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)
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Picture your talk as a shape… Now, what shape do you see?

Imagine sketching your talk as a simple shape on a piece of paper.
What would you draw?

If yours is like most talks, you can think of it as an arrow, pointing between your introduction and your conclusion:
speech geometry - arrow annotated

That’s what blogger John Zimmer wrote in this great post.

Certainly, the arrow metaphor fits well with the description you sometimes hear of speeches as “taking your audience from point A to point B”. (Presentation experts like Jerry Weissman often use that phrase.)

Is there a better shape?

But John Zimmer goes on to suggest a better shape for your talk
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Free public-speaking class (in Sydney, via @AuthenticBen)

presenter with megaphone

The best 2 hours I’ve ever spent…

Are you serious about wanting to improve your public speaking? If so, do yourself a favour and listen to what Benjamin J Harvey has to say about it. I did that last Wednesday night, and it was probably the best 2 hours I’ve ever spent on improving my presentation skills!

What a great move that was!

Ben’s a Sydney-based entrepreneur who offers occasional free public-speaking workshops. (Wherever you live, you might also like these 5 free public-speaking courses.) As I’m in Sydney too, and his workshop happens just every few months, I took the chance to go along. What a great move that was!

Why so great? There are 3 factors: Continue reading

How to FIX the #1 mistake when you present online (Includes example opening lines)

If you’ve read my recent post called
Do you make this #1 mistake when you present online?, you’ll know it asserts that the top mistake of online presenters (such as in webinars) is time-wasting, and it names 3 of the biggest symptoms:

  • Spending too long on introductions
  • Staying on the same slide too long
  • Fixating on interaction instead of value

In that earlier post, you’ll find those 3 problems laid out, but you won’t find any solutions. So that’s where this post comes in.

Below, you’ll find ways to solve each of those 3 problems: Continue reading

Awesome opening lines: 20+ more examples for your speeches, from Patricia Fripp (Certified Speaking Professional)

For neat ideas for your next talk’s opening line, here’s a great free resource. It’s a 2-page PDF packed with almost 30 opening lines by Patricia Fripp, CSP – former president of the National Speakers’ Association in the US.

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How to use quotes in your presentation – 25+ tips from Six Minutes & me

“First, why should I use quotes in my presentations?”

Decisions are made on feelings about facts, not on facts themselves.(In a rush? Jump to the tips.)

Quotations offer a kind of social proof to support the claims you make in your talk. The well-known people who said each quote make your message more credible. And in boardroom-style presentations in business, well-chosen quotes make your talk stand out and look more professional because so few business presenters use them.

These days, I recommend this 3-part formula for using quotes:

  1. Be shrewd, by which I mean use quotes sparingly, and quote a source your audience admires, like Melinda Gates or Richard Branson.
  2. Keep it short. Typically, the shorter a quote is, the more power it has.
  3. Make it shine. For a “professionally designed” look, put it on a full-screen photo and wrap it in oversized quotation marks, like in the example below:

3-part formula for using a quote in your presentation:
“Be shrewd. Keep it short. Make it shine.” Tweet this

For in-depth tips about using quotes, check out the sections below

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“Analog” presentation tips #2: Use a prop [Video to watch]

Want to connect more with your audience? And want your talk to stand out and be remembered, too? In this short series of posts, you’ll get many neat tips from expert presenters on using “analog” techniques – that is, without electronics – to help you reach those key goals.

That’s how I introduced the 1st post in this series.

Make a point far more strongly…

In this post, you’ll see superb use of a prop to make a point far more strongly than a slide alone ever could. The presenter uses a few slides and video clips, certainly, but he doesn’t let them upstage him. That in itself’s a huge takeaway from this talk! Continue reading

“Analog” presentation tips #1: Use a flipchart [Video to watch]

Consider these 2 questions for a moment:

Want to connect more with your audience?
And want your talk to stand out and be remembered, too? Tweet this

In this short series of posts, you’ll get many neat tips from expert presenters on using “analog” techniques (that is, without electronics). They’ll help you reach those key goals of:

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Grab attention – 5 great opening lines for your presentation stories [Video]

For lots more ideas, also see 20+ more opening lines from Patricia Fripp in a PDF

By giving you 5 specific examples of great opening lines, this post helps you cure three of your biggest presentation headaches. Namely, how to:

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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.

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