When the calendar goes from February to March, Women’s History Month gets a lot of attention. But as March progresses, the attention drops off.
A presentation tip for speakers wanting to honor Women’s History Month:
Include visuals – not just in your presentation, but also in the announcements for your presentation and in the follow up social media.
Libraries offer terrific visual collections – diverse and inclusive. Tap into these images. Give your audience fresh images to convey the wide range of women’s achievements.
Essential tremor is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary shaking – often of the hands or arms.
Speakers with essential tremor (ET) might gesture to the audience and notice that their extended arm begins to tremble. Or they might use a pointer to highlight something on a slide and find their hand begins to shake.
ET can also impact a speaker’s voice.
I’ve known speakers who became self-conscious of their tremors and avoided public speaking assignments. Some avoided asking questions during meetings. Others sought jobs where they didn’t have to present.
Everyone has the right to speak. Everyone has the right to convey their expertise. It’s called inclusion.
If you have a colleague/relative/friend who deals with tremors, maybe now’s a good time to discuss National Essential Tremor month. Information is power. Don’t let essential tremor derail a career.
Perhaps you’ve seen people introduce speakers by reading from their phones. Perhaps you think it might be okay for you to do, as well.
It isn’t okay. It isn’t okay at all.
I’ve seen phone-readers lose their place, scroll nervously, mispronounce names, fumble with phrasing, bend their head down to see the screen, squint to read the small type, forfeit all eye contact, miss what’s going on in the room.
Audiences don’t like any of this.
Phone-reading might be easy, it might be fast. But it isn’t okay.
Your audiences deserve better. So does your speaker.
An occasional series of quirky tech tips for writers, speakers, teachers, entrepreneurs, execs … and pretty much anybody who has to communicate for a living (which is to say, almost all of us)
Includes: How to introduce a speaker
A colleague wrote that he was having a hard time cutting a too-long presentation. He had put in all the points that mattered to him – and he didn’t want to cut any of them.
Later in his speechwriting process, he read It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It (St Martin’s Press), and he began to look at the topic from the audience’s point of view. What would they want to hear? What would they expect to learn? What would they need to know?
Most especially: How long would they be willing to sit for an after dinner lecture?
Once he looked at the topic from the audience’s viewpoint, it was pretty easy for him to cut away the unnecessary material.
“I’ve found all of Joan Detz’s books to be highly useful, but this one may top the list because it has a few topics not covered in her other books.”
The quote of the week comes from Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson [speaking at the Chicago Police news conference on the arrest of Jussie Smollett]:
“I just wish that the families of gun violence in this city got this much attention, because that’s who really deserves the amount of attention that we’re giving to this particular incident.”
More than a decade ago, I did a presentation on public speaking for Columbia Women in Business – a club for graduate students at Columbia Business School. With more than 400 members, CWiB is one of the largest organizations on Columbia’s campus.
My presentation went well.
Afterwards, an attendee came up to thank me for the communication tips I offered. Then she added: “I’d like to return the favor by giving you a tip of my own.”
Here’s a summary of the insights she shared with me:
Women who change their opinions on a topic often face a unique blow back. Whether in business or politics or medicine or education, women are likely to get public criticism when they change their views.
Maybe they supported something 5 years ago, but they don’t support it now. They get labeled “flip-flop” or “indecisive” or “wishy-washy”. And what do they do? They often respond with apologies. “I’m sorry. I regret that choice” or “I’m sorry. I wish I’d made another decision.”
Apologies have their place – absolutely. But many women apologize way too often.
If criticized for changing your position, consider this simple honest statement: “New information presented itself.”
When new information presents itself, wise people listen. Wise people keep learning.
When new data shows a better way forward, wise people make fresh decisions.
“New information presented itself.” Memorize this short statement. You’ll convey truth and confidence – in just four words.
Gratitude to the wise audience member who shared this with me…
Four panelists presented for 30 minutes then opened the session to Q&A. These were good presenters from respected organizations.
They had prepared their remarks well and deserved a good crowd. Unfortunately, the session began with only 10 attendees in the room. Latecomers “swelled” the audience to 18. And guess what? Most of the attendees had work connections with the panelists.
In other words, the panelists put in a lot of time and effort, only to have their key messages reach almost nobody. What’s the point?
FYI: I checked their Twitter accounts. Not one of the panelists had written any tweets to promote this program.
Equally interesting: Not one of the panelists tweeted after the program to help their messages reach a bigger audience.
Why go to all the trouble to give a presentation unless you can get your message across to a good audience (either live onsite, or later online)?
I’m pleased to give public speaking tips to English-as-second-language speakers in this Business Venezuela magazine. (The article appears in both English and Spanish.)
Te invitamos a leer Nuestra Edición Digital N# 360 2018 “TOP 100 COMPANIES” 20 Años presentando el mejor ranking de negocios en Venezuela.
To read my featured piece click here.
For starters, don’t read any introduction from your cell phone. I’ve watched this several times, and it was always a disaster: squinting eyes, inaccurate scrolls, “Oops, I lost it”, “Just a moment – I’ll find it”, no eye contact with the audience, and no eye contact with the speaker being introduced.
Do not read a canned introduction from a cell phone. Do not read an HR bio from a cell phone. Do not read a LinkedIn profile from a cell phone. Are we clear on this?
Instead, write a great introduction and print it out. In just 1-2 minutes, a great intro explains:
Become known for giving great introductions. It’s a valuable career asset.