ArLyne's Diamonds

A running commentary of ideas

Monday, June 13, 2011

Capture Your Audience – Public Speaking

I recently spoke to the Civic Society at Santa Clara University about public speaking. To summarize:
• Give them a bucket into which they can put the information. The mind is like a filing cabinet and it needs to know where to store the information you are about to give them.
• Speaking is not the same as writing – people need to grasp what you are saying while you are saying it – so less is more – and repetition is important.
• Be real – be authentic – you need to find your own style of speaking while at the same time being prepared, relaxed, warm and engaging.
• Stories sell – dry facts put people to sleep. Anecdotal stories make the point.
• Be humorous, but don’t tell jokes (unless you are a comedian) or use jargon – you will surely be misunderstood and manage to insult at least one member of your audience.
• Power point is not your crutch – only use it when necessary – as in showing graphics, pictures, or talking with an audience that doesn’t speak your language well.
• Image and body language count – right or wrong, you are judged by your appearance.
• Never forget why you are there to speak – give them the information they want and need. They are your customer.

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