Category Archives: 1 Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

Practical strategies and tips to improve your professional public speaking and presentation skills in English.

Examples of Good Presenters and Public Speakers – Part 3


By David Rose – Director, LACS Training Brussels

Blog_Link Header Image v2_LACS Training Services

Quote_Presentations and Public Speaking

A Belgian ex-CEO turned teacher, an American professor of Speech and Britain’s ‘TV rock star of science’…

… An eclectic mix of presenters you’d expect to have different presentation styles, yes?

Yes, their individual styles naturally vary. But they all share a common set of deliberate techniques that help make them really engaging speakers. You don’t forget how they made you feel.

So, without taking up any more of your time, here they are! Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under 1 Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

Body Language: How It Shapes You


By David Rose – Director, LACS Training Brussels

Blog_Link Header Image v2_LACS Training Services

1 Body Language

A recent quote from Harvard University’s Ann Cuddy nicely summarises the effect our body language has on our audience during our presentations and public speaking:

Body language - Quote by Anne Cuddy, Harvard University

This point is further cemented by a quick look at today’s much-studied, media-driven political field:

Body Language - quote by B.Todorov, Princetown University

Is your body language an asset or enemy? Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under 1 Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

Voicing: 4 Tips for Better Public Speaking


By David Rose, Director LACS Training Brussels

Blog_Link Header Image v2_LACS Training Services

 

How your voice engages or loses your audienceConsistently effective public speakers have, together with a range of other skills, a voice that helps engage, inform and influence their audiences.

Question: Which three ‘voice ingredients’ do they all use?

Answer: Pausing, variation and projection

So, let’s have a look at the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of each of these in turn:

Speed and pausing in public speaking and presentations

 

 

Caution: Most speakers’ commonest mistake is not pausing regularly and systematically, especially in the crucial first minute when their adrenaline-fuelled nerves are at their highest.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under 1 Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

How to Deal with Nerves in Presentations and Public Speaking


By David Rose, Director LACS Training Brussels

 

Link to LACS Training Services

 

Quote about nerves in presentations and public speaking

Presenting or speaking in public – as you will likely have experienced – makes people nervous… In fact, it’s one of the commonest social fears.

1. Why do we get nervous?

When we are faced with a dangerous or difficult situation our body’s automatic “fight or flight” response kicks in, pumping adrenaline into our bloodstream.

In its most extreme form, it produces a condition psychologists term ‘glossophobia’ – where the sufferer literally freezes and can’t speak.

For most of us, it’s thankfully not so severe. We just get any combination of the more typical, ‘milder’ symptoms:

2. How does it affect our performance?

Here, we need to consider three key questions:

A) When does your audience judge you – deciding you’re a ‘good’ presenter with an interesting message for them (so you’ve got their attention)… or vice-versa (so they switch off)?

Answer: in about the first ten to thirty seconds

B) When do nerves affect us the strongest?

Answer: in about the first thirty seconds

C) How often do speakers recover after a ‘nervy’ start and fully recapture the audience’s attention?

Answer: very rarely, if ever

So, we have a crucial coincidence of the peak of a speaker’s nerves and ‘instant’ audience judgment together with the fact that if you don’t start well, you’ve lost an ‘ideal’ level of audience interest and impact you will most likely never fully recover.

With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that after your presentation or speech you might feel like…

… you’ve underperformed…

…not kept the audience’s attention as you wanted…

…not had the impact you hoped for… Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under 1 Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

Presentations: Tips for Effective PowerPoint Design


Do your PowerPoint slides help engage your audience…or just switch them off?

By David Rose, Director LACS Training Brussels

 

Link to LACS Training Services

 

I came across a really pertinent quote recently that summed up my experience of sitting through lots of presentations…

How does this connect with your experience? Have you ‘suffered’ PowerPoint presentations over the years where your attention simply started to fade after a few minutes?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a rare occurrence. But why does it happen?

As I’m sure you’re aware, there are a wide range of specific skills that contribute to consistently effective presentations.

I’ve previously published a series of articles on these key ingredients: structuring, transitions & signposts, emphasis & pausing and body language [have a look if you haven’t yet done so].

However, even with strong, conscious command of these four techniques, you’re still missing a crucial element to avoid your audiences getting that ‘long’, ‘boring’ and ‘deadening’ feeling…

appropriate and well-designed PowerPoint slides.

Question 1: Which role should PowerPoint slides take in your presentation?

Should slides be fully comprehensive ‘speaking notes’, short and simple bullet points or limited to one or two key messages only?

Worst case – they contain every word you are going to say, so you basically ‘read’ them to the audience, most likely with your back to them or standing side-on and therefore not making much eye contact… i.e. giving them every reason not to listen to you and either just read the slides themselves or switch off and read the (lengthy…) PowerPoint handout afterwards…

Best case – they summarise you main messages, with you ‘expanding’ on them orally while actively facing the audience and maintaining eye contact – so giving them a reason to listen, engaging them and keeping their attention.

Importance of Effective PowerPoint Design

Question 2: Which core guidelines should you follow in designing your slides?

There are six main steps to ensuring your PowerPoint slides provide the right platform for an effective presentation:

1) Making your main message clear through limiting content

2) Ensuring simplicity and consistency of layout

3) Choosing graphics carefully

4) Maximising graphs, charts and diagrams

5) Paying attention to colour, fonts and text size

6) Using animation selectively

So, let’s now take a look at each of them in turn:

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under 1 Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

Public Speaking and Presentations: Good Examples Part 2


By David Rose

As you may have already seen on the blog, I’ve published a series of three articles giving practical tools to improve your public speaking and presentation skills.

In tandem, I’ve provided some good examples of public speakers illustrating the key techniques outlined in the articles.

By popular demand, here’s a second set of example videos of excellent public speakers in action.

You’ll realise one thing when watching them… Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under 1 Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

Presentations: Your Body language… Asset or Enemy?


By David Rose

You’ve prepared your presentation content and slides, your key messages are well-structured, clear and consistent, you’ve incorporated a range of techniques to ensure you are  engaging and memorable and rehearsed your content well to make sure you’re fluent and comfortable…

So, you’re 100% prepared and ready to go… or are you?

Consider this definition:

“Body Language (Noun): The gestures, movements and mannerisms by which a person communicates with others.”

Merriam Webster Dictionary

Key concept 1: body language is communication, not just a ‘garnish’ to a presentation

Now, let’s also turn to the summary result of large quantities of international research in the corporate and institutional sectors into what really contributes to ‘effectiveness’ and ‘impact’ in professional communication, especially in forming the crucial ‘first impression’:

Importance of Body Language in Communication

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key concept 2: body language can have more real impact on our audience than voice, tone or choice of words.

So, unless you’ve seriously considered your body language – for example how and when you move, your range of gestures and when and why you will use them, the overall image you project – you’re ready for only one thing…

…to underperform.

 

1. Which aspects of body language demand consideration?

Five areas need to be ‘consciously managed’ when presenting: eye contact, posture, hand gestures and position, facial gestures and movement.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Public Speaking and Presentation Skills