ellen Finkelstein, Microsoft PowerPoint MVP
An acronym can be great for you and your audience
So let me try to convince you why an acronym can be great for you and your audience. (That is, provided you apply your acronym strategically to a vital part of your talk, especially your core message or call-to-action.)
If you use weak words, you weaken your message. So to make what you say more vivid and compelling, you should rarely use words like “very” or “really”.
For instance, instead of saying “very good” or “very bad”, you could use stronger adjectives – like “superb” or “awful”.
That’s what well-known public-speaking blogger John Zimmer wrote recently, and I agree.
In fact John shared a handy list of almost 150 words you could use when you’re tempted to say “very…”. (The list was originally compiled by Jennifer Frost.)
Does that mean you should never say “very…”? No, it doesn’t. As John says:
“[Very] has its place when used sparingly”
To my mind, that’s because sometimes when you avoid “very”, you might cause 1 or more of these 4 problems, where you choose a stronger word that:
When you prepare for an online session, do you wonder:
- How long should your introduction be, and what should it focus on?
- How much content should you show on each slide?
- Is it OK to use animations, and if so, what sort should you use – and when?
In this post, you’ll find answers to those questions, and more. It’s part 2 of a review of Ellen Finkelstein’s post called:
9 tips to design presentations for webinars
(Be sure to also check out part 1 for my review of Ellen’s tips 1 to 4.)
In this post, we’ll look at the last 5 of Ellen’s 9 webinar tips, which I’d summarise like this: