We help you speak English clearly.
1.800.399.9517
Free Speech Lesson

Blog

Seize Your Audience’s Attention When You Do A Presentation

Seize Your Audience’s Attention When You Do A Presentation

My favorite opener: John Paul Getty once told a group of would-be billionaires his secret of success was: “Rise early, work hard, strike oil.”

Now, here are 3 different ways to grab your audience’s attention right away:

shutterstock_1401879071. Begin with a quotation. When it comes to having an impact with quotations, it’s who you know, not what you know. So the “who” you quote should be an attention-getter. Use well-known celebrities, politicians, authors, and leaders in their field. If you’re not sure the name will be recognized, describe the source’s authority. For example, one of China’s foremost business leaders…

2. Begin with a question. “Do you know how you can double your investment in one year?”

3. Open with a shocking statistic. “Half the money spent on advertising is thrown away.”

 

 

Rerun from Nov 21, 2016

Public Speaking Skills: How Much Time To Prepare for A Speech

Public Speaking Skills: How Much Time To Prepare for A Speech 

shutterstock_115631284

Don’t you just hate the mad scramble for getting ready for a presentation?  You can avoid that scramble.  The top professionals – the top pros –do.  Here are their secrets:

How much time to prepare for a speech?

  • Start right away.  Even if you book the speaking engagement or presentation a year in advance, start then.
  • Then you scan your media world for great articles related to your subject, quotes that work, and especially a strong grabber or opener.
  • The worst thing is to sit down to write your speech or presentation and not have enough materials.
  • This pre-preparation stage takes little or no time, just attention.  Keep your eyes and ears open for potential contributions to the speech.
  • The intensive period of writing and rehearsal should begin at least three weeks before the speech date.
  • The speech preparation process requires blocks of uninterrupted time.
    • While writing, you don’t want every great thought to be interrupted by phone calls or visitors.
    • While rehearsing, you won’t be able to work on your timing and pacing unless you can run through the entire speech.
    • You might want to start writing the speech at night or on the weekend.
    • Block off a total of about five to 10 hours, preferably in one- or two-hour blocks to work on the first draft.
    • Plan to spend two to five hours revising the speech.
    • Then plan on at least two or three rehearsals (20 to 30  minutes each for a  20-minute speech).
    • Put this on your calendar so you can be sure you have enough time.
    • Keep track of how much time it actually takes you to prepare your speech.
      • Maybe you can create the speech in less time than suggested here, or maybe you need to allow for more time.  If the speech is very important, you will want to spend extra time getting it just right.

Next time will be how long to make your first draft of your presentation. You don’t have to be blind again for your next speech!

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Rerun from 08/28/2013 and 10/12/2016

Start Your Presentation With A Bang!

Start Your Presentation With A Bang! 

shutterstock_147161399

For today’s dollop of clear English speech coaching, here’s more advice about starting your presentation with a bang.

1. If you do nothing else to prepare for your speech, make an opener that not only gets people’s attention but makes them think about your theme.

2. For that reason, wait to prepare your opener until after you outline the body of your presentation.

3. Start thinking about your opening when you first agree to give the speech.

Rerun from 08/12/2013 and 11/14/2016

English Speaking Communication: Presentations- Secrets of the Pros for Reading a Speech

English Speaking Communication: Presentations- Secrets of the Pros for Reading a Speech  

shutterstock_140187907

Sometimes pros will read their speech.   I’ve seen pros look and sound very, very good.  They used special strategies to maximize the effectiveness of their presentation.  Here are some of my favorite tips and strategies from the pros:

  • No matter what format you use for delivering the speech (note cards or printed speech), it should probably start out as a full text.  Here you can make sure you are saying what you want to say.  Here you determine pauses and other details of effective delivery
  • As you work over your speech during rehearsals,  make notes on the text.  Use highlighter or underline or circle words.
    • Then you can go right to the phrases that will trigger the train of thought.
    • You have your own personal road map to help you move quickly through the speech and ensure that you don’t lose your place.
    • Your cards or text should include your grabber at the top or on the front page.  This should be memorized so you can deliver it looking right at the audience.  You should try to memorize your conclusion too.

Layout of Printed Speech

  • Print the speech in large, dark, typeface that you can read while standing upright at the lectern.
  • Use upper and lower case, rather than all caps, because it makes it easier to scan.
  • Most speakers like the speech to be double- or triple-spaced and pages to be numbered, just in case the entire speech tumbles to the floor.
  • Put the speech into a folder or a pocket folder.  A portfolio that can display two entire pages of the speech at once and facilitates sliding pages smoothly.
  • Don’t staple the speech but use a paper clip to hold the speech together.
  • As you finish each page, slide it across into the “out” pile.  This avoids flipping and page-turning.

Eye Contact

  • With the full text written out, a great strategy to maintain eye contact is by looking up at the end of each sentence.

For the next blog on doing presentations, we jump backward in time.  To come is clever advice from the pros about how much time you will need to prepare for a presentation.  That will prevent you from getting the crazy, stress-filled last-minute scramble to a great presentation.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Rerun from Aug 13, 2013 and Oct 5, 2016

A Brilliant Opener to Your Presentations

A Brilliant Opener to Your Presentations
Here’s more on a brilliant opener to your presentations—the story or anecdote.
1. An anecdote briefly describes an incident that’s interesting, amusing or biographical. All three together are sure to get attention. That’s why many presenters start by saying “A funny thing happened to me…”
2. It’s critical to make the story connect to your topic!
3. Facial expressions, gestures, and intonations add interest and amusement, and draw in the audience.
4. Make your anecdote reveal something personal about you (like why do you have a purple tongue or running mascara). Audiences respond strongest to presenters who relate on a human level.
5. Do it!
Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.
Rerun from Aug 5, 2013 and Nov 7, 2016