Anyone have public speaking tips?

by 39 replies
Hi,

I am going to speak in a seminar in Los Angeles this month...
and I would like to know if you guys know of any GOOD
public speaking tips?

It's a 25 minute speech about how to start an info product ebook business.

thanks
BJ
#main internet marketing discussion forum #public #speaking #tips
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
    Have a TON OF FUN!
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexPK
    First work out your main points and it gives you an estimate of how to spread them throughout 25 minutes.

    Know what you want to say as your main ending point. Include a call to action. Check this is appropriate and relevant for the type of audience you are speaking to.

    Create a summary of the main theme which the main points in the speech lead up to this ending.

    Go through the technical pointers for each main point and write those out.

    Practice without writing an intro as yet. Feel how you flow and the time it takes you. Input places of light humor where it may get a bit technical so attention may drop off and keep the flow upbeat.

    Once you're happy with most of the flow, how much time do you have to go through your attention grabbing, benefits laden introduction which you start writing now.

    A general structure is

    Intro: Where you indicate what you are going to talk about.

    Body: Main points where you talk about these things.

    End: Indicate what you've told them and how it wraps up together to a call to action for more.
  • Profile picture of the author Dave777
  • Profile picture of the author Norma Holt
    As one used to public speaking over my lifetime the greatest tip I can give you is to know your subject backwards. Talk off the cuff rather than read from notes and be prepared for interruptions. If someone asks you a question or makes a comment while you are talking you must know where to pick up from and go again. You must speak with a loud clear voice and deliver your talk SLOWLY. Don't race as though you have only a few minutes. The deliverance is more important than the timing.

    As already noted have fun, relax your audience and let us know how you go.

    God bless

    Norma
    • Profile picture of the author Jillian Slack
      Make two versions of your presentation:

      1. An outline with bullet points

      2. A script (based on the outline with bullet points)

      Hire an editor to go through your script to correct any errors in grammar, sentence structure, etc.

      There's nothing that can kill your credibility like standing before a crowd, looking sharp, looking professional, having the credentials to really know yourself, and then opening your mouth to speak with terrible grammar. Makes you sound like an idiot. Sorry, but it's true.

      Practice your presentation several times with the script to make sure you've got it all down.

      Then practice it a few times with the outline.

      When it's time to present, use the outline. Don't use the script.

      You'll appear more confident to the crowd if you glance at your outline once in a while to prompt yourself on what's next. Compare that to someone who simply reads their entire script to the audience. BORING! Plus, if you're reading from your script, then look out at the crowd, then look back at the script, you've probably just lost your place. It's much more difficult to find your place in a script than it is to find your place on an outline.

      Good luck and have fun!
  • Profile picture of the author raynman
    I absolutely LOVE speaking in public. It isn't for everyone, especially those who think about what they are doing too much.

    I am prone to tangents and winging it (which usually works for me) but I try and force myself to use power point. That forces me to more or less stay on track.

    I do two things running in my head concerning speaking:
    1) these are friends that I am talking to and I need to be that comfortable and relaxed. if you are tense, everyone else is tense as well. if you are comfortable and having fun with it then they will as well. You have to trick yourself into that mindset. I don't know how to tell you to do it. You have to figure that one out. Just try to be natural (but only with a better/louder speaking voice).

    2) The speech is a journey. Know where you are starting from and where you want to arrive and pick a couple points to go to along the way that will make the trip better all the way around. The whole thing has to flow and envisioning a journey is the best thing I can think of when you are planning it out.

    Now when you are planning it out, make sure you know your......stuff. If you really know your subject matter filling in the gaps will come easy on your journey. It will also help you if there is any Q&A afterward.

    If you use powerpoint, use it sparingly. Don't try to put too much in your presentation. Each slide that you have needs to only have the bare bones in it. Have key phrases and points in them. Only have the points that you really want them to go home with but make sure that it is enough that you keep their interest.

    Also, don't let your presentation be a distraction from what you are trying to say. If you aren't used to doing powerpoints, you are tempted to fill it up with flashy stuff and all these cool effects. It isn't a toy, it's a tool. Do you want the people to be impressed with your knowledge or ability to put together a really fancy schmancy powerpoint presentation? You'll get more gigs if you are known for your speaking ability. Make yourself the focal point, not the screen.

    One thing I like having as well is some kind of hand out. Put something in their hands to follow along with. Make them go back from the handout to the screen and then to you but don't make it so all they have to do is read the handout. I like having fill-in-the-blank stuff on the handout to get them a bit more involved.

    There's probably a lot more stuff that goes into it for other people but for me that's about it. Hope it helps.
  • Profile picture of the author morwanneg
    Be yourself, have fun, and be confident. Most importantly, do not sound monotonous or you'll bore your audience.
  • Profile picture of the author mikemcmillan
    First, good luck and have fun BJ!

    I did many live seminars over the years and here are some things that come to mind. I'm not suggesting you aren't aware of this stuff, but if it helps--well, good.

    One of the hardest things is getting from your seat or back-stage up to the podium. Think about politics. Ever notice how all presidents, when walking from point A to point B always wave to the crowd, point to an individual or two and smile or wave to them. That's all a scam, but doing that breaks up your walk and makes the audience feel like you're connected to some of people there. Just a thought.

    Okay, think of a musical score. If you look at the music you see notes; think of them as words in your speech. But each note, in addition to assigning a tone--also carries with it info to indicate duration. The music is then composed of tones and pauses.

    Too many speakers try to squeeze their words (notes) too close together to give out too much info too fast. If you took a musical score and left the notes unchanged, but changed the pauses between them--you change the metre and interpretation of the composition. Well placed pauses in your speaking help to reinforce the words before and after them.

    Speaking to a group is also kind of like feeding them a pizza. Don't try to feed them the whole thing in one big bite. Think of breaking your speech into bite-sized pieces that are easily digestible by your listeners.

    Vary the inflection of your tone and speed of speaking. Even if you have a thousand people there, look into the eyes of individuals as you speak rather than looking down or off into the distance.

    Biggest thing: Watch out for using "uh" when you pause between phrases. It can really be distracting. A lot of speakers use sloppy English as well. They say "gunna" instead of "going to". They say "ya" for "you". They say "wanna" instead of "want to". Dropping the hard "g" from verbs (saying doin instead of doing, sayin instead of saying, etc.) is also sloppy.

    One other technique that is powerful and often used is to select one of your key points and repeat it over and over in succession to emphasize it to your listeners. A great example can be found in Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech in Washington DC in 1963.

    "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up...

    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia...

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi...

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day...

    I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama...

    I have a dream that one day every valley shall...

    I have a dream today!"

    This isn't a political discourse, I just wanted to exemplify the power of this technique. It is used effectively by many politicians and public speakers in general. Okay, sorry about the length of this thingie--but best wishes BJ. Let us know how you do!
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    • Profile picture of the author chand
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    • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
      Originally Posted by mikemcmillan View Post

      First, good luck and have fun BJ!

      I did many live seminars over the years and here are some things that come to mind. I'm not suggesting you aren't aware of this stuff, but if it helps--well, good.

      One of the hardest things is getting from your seat or back-stage up to the podium. Think about politics. Ever notice how all presidents, when walking from point A to point B always wave to the crowd, point to an individual or two and smile or wave to them. That's all a scam, but doing that breaks up your walk and makes the audience feel like you're connected to some of people there. Just a thought.

      Okay, think of a musical score. If you look at the music you see notes; think of them as words in your speech. But each note, in addition to assigning a tone--also carries with it info to indicate duration. The music is then composed of tones and pauses.

      Too many speakers try to squeeze their words (notes) too close together to give out too much info too fast. If you took a musical score and left the notes unchanged, but changed the pauses between them--you change the metre and interpretation of the composition. Well placed pauses in your speaking help to reinforce the words before and after them.

      Speaking to a group is also kind of like feeding them a pizza. Don't try to feed them the whole thing in one big bite. Think of breaking your speech into bite-sized pieces that are easily digestible by your listeners.

      Vary the inflection of your tone and speed of speaking. Even if you have a thousand people there, look into the eyes of individuals as you speak rather than looking down or off into the distance.

      Biggest thing: Watch out for using "uh" when you pause between phrases. It can really be distracting. A lot of speakers use sloppy English as well. They say "gunna" instead of "going to". They say "ya" for "you". They say "wanna" instead of "want to". Dropping the hard "g" from verbs (saying doin instead of doing, sayin instead of saying, etc.) is also sloppy.

      One other technique that is powerful and often used is to select one of your key points and repeat it over and over in succession to emphasize it to your listeners. A great example can be found in Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech in Washington DC in 1963.

      "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up...

      I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia...

      I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi...

      I have a dream that my four little children will one day...

      I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama...

      I have a dream that one day every valley shall...

      I have a dream today!"

      This isn't a political discourse, I just wanted to exemplify the power of this technique. It is used effectively by many politicians and public speakers in general. Okay, sorry about the length of this thingie--but best wishes BJ. Let us know how you do!
      This is a great example of the technique of repetition Mike is talking about. One of the bests speeches ever, download the audio and listen to it:


      BBC - History - Audio: Churchill and World War Two
  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Cross Brown
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
      Originally Posted by Mr. Cross Brown View Post

      Take a deep breath before coming onto the podium.

      Speak as if you are addressing a person.

      Speak as if you are the wisest man in the room.

      Be moderate in everything you do in the room - dont over-gesticulate; dont be emotional.



      Mr. Cross
      Don't listen to everybody!

      Being the voice of authority may be useful but can get you into deep doodoo too. If you go on with the attitude of, 'I know best, I'm going to teach these dimwits a thing or two about e-books. I'm such an expert' then be prepared for a fall. Having an unnecessarily high opinion of yourself will not endear you to your audience. Build rapport, not a barrier.

      Be moderate in everything you do in the room - dont over-gesticulate; dont be emotional.
      Oh, for goodness sake. That's a lesson in how to be boring and send your audience to sleep. You're on stage, be yourself and enjoy it. If that means jumping around, waving your arms about and crying - do it. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but you'll enjoy yourself more and you'll be remembered.

      Saw this great tip: Don’t think How can I survive this, think How can I do this brilliantly?

      Most importantly - Have Fun!!!!!

      Peter
  • Profile picture of the author Danny Turner
  • Profile picture of the author Li Weng
    Remember to project your voice.

    Don't speak too fast and use pauses.

    I tend to use a lot of gestures, which I find helpful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Woodside
    Know your subject and don't be over confident. You must have butterflies before you go on stage. If you don't have any apprehension about going on stage just before you do, then you will probably fail. Over confidence is the kiss of death! Talk to that audience the same way you would talk to me if you and I were in your office with nobody around. Do that and you'll kick ass!
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      1. Most people, when they first start speaking, talk way too fast. You should feel like you're talking just a bit slower than normal. Of course, if you catch the spirit, let it move you.

      2. Use the same hand gestures as you would when talking to someone one-on-one, but just a little bigger.

      3. Practice in front of a video camera, then watch the recording. You'll notice the points and words you stumble over, and you can either practice them or rewrite that bit to flow easier.

      4. Do NOT try to memorize your talk word for word. If you get distracted (think loud cough or sneeze in the audience, catering people moving around, questions or comments from the audience, etc.) and lose your place, or forget your lines, you're screwed.

      5. Don't be afraid to use memory aids. An index card with your outline is cool. No one will fault you for a quick glance to make sure you are on track. Even pros use cue cards.

      6. As JMo said, have fun with it. As the Toastmasters people say, you can't get rid of the butterflies, but you can sure teach them to fly in formation...
  • Profile picture of the author iw
    Hi Dj:

    Read your thread.

    I saw a couple of replies with Toastmasters and I thought that was a really good suggestion. However, I have a add on to that. If possible, borrow the manuals from a member of toastmasters to have a look. It shows you why and how stuffs and the manuals go from basis to advance level.

    Anyway, happy finding!
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  • Profile picture of the author Doug
    Hey BJ,

    Be transparent.

    In other words, don't be afraid to let your audience know you are human, prone to making mistakes - you didn't get invited to speak because you were born an expert. There are common failures we all make, share one or two of your mistakes made on the path to becoming an expert. Weave these into your presentation, people will relate...

    Also weave into the presentation 'actionable' steps the audience can put to use immediately. Keep these simple. Whether or not they follow your plan to start an ebook business, give them tools for moving themselves forward in business.

    One of the difficulties I have faced when speaking in public is losing my train of thought, my mind swims and it is here that I fail to do a good 'job' speaking. Even with a Power Point presentation I will still use note cards to keep myself focused. 1 card - 1 main point.

    Don't be afraid to let the audience know you are using the cards. In fact, as you turn to the next card say, "this next point is important" or something to that effect. This makes the listener feel special as they tell themselves you do not want to forget to share that particular subject - you are really just keeping yourself focused while the listener feels "cared for" and they don't really notice the card.

    Be sure to have a glass of water readily available.

    and

    Don't make listeners 'feel' stupid.

    but rather

    Be sure they enjoy themselves while listening. Have fun and they will too. Don't be afraid to be self-deprecating or maybe appropriately 'silly', allow the audience to identify with you while laughing. In other words, don't take yourself to seriously...

    Hope I offered some good ideas,
    Doug



    Originally Posted by BJ Min View Post

    Hi,

    I am going to speak in a seminar in Los Angeles this month...
    and I would like to know if you guys know of any GOOD
    public speaking tips?

    It's a 25 minute speech about how to start an info product ebook business.

    thanks
    BJ
  • Profile picture of the author markwinder
    WOW - some GREAT tips here by some experienced people, BJ. Great question!

    After reading through all these replies, I can't help but marvel at all the different approaches and, as I did, I was thinking, how can I bring my expertise and love of public speaking into this discussion to help you?

    Well - first and foremost - do yourself a favor and look through all the posts above (and more than likely below), and find one piece of advice that seems to fit best with your personality. You need to be comfortable - or at least as comfortable as possible - when you're up there. Worst case, PROJECT that image - ie fake it till you make it!

    A lot of people have a HUGE fear of public speaking. And the funny thing is - it really is no different than speaking to a group of friends. We just convince ourselves otherwise. So choose the advice that fits best with you.

    Also - like someone above said - KNOW your topic inside out and backwards. And in addition - and this is something I can't stress enough - practice your talk as many times as you can. Once you've said it a number of times in private, you don't have as much to worry about in public - you KNOW it. You know the length of it, and you know how the points flow into each other.

    Remember, practice might not make perfect - but practice does make permanent!

    Best of luck with the speech, BJ!

    - Mark.
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    BJ,

    First, don't give a speech, make a talk on your subject.

    Yes make note cards with the topics you want to cover in your presentation, but don't just read the cards.

    Write a word for word introduction for someone else to read and stress the importance of them reading it word for word.

    Have the introduction ask for questions to wait till the end of the presentation and will be answered if there is time, and you will stay until all questions are answered.

    It sounds like you are doing an information presentation, there is one important thing that an information presentation that is different from motivational or training sessions.

    An information presentation use the focus of giving an overview of your subject, you may want to make the statement in your opening that this is an overview of....

    Have fun, enjoy yourself, give a little bit of you to the presentation and you will find who are a match for you.

    Public speaking isn't really about speaking to the public as a whole, it is about expressing your genuine thoughts and beliefs on your subject.

    Mark
  • Profile picture of the author Norma Holt
    BJ, I would also like to say that a pause after a point of importance is essential so that it sinks in before you start on another point. Repeating such a point is also done so that it emphasizes it more.

    If you use ums and ahs in your normal speak then don't use them in public. It is a dead giveaway that you are just trying to fill in because you don't know your subject. I have tutored radio presenters on this very thing and the importance of it is paramount.

    Norma
  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    The best tip I can think of. DON'T DO IT!

    Just talk to your dog, he will love you no matter how you sound. :p

    Ken
    The Old Geezer


    P.S. Have Fun And Just Be Yourself. Bj, the way you grin they will love you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Eric Reed
    My best advice to you is, pick a spot in the back of the room and focus on it, that way, you appear to be looking at the audience.

    Don't worry about making mistakes, remember, only you know what you are going to say or did not say.

    And the most important advice of all is SMILE ...

    Eric
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  • Profile picture of the author superstarsmarketing
    Be who you are and present your topic with fun, excitement and give value..

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks,
    -Gaj
  • Profile picture of the author dalvia
    Hey BJ,

    You can do my free 7 day speaking course here:
    Public Speaking | Presentation Skills | Persuasive Speech Topics

    Hope this will give some good tips,

    Kind Regards,
    Dale

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