What's best for the audience?

Speak Schmeak

While discussing audience engagement strategies the other day, a client suggested that these strategies might not work for her kinds of audiences, especially at scientific conferences, where there are standard protocols. My question is this: Are audiences really all that different from each other? The audience at a scientific conference is going to be very different from the audience at a food trade show.

Webinar “How to Plan an Audience-friendly Presentation”: Your Questions Answered

Speaking about Presenting

Last week I delivered a webinar “How to plan an Audience-friendly Presentation&# as part of Ellen Finkelstein’s Outstanding Presentations Workshop. The message of my presentation was “To create an audience-friendly presentation, use a planner&# (pictured right). are just there as examples of the questions you think the audience might have. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think of their top three questions. Audience analysis.

2010 172
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Webinar “How to Plan an Audience-friendly Presentation”: Your Questions Answered

Speaking about Presenting

Last week I delivered a webinar “How to plan an Audience-friendly Presentation&# as part of Ellen Finkelstein’s Outstanding Presentations Workshop. The message of my presentation was “To create an audience-friendly presentation, use a planner&# (pictured right). are just there as examples of the questions you think the audience might have. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think of their top three questions. Audience analysis.

2010 164

How to keep your audience’s attention

PowerPoint Tips

Chris Atherton (and more about her here ) has a great blog post on how to give a presentation that keeps your audience’s attention. Students were tested on the material. Even for business presentations, you want your audience to understand and remember what you say! It’s from the angle of student presentations (she’s a college lecturer), but the points apply to any presenter. Dr. Atherton’s research.

2010 111

What's best for the audience?

Speak Schmeak

While discussing audience engagement strategies the other day, a client suggested that these strategies might not work for her kinds of audiences, especially at scientific conferences, where there are standard protocols. My question is this: Are audiences really all that different from each other? The audience at a scientific conference is going to be very different from the audience at a food trade show.

Webinar "How to Plan an Audience-friendly Presentation": Your Questions Answered

Speaking about Presenting

Last week I delivered a webinar “How to plan an Audience-friendly Presentation&# as part of Ellen Finkelstein’s Outstanding Presentations Workshop. The message of my presentation was “To create an audience-friendly presentation, use a planner&# (pictured right). are just there as examples of the questions you think the audience might have. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think of their top three questions. Audience analysis.

2010 127

Beat the Clock!

Manner of Speaking

In almost every case, running over time is highly disrespectful of one’s audience. And rarely is a speaker who drones on remembered kindly by the audience. I realize that this might sound counterintuitive to many people, but I have yet to see an audience complain when a speaker finishes a little early. You should not race through your material at breakneck speed; nor should you speak for much less than your allotted time, thus leaving a gap to fill.

2010 167

Podcast: Listen to Your Audience

Communication Steroids

Skip to content Follow: RSS Twitter Home About Contact Us Current Programs Inner Circle Newsletter Products 20 Presentation Skills That Kill: Audio CDSeminar Social Media and Public Relations: Audio Task Oriented Teams: Audio CDSeminar What We Do Podcast: Listen to Your Audience by Tim 'Gonzo' Gordon on March 1, 2010 As a speaker, do you ‘listen’ to your audience?

When Ego Gets in the Way of a Good Presentation

Professionally Speaking...

He 'shushed' an audience member who tried to ask a question. And even if he was correct in his assumption about her question, what an arrogant way of shutting down her [and perhaps others'] engagement with him and the material. It helps you believe in yourself, manage anxiety and strive to make a valuable contribution to the audience. But when a presenter's ego runs amok, he's forgotten the golden rule: It's All About The Audience.

2010 147

Bloging: The 2 audiences

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

  So, yes, you might say, in old communications-speak, that an audience for the blog is the search engine.    But that is turning out to be only 1 audience. Increasingly, the blog also has another audience.  And   And that audience is just as important.   The Dummies books were not that helpful to me or perhaps my angst prevented me from absorbing the material

13 Best Practice Tips for Effective Presentation Handouts

Speaking about Presenting

It’s an important part of the total experience for the audience: But most of us focus on preparing what happens during the presentation, not what happens afterwards. They allow you to cut down on the amount of material you cover in your presentation and so not commit information overload. Audience members will have a concrete reminder making your presentation more memorable. Audience members can easily contact you later. Benefits for audience members.

How to keep to time during your presentation

Speaking about Presenting

Consider it as part of the contract between you and your audience. Find out how long it takes to deliver your material. If you leave timing your presentation till the end of your planning process you’re likely to find that you’ve prepared too much material which will mean you have to edit your presentation. And editing is can be agonizing when you’ve grown attached to your material. Here’s what can happen: you make your point but the audience looks blank.

2010 214

A Public Speaker’s Checklist

Manner of Speaking

As public speakers, we should be focused on our audience and the material. However, even when I am told that certain equipment and material will be available, I still bring along some back-ups. Written introduction for the person introducing you to the audience. Reference material. Background material from your host (programme, list of participants, etc.). Promotional material for your company / organization.

How to simplify your presentation without dumbing it down

Speaking about Presenting

Your job is to make the complex easily graspable to your audience by arriving at that simplicity. Can you create a model to help make sense of your material? Flowcharts - construct a flowchart that enables your audience to see the process and clearly identify the decision points. Making a presentation simple requires hard thinking. You might be concerned that in your quest to make your presentation simple, you’ll dumb it down.

2010 218

Do you still believe these three public speaking myths?

Speaking about Presenting

Myth #2: Adapt to the learning styles of your audience. So you don’t need to worry about who in your audience is visual and who is auditory (I’ve left out kinaesthetic as that is not often practical in a presentation – it involves more than just playing with a coloured rubber ball). But in the public speaking situation, people are sitting in the audience waiting for you to start. You’ve already got the audience’s attention.

2010 194

6 reasons why you shouldn’t give an overview presentation

Speaking about Presenting

That means that no one issue will stand out and your audience is likely to remember less, not more. Both these points are supported by educational research that shows that students learn better when material is covered in depth. If there’s a mix of knowledge levels in your audience, you’ll bore anyone who’s beyond beginner status and possibly beginners too. Covering material at a surface level is rarely engaging. You want your audience to be in a state of “flow”.

2010 170

6 reasons you shouldn’t give an overview presentation

Speaking about Presenting

That means that no one issue will stand out and your audience is likely to remember less, not more. Both these points are supported by educational research that shows that students learn better when material is covered in depth. If there’s a mix of knowledge levels in your audience, you’ll bore anyone who’s beyond beginner status and possibly beginners too. Covering material at a surface level is rarely engaging. You want your audience to be in a state of “flow”.

2010 165

Three ideas from improv to improve your speaking

Speaking about Presenting

But what I realise is that improv can help me generate ideas and improve my material during the preparation phase of working on a speech or presentation. If you’re expanding on a point, it should either be funny or add to the audience’s understanding or feelings for the story. Emotion is a great way of increasing audience engagement in a story. But when I was being Jessica, I kept talking to the audience, rather than to her imaginary mother.

Ideas 200

When it Comes to Public Speaking, Less is More

DeFinis Communications

And in terms of presentations, the same concepts are true: Less has greater impact, and small portions make the audience feel special. Presenting less information to your audience requires honing your material, making discrete choices, and selecting only what is relevant and meaningful. So while it does take more time to refine and distill your message than it does to tell the audience everything you know about your subject, your hard work is worth it.

2010 172

Do you still believe these three public speaking myths?

Speaking about Presenting

Myth #2: Adapt to the learning styles of your audience. So you don’t need to worry about who in your audience is visual and who is auditory (I’ve left out kinaesthetic as that is not often practical in a presentation – it involves more than just playing with a coloured rubber ball). But in the public speaking situation, people are sitting in the audience waiting for you to start. You’ve already got the audience’s attention.

2010 178

How to recover from a nightmare speaking experience

Speaking about Presenting

Getting no feedback from your audience is hard. Emma didn’t get much positive nonverbal feedback from her audience. And she made the worst possible assumptions about what the audience were thinking. Here’s the thing: you can’t tell what an audience member is thinking by the way that they look. If you went to the front of a movie theater and looked back at the audience you’d probably be looking out on a sea of slack-jawed blank faces.

2010 178

How to become a good speaker

PowerPoint Tips

This is a top annoyance for the audience and your slides shouldn’t have much text on them anyway. No interaction with the audience. The audience is the reason for the presentation, so they want to feel as if you’re talking to them. Here’s a comment from one audience member: “I would guess that 95% of the presentations I’ve witnessed over the last 5 years feature a speaker with his back to the audience over most of the presentation period.

2010 173

Content Tips: How Much is Too Much?

DeFinis Communications

They make the case that if they are speaking to a technical audience, a complex presentation is expected; and, as long as that presentation is well structured, I can go along with it. You may have a drive to fulfill your own interest by telling your audience everything you know and love about your subject. But that can be overwhelming for an audience and your best intentions, which may indeed be to inform and inspire , will soon go south and take your audience with them. .

2010 170

In Presentations, Less is More

Professionally Speaking...

In this age of information overload, any time you can streamline the message you present, your audience will be thrilled. Most presenters, in preparing their presentation, neglect to ask the question, "What does my audience need to know?". Although it sounds counter-intuitive, it's less work for a presenter to just include everything he knows about a topic rather than assessing what the audience may already know and then what would be most valuable for them.

2010 152

Writing a speech? Make Numbers Work for You

Pivotal Public Speaking

But too often, speakers use their data in place of key points, piling on number after number and, in the end, driving their audience to despair. Tags: public speaking speech writing speeches statistics support material in speeches writing speeches Speakers can use numbers to support key points. Here are a few tips on how to use numbers to good effect.

2010 48

The Sales Presentation

Professionally Speaking...

Top sales performers embrace not only these sales skills but, most importantly, this fundamental of effective presenting: focus on the audience. They are clear that a sales presentation should be a dialogue between salesperson and audience. WHAT DOES FOCUS ON THE AUDIENCE MEAN? But there are specific behaviors to adopt to demonstrate genuine audience focus. Be Flexible Observe your audience's reactions as you're speaking.

Sales 110

Presentation Tip: Say It Again, With Feeling

Professionally Speaking...

staying totally present and connected to the audience. Extreme familiarity with your content can cause you to sound like a robot as you deliver your remarks from memory; however, it can also give you the comfort and security to free you up to be fully engaged with your audience. You no longer have to worry about forgetting something; your material is solidly implanted in your brain. Reflect back on the previous point -- the audience is hearing this for the first time.

2010 148

Being There

Manner of Speaking

In a previous post , I wrote that as speakers, we enter into a social contract with our audiences every time we take the stage. In return, the people in our audiences provide us with their time (and in many cases their money). Think of it this way: If you speak to an audience of 40 people for one hour, you are taking up 40 hours of people’s time – the equivalent of an entire work week for a single person. Always make eye contact with the members of your audience.

2010 152

Group Presentations

Professionally Speaking...

In a group presentation, several presenters need to collaborate and coordinate so they offer a seamless end result to the audience. Yet integrating a variety of material and diverse personalities can be a challenge. Integrate the material so it looks like one presentation rather than several separate ones. HAVE CLEAR TRANSITIONS Create transition statements that hand off the presentation to the next person and show the audience how the segments hang together.

2010 140

How to manage feedback from the presentation backchannel

Speaking about Presenting

I immediately knew that I had lost the audience. So rather than getting through to me that I should slow down, I was hearing the audience as saying that I sucked. Now I totally get that just getting through a presentation can be challenge enough – without having to think about adjusting to feedback that you get from the audience. And I don’t believe that it’s possible to genuinely connect with your audience and monitor the backchannel at the same time.

Bring Your Audience into Your World with Stories

Communication Steroids

It’s still another person’s story, and you lose something by telling another person’s story – especially if there’s a chance some of your audience has heard it before. The magic of telling a story is that once you’ve set the scene, your audience is hooked.

Story 40

The best comedy comes from real life

Speak Schmeak

I think that when you talk about something that really happened, whether you make it a caricature of what happened, or whatever, but it is a version of the truth, you connect with the audience in a way that you cannot with contrived material." ~ Comedian Robert Schimmel, I Am Comic documentary What Schimmel is saying does not just apply to comedians. The easiest way to make less-than-engaging topics more palatable for the audience is to insert some humor from real life.

2010 146

Credible speaking: When speakers say things your audience won't believe

The Eloquent Woman

Think of these as any sentence that starts with a declarative statement, in which your audience can tell there's a "but" clause coming shortly after it starts. I know you all have a lot of questions, but I have a great deal of materials to cover." announces that you think your material is more important than your audience. If you're on a panel, you've just alienated your fellow presenters, along with the audience. "I

2010 63

Fear Public Speaking? No More!

Matt Eventoff

Prepare - Simply put, the more you prepare and the better handle you have on the material you are presenting, the better it will go. Remember – the audience is on your side - 9 times out of 10, the audience is rooting for you to succeed, not waiting for you to fall flat. Man, I wish it was that easy. I speak publicly often, and I still get nervous prior to every speech or presentation. Every single one.

Why is authenticity so important?

Public Speaking Advice and Commentary

  The segment lasts just under 7 minutes and includes some introductory material.  Nick Morgan Interview - 1 - Oct 2010. Tags: Audience-Centered Speaking Authenticity Non-verbal Communication Public Speaking I'm going to post a series of short podcasts from a longer interview I did recently.    This first is all about authenticity and why it is both essential today and in short supply. 

Presentations: 5 Boring Behaviors and How to Fix Them

Professionally Speaking...

Add stories , metaphors , personal anecdotes and examples to make your material easier to remember, for both you and the audience. BORING BEHAVIOR: Slides Filled with Text SOLUTION: More graphics, illustrations and charts that are pertinent to the message and enhance understanding for the audience [generally, though, design doesn't beget boredom, so don't go crazy jazzing up slides]. Ensure that your material has a logical flow [ask someone else to review, if necessary].

2010 123

Executive Communications: Want Your Audiences to Remember What You Say?

Fripp THE Executive Speech Coach

Want Your Audiences to Remember What You Say? If not, the chances are that your thinking isn't clear enough for the audience to understand your purpose. And if you don't organize your material so the audience can remember it easily, they'll have a hard time grasping your message. Your next structural imperative is to use statements that make your audience ask "How?" THE Executive Speech Coach gives advice on Executive Communications.

Tips from the Acting Stage, Episode #4

Professionally Speaking...

How we show up as business presenters has a great impact on the audience's experience. If we appear bored or uninspired by our topic or if we deliver our material robotically, how can we expect the audience to become (or stay) interested? practice sufficiently so that you know your material well, allowing you, during the presentation, to focus on your tone of voice and eye contact. Pauses help an audience process what you've said and get ready to hear something new.

Stage 117

Get out of the cage and own the stage!

Speak Schmeak

Eyes down or looking at a place between speaker and audience 3. In putting their attention out to the room, out to the audience, they became connected with the audience. The other group of speakers gave more attention to the space immediately surrounding them and their notes, therefore closing off the energy to the rest of the room and creating an invisible barrier between them and the audience. Finally, give your attention to the audience.

Stage 132

Interview: Phillip Van Hooser - President, National Speakers Association

Ian Griffin - Professionally Speaking

He recorded what the speakers he heard said, then progressed to noticing how they said what they said #151 the ways in which they delivered their material. A business materializes Every speaker must choose a moment to declare themselves a professional. With the "confidence born of ignorance" he started his business with no prospects or speaking material. The secret, Phil says, is to listen to the audience.

Five ways to avoid reading from your slides

Speak Schmeak

How can you keep the audience's attention, not get sucked into reading from the slides, and make this presentation your own? In fact, it's preferable that your notes are not tied to the computer or slides, but on a separate piece of paper or cards, so that you can move freely and interact with the audience. Use your own notes and your flip chart to write down any audience contributions. Let's say you're stuck with a canned slide show.

2010 159

Holiday shopping list for your favorite speaker

Speak Schmeak

Videotape yourself (and -- why not? -- your audience) with this tiny Flip Mino camcorder. Visuals Make your audience notes portable when you carry a lightweight table top easel pad. To keep your audience engaged and stimulated, bring toys , toys , and more toys. Use this hand pointer to poke some fun at the audience. ** Need a way to haul all your tools and materials around?

Facilitation, Inspiration, Aspiration

DeFinis Communications

in a monotone, with chin locked and palms facing downwards, creates a much less favorable audience reaction than asking the same question in a modulated voice, nodding your head and holding your palms up. His material lists 21 non-verbal secrets found at the heart of all communications, no matter how differently they might appear on the surface. The National Speakers Association of Northern California November Meeting. Last Saturday NSA/NC held an outstanding Chapter meeting.

2010 116