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Posted: 9/4/2015 12:39:11 AM EDT
I don't consider myself a bad public speaker, but I'm not particularly good either.  I'm giving a 20 minute technical presentation at an engineering conference in a few weeks.

Any tips?

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:43:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2015 12:44:20 AM EDT by Gripy]
If you mispronounce something, but you're pretty close, then just keep going. Don't go back and try to fix it.



If using power point don't just read the slides.

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:45:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SCW:
I don't consider myself a bad public speaker, but I'm not particularly good either.  I'm giving a 20 minute technical presentation at an engineering conference in a few weeks.

Any tips?

View Quote

You won't get nervous of the crowds if you hold your speech pages directly in front of your face and read straight from them.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:48:15 AM EDT
Remove "uh" from your vocabulary. Have someone use a shock collar if you have to.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:49:16 AM EDT
got any weird things going on?

facial tick?  hands in pockets?


Make a joke of it.  "See this eye twitching and making my eyelids blur?  It's a bionic implant I had installed last week.  I see faster than anyone."

You'll have to practice a bit in front of people who will point out these types of things.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:49:35 AM EDT
Breathe normally
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:50:02 AM EDT
Just know that YOU are the subject matter expert.  
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:50:18 AM EDT
+1000 on "don't read the slides to the audience."

Be confident - you're the expert*.

*To be "the expert" you don't have to know more than anyone else in the world, just more than anyone else in the room.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:50:43 AM EDT
Loosen up at the hotel bar right before you take stage.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:52:23 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gripy:
If you mispronounce something, but you're pretty close, then just keep going. Don't go back and try to fix it.

If using power point don't just read the slides.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gripy:
If you mispronounce something, but you're pretty close, then just keep going. Don't go back and try to fix it.

If using power point don't just read the slides.


I've actually set up my slides to only have a few words each, no big walls of text at all.  I'll have lots of interesting pictures and diagrams related to the subject, all the discussion will be either ad lib or on the notes of the slides for me to read.  I've never done a big fancy event before, so I normally just ad lib and say what feels right.  I don't think that's appropriate at this one.



Originally Posted By ByNameRequest:
You won't get nervous of the crowds if you hold your speech pages directly in front of your face and read straight from them.


Lol.  No.


Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:53:07 AM EDT
Just have fun with it.  Tell a little technical joke at the beginning, be a little self-deprecating and funny, once you hear them laugh you'll feel great.

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:53:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2015 1:17:42 AM EDT by crashburnrepeat]
rehearse rehearse rehearse.

I speak frequently in public, and also give tech presentations a lot.


start small with yourself, OUT LOUD. Not in your head. Spoken language flows differently than internal dialog.
Then practice with a couple people.  wife, kid
then some coworkers and a smaller group

by the third time through you'll be pretty smooth at it, and you'll also get a feeling for how it flows and what the stumbling points are for you.

.  There's a guy named Peter Cohen or Cohan that wrote a book about stunningly awful demos. He has a lot of good tips. I'll summarize:


1: break your presentation down to 2-3 main messages.  Think plank speech for a politician
2: Begin with a short summary of what you are going to show or explain.. Give the audience a chance to internalize that
3: Do the demo/Presentation.  
4: Summarize what you said you would show/tell and then what you did show/tell



general tips:

1 - speak s l o w.  Like glacially slow.  Nerves will speed you up, and when you are fighting to stay slow, you'll be about right.  Nerves tend to crank up your speed and you'll be yammering like a chipmunk.  So SLOW DOWN. Nice and easy.
2 - do NOT do an engineering "Wall-o-text" slide.  people hate when you just read stuff to them.   Use a single word or a few words, and then talk around it. To explain all the parts of an AR15, don't make a bullet list of the parts,  just have an image of the gun, or a single word describing your message: SIMPLE
then explain it.
3 - Use images, where you can. They must relate to the topic in some way. It binds the message
4- Move the slides along fast.  Try not to spend more than a minute per slide, image whatever.
5 - Tell Stories. Do not just communicate data, wrap it in a story. Humans are story tellers and listeners. It helps them relate to a topic
6 - Humor. This is hard. Some people are funny, some are not. Most technical people think they are funny, when they are not. Just accept it. If you can use humor, do it. It's endearing and like stories, helps people relate to what's going on.  If you have never been told "you're funny" by someone that's not a wife or a kid, reconsider.  If you weren't voted class clown, or when you tell jokes, people look at you weird,  then play it straight.  It's hard to gauge you here. As I said, about 95% of people who identify as funny, are about as funny as a hemorrhoid, if you are not sure, you probably aren't.  And so take it easy  on the humor, just go for endearing and friendly and helpful. Eager Boy Scout vibe
7 - Use silence.  You don't always have to be talking.  Ask a question, and the wait. Let them wonder. Let them process.   Maybe start a discussion or ask a question. Audience involvement helps a TON with engagement
8 - no filler words. When you feel an "um", "uh", "ah" coming on, just silence.  Just stop.   Pick up your train of thought and go on.




most of all, just do several dry runs and you'll be fine.

Last: Be real. Be OK with telling people you're nervous.  They'll side with you. Be human and open and short of shitting your pants on stage, almost nothing can go wrong.


Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:54:55 AM EDT
You are presenting / speaking to a good friend.  Only that friend. He or she is interested and wants to hear what you have to say.

That's the advice I was given about speaking to a large group and it works for me.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:55:03 AM EDT
Don't use the phrases, "um," or 'you know." When asked a question or while changing topics/thoughts, it is OK to pause and have silence for a second. These filter words are used in everyday speech, but have no place in formal speaking. Start eliminating them now.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 12:57:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2015 12:59:57 AM EDT by MadMackintosh]
I've done a lot of teaching in my local church - kids, youth, adults.
I've done a lot of talking to strangers in a foreign land many, many years ago.
I currently conduct mandatory training every month at work, for my dep't staff that would rather be somewhere else.
I conduct a couple hours worth of mandatory training for all the staff every year, who would really, really rather be somewhere else.
Here's what I've learned:

Keep your powerpoint slides to 5 items per page or less.
I avoid the animated crap - it drags on and slows the flow.
Bullet points should hit the highlights.
Keep it simple (as far as possible)
Keep it moving along.
Have a handout for details and stuff that will need to be referred to later on.
Like said above, DO NOT just read your bullet points. They do that while you're presenting.
Find ways to include your sense of humor - so far as it is publicly appropriate in that setting.
I'm an RN who works in Law Enforcement - my kind of work humor doesn't work in church talks or at the dinner table with the relatives.

Above all, be yourself and KNOW YOUR MATERIAL, the two key points to being relaxed,
which is the most important thing to be successful.

Hope that helps.

ETA: what crashburnrepeat said above
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:01:16 AM EDT
Practice. Give the whole speech a few times, either by yourself, or in front of your SO. The presentation will be more fluid because you'll be more familiar with the subject matter; more importantly, knowing you've prepared as best you can will relieve a lot of the stress.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:14:37 AM EDT
Google a book called "I can see you naked..."

Read that twice -

Know your content in the presentation absolutely cold cold cold...  If it is on that slide, you know it, all about it, can answer any question that might come up about it, etc.

If it is anywhere in any slide of the presentation, know it cold and speak with confidence when they ask.  They will ask... If you can't speak to any detail in any of the slides then remove it!!!

Ted talks are 18 minutes for a reason -  Know why...

Film yourself in private giving the presentation and pay attention to the hand gestures, the "ummm" and "you know" - Stop putting the hands in the pockets, clicking of the pen, clicking of the dry erase cap on and off the marker, etc.  Do this filming several times and watch your gestures and notice after 3 - 4 films how you will remove a number of these issues from your speech/presentation.

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:18:46 AM EDT
Never overestimate you audience.

They will be too dumb to understand you, and you will be nervous about them for no reason.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:22:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2015 1:23:02 AM EDT by midcap]
Make sure you aren't talking after lunch if possible. Everyone will be dozing off.

I found that the more I rehearsed the better I became. Another thing is try and think of the most ridiculous question you could be asked. Because someone will ask it.

Also, don't read off the slide.

Good Luck with your presentation.

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:26:28 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By JPComanche:
Just know that YOU are the subject matter expert.  
View Quote


Bingo!  You know your shit now act like it!

Make eye contact for a few seconds with individuals throughout and own the place. I love presenting.

Speak, act, walk like the expert you are. And be receptive. Your confidence will carry you.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:30:20 AM EDT
You be you.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:30:30 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
rehearse rehearse rehearse.

I speak frequently in public, and also give tech presentations a lot.


start small with yourself, OUT LOUD. Not in your head. Spoken language flows differently than internal dialog.
Then practice with a couple people.  wife, kid
then some coworkers and a smaller group

by the third time through you'll be pretty smooth at it, and you'll also get a feeling for how it flows and what the stumbling points are for you.

.  There's a guy named Peter Cohen or Cohan that wrote a book about stunningly awful demos. He has a lot of good tips. I'll summarize:


1: break your presentation down to 2-3 main messages.  Think plank speech for a politician
2: Begin with a short summary of what you are going to show or explain.. Give the audience a chance to internalize that
3: Do the demo/Presentation.  
4: Summarize what you said you would show/tell and then what you did show/tell



general tips:

1 - speak s l o w.  Like glacially slow.  Nerves will speed you up, and when you are fighting to stay slow, you'll be about right.  Nerves tend to crank up your speed and you'll be yammering like a chipmunk.  So SLOW DOWN. Nice and easy.
2 - do NOT do an engineering "Wall-o-text" slide.  people hate when you just read stuff to them.   Use a single word or a few words, and then talk around it. To explain all the parts of an AR15, don't make a bullet list of the parts,  just have an image of the gun, or a single word describing your message: SIMPLE
then explain it.
3 - Use images, where you can. They must relate to the topic in some way. It binds the message
4- Move the slides along fast.  Try not to spend more than a minute per slide, image whatever.
5 - Tell Stories. Do not just communicate data, wrap it in a story. Humans are story tellers and listeners. It helps them relate to a topic
6 - Humor. This is hard. Some people are funny, some are not. Most technical people think they are funny, when they are not. Just accept it. If you can use humor, do it. It's endearing and like stories, helps people relate to what's going on.  If you have never been told "you're funny" by someone that's not a wife or a kid, reconsider.  If you weren't voted class clown, or when you tell jokes, people look at you weird,  then play it straight.  It's hard to gauge you here. As I said, about 95% of people who identify as funny, are about as funny as a hemorrhoid, if you are not sure, you probably aren't.  And so take it easy  on the humor, just go for endearing and friendly and helpful. Eager Boy Scout vibe
7 - Use silence.  You don't always have to be talking.  Ask a question, and the wait. Let them wonder. Let them process.   Maybe start a discussion or ask a question. Audience involvement helps a TON with engagement
8 - no filler words. When you feel an "um", "uh", "ah" coming on, just silence.  Just stop.   Pick up your train of thought and go on.




most of all, just do several dry runs and you'll be fine.

Last: Be real. Be OK with telling people you're nervous.  They'll side with you. Be human and open and short of shitting your pants on stage, almost nothing can go wrong.


View Quote


I applaud you sir. That is excellent advice and summation.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:38:41 AM EDT
When you know your material inside and out it is easier to talk about.

When I start struggling is when I am winging it.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:40:23 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gripy:
If you mispronounce something, but you're pretty close, then just keep going. Don't go back and try to fix it.

If using power point don't just read the slides.
View Quote

You can also use mispronunciation and mistakes to your advantage. Be ready to laugh at yourself. A good screw up, followed by a laugh and a brief and humorous explanation puts an audience at ease and forms a "relationship" with the speaker. Half of them are thinking about how terrified they'd be if they had to stand up there and make that presentation.

Look people in the eye. Pick people in the audience and talk to them. React to his body language. If he's nodding his head 'yes' while you explain a complex concept,you know that you're reaching somebody. You can also use him to stop the presentation and make sure everyone else understands. Say something like, "Okay, I know that guy understood me, is everyone else following?" Wait for them. Give them time to respond. The person who wants to ask a question may also be afraid of seeming like the idiot in the room. Sometimes they want you to call on them and you have to read their body language to see that they're having trouble with the concepts.

If everyone nods and relaxes to show that they understand, have a little more fun with them.

"Okay, who's good at calculus?"

If they're all good at calculus, substitute some other intractable problem that's obviously a joke.

Involve members of the audience if you can. If you have to discuss a subject and someone else in the room is an acknowledged expert, ask him to explain it to the group. It shows that you respect your peers and it changes the voice of the presentation. Be ready to do a little Q and A with the guy so that you get the information presented the way you want. It's even better if you tell this person that you're going to ask for his participation beforehand. Tell him why you're doing it, too. Then you can work out the situation so that both of you look good. It also gives you a break from talking so you can catch your breath and and relax.

Have fun. Anybody can bore the group until they fall asleep. Involve them and get them to smile.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:40:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:43:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2015 1:43:54 AM EDT by FlyNavy75]
Couple things, one of which won't help you now.

1) Practice makes perfect. It takes a lot of doing it to get comfortable.

2) know your material cold. Practice, research, etc.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:52:54 AM EDT
Prepare yourself a basic, bullet point script.

You know the material so, use this for prompts.

Do NOT read from your own powerpoint.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:53:40 AM EDT
Watch similar talks on YouTube. Emulate the good ones.

You're welcome.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 1:59:06 AM EDT
My God man do this right here.

At some point years ago I just lost my fear of public speaking.  I guess after you've done a lot of presentations, speeches, conference speaking, training, and begging mercy for your latest cockamamie scheme before boards of directors you just finally realize that you never died, you never panicked and ran, and you never fell off the stage of knocked down the lecturn!

That's a great point in your professional career because when the fear is replaced with confidence you get to have a little fun and that makes even the more stolid types much better speakers.

My tricks (the hairline thing isn't mine.  Got it from a speech professor many many moons ago):  when you scan the audience or stare down talkers, look at people's hairlines.  They all think you are making eye contact with the person right behind the. But they know you're paying attention and not afraid to be constantly gauging the mood, attentiveness, and responsiveness of the crowd.  Those things are critical to monitor because it will make your speaking much more dynamic.  Instead of relying on "tell funny data center in Denver joke" notes on your pad, cards, or prompter, you'll know when to push them in for maximum affect.  

If you have the time, scan the crowd.  Checkout the mood, make not of important groups, individuals, or VIP's.  I've had more than a few speeches and/or presentations completely changed or rearranged to appeal to a previously unknown dynamic in the crowd.  Make note of the time.  Are you before lunch when everyone's hungry and not looking forward to some damned presentation?  Are you right after lunch when people are a little food tired and still finishing texts and emails?  Is it the end of the day and they just want to go home?  Recognizing those things and acknowledging them with a "since I can hear stomachs growling and I'm about to pass out from low sugar,  I'm going to keep this one shorter so we can hit the deli" or a change of pace by going shorter or longer will endear you to most crowds.

Everyone in that room is yours to own and making a reputation as a good speaker with confidence will pay dividends professionally.  People remember the good ones.  Sometimes they are the people that can double your salary or offer you a chance at a new investment of startup.


Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AnticitizenOne:
Remove "uh" from your vocabulary. Have someone use a shock collar if you have to.
View Quote



Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 2:08:21 AM EDT
don't think of it as a performance.  instead, think of it as giving information to people who want to have it.  another way to say this is that the star of the show is the information, not you.  most of the time, if you get out of your own way, the information will present itself.

memorize the sequence, not the words.  good presenters always know what they're going to talk about next, but they don't necessarily have the exact wording memorized.  in fact, rote presentations are usually the most boring and tedious.  

if you're using PPT, don't data vomit, and avoid texty slides.  research has shown that most people can only retain 3 basic ideas from a presentation slide.  so everything on the slide has to be there for a reason.  the advantage of slides is that they allow the audience to visualize and distill what you are saying.  if anything on the slide doesn't help them visualize or distill, it will be distracting and unhelpful.  personally, i use slides the same way i use figures in a paper--to reinforce points, not to make them.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 2:34:41 AM EDT
You said Engineering Conference. Twenty minute presentation.
When they are seated, have a helper walk around with a big clear plastic tote.
Have them put their cell phones in it. Put it on next to your podium.
Then say," Do i have your attention."
When the cell phones start blinking, beeping or playing a Buck Cherry song
take the tote outside of the conference room.

Then say, "You are engineers, pay attention!"




Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:02:27 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gripy:
If you mispronounce something, but you're pretty close, then just keep going. Don't go back and try to fix it.

If using power point don't just read the slides.
View Quote



thats pretty good advice.

Know your slides..Talk about them and don't just stand their and recite the bullet points that you have on them..at the same time keep your points direct and succinct.

Try to avoid having "cluttered" slides also.  Almost everyone that presents at our meetings tries to put as much information on their slides as possible.  What ends up happening is that there are slides filled with images to small for the audience to make any sense of, and blocks of data with text too small for the audience to see.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:07:17 AM EDT
Try to talk with your hands a little bit. It'll make it feel more personal and you won't look terrified.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:11:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2015 3:12:45 AM EDT by mdk89]
Can someone explain why most people are afraid of public speaking? Where does the fear come from

for me, in church, business, and college, it's always just been a fun distraction to speak in front of others. Sometimes for a few days straight to train hires. Not any more fear than talking to a pile of stuffed animals
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:14:01 AM EDT
Get as many public speaking moments in before the presentation as you can.  Maybe book yourself in a stand-up-comic place to build confidence.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:21:56 AM EDT
Don't be too much of an engineer like I was during a presentation:  slide preso to top management on a very complex test set up (hoses, wires, instrumentation, etc., hanging everywhere with the test vehicle barely visible somewhere underneath.  When my test set up slide came up I glanced at it and noticed that it was backwards, like a negative, and being the engineer, I made sure to point that out to my audience.

Afterwards my boss asked me if that was a joke; if I had put the slide in backwards on purpose or if it was actually correct and I just said it was backwards to be funny...since even he couldn't tell if it was/wasn't.

And if you're wondering how you get a PowerPoint slide backwards, this was back in the day of actual transparencies manually placed on/off an overhead projector.

Engineer joke:  Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?"

The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

The second engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:24:05 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mdk89:
Can someone explain why most people are afraid of public speaking? Where does the fear come from

for me, in church, business, and college, it's always just been a fun distraction to speak in front of others. Sometimes for a few days straight to train hires. Not any more fear than talking to a pile of stuffed animals
View Quote

Fear of making an ass of yourself is one of the most important motivations in humanity.

Alcohol is important, too. There's a reason why you have to hold my beer before you can watch this.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:25:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2015 3:28:04 AM EDT by mdk89]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sigp226:

Fear of making an ass of yourself is one of the most important motivations in humanity.

Alcohol is important, too. There's a reason why you have to hold my beer before you can watch this.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sigp226:
Originally Posted By mdk89:
Can someone explain why most people are afraid of public speaking? Where does the fear come from

for me, in church, business, and college, it's always just been a fun distraction to speak in front of others. Sometimes for a few days straight to train hires. Not any more fear than talking to a pile of stuffed animals

Fear of making an ass of yourself is one of the most important motivations in humanity.

Alcohol is important, too. There's a reason why you have to hold my beer before you can watch this.


But the fear itself is what causes you to make an ass out of yourself. This the root of all aspergers/socially awkward/teen social issues = too much esteem for others sensibilities and thoughts. People naturally exercise power over you if you give it to them. But people naturally submit if you show power over them in a public speaking role.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:33:27 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mdk89:
Can someone explain why most people are afraid of public speaking? Where does the fear come from

for me, in church, business, and college, it's always just been a fun distraction to speak in front of others. Sometimes for a few days straight to train hires. Not any more fear than talking to a pile of stuffed animals
View Quote


you are the first one i've ever heard say they enjoy public speaking.

i can't stand public speaking.

a large part of it for me is that I get nervous in larger groups of people.

i also really don't enjoy interacting with most people, so there is that also
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:40:10 AM EDT
Try to remain natural.

Get rid of the uhhs and umms.

Also, PRACTICE and RECORD yourself. You're going t feel like an ass, but this will pay some serious dividends. You'll pick up on things you say and do that you wouldn't normally recognize. Also have someone else watch and listen and make critiques.

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:46:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2015 3:46:59 AM EDT by mdk89]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Impavido:
Try to remain natural.

Get rid of the uhhs and umms.

Also, PRACTICE and RECORD yourself. You're going t feel like an ass, but this will pay some serious dividends. You'll pick up on things you say and do that you wouldn't normally recognize. Also have someone else watch and listen and make critiques.

View Quote




Uhhmmmmm To Be Clear, ummmmmmmmmm, umm to be clear.... The american people........... to be clear...... UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM... GREAT NATION......... Uhmmmmmm..... Assad is a brutal dictator who kills his own people.... to be clear, so ummmm,,, we need to kill more of them,.... to be clear, because of ummmmm republicans in congress
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 3:54:37 AM EDT
Don't eliminate the use of "um's" and pauses.   More recent public speaking books indicate that exaggerated use of them helps to better relate to the audience and raises understanding of technical content.   Going back-and-forth at a good brisk pace can also help lessen the physiological stress associated with public speaking.  Also consider having some soft music playing in the background to help raise audience attention levels.   I've found that a good Celine Dion or Barbara Streisand album works best.  

Just as important is for you to feel comfortable.  Dress comfortably and in a manner that is never a level above the attendees. A nice pair of jogging pants is my "go to" for a professional working conference.  Lastly, don't neglect the value of preparation.  Always have a good upper body "pump" right prior to delivery and I strongly recommend a dose of Viagra about 4 hours prior.  This,  plus the jogging pants, really help me connect with the audience.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 4:25:14 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 4:41:13 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Big_Rig_416:
Don't use the phrases, "um," or 'you know." When asked a question or while changing topics/thoughts, it is OK to pause and have silence for a second. These filter words are used in everyday speech, but have no place in formal speaking. Start eliminating them now.
View Quote


Sooo, what you are saying...

I've noticed that a lot of people start every sentence with "soooo" even when it isn't really applicable...which is almost always.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 4:42:34 AM EDT
look them square in the eye and finish?
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 5:17:29 AM EDT
Ummmm, Like & Ya know are forbidden with the exception of something along the Lines of "I like Root Beer."
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 5:22:02 AM EDT
Practice your presentation.
Show a sense of humor if you have one.
Get the participants involved somehow.
Don't read the PPT slides....paraphrase them and know your material.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 5:54:28 AM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:


rehearse rehearse rehearse.



I speak frequently in public, and also give tech presentations a lot.





start small with yourself, OUT LOUD. Not in your head. Spoken language flows differently than internal dialog.

Then practice with a couple people.  wife, kid

then some coworkers and a smaller group



by the third time through you'll be pretty smooth at it, and you'll also get a feeling for how it flows and what the stumbling points are for you.



.  There's a guy named Peter Cohen or Cohan that wrote a book about stunningly awful demos. He has a lot of good tips. I'll summarize:





1: break your presentation down to 2-3 main messages.  Think plank speech for a politician

2: Begin with a short summary of what you are going to show or explain.. Give the audience a chance to internalize that

3: Do the demo/Presentation.  

4: Summarize what you said you would show/tell and then what you did show/tell
general tips:



1 - speak s l o w.  Like glacially slow.  Nerves will speed you up, and when you are fighting to stay slow, you'll be about right.  Nerves tend to crank up your speed and you'll be yammering like a chipmunk.  So SLOW DOWN. Nice and easy.

2 - do NOT do an engineering "Wall-o-text" slide.  people hate when you just read stuff to them.   Use a single word or a few words, and then talk around it. To explain all the parts of an AR15, don't make a bullet list of the parts,  just have an image of the gun, or a single word describing your message: SIMPLE

then explain it.

3 - Use images, where you can. They must relate to the topic in some way. It binds the message

4- Move the slides along fast.  Try not to spend more than a minute per slide, image whatever.

5 - Tell Stories. Do not just communicate data, wrap it in a story. Humans are story tellers and listeners. It helps them relate to a topic

6 - Humor. This is hard. Some people are funny, some are not. Most technical people think they are funny, when they are not. Just accept it. If you can use humor, do it. It's endearing and like stories, helps people relate to what's going on.  If you have never been told "you're funny" by someone that's not a wife or a kid, reconsider.  If you weren't voted class clown, or when you tell jokes, people look at you weird,  then play it straight.  It's hard to gauge you here. As I said, about 95% of people who identify as funny, are about as funny as a hemorrhoid, if you are not sure, you probably aren't.  And so take it easy  on the humor, just go for endearing and friendly and helpful. Eager Boy Scout vibe

7 - Use silence.  You don't always have to be talking.  Ask a question, and the wait. Let them wonder. Let them process.   Maybe start a discussion or ask a question. Audience involvement helps a TON with engagement

8 - no filler words. When you feel an "um", "uh", "ah" coming on, just silence.  Just stop.   Pick up your train of thought and go on.


most of all, just do several dry runs and you'll be fine.



Last: Be real. Be OK with telling people you're nervous.  They'll side with you. Be human and open and short of shitting your pants on stage, almost nothing can go wrong.





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This, this, this.



 
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 6:00:36 AM EDT
Have a couple pre-speech cocktails.
Link Posted: 9/4/2015 6:05:03 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By glocke12:


you are the first one i've ever heard say they enjoy public speaking.

i can't stand public speaking.

a large part of it for me is that I get nervous in larger groups of people.

i also really don't enjoy interacting with most people, so there is that also
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Originally Posted By glocke12:
Originally Posted By mdk89:
Can someone explain why most people are afraid of public speaking? Where does the fear come from

for me, in church, business, and college, it's always just been a fun distraction to speak in front of others. Sometimes for a few days straight to train hires. Not any more fear than talking to a pile of stuffed animals


you are the first one i've ever heard say they enjoy public speaking.

i can't stand public speaking.

a large part of it for me is that I get nervous in larger groups of people.

i also really don't enjoy interacting with most people, so there is that also


I tend toward introversion, but public speaking doesn't really bother me.  I don't do it a lot, but it isn't some huge deal.  Speak, answer some questions, sit down.  Done.  

Link Posted: 9/4/2015 6:10:41 AM EDT
A tip one of my mentors gave me was: "Imagine giving your presentation in your underwear."

Or something like that.
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