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.

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

Guest post: 5 Tips for Conquering Q&A

“What Questions do you have for my answers?” – Henry Kissinger

When roles are reversed, and audience members are handed the microphone, many public speakers turn a brighter shade of purple. But this article will outline 5 practical steps for beating Question & Answer Sessions, and help you leave the stage as victor.

But first, the preliminaries: Questions and Answer sessions have become routine with many forms of public speaking and will often be expected by a host. It entails giving the audience members opportunity to reply to the material you’ve been presenting by having them ask questions. It does not necessarily entail simply asking for comment (that can be long, boring and often useless), but specifically setting apart a short time frame where you direct audience members to raise their hands if they have questions.

This can naturally be scary for even seasoned speakers, especially when speaking on a new topic. Its one thing to have the microphone in hand, with all the natural authority that it conveys, but it’s a different and more vulnerable thing to open yourself up to the audience. So here are seven tips for conquering Q&A:

1) Use the Bucket Method. This is the best way I know of to prepare for Q&A, and I stumbled upon it in Carmine Gallo’s book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Used by smart CEO’s and diplomats alike, it basically entails placing anticipated questions into separate categories (or buckets) and then preparing set answers for each category.

For example: Let’s say you’re marketing a new toaster that your company has developed. You’ll likely have a “features” bucket since audience members are sure to want to know what makes your toaster so special. Perhaps you’ll have a “funding” bucket, or a “patent” bucket and certainly a “price” bucket.

The benefit of this method is that it streamlines your preparation. There’s no way you can prepare and memorize answers for hundreds of potential questions, so dividing questions into categories like these, simplifies the process.

2) Anticipate Questions. This one ties on to point one above. Certain questions are just naturally to be expected and for these, you can and should prepare laser-like answers that come straight from the textbook and convey the authority you have on your topic.

3) Get Experience. This is obvious, but there’s a side benefit: Most public speakers will tell you that nearly 90% of questions asked by an audience on one single topic, will be repeated by the next audience. If you’re giving your toaster speech in front of Audience A, then tomorrow when you do the same in front of Audience B, you’ll already have answered nine out of every ten questions possibly coming your way!

4) Never, ever take a question personally. I recently saw a video of Steve Jobs being personally insulted by an angry audience member who asked a demeaning question. Jobs’ reply was absolutely masterful. He never took the insult personally, refused to retaliate and instead, by focusing on the solution to the question, he never got angry (surely the response the audience member was hoping to elicit).

Some people are impossible to satisfy and you’ll occasionally stumble upon a smarter-than-thou who simply thinks you don’t know what you’re talking about. These people are true tests of your character and self-confidence and you can beat them by refusing to indulge them.

5) Don’t end with a Q&A session. Toastmasters recommend that a speaker never end a delivery with Q&A, and it makes sense. Since it certainly won’t be the most exciting part of your speech, it might be a good idea to interrupt yourself before your final (hopefully climatic point), give time for Q&A, and then proceed to end your speech strongly.

———————–
Leon Potgieter is an English Teacher, Christian Minister and Public Speaking Enthusiast who’s been living in the Republic of Korea since 2008. His website effective-public-speaking-tips.com is an ever growing online portal for public speaking tips, speechwriting help and presentation techniques, and compliments a lot of my content, so well worth checking out.

 

(and he is South African).

Finding How-to’s for PowerPoint

When I present my PowerPoint training, I am often asked where people can find additional tips and help for creating their PowerPoint presentations. Here is a website to add to your resource list.

Dave Paradi has created a great list of PowerPoint resources, including videos, FAQ’s, technical help experts and support.

Enjoy!