Friday, May 29, 2009

Public Speaking: This Site Will Help Your Presentations

Hi Gang. I found a really great presentation resource that you'll
want to check out.

Visit for
lots of useful information on presentation skills, content
development and visual aids.

They have an extensive collection of
expert tips and advice offered by leading presentation
consultants. Be sure to try their many free samples of
presentation tools and programs, including over 60 free
PowerPoint templates. They also have an online bulletin board
called "Ask the Professor," where you can ask technical
PowerPoint and presentation questions. Their free monthly
newsletter, "Presentation Pointers," highlights what’s
new and free on Presenters University. It's worth checking out.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Public Speaking: Say It With Fewer Words

You've got a great, major presentation, and suddenly you're asked if you can get your message across in five minutes! Don't panic. For today's television generation, sound bites can be more powerful than lengthy dissertations. Here's how to compress your speech without losing impact.

Don't apologize or mention that you usually have much more time. Be confident that you can communicate in five minutes. Begin fast. Start with a an attention-getting statement such as, "Your job won't exist five years from now," or "In the next 5 minutes I want to convince you the best action you can take is__" Use a strongly visual story. Illustrate your points -- how it is now, how it will or could be -- with a story so vivid that the audience can "see" it. Divide your 5 minutes into three parts. Present a problem, a payoff, and your point of view: "The number one piece of advice I can give you today is...," your story illustrates your idea and your walk away line could be what will happen if they do what you suggest!

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Great Public Speaking: Audience Gags

Stone the Speaker

Here's another gag I do when I really want to focus attention
on an important point. Either before the program or at a break,
I recruit audience members who are sitting near the front. I
give each one a piece of crumpled paper and instruct them
to throw it at me when they hear a certain word.

Some presenters tell me that is the dumbest thing they ever
heard and that they would never do it in a professional
presentation. They say that until they understand the
rationale. Do you remember I said I pull this gag when I
want to focus attention on an important point? Guess who
is riveted on what I say until they hear the key word? Of
course, all the recruits with the crumpled paper. Then,
after they throw the paper and I make a big reaction, the
rest of the crowd is totally focused in their effort to see
what is going on. That is when I make my key point. I have
virtually guaranteed the attention of each audience member.
(From "Wake 'em Up Business Presentations")

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Great Public Speaking: Speaker Humor

=> A boring speaker: One who doesnt go without saying.

=> With some corporations quality is their middle name.
The problem is that their first name is "lousy."

=> America is a great country. Where else could a CEO
lose a billion dollars and get a 14 million dollar
bonus for it.

=> I bought a dog that is a cross between a pit bull and
a labrador retriever. At least if he bites my leg
off, he ll bring it back to me.

=> Health care executives are now wearing rubber gloves.
It s not for sanitary reasons. They just dont want
to leave fingerprints on your wallet.

=> Im shooting for immortality. It is a long shot I admit,
but someone has to be first.

=> I listened to my motivational tapes backwards and
became a failure.

=> I always wondered when Im flying if the seat cushion
becomes a flotation device, why cant the plane
become a boat?

=> Old Age: When it takes you longer to get over a good time
than to have it.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Great Public Speaking: 5 Tips To Make 'Em Love Ya

1) Be down to Earth. Nobody like the aloof talking head.

2) Phone as many as the attendees as you can before the program and ask their opinions.
Use the information to make them the stars.

3) Mingle with attendees before the program and make small talk. The personal
connection goes a long way.

4) Thoroughly research the problems of the group and bring immediately usable solutions.
They can't help but like you when you help them out.

5) Stay as long as you can after the program. If you can arrange it, don't run out the door and leave them cold. If you have to leave, offer email follow up for any unanswered questions.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Great Public Speaking: Ladies On TV

Hi Tom: I enjoyed your recent newsletter, and had a comment about a man keeping his tie straight during a speaking engagement v2n8.

A similar topic applies to women. At one of my former places of employment, part of the new employee orientation was sitting through several hours of a customer service presentation on video tape. In addition to being a painfully unanimated speaker, the presenter wore a suit with the biggest, loudest scarf around her neck and over her shoulder. All of us poor souls in the room watching were left with no recollection of the content of the presentation, but a indelible image of the infamous scarf! As you know, not only should the length of a speech be appropriate for the audience, but the speaker should make sure that their appearance is not distracting.

Thanks for all the great tips. - Karen Puckett

Tom's reply: Thanks Karen for your input. Also, keep in mind that the beautiful scarf you referred to might be perfect if you were on a big stage in front of a large audience. Always keep your delivery medium in mind.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Public Speaking: More Speaking Humor

=> The worst part about the speed of light is that it makes mornings come awfully early.

=> Man is the lowest cost non-linear computer system capable of being mass produced by unskilled labor.

=> Miracle drug: One that you only pay ten bucks for.

=> Miracle drug: One that your kids will take without spitting it out.

=> When you wish upon a star don't forget it takes two hundred million light years to receive the request.

=> What can you expect of a universe that started out as nothing but a lot of hot air? . . . (sounds like many speakers I know) hahahaha

=> One good thing about the computer age. We can be wrong at astonishing high speeds.

=> If technology is making the world smaller, how come the phone bill keeps going up?

=> Genetics: The study of which parents family is responsible for the child's bad behavior.

=> Computers will never replace humans until they learn how to laugh at the boss's jokes.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Public Speaking: Take A Position

Just today, I read two humorous articles that used a simple but effective technique: adopting another person's perspective or personality. In one, Kelly Ahlfeld wrote about "What your baby would tell you if he could talk," for "Parenting Magazine." In another, Dan Poynter is quoted in "The Publicity Hound" ezine about a dog's New Year's resolutions.

Try this: pick a position/job title outside your company. Maybe it's the copier guy, the computer person, the UPS driver, and write a list of the top 5 or 10 things that THEY think are important, but that the rest of us could care less about. The humor comes from the difference in perspective. Example from the baby article: "Two words I'd rather not hear from you: rectal thermometer." And from the dog article: "Try to understand that the cat is from Venus and I am from Mars."

Take five minutes to try it now, even if you come up with only one.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Public Speaking: Bounce Around

I recently had one of the toughest speeches of my career. It was a three hour afternoon session on Martin Luther King day in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was difficult for many reasons, but one of the most trying was that the audience consisted of all the employees of one company. They ranged from the lowest level to the highest level in the company. When you have all managers or all executives, it is relatively easy to hone in on their interests and concerns. When you have such a varied group you have to "bounce around" and not spend too much time on the interests and concerns of any one type of audience member.

If you do, you will lose the interest of all the other groups.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Public Speaking: 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.

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Public Speaking: Opening Tips

=> Ask a funny or outrageous question like, "How many of you have ever swung from a tree like Tarzan?" Then go on with comments about it being a jungle out there.

=> Ask a deadly serious question like, "How many of you would know what to do if you went into your small child*s bedroom and the child wasn't breathing?" You may even hear gasps from some audience members (especially the moms) when you ask a question like this. You can be sure they will be riveted on what you say next, so make it good.

=> Make an outrageous statement like this, "Since 1989 there have been 250 waterbuffalos collecting social security in this district." Note to reader: After that last statement you are seriously wondering why you bothered opening this Email aren*t you? hahaha. To make this work in real life you would follow up with the following statement, "Of course, there aren*t 250 water buffalos collecting social security in our district, but ABC is happening and we must do XYQ (no ZZZZZs allowed) about it."

=> Mention something in the local newspaper that is outrageous, funny, or an example of what your presentation is about.

=> Use a funny quotation that relates to your subject. Mark Twain said, "I don*t mind what the opposition says of me, so long as they don*t tell the truth." The truth is . . ."

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