Speaking out – public speaking made easy

Last night I attended Speaking out – public speaking made easy organised by Laura North and Christian Heilmann with David Bell, Katie Streten and Christian speaking. Here are my notes.

David Bell (Merrill Lynch) – Focus on presentation styles and contexts

  • Contexts – style and delivery vary according to type of meeting (small, large, conference) and your role within it (pitching ideas, asking questions).
  • Preparation – the key to being relaxes is to be prepared, focussing on:
    • who your audience is
    • message you want to deliver
    • materials – appropriate slides
    • objective – what is the purpose of the meeting / presentation
  • Style – presentation style determined by:
    • presenters personality
    • audience
    • subject
  • Summary
    • connecting with audience is vital
    • preparation is the key to being relaxed
    • be selective with your material – think big picture
    • your style will develop over time and comes with practice
    • presentations are performances – sometimes they go better than others
    • everyone gets nervous – you aren’t the only one

Katie Streten (Imagination) – Reasons not to like public speaking, and some suggestions for dealing with them

  • Reason 1 – no one will be interested in what I have to say
    • they are there
    • you have been asked to speak
    • think what you can give them
  • Reason 2 – I will go blank
    • prepare – write script long hand
    • read it to people are yourself
    • write card notes
    • highlight key moments
    • don’t practice too much
  • Reason 3 – I’m afraid that everyone will find out that I’m a fraud
    • you’ve been asked to speak
    • everyone thinks this
  • Reason 4 – I will look out over the crowd and freeze
    • don’t look at the crown, pick 3 spots to look at
    • place a friend at the back to smile at you
    • they are more interested in the talk than in you
  • Reason 5 – I will lose my place and stall
    • use card notes
    • practice
    • audience are on your side
    • ‘fess up
  • Reason 6 – I will ask something that everyone else understands
    • most other people are thinking the same thing
    • that’s their problem
    • you are helping someone in the audience
  • Reason 7 – It feels artificial, it should feel like a conversation
    • audience hates it to
    • say ‘Hello’
    • move your arms at waist height
    • don’t have a rigid script
  • Powerpoint
    • bullet points
    • pictures
  • Conclusion
    • people genuinely want to hear what you have to say
    • think about your audience – what can you give them?
    • if all else fails.. try and remember the detail of 1 speech you have heard in your life – no-one can

Christian Heilmann (Yahoo!) – How to inspire as a speaker

Chris has written his own post on the event, which includes a link to his slide deck and video of his presentation.

  • Have a different point of view
  • Find the story that makes the difference
  • Audience and information are more important than the speaker
  • Knowing what the audience needs is the most important part of the presentation
  • Having the right mindset is important – you have nothing to lose
  • How do you get this mindset?
    • know your subject
    • own your talk
    • practice
  • Practice by:
    • loud reading in different character voices
    • listening to audio books
    • listen to yourself
    • Powerpoint Karaoke
    • lightning talks
  • Get inspired by good examples
  • Thinks to avoid
    • imitation
    • reading your slides
    • forgetting the story
    • blinging it up

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