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The Weekly Might Have Missed List (02/01/09)

Great Public Speaking — Improvise Your Flipchart

©iStockphoto.com/redmal

©iStockphoto.com/redmal

Oops! I broke my own rules and did not follow a checklist on my last presentation. It was two minutes until start time and I realized there was no flipchart in the room. Oh oh!. Better think fast. I was not using an overhead projector either, so I could not simply write on a blank transparency.Now one & 1/2 minutes left . . . . I thought, “Never let em see you sweat.”

Speak Schmeak — Reading your audience

I didn’t realize what an accomplishment it was to come in third in the whole school at the age of eight. What I heard in that applause was an audience who was glad to see me eliminated! I thought they must be applauding so loudly because they didn’t want me to win. I cried, of course, and had to be comforted by my parents. Somewhere along the way, it was explained to me that I got so much applause because the audience was acknowledging my achievement.

Have you ever misinterpreted your audience’s responses to your presentation? Do you see someone on her Blackberry and assume she’s bored? Do you see someone with crossed arms and a scowl and assume he’s angry? If no one raises hands when you ask a question, do you assume they’re not engaged?

The You Blog — Think You Got It All Covered?

HOW MUCH ARE YOU ON AUTO-PILOT in your preparations and your presentations? It’s pretty easy to reach that state, after you’ve been up in front of others a few times.

Of course, there may be those times when the audience just didn’t seem to get it. Or where you didn’t have all the equipment you were supposed to have. Or — well, there could be all sorts of glitches that somehow come up.

And you muddle through and snap back into auto-pilot the next time a presentation rolls around. In fact, it’s in our nature to fall into this pattern.

BUT . . .

Presentation skills ~ tellingpeople — Over the shoulder?

Unfortunately, of course, his shadow is a couple of feet away (on the slide) from where Boris thought he was pointing to. Sadly, this lead to confusion on the part of the audience, as you can imagine because from their point of view, Boris was talking about one bullet point but pointing at another.

Michael Wade in U.S.News & World Report —On-Staff Whistleblowers Can Help Companies Prepare for Disaster

I have a modest proposal: All large organizations should charge three to five bright, creative, and somewhat eccentric people with the sole task of identifying disasters that may come from or afflict any area, department, and aspect of the organization’s operations.

speechmastery.com — Mastering Public Speaking Timing

The last speaker of the program said, “I have just a little more. I don’t think anyone will mind if I go over time.” His little was about 30 minutes.

Dave Paradi’s PowerPoint Blog  — PowerPoint Tip – Using Motion Paths

Probably the worst use of animation I have seen was on a slide from a salesperson. They were showing the prospect the inside sales team that would be supporting the prospect after the sale. The slide had the four people in the group, with their picture, name and areas of expertise. To build the slide, the salesperson had each of the head shot pictures bounce in to place. It made the staff look totally unprofessional! I asked the salesperson if they had ever shown those four people how he presented them to prospective clients. After a long pause, he changed the subject.

Turbo-Charge Your Marketing — 9 Secrets to Better Speaking

Take your time walking. The more time you take walking, the more status your audience will subconsciously give you. Let the audience’s clapping carry you to the stage as if you were gliding on a magic carpet. Remember to watch where you are walking. There could be cords and wires on the ground or chair legs in your path. Any one of these obstacles could cause you to have a nice trip. If something awkward should happen on your way to the lectern, remain calm and use humor. Using humor connects people and is more effective than using self-deprecating remarks. Let your audience know that there’s nothing to worry about, you’re okay, and the show will go on.

I remember seeing Robert Allen, famous author and millionaire, fall off the stage moments after he arrived. Instantly, he jumped back up on stage and poked fun at the hotel stage lighting, which had caused his fall. Allen’s humor set the audience at ease, and they roared with laughter at his quick wit.

Speak! Communications, Inc. — Think the Spoken Word Doesn’t Matter? Ask Caroline Kennedy

What we do know is that the more New Yorkers heard from her, the less they seemed to connect with her.

The New York Times — The Frigid Fingers Were Live, but the Music Wasn’t

Mr. Perlman said the recording, which was made Sunday at the Marine Barracks in Washington, was used as a last resort. “It would have been a disaster if we had done it any other way,” he said Thursday in a telephone interview. “This occasion’s got to be perfect. You can’t have any slip-ups.”

Pro Humorist — To Memorise, or not Memorise

Then I came across the above quote from Dale Carnegie, one of the grandfathers of modern day public speaking. I think he is absolutely right; you are potentially courting disaster because you might find yourself forgetting sections of your talk which will throw you completely.

Memo to C-Level Speakers — Is Your PowerPoint Velcro or Teflon?

But when it’s used poorly, PowerPoint turns into Teflon. Audience attention slides right off into confusion, frustration, and apathy. Blackberrys appear. Work comes out of briefcases. Mentally, your audience has walked out on you. The ones in the back are actually out the door.

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