Own the Crowd With Better Speaking

Brogan speaking I know you’re smarter than the typical person out there. I know this because you endure my thinking here. So, for you, I want to share a bit more about how to really rock out with your public speaking. Is that useful to you?

WIIFM

First off, I write about this often. Know why I started the post the way I did? I was following this speaking tips post where it says to start each speech by answering “what’s in it for me.” That is vital.

Know what most people do? They start with “blah blah blah about me, thanks to everyone who ever put on a conference, etc, etc etc.

Engage people immediately and they will be with you.

Work With Your Audience

If you’re going to bother speaking in a room, please BE with the room, IN the room, and be connected with them as best as you can be. I do this in Twitter. I even asked them for speaking advice. Well, it’s the same in person. You can marshal the people in a space, and something magic happens every time you do that: people feel invested in the project.

Push Vision Matched With Value

When I spoke at the Stamats event in Tampa, I was excited that so many people in the audience were really tuned in to the notion of what social media could do for their higher education marketing. I turned my presentation towards the mindset of passion. And by that, I meant that I talked up hard the future of all this stuff, and what it can do for us.

But who stole the show, in my eyes, was Brad J. Ward. His speech was both passionate and value-driven. You could do something with his speech. And that lesson, adding value to the passion, is what I took away from that part of that event.

Takeaways

The very best speeches I’ve seen give me takeaways, something for me to do.

More Advice

The most important part of delivering your speech is believing in what you’re saying, knowing what you’re saying, and conveying it with emotion, dimensions, and energy. Please put your heart into it.

And make sure you watch and learn from great speakers. Want to see a mountain of them? Watch POP!Tech and TED and learn from them. Practice doing what they do once, and then try making it your own.

Even more speaking advice from my old posts, if you want it.

What did I miss? What else do you want to tell people about your speaking experience, or what do you want to know about that I didn’t talk about?

What do you have?

Photo credit, Frames Media, who is a kickass photographer from the NY area, and a really nice guy.

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  • http://www.greatmanagement.org greatmanagement

    Great advice, especially about the number of takeaways. I’m only after 1 (maybe 2 max) so that really rings the bell for me.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the World Champion of Public Speaking it is amazing the amount of preparation he puts into his presentations (80% on prep, 20% on delivery).

    Andrew

  • http://www.greatmanagement.org greatmanagement

    Great advice, especially about the number of takeaways. I’m only after 1 (maybe 2 max) so that really rings the bell for me.

    I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the World Champion of Public Speaking it is amazing the amount of preparation he puts into his presentations (80% on prep, 20% on delivery).

    Andrew

  • http://www.bellawebdesign.com Desiree Scales

    One of the most powerful things we can do as speakers is storytelling. People love to listen to stories they can connect with and will remember them much longer than dry points on a slide.

    Another thing is keep them laughing–add some humor throughout the speech. You’ll surely walk away as someone they want to get to know more.

  • http://www.bellawebdesign.com Desiree Scales

    One of the most powerful things we can do as speakers is storytelling. People love to listen to stories they can connect with and will remember them much longer than dry points on a slide.

    Another thing is keep them laughing–add some humor throughout the speech. You’ll surely walk away as someone they want to get to know more.

  • http://www.stamats.com Fritz McDonald

    Chris: thanks once again for not only a great post but sharing your Stamats experience with the world. You and all the people commenting are providing a virtual book of great ways to present.

    I’d like to add–if anybody else hasn’t already–that Brad, and Kyle James and I talked a lot about book that really inspired and shaped our presentations–Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds…and if people have already mentioned it, well then it’s worth repeating. This book completely changed the way I give presentations and falls very much in line with the approaches you suggest–we must stop giving monotone, bullet-point, graphoholic, brain-deadening presentations.

    Your ability to think on your feet, improvise, and work with the audience reminds me of the way Robert Altman made movies. Often, he disregarded the script entirely and encouraged his actors and actresses to improvise. Improvisation, going out there without a plan but with a sincere desire to connect with your audience, and by connecting, transport them, should be our number one goal.

    This is a terrific blog–thanks for letting us hear you think.
    F

  • http://www.stamats.com Fritz McDonald

    Chris: thanks once again for not only a great post but sharing your Stamats experience with the world. You and all the people commenting are providing a virtual book of great ways to present.

    I’d like to add–if anybody else hasn’t already–that Brad, and Kyle James and I talked a lot about book that really inspired and shaped our presentations–Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds…and if people have already mentioned it, well then it’s worth repeating. This book completely changed the way I give presentations and falls very much in line with the approaches you suggest–we must stop giving monotone, bullet-point, graphoholic, brain-deadening presentations.

    Your ability to think on your feet, improvise, and work with the audience reminds me of the way Robert Altman made movies. Often, he disregarded the script entirely and encouraged his actors and actresses to improvise. Improvisation, going out there without a plan but with a sincere desire to connect with your audience, and by connecting, transport them, should be our number one goal.

    This is a terrific blog–thanks for letting us hear you think.
    F

  • http://www.twitter.com/bchesnutt Brandon Chesnutt

    Awesome advice. I had to point out: I think that takeaways are so crucial to a presentation. When I see a speaker, I sometimes find myself directly asking them “what can I do when I leave here?”

    At that point, I’m so hungry to learn more and have reached that apex where I am more willing (and excited) to take the right steps and move from just someone in the audience to the role of a practitioner.

  • http://www.twitter.com/bchesnutt Brandon Chesnutt

    Awesome advice. I had to point out: I think that takeaways are so crucial to a presentation. When I see a speaker, I sometimes find myself directly asking them “what can I do when I leave here?”

    At that point, I’m so hungry to learn more and have reached that apex where I am more willing (and excited) to take the right steps and move from just someone in the audience to the role of a practitioner.

  • http://cogdogblog.com/ Alan Levine

    Hear Hear! As a frequent victim of Blunt Force Dull Presentation Trauma, I am heads down away in my laptop when the slides are read or the speaker starts in long monotonic preamble mode.

    My own rule for tech related presentations, is SWTFD, or Start With The F***ing Demo. Too often, such sessions have a parade of background, rationale, etc and the meat of it all, the demo, gets crammed in the last minutes of the slot.

    For me, if I am not having fun, being a real person, it is not worth being there, and assume it is the same for the audience.

    Finally, for the takeaways- I always give them references/resources on the web, but more than just a slide deck; sometimes a wiki with resources mentioned, or if it is a slide deck, include an audio or notes track. I really tire of following links someone posts about a presentation I missed, and find a slide deck full of hip presentation zen style slides that *have no context* — The Presentation File != The Presentation Experience http://cogdogblog.com/2008/04/27/presentation-not/

  • http://cogdogblog.com/ Alan Levine

    Hear Hear! As a frequent victim of Blunt Force Dull Presentation Trauma, I am heads down away in my laptop when the slides are read or the speaker starts in long monotonic preamble mode.

    My own rule for tech related presentations, is SWTFD, or Start With The F***ing Demo. Too often, such sessions have a parade of background, rationale, etc and the meat of it all, the demo, gets crammed in the last minutes of the slot.

    For me, if I am not having fun, being a real person, it is not worth being there, and assume it is the same for the audience.

    Finally, for the takeaways- I always give them references/resources on the web, but more than just a slide deck; sometimes a wiki with resources mentioned, or if it is a slide deck, include an audio or notes track. I really tire of following links someone posts about a presentation I missed, and find a slide deck full of hip presentation zen style slides that *have no context* — The Presentation File != The Presentation Experience http://cogdogblog.com/2008/04/27/presentation-not/

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  • http://homeculinaire.blogspot.com Jeremy Hilton

    Thanks for the post Chris!

    For some folk, I’m sure public speaking comes easy, but for the rest of us (including me), it’s a pretty painful learning process.

    My biggest hurdle is nervousness, which I am working to overcome. How?

    Be the expert – Most of your audience is there to learn from you. In their eyes, you are the expert. Remembering this is a big confidence builder for me.

    As chris mentioned, Talk with passion – You’ve probably debated/discussed the subject numerous times over drinks with your colleagues. Public speaking is similar. Don’t let the change of venue rattle you.

  • http://homeculinaire.blogspot.com Jeremy Hilton

    Thanks for the post Chris!

    For some folk, I’m sure public speaking comes easy, but for the rest of us (including me), it’s a pretty painful learning process.

    My biggest hurdle is nervousness, which I am working to overcome. How?

    Be the expert – Most of your audience is there to learn from you. In their eyes, you are the expert. Remembering this is a big confidence builder for me.

    As chris mentioned, Talk with passion – You’ve probably debated/discussed the subject numerous times over drinks with your colleagues. Public speaking is similar. Don’t let the change of venue rattle you.

  • http://mariadkins.com Mari

    One thing that’s helped me a lot and I know that’s helped other people is pretending to be more confident than I really am. Public speaking and meeting new people terrifies the crap out of me — and I admit to everybody, I have panic disorder; I’m naturally ‘jumpy’. Even so, I’ve found this trick goes a long way! :)

  • http://mariadkins.com Mari

    One thing that’s helped me a lot and I know that’s helped other people is pretending to be more confident than I really am. Public speaking and meeting new people terrifies the crap out of me — and I admit to everybody, I have panic disorder; I’m naturally ‘jumpy’. Even so, I’ve found this trick goes a long way! :)

  • http://www.greatmanagement.org greatmanagement

    Mari,

    I’ve often used that technique (pretending to be more confident) and it works for me.

    Andrew

  • http://www.greatmanagement.org greatmanagement

    Mari,

    I’ve often used that technique (pretending to be more confident) and it works for me.

    Andrew

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