Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Public Speaking Tip: Screen Size Approximation Chart

Use this guide when someone asks you how large of a screen you need.

3-5 people 21 inches diagonal (53.34 cm)
5-9 people 29 inches diagonal (73.66 cm)
10-15 people 37 inches diagonal (93.98 cm)
16-35 people 60 inches diagonal (152.4 cm)
36-50 people 72 inches diagonal (182.88 cm)
51-140 people 120 inches diagonal (304.8 cm)
141-220 people 150 inches diagonal (381.0 cm)
221-390 people 200 inches diagonal (508.0 cm)
391+ people 300 inches diagonal (762.0 cm)


Friday, August 26, 2005

Public Speaking Tips: Bribes

Bribes . . . or, as I like to call them, "Tips in advance" are a part of my speaking life. Does that mean I am an unethical person. ABSOLUTELY NOT! It means I am a realist. It means that when I am 30 minutes from the beginning of a presentation and I havebeen trying to get a projection screen for two hours, it might be time to grease a few palms. I just consider it an investment in my image. I am the one who is going to look bad if I am not prepared to begin on time. If it costs me five or ten or even twenty bucks to get some action, so what? I don't believe in penny pinching when you get in a pinch.

Am I happy about this? No, I am not happy, but I am always willing to invest in excellence. Also, I would rather lose a few bucks than get all worked up and upset before a presentation. In addition, any problems I am having are probably not the fault of the maintenance or set up person who gets the money. It makes me feel good to give them a little boost in their pay for that day. So, have a few small bills handy before every presentation, just in case you need to get something done quick.

One more thing . . .This also works when you have too much baggage at the curb side check in. An extra bag costs 50 bucks at the airline ticket counter, so I give the skycap 20 and save myself 30. It doesn't work every time, but most of the time it does.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Public Speaking Tip: Dueling Flip Charts

Here is a very interesting way to use flip charts. Put one on both sides of the stage and pop back and forth between them. You can have an audience member volunteer at each flip chart helping your record input from other audience members. This has a tremendous Wake em Up value because
1.) You have audience members on stage,
2.) You are in the audience, and
3.) Audience members are providing the input.

You are not limited to doing this with flip charts. You could have duel overhead projectors for larger crowds. You could still even have your darned old PowerPoint on a screen in the middle. You could even have flip charts placed all around the room so they are ready when you break up into smaller groups. Then the results pages could be torn off and taped in a row on the wall.

More on Tom’ Wake ‘Em Up! Presentations can be found at:

Monday, August 22, 2005

Public Speaking Tip: Lay Down the Law

It is always best to communicate a clear set of ground rules near the beginning of a presentation. For instance, if you do not want questions until the end of your program, state that up front and get agreement from the group. If comments from the audience are allowed, ask that they be kept to a certain amount of time (like 30 seconds or less). Getting everyone to agree to your plan in the beginning puts enormous peer pressure on an individual violating any of the rules.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Public Speaking Tip: Laptop Volume

More and more people are playing multimedia clips through their laptops. Here's a quick way to handle the volume when you do not have a sound person in the room. Purchase a tiny headphone volume control (Radio Shack) and plug it into the output of your laptop. Then plug your output wire going to the sound system into the volume control. You can then adjust the volume of your multimedia clip quickly without the need to use the internal volume controls of the laptop which is usually a little bit of a hassle.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Public Speaking Tip: Schmooze

One of the easiest things to do to get a good reaction from the audience is to schmooze with them before the presentation. I actually start this by pre-program phone interviews before I even get to the state where I'm speaking. This tip has to do with schmoozing right before you go on stage.

Whenever possible make it a firm point to have your presentation equipment and materials set up and tested long before anyone is expected to arrive at the meeting. When the attendees do begin to arrive, start introducing yourself as the speaker and shaking hands with them. If they are coming in a few at a time, you should be able to spend a few minutes talking to each group. Either make small talk or ask them what they want to get out of being there. Pay particular attention to people that are bythemselves and facilitate introducing them around if it's appropriate . . . at any rate, make them feel at home.

These small gestures will create tons of rapport and cause most of the people that you've touched to be rooting for you.

Friday, August 12, 2005

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Public Speaking Tip: Double Check Your Backups

by Tom Antion

I was assisting a friend of mine in making CD backups of his powerpoint presentation. I was to Fed Ex them to his hotel as a double protection in case his program got stole nor damaged.

A very interesting thing happened. He was emailing me the files to burn on CD for him and many of his photos were not showing up. I kept getting the message on the bad slides, "QuickTime and a Jpeg decompressor needed to view this slide" I already had Quicktime on my computer and never have any trouble looking at jpegs.

He had produced the presentation part on a Mac and Part on a PC and had thoroughly tested the entire presentation on both the Macs and PCs he had in his office. It's still a mystery what actually happened, but to fix it he had to open the photos I was having trouble with in Photoshop and then resave them.

Bottom line. It's a good idea to have a separate backup CD with your presentation on it, and it's a GREAT idea to double check those backups so you never get caught with your pants/skirt down.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Public Speaking Tip: Add Weight

No I'm not promoting obesity. I'm referring to outdoor presentations. If you are ever forced (I say "forced" because you should try to avoid outdoor presentations at all costs) to do an outdoor presentation, then make sure you have several different kinds of weights handy to help control your presentation.

You might need a sand bag or dumbell to hold down the easel of your flipchart. How about taping some heavy coins to the bottom of the sheets and clamping the edges to keep the breeze from lifting up the pages?

Paperweights, or in a pinch, plain old rocks are great for holding down papers you have on a table on stage.

What else do you commonly have with you on stage that could blow around in a breeze? Make sure it's secured.

Ties and scarves that look gorgeous in a no wind hotel room look terrible and distracting when flapping in the wind.

Keep your weight up and you'll make the best of a windy situation.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Public Speaking Tips: Pauses

A true NO ZZZZZs presenter doesn't feel that he or she must jabber away constantly to keep the audience awake. Skilled presenters use silence to add to the effectiveness and polish of a program. Theatrical folks have identified a whole bunch of neat pauses which I'm sure they have a ball playing with. I'm only going to address some of the most obvious and important ones here.

SHORT - The shortest pauses, which last anywhere from one-half to two seconds, are for the simple purpose of separating your thoughts. All you have to remember is to slow down. Give the audience a fighting chance to absorb what you are saying. Change your voice inflection slightly at the end of each thought to cue the audience the next thought is coming. Also, use a short pause before and after any phrase (punch line) or word you want to emphasize.

SPONTANEITY - Another neat pause is known as a spontaneity pause. This is a planned "unplanned" pause used so that you don't look too rehearsed. You might apply this pause when you want to pretend to search for a word or phrase that you already know.

LONG - Long pauses of more than three seconds are very powerful. They command the audience to think about what you just said that is if what you just said was worth thinking about.

Please [pause] [pause] [pause] don't be afraid to be quiet once in a while. It can dramatically increase your impact.

Excerpt from "Wake 'em Up Video Professional Speaking System " "

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Public Speaking Tips: Microphone Tips

by Susan Berkley

If you are speaking in any venue that is larger than an average sized classroom or conference room, I strongly suggest using a microphone to prevent vocal strain. There are two types of microphones you are likely to encounter. The first is a lavaliere mic that clips to your lapel or collar. This type of microphone usually has a battery pack, which you attach to your waistband, allowing you to move about freely. When wearing a lavaliere, speak conversationally with the same amount of volume and vocal projection you would use to address a small group. The amplifier will do the rest. Make sure you turn your mic off when you are not on the platform to avoid sharing private comments with the rest of the audience.

The second type of microphone is hand held or fixed to a stand or podium. With this type of microphone, popping can be a problem. Popping is caused when "plosives" like 'p','t', and 'd' are spoken and the air from your mouth hits the mic. To prevent popping, position the mic about a hands width away and slightly below your mouth so that the air from your mouth does not hit the microphone. Speaking above the mic will also help prevent nasal noise. Keeping the mic about a hands width away from your mouth will also help prevent a "boom-y" sound.

Reprinted with permission from the "VoiceCoach ezine" by Susan Berkley. For a free subscription visit Susan Berkley is president of The Great Voice Company and author of "Speak To Influence: How To Unlock The Hidden Power of Your Voice" available from 800-333-8108 or your favorite bookseller.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Public Speaking Tip: Think Global

The world is getting smaller. Now, it is no big deal to put us on a plane and expect us to address an international audience twelve hours later. Or we might face a U. S. audience made primarily of people from Japan, or India. A handy and inexpensive source of international background information is the Culturgram published by the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, which is part of Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah. Each Culturgram is a four page newsletter, updated every August, that gives you an easy to understand overview of the country of your choice. It includes customs and common courtesies, along with information about the people and their lifestyle. References are also included for additional resources. Currently 168 Culturgrams are available. Prices range from $6.00 for a single copy to 50 cents for bulk purchases. Call (800) 528-6279 for details.

(Ref. Wake em Up Business Presentations Pg. 21)