Blog: Public Speaking Tips & Advice

What's your story; what's your point?

In its purest form, any presentation can be boiled down to 2 elements: a story and a point.

The 'point' of a presentation is like a sharp pin. 
The pin may be very sharp, but it is also very light. 
If I throw that pin at you, it would not matter how hard I threw it, it would probably get caught up in your clothing.  The pin is too light. You would not 'get the point'!

Questions at the end please.

Questions are a key tool for any trainer.
They can be used in many ways and for many reasons: finding out information; developing rapport; establishing direction or even asserting authority.
Sometimes you may wish to stimulate interaction: other times not.
Sometimes you may wish to encourage free expression: other times not.
Understanding our approach to questions will go…

You can't see 'not'

We see in pictures. 
I say 'Cat' - you see a cat. 
I say 'House' - you see a house.
However we cannot 'see' a negative. 
So if I say 'Do not think of a dog' - you still see a dog!

As trainers, speakers, communicators we need to be very careful about what pictures we are putting into our students' heads.  Sometimes we do it accidentally: particularly…

The Party Bag Principle

For a child coming home from a party, one of the key thrills is to receive a little party bag with a toy and some cake to take away with you.

As a trainer we should try to follow the same principle. 
Not necessarily literally, although many companies do like to offer freebie pens or memory sticks with company logos all over them as a marketing tool and to create a warm fuzzy feel-good factor.

Why you? Why me?

A common refrain from potential speakers is:
'What should I talk about?'

At first glance, giving the answer, 'Anything!' does not seem very helpful.
However the point is this: there is no ideal subject matter.
Any subject can be made engaging. Unfortunately any subject can also be made dull.
So, speakers and trainers need to understand, it is not the subject,…