Archive for the ‘Presentation Skills’ Category

The Exceptional Presenter – How You Can Become One

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011
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The Exceptional PresenterCan you can become an exceptional presenter? I believe anyone can that is truly serious can become one.  So does Timothy Koegel author of The Exceptional Presenter.

Timothy takes a wider view of presenting than just those situations where you are presenting in a formal occasion such as a keynote speech. His view is that we are always presenting whether we are one to one, small groups, leaving a voice mail. The book is for the average person.

Being able to an effective communicator is one of the skills that organizations are looking for and is the number one skill needed for career advancement in any field.

Below is a video that discusses the first 3 chapters of the book and gives a brief insight to how practical the book is to use.

The book is more than just a good read, it is like a workshop that gives you the information and exercises you can use to implement in becoming an exceptional presenter.

Exceptional Presenter Characteristics

To help Timothy Koegel uses an acronym – OPEN UP to provide the 6 steps to be an exceptional presenter

O – Organized,

P – Passionate,

E – Engaging

N- Natural

U – Understand

P – Practice

In summary, I think this is a book for anyone who is anxious when presenting and wants to calm those fears and improve their communications skills so they can give winning presentations whatever the occasion from public speaking to one to one situations such as asking for a pay rise.

You can get the book here – The Exceptional Presenter by Timothy Koegel

Other Effective Ways To Start Your Speech

Monday, October 11th, 2010
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In a previous post I showed how an illustration can be an effective way to begin a speech but:

Of course, using an illustration is not the only effective way to start a speech. A question which causes an audience to think will get attention.
For example, a student speaker started by asking this question, “Do you know how long it takes a fly to crawl from one end of a seven inch banana to the other?”
This was a simple question but it caused listeners to think and wonder. After asking the question the speaker paused for a few moments, giving listeners time to think. Then he answered his own question, “It takes a fly exactly thirty-six seconds to crawl from one end of a banana to the other, because I watched one do it last week in the L, and L Cafe.”
This was the beginning of a very interesting and helpful talk about keeping food clean.
A housewife started a speech called “How to Stretch the Kitchen Dollar,” by pushing a handful of coins from a table into a metal wastebasket and asking at the same time, “Is this hap¬pening in your kitchen?”
The audience willingly watched and listened. In addition to asking a thought stimulating question this speaker used a visual aid which usually gets undivided attention.
This was an interesting beginning, whereas a dull, trite way to start a speech on saving money in the kitchen could be as follows: “Every day, everywhere, people are wasting money in their kitchens. Considering the high cost of living, this, of course, makes staying on a budget very difficult. But I suppose this is not a new trend. According to psychologists, being careless may be a natural trait of humanity, although there are probably different opinions in this respect.” And so on.
This latter method merely presents general opinions. The ideas are not specific. Nothing happens. This approach is somewhat like the .one a college student actually made when he attempted to answer an examination question: “It is, well, on the other hand it could be, but perhaps usually in most cases, it is strictly an enigma.” What an indirect way to say, “I don’t know.”

Have you ever used a question to start your presentation or a speech? How did you get on? Did it make the audience think?

Do You Use Stories When Public Speaking?

Saturday, October 9th, 2010
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Have you used stories in your speaking? Here is a post on the benefits of using stories when giving a speech and a warning.

The story, anecdote, illustration, example, parable, or whatever it may be called, is very helpful not only at the beginning, but also at other places in a speech. It is so valuable that a series of posts on this blog will tell more about how to find and recognize interesting story material for speeches.
A speaker should use vivid illustrations freely and without apologizing for using them. Some speakers have a habit of saying, “If you will pardon a personal illustration …”
Why should any speaker have to ask an audience’s pardon for using something in his talk which may well be the most interesting part of his speech?
An audience will probably thank a speaker for a good human interest story. They appreciate word pictures, action and suspense instead of so many meaningless general statements.
Personal illustrations which picture the speaker as a big hero, however, should be avoided. Bragging is generally disliked. A speaker should use stories in which he plays a minor part, or at least his importance should not be emphasized.
Try starting your next speech with a lively human interest personal story. Instead of beginning with, “Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking . . . It’s good to see your bright shining faces . . . “We had a pleasant trip coming here this evening,” or any one of a dozen other trite ways you could start, plunge right into a story. Get something happening at once.
Able writers of short stories know they cannot hope to get and hold a reader’s attention unless they make something happen soon. A speaker who hopes to get attention must do likewise. Why waste precious words and audiences’ patience? Too many speakers have already complied with the jingle:
I love its gentle gurgle,
I love its even flow;
I love to wind my mouth up,
I love to let it go —

Without saying anything worthwhile.

Have you used stories when speaking in public or presenting? Do you have any experiences or information you would like to share?

Giving Your Speech

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
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What are the best ways to deliver a presentation or speech that is persuasive and gets the result you want?

Here are some points to consider when giving a speech:-

Obviously to persuade most effectively a speaker must select material (illustrations, quotations, facts, and figures of speech) suitable for the situation and audience, then present this material in an interesting, convincing, persuasive manner.
Will a speaker write his speech word for word and then read it to an audience? Heaven forbid! — unless he has to. Sometimes political, or highly controversial speeches, are read to keep the speaker from being misquoted or sued. Walter Winchell, for instance, has his radio scripts checked and double-checked by attorneys before he reads them to the public.. The average speaker, however, usually does not have to be so exacting.
Shall he memorize his talk then? Not unless he wants to sound like a machine giving a canned speech. Most people can’t memorize well enough to keep from reciting as they speak. Such speaking lacks a conversational tone. Instead of being real talk memorized speaking is more likely to sound like a child learning to read: “My— dog’s — name—is— Carlo. Carlo — can — run. Run — Carlo — run.”
Also, a memorized talk is too easily forgotten. It usually lacks warmth, and surely it does not have that informal, put-them-at-ease quality which is evident in lively conversation. A few professional speakers have successfully used memorized speeches, but most speakers simply do not have the time or patience to perfect a memorized talk. Fortunately there are better methods.
Speak from notes? If you need them;
A speaker may use notes to outline his speech. These notes should be phrases or short sentences to remind the speaker of his illustrations or other supporting material. Quotations may be written out in full and read for accuracy, unless the speaker can quote them from memory without hesitation. When a speaker can remember quotations and facts without the use of notes the effect upon an audience is probably more persuasive. But it is better to read them than to present them in a stumbling, uncertain manner.

What do you think about these points on deliverying a speech? What do you think about reading it or memorizing it? Do you have any experiences you would like to share?

Using Enthusiasm In Your Speech

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
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What do you think about enthusiam? Can you use it in your next speech. Here are some real life examples how enthusiasm changed people’s lives:-

When a person finds a cause or subject that grips him to a point where it demands his energy, steals his time, and inspires his soul, then he has something upon which he can really speak enthusiastically. Such a cause or subject usually involves some useful service. Speaking about it will lift one to the heights of enthusiasm and give him the joy of knowing he has done some¬thing really worthwhile in life.
Enthusiasm is a joyous, commendable quality. An enthusiast finds a happiness in his work or service which transcends a dollar mark. He is not a clock-watcher, but works for “love of the game.” In his mind his work, purpose, or subject is the most important one in the world.
This attitude was evident in an uneducated, penniless emi¬grant who came to America from Poland.. He became vitally interested in selling life insurance, however, and educated him¬self as best he could. This young immigrant, according to Dar¬win P. Kingsley, sales manager for the New York Life Insurance Company, would rather sell insurance than eat. .
“I have known him to reserve a table for New Year’s Eve and then give up the party at the last minute to talk insurance to some prospect,” said Kingsley. “He believes in this company and its policies with a fierce intensity. Selling life insurance is the greatest thing in his life.” Because of his unlimited enthu¬siasm this salesman sold more insurance than all forty other men from the same office. Each year he earned more than a hundred thousand dollars in commissions alone. What kind of
speech.could he make on insurance?
Some years later Frank Bettger attributed his tremendous success in selling insurance to enthusiasm. When he spoke about selling, his listeners were persuaded largely because he was so highly enthusiastic about his subject. He advised, “Act enthusias¬tically and you’ll be enthusiastic.” Acting upon his own advice Bettger plunged into selling with all the fervor at his command. He arose from the ranks of failure to lead the entire field for several years. Frank Bettger put “heart” into his work and into his speeches. His acting was real. Enthusiasm became a part of him, not like a fancy coat he might have worn when he called on forty thousand prospects.

Can you use enthusiasm in your next speech? Or do you think enthusiasm is outdated and people do not respond to it today? Let me know what you think