commit: 6b2ca8a - #414 (2014-03-05 12:54:44 -0500)
I could totally relate to this half a year ago - I was freaked out to speak to people I didn't know. More so broadcast to public.
Great article for anyone who's ready to take a step outside of their comfort zone.
Even if you love public speaking this is a good article to read. It will help you hone your skills as a speaker. It's good advice for anyone who might be thrown into a speaking gig.
Fantastic tips for first-time speakers and experienced pros alike! Especially for us introverts. What do you find helps you prepare to speak?
At the low-profile level of speaking I'm at - it's Neil's last point: being yourself.
Also, realizing that your audience are people who want live interaction with you; people who appreciate you & who you appreciate and care about. Have empathy...
Honestly. Two things come to mind.
1. Having just casually talked through the content one on one to a friend, family member or even client. Then when talking in front of people I pretend I'm talking to just that person.
2. Talking through it out loud while doing meaningless tasks (driving, cleaning, whatever). I find the brain mechanisms of thinking vs. speaking out loud are quite different.
Dan, on point #2 - as long as people don't look weird at you haha
Thank you for encouragement, Jonathon! :) Very much appreciated, my friend!
After doing a fair bit of speaking this year, my learnings are:
1) Procrastinate on starting to put together your deck. The longer I have to think about it, the worse my deck gets. If I take time to process it in my mind for a while, as opposed to just creating, then it comes together much quicker and is much better.
2) Simplify simplify simplify. If you're not trying to cram way more content into your presentation than you have time for, you'll be much more relaxed and come across as a lot more knowledgeable.
3) Practice a bit, but not too much. If you don't have bullet points, you won't be as likely to be looking at your deck and you will be able to better engage with the room.
John I think you have a great point. When I went to the SearchLove conference in boston I thought the PPT's were the best I had seen. The key there was that they were simple. They didn't have tons of bullet points, but still were able to get the message across with visuals.
John - exactly. If you try to put too much in, you'll overwhelm the crowd. When I go to do a preso now, I think "What are the three main things I want to get across?" Those become my main points, and I can have subpoints from there.
I also ascribe to Rand's "bullet points kill kittens" school of thought on PPTs :-)
Upcoming blog post about this. Ties into my upcoming series on introversion. So much writing to do, so little time!
Great tips from Neil and thanks for the share Max. I'm speaking on a panel at a internet retailing conference in Sydney next year. First time I've done anything of the sort - nervous, but very excited!
Congrats, Brad! Hope it goes very well! :)
I haven't spoken in public about SEO (on my list of things to do in the future) but coming from a legal background I have a lot of experience of speaking in Court, in hearings, etc. and the one single most important piece of advice I can offer is *know what you are speaking about*.
If you are winging it, people can tell - it comes across. Speaking from a position of knowledge and understanding makes you sound more authoritative and helps you to engage with those listening. Sheriffs, judges and SEO audiences alike will be uncomfortable if you are uncomfortable (though hopefully the audiences might be more sympathetic!).