Tips from “The Positive Guy”

Andre

I hard Andre du Toit speak “The Positive Guy” this evening, and he left us with a few valuable tips about public speaking. Here they are. I hope they are useful!

Some tips

  • It’s all about personal brand – you and not your company are the brand
  • Small audience – content; large audience – a show
  • You have to want to be a better teacher
  • PowerPoint is used for training – not for speaking

Companies hire you to:

  • Make more money
  • Save money
  • To make a huge difference to their staff

And finally…it is all about referrals.

Free resources from Udemy

The folk at Udemy have put together good collection of youtube videos focusing on public speaking. The videos are short, and give good examples and advice on become a better speaker.

Udemy also has a several online public speaking courses for sale. But like many learning sites you may have to look around to find the one that best suits you (hint: click on the courses and check out the table of contents).

They gave me a enrollment of one of the courses, and I got video, downloadable PDF supplementary material and external links.

Personally I think that nothing can compare to getting up and giving a speech in a safe environment (such as at a Toastmasters meeting), but if you are looking for some fast-track information or want to supplement your training,  there is some good stuff to be found.

On a side note I have used Udemy for technical training as well, and they have lots of very good courses on a variety of topics. They are worth checking out.

Five Tips to Deliver Exciting Speeches

I received this article in Patricia Fripp’s email newsletter, and I have reposted it with her permission.

Five Tips to Deliver Exciting Speeches

1. Open Hot, Close Hotter.

To grab audience attention and be remembered, start the presentation with a bang, not a limp “Thanks, it’s nice to be here.” The first (and last) 30 seconds have the most impact on the audience. Save any greetings and gratitude until they’ve already grabbed the audience with a powerful opening. And don’t end with a whimper. Remember your last words linger. Unfortunately, many speakers close with, “Are there any questions?” Wrong! Instead, say, “Before my closing remarks, what are your specific questions?” Answer them. Then close on a high note.

2. Get the Inside Scoop.

Attendees at one of my seminars, “How to Be a Coach to Your Client,” wanted to know how they can personalize and add excitement and color to the speeches they craft for others. How, they ask, can they get those invaluable inside stories? I suggested they do what I do—interview the client’s colleagues and family members. These people are familiar with the “stories” the speaker often tells, stories that have already been honed to what I call the “Hollywood model” (characters, dialogue, dramatic lesson learned). What insights and amusing stories do you share with family and friends? Your audiences will enjoy them.

3. Try Inside-Out Speaking.

Don’t write speeches to read. I ask my coaching clients questions. My goal is to pull out of them their ideas, stories, life experiences, philosophies, and examples through questions. Then my job is to help them organize, wordsmith, and deliver these comments with more drama. Although the client and I often end up with a script that can then be edited and tightened, the words grow out of our conversations. I call this “inside-out” speaking. My work represents a cleaned-up conversation; one the speaker is going to have with the audience. Of course, a script is not a conversation, but if it sounds conversational, it is far more appealing and much easier to deliver directly to the audience without reading it word for word. Emotional contact is impossible without eye contact.

4. Provide Five Magic Moments.

How are great speeches like classic Hollywood movies? Movie promoters say that a successful film has to have five magic moments for each viewer, though not necessarily the same five. When it does, people will talk about it and add enough energy to a paid advertising campaign to make it a hit.

Be sure each presentation has five great moments—dramatic, humorous, profound, or poignant—that the audience can relive in their minds later and repeat to their friends.

5. Avoid Borrowed Stories.

I urge you to create vivid, personal stories for your presentations. Imagine how I once felt, sitting in an audience of 18,000 people, listening to Barbara Bush describe a great story she had read in Chicken Soup for the Soul—my own story which made the point, “What you do speaks louder than what you say.” (Yes, I know Ralph Waldo Emerson said it first.) Did Barbara Bush mention it was my story? No.

But even if she had mentioned my name, I think she missed a huge opportunity with her speech. Back then; I imagined her sitting in bed going through stacks of books with a highlighter pen. Since then, I’ve realized that a speechwriter did the research and wrote her words. My point? I’m not upset she didn’t credit me. Just disappointed that someone with Barbara Bush’s incredible life experiences did not share them. I am sure she has more interesting topics and perceptions than reporting on a conversation I had with Bobby Lewis. That’s how audiences will feel if you repeat old stories.

Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

A Speaker for All Reasons™
527 Hugo Street
San Francisco, CA 94122 USA

Telephone: (415) 753-6556 (USA)
Fax: (415) 753-0914
Email: pfripp(at)ix.netcom.com

Just get out there

Two of my interests are photography and public speaking, which is why I follow the blogs of Both Darren LaCroix, who won the world champion of public speaking in 2001, and Jared Polin (aka the Fro), who is the most amazing photographer and teacher out of Philadelphia. They both have a lot in common:

  • Both are passionate about their respective professions
  • Both have excelled in their profession
  • Both give out there knowledge freely

And they both believe that the best way to improve is to immerse yourself and practise what you want to get better at!

Darren LaCroixIn the case of Darren:

 The more you work on your ‘talent,’ the more talent you’ll be given. What you have now is more than enough. Do you bury your talents or invest them? Want to speak in front of an audience of one thousand? Knock ‘em dead at a local service club and more will be given. In my early days of comedy, I had to perform better than those around me at the open mic nights to deserve the right to perform at a professional comedy show.

Darren is well known in the speaking circles for his mantra “stage time stage time stage time “.

 

 

And now from the froFro:

Do we ever reach a point where we can be satisfied with our work and don’t need to keep pushing ourselves to learn?…there’s always something more we can learn and I believe that deep down we all know that we should keep learning, studying and progressing as photographers and as people. It’s our own work that teaches us the most. “First, KEEP SHOOTING. If you don’t shoot, you will have a tougher time learning.

There is a clear message here. Stop thinking about getting better, take action! If you want to be a better speaker, speak at every opportunity. Record yourself, evaluate and improve on your speeches. It you want to be a great photographer, take photos. Examine them with a critical eye. See what really works, and what doesn’t.

What are your passions, and what are you doing to get better? Are you sitting at home, or getting out there?

Syndicating your blog – Word Camp Cape Town

Some of you have asked for a copy of my recent presentation at WordCamp Cape Town. The organisers have loaded all of the sessions onto YouTube, so if you would like to watch my session (or any of the others, look below). If you are at all interested in WordPress and missed WordCamp , I highly recommend that you look out for WordCamp Cape Town 2012, it is going to be a fantastic conference. Here is the YouTube video.

And here are the slides…

7 lessons from wordcamp

Last week I spoke at WordCamp, Cape Town (the WordPress conference), and I watched many of the other sessions as well. Here are a few lessons I learned from my and the other sessions:

  1. Keep the sessions short and sharp. If forces the speakers to be concise in their message, and the delegates can focus on a short message. This is something that TED do very well (max 30 minutes sessions)
  2. Keep words on the slides large; you simply cannot shot a screenshot of 50 lines of source code (in a technical session) and expect the delegates to be able to read or understand the code. If you need to show source code, only show the important couple of lines. Or course pictures and diagrams are much better, there were some great slide decks (and some bad ones as well).
  3. Arrive early. I got stuck in a downpour which stopped traffic. Thankfully I still arrived on time.
  4. Get the AV sorted out before you start. It is disruptive to have to stop halfway through your presentation to sort out your microphone
  5. Practise, I cannot over-emphasise this too much
  6. Get your bio in ahead of time. My bio was read exactly as written, which was great. It was easier for the MC, and for me
  7. Hang around afterwards. Some of the most interesting questions came during the tea break after my speech.

 

10 Delivery Guidelines for Speaking with Impact

Craig Valentine offers 10 simple guidelines for adding impact to your speech. Included are:

1. Don’t move all the time. If you are always moving then no movement will be meaningful. Your audience will never know what’s most important. Move with a purpose. When there is no reason to move, don’t.

6. Don’t use the same gesture over and over again. This is evidence of a habit and most likely distracts from your presentation.

Read the full list with more details and audio-examples here.

A freebee from the best

I have listened to Darren LaCroix’s “Get Paid to Speak by Next Week” CD’s several times, and they provide great insight into the business and art of public speaking.

Darren has now gone a step further by offering offering 52 weekly modules (IE 1 year) via email for free. You can signup or find out more here.

Speaking off the cuff – a resource

You often hear me speaking about the value of impromptu speaking, and why learning to speak off the cuff is as important as learning to speak prepared.

Here is a great resource; an entire website dedicated to the art of “table topics”, or speaking impromptu.What I like about the site is  that he gives you a lot of templates, or outlines you can use for practising unprepared topics.

Here is an example:

Split Personality

Number of participants: Two

The majority of the information we convey doesn’t come from what we say, but from how we say it. Bodily gestures are a large part of this. The goal of this template is to separate these different aspects of communication between two people. One participant does the talking, the other does the gesturing.

There are two ways to use this template. Either one participant talks, and the other creates the corresponding gestures, or one uses gestures, and the other talks about what the gestures are indicating.

Doing this effectively requires a reasonable amount of cooperation from the participants. It can weaken the delivery if both participants end up gesturing (once you do it, it can be a difficult thing to put down temporarily!). This should possibly be made clear to the participants.

It’s interesting to see the different ways people can take this, sometimes you may have one participant controlling the flow of the entire topic, while others will work together to figure out how the talk or story will evolve.

The purpose of this template is to give people the chance to carefully consider what their gestures are saying to an audience.

Thanks to Andrew William’s for creating the resource.

Truth or dare

I am often asked for my views on keeping the stories in a speech completely accurate as to what happened, as opposed to embellishing the story to make a great speech. My response is that while you need to be true to your stories, you must also be true to your message. Make sure that your audience remembers your message.

But it can be a fine line between embellishing a story to make it a great story, and telling an outright lie.

Darren la Croux has written a great blog post on this subject, explaining that your stories should at least be “Based on a True Story”. He says,

Have you ever noticed that Hollywood blockbusters always start off, “based on a true story?” They never start, “this is exactly how it happened.” If they told it exactly how it happened, we’d be bored!

Are you perfectly accurate when you tell your stories? The truth is important, yes. I’m not saying to lie or make things up. I just want your stories to be so memorable that people walk away clearly understanding your message.

If you are unsure how to approach this issue in your speeches, read his post; he gives a very clear an concise answer.