Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Tips for Public Speaking

I never set out to be a public speaker and am far from it. But your grand vision may require you, at times, to speak in front of people. Overall, that is a good thing - you should always be able to articulate what you do and why you do it. The fact that people are asking for your wisdom and insight related to your dream is a privilege.

These past few months, I have been given a lot more opportunities for speaking than usual and therefore wrote down some personal tips as well as points that I borrowed from great communicators. Maybe this list will help you be a better communicator too.
Memorize your introduction. This helps make you feel confident at the beginning of your talk and frees you up to establish rapport with the audience right away.

Practice an hour for every minute of the length of your talk - Steve Jobs

Lapel or over the ear microphone - not handheld microphone or microphone on a stand. If over 30 people, you need a mic.

The crowd always looks bigger from the back. It never looks like that many people from the front or the stage.

The smaller room the better - you want it to feel packed. - Seth Godin

Don’t memorize your talk. Understand it. - Carey Nieuwhof

Practice with your technology. Don't do presentations that require wifi - this includes running things from Google Drive. Backup your presentation on a USB drive and have that on you at all times. Be careful about fonts - if you present with someone else's computer, they may not have the same fonts.

My personal set up - Dell 14inch laptop - uses HDMI out to an HDMI:VGA converter. Does not work well for video. Slides in Powerpoint. I try to minimize words unless it is for a class, like Perspectives. Otherwise, lots of pictures that don't mean anything unless you are present for the talk. The HDMI-VGA converter works well.

I always run slides from my computer. This allows me to make very last minute changes if I need to. This also allows me to dig up info as needed. If you send your slides, the hosts almost always need them 1-2 weeks early.

Get there early to do a tech set up.

The 10:20:30 rule. 10 slides. 20 minutes. No smaller than 30 size font. - Guy Kawasaki [This will not work for teaching classes obviously.]

Check out

For weddings, I use a tablet. Make a PDF of the talk and blow up the font then speak from the PDF. You can tap it without it doing weird stuff - like a Word or Google doc.

I don't use notecards at all. Sometimes, I will write out the words to my introduction in manuscript style to get my mind moving. I then memorize most of that for the talk.

Have a 4:3 and a 16:9 presentation if you think a 16:9 projector is available. 16:9 looks better.

Right before your speech, flex your face muscles for a few minutes. Make funny shapes with your mouth. Smile a lot. This helps you face be limber.

When pricing, include prep time as part of the time spent on the project.

Purchase a presentation remote.

Pace your voice by the kind of talk you are doing. For example, leadership sessions=faster pace, wedding message=slow and dramatic.

No gum, no phones, no sunglasses. - Rachel, wedding coordinator

Your audience is not full of antagonists. They want to hear what you have to say. Treat them as the customer not as people out to get you. They want you to kill it. But they, not you, are the most important.

Presenters too often focus on delivery and forget content; delivery is the first thing to suffer from nerves, but content won’t. It’s your bedrock. - Tim Ferriss

If you speak with a tablet, you can take pictures from up front in secret if you want. Like at weddings, take a picture of the procession from the very front [Tim Jones]

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