Public Speaking

Preparation

  • Identify your audience
  • What is the goal of the speech: persuade? Inform? Inspire/entertain?
  • Write an outline first
  • “Let me tell you a story.” Stories are more memorable than facts and numbers. Good stories contains conflicts and creativity.

Open

  • Develop credibility: show confidence and competence (two key details in your background on the subject matter)
  • Five cold openings: ask an open-ended question; begin with a story; begin with a bold statement; tell the audience to imagine something; begin with hard evidence (Must be credible)
  • Common opening mistakes: start with something trite; clear the throat; highlight technical/personal insecurities

Handle tech mishaps

  • Overprepare: always bring backups - laptop, remote, etc.
  • Know the material well so that you could speak without the slides.
  • Last move: get the audience involved in the problem.

Close

Q & A

  • Let your audience know how you’ll handle Q&A. Jump-in anytime (small group) or a dedicated time.
  • Hold your Q&A near the end, not at the end. “I have a one final thought to leave you with, but before I do, I’ll open up the floor for questions.” This handles the no-question scenario, and you’ll have the control of the final words.
  • Repeat the question when the room is large.
  • Keep the answer brief. If you can’t answer the question within one minute, say so. “It’s a complicated question, and a comprehensive answer might take an hour. I’ll give a shorter answer, and in the interest of time, I’ll take another question.”

Closing words

  • Rephrase the title
  • Summary: key takeaways
  • A relavent quote. Make sure that the audience likes the author
  • Personal tagline: for repeated internal presentations to the same audience
  • A call to action

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