Best blogs for presenters & public speakers – 2016 edition

To find public-speaking wisdom, do you go to specific blogs? I certainly do. In fact, 3 years ago, I published a list of 6 of the world’s best.

But a lot’s changed in 3 years, and some of the blogs on my original list have gone belly-up. (In fact, you can still access most of those, but they don’t publish anything new.)

So I thought you might appreciate a fresh list.

Mind you, given that I’ve also listed 10 extinct public-speaking blogs, it’s not easy to find contenders.
Continue reading

Free 1-hour “interactive” speech lesson by @DarrenLaCroix, former World Champ of Public Speaking [Video]

Do you ever struggle with knowing what to talk about when you give a speech? Or do you want a new perspective on the value you bring as a speaker?

If so, be sure to check out this 1-hour video by Darren LaCroix, who’s now a renowned speech coach, and was the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking (in the annual contest run by Toastmasters International).

Note: If the video starts midway along the timeline, please just drag the playhead back to the start.

Also, there’s about 3 minutes of background at the start of the clip, including short parts of Darren’s acceptance after winning the world title. So if you like, by all means drag the playhead to the 3’10” mark, or skip to that point on YouTube instead.

Darren’s a great speaker, and his talk’s filled with both humour and powerful insight. In fact Patricia Fripp, former head of the National Speakers Association, is quoted as saying:
Continue reading

4 neat Storyline (and PowerPoint) shortcuts – help you save 8 days a year!

keyboard shortcuts for productivityIf you’re looking for keyboard shortcuts for Articulate Storyline, check out this list on their site. Or you might prefer their (slightly shorter) 1-page PDF, which prints well.

In particular, I like using Ctrl+Shift+C and Ctrl+Shift+V to copy and paste formatting between objects. (Despite the likeness to the shortcuts for Copy and Paste, you don’t need to worry about affecting what might be in the clipboard. And unlike the Format Painter, you get to choose which clicked objects get formatted, so you can work on other aspects of your course and then still format objects later on.)

Here are 3 more handy shortcuts that aren’t listed above (and which work the same in PowerPoint), plus a 4th that’s only in the longer of those 2 lists (and which differs in PowerPoint). They’re all for use in Normal view:
Continue reading

Improve each time you present – Great tips by @CharlesGreene3 on getting feedback

your audience rating your presentationHands up if you’d like to improve your public speaking – each time you do a presentation. Well here’s some great tips from speaking coach Charles Greene for doing just that.

He suggests you hand out a feedback form every time you present. And Charles even published the 8 questions he asks his own audiences after every talk.

To save time and effort, just use Charles’s questions

So to save yourself time and effort, you could just use Charles’s questions instead of “reinventing the wheel”. (Thank you, Charles, for sharing generously.)

I really like that Charles asks just 8 questions, so most people will be happy to respond. And most of his form simply asks people to rate his talk on a fixed scale from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree” (a Likert scale) against various criteria. For instance, his 1st question asks people the degree to which they agree that:
Continue reading

5 free public-speaking courses (available worldwide)

Desktop Computer with WebcamLooking for free training
in public speaking?
Look no further!

In a previous post, I wrote about Ben Harvey’s free workshops on public speaking. Those are great if you’re in Sydney (like me), but of course the chances are very good that you’re not.

In this post then, you’ll find 5 free courses to help you with your presentations and speeches – no matter where you happen to live.

So here they are (in no particular order)
Continue reading

Make killer PowerPoint presentations in 7 clear steps (Free e-book by Olivia Mitchell)

Quick quiz: In a 7-step method for building killer PowerPoint presentations, at which step would you make the slides?

Step 1? …Step 2? …Step 3?

Any advance on step 3?

Well in this tried-and-tested method by presentation expert Olivia Mitchell, you may be staggered to hear you don’t make the slides until Continue reading

Free 80-page e-book on boardroom-style presentations, by Andrew Abela

Four business executives having meeting in boardroomHere’s a thought-provoking yet quick read for when you’re creating a boardroom-style presentation – that is, for a small audience (rather than a ballroom-style event, for a large audience).

It’s written by Andrew Abela – who’s an academic, a former management consultant, and creator of the Extreme Presentation Method.

Continue reading

Improve your image: Get 1000s of free photos for your PowerPoint presentations

Update: Microsoft no longer provides photos or
clipart on Office Online, so parts of this article that
no longer apply (as at February 2015) are now
marked with strikethrough formatting (like this).

To get free photos for your slides, I highly recommend
pixabay.com (which also has clipart and vector
graphics) and unsplash.com.

Did you know you can find 1000s of
great free photos for your slides –
without even leaving PowerPoint? Tweet this

Over the last couple of years, I’ve used this method to get 2500 high-quality photos for free. For instance, here’s a photo I used for an Ignite talk I gave recently:

Find images that work so well together, people will think you hired a graphic designer! Tweet this

In this post you’ll quickly find out how to get numerous photos that are as crisp and useful as that, including ways to find images that work so well together, people will think you hired a graphic designer! You might be surprised where you can get all the photos, though… Continue reading