Tuesday, May 17, 2016

20 unorthodox public speaking (DO & DON'T) tips

I’ve done a lot of public speaking over the years, all around the world. Not saying I know all the answers, but if you are petrified about public speaking or want some tips, here’s a few that you don’t often see in the textbooks. I’ve aimed it at education and training.
10 DON’Ts
DON’T list objectives or what you plan to cover – BOOOOORing!
DON’T do list of company stats – no of employees etc. – DULL!
DON’T use notes – looks as if you don’t know your shit.
DON’T hide or stand behind lectern or table (definitely don’t sit).
DON’T play overlong videos – more than a minute is too long.
DON”T show slide 'We learn 10% by... 20% by... 30% by... it's Bull.
DON’T do text only PowerPoints - they'll want you to die & you will.
DON’T show pyramids on slides, Maslow etc – they’re usually BS.
DON’T show quotes from Einstein.
DON’T have list of words starting with same letter, especially ‘C’.
10 DOs
DO be yourself  – even if that means swearing (I do) (proof)!
DO start with a clippy observation, story or anecdote.
DO walk from one side to other & look whole audience in eye.
DO come forward and go back, use the whole stage.
DO be contentious – why tell them things they already believe.
DO change tone, pace and volume to emphasise points.
DO stop and signal change of topic/pace.
DO get animated – be lively and passionate.
DO use a clicker (whatever you call that thing) for slides.

DO end with ‘Thanks for listening’  - it’s a good cue for Q&A.
The worst talk I ever saw was by an academic, who, in a monotone voice, read a prepared paper from a lectern, that was nothing but stats about her university, for an hour, to the minute. At the end, she was thanked by the Chair, as Professor of Communication at Moscow University. I was literally in stitches. Why would anyone read a paper from a lectern - this makes no sense - email it to me but don't make me sit through this nonsense.
Last word, say what you really think, not what you think they want to hear. And don't play to the happy sheet thing. You're not a clown and the point is not to make them 'happy'. If anything make them uncomfortable. Take people out of their comfort zone,the groupthing that is so common in the learning game. Thanks for listening....


Will Thalheimer said...

Great list! And funny too!

Mikhail said...

Some of them are rather radical, but amazingly true.

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Unknown said...

Spot on Donald. If you're going to listen to a talk, which I rarely do, it *has* to be interesting.