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Archive for ‘Audience Interaction’

Who Are You Speaking To, Anyway?

By Claudia Brogan

Back when I was in high school speech class, little did I guess that my life’s journey would be focused upon ways to improve speaking skills and communication in the workplace. All I knew back then, as a junior in high school, was how fascinated I was to learn the principles of public speaking…and survive my next assigned speech for Mrs. Witmer’s class.

One day, she really got our attention with a provocative question, and her words that day have stayed with me all my life.

“There are three most important …

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3 Questions to Ask to Get to Know Your Audience

By Bob Goodyear

I’ve presented to several groups over the last few months about how to create a great presentation. One of the first things I mention is the need to “know your audience.” I even wrote a blog post about this earlier. In my conversations with these groups though, I’ve heard that they know this but what they want to understand is WHAT they need to know about the audience. They want some specific questions that they can answer. Today I’ll share three of the questions that I …

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Generations in Your Audience

By Kelly Vandever

I was talking to a colleague recently about having different generations in our training sessions.

“You know these young people today.” She said, “They have such short attention spans.”

To which I replied, “Young people. Heck. I HAVE a short attention span! If I notice a YouTube video goes a 6 whole minutes, I sigh and think, ‘Gosh, do I really want to invest 6 whole minutes of my time watching this video? Ugh?!’”

I went on to tell her about Mary from our church. She’s the one who arranges for elders …

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Wise, Witty Ways to Begin Your Presentations Well

By Claudia Brogan

Rather than “limp” in to your next presentation, pay attention to boldly choose a good Attention-Getting introduction. Grab the audience by the lapels so to speak, make them say a quiet thoughtful “ahh,’ or tickle their funny bone. The next time you have the opportunity to deliver a speech, training session or presentation, give special thought to how you can start off vividly.

These specific methods may help you get unstuck, or may spark a new idea for creating your next good speech-beginning.

Deftly use humor or an opening quote.

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“What do I do with these hands?” Smart Tips for Using Effective Gestures in Your Presentations

by Claudia W. Brogan

Recently, I was helping a woman improve her presentation skills—in particular, hand gestures. Even though it’s good to add hand gestures to speeches, not all gesture-additions are created equal. Over-gesturing can be a problem, as can under-gesturing. Adopting hand motions from other speakers which don’t naturally suit you make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious and will certainly be distracting to your listeners. Then the gestures are self-defeating.

As noted in a recent TED-talk research project, some intriguing techniques were yielded. This observational study at the Science of People researched …

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3 Whiteboard Tips

by Bob Goodyear

One of the most effective methods for presenting is using a whiteboard instead of a PowerPoint deck. I really like to use the whiteboard because it allows me to be able to ask questions and reflect the responses from my audience on the whiteboard. While we talk a lot about PowerPoint on this blog with our resident expert, Tom Nixon, I feel like we have short-changed other methods of presenting. Because of that, I want to share 3 whiteboard tips with you to help you have another method of …

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Why Speakers Do Well To Learn About Brain-Post

Image source: FLICKR – JohnDiew0107

By Claudia Brogan

I have always been captivated with the connection between public speaking skills and how the brain works. Learning about brain and cognitive science is quite intriguing, and can provide illuminating topics for public speakers.
Why include visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements in your speech?
Knowing that audience members use their visual, auditory, and kinesthetic senses throughout the presentation helps the speaker address each of those senses.

Speakers can insert visual illustrations via PowerPoint, objects and props, expressive facial gestures, or hand movements which amplify the speech.

Auditory …

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Finding That Topic in the ‘Sweet Spot’ of Your Venn Diagram

By Claudia Brogan

One of my very favorite bloggers in the arena of communication is Andrew Dlugan (“Six Minutes”). Heaven only knows where he comes up with the excellent topics and resources that he shares for teachers, speakers and trainers. Oh wait…it’s not just Heaven that knows. Actually, Andrew generously divulges a great tool for coming up with good speaking subjects.

He calls this the “Secret of choosing successful speech topics” and I highly recommend to you his thorough, thought-provoking blog piece linked below.

Consider finding that “sweet spot” right in the …

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Quotable Quotes

by Claudia Brogan

Why do we take the time to include quotes in our presentations and speeches?

Though there are many ways to answer that question, I believe that we do so to get the clear attention of our audience, to provide encouragement and perspective, and to frame a useful lesson in a pithy way.

When making final preparations for a recent panel presentation, my co-presenter asked me to swiftly choose three great quotes that would epitomize my key points. The spontaneous idea was to create a handout of pithy …

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“We/ I/ They/ You” The Use of Pronouns Can Make All the Difference for Your Presentations

by Claudia Brogan

 

One simple tip that will help polish your public speaking and make a big difference: Using pronouns well can take your presentation from a diatribe, sermon-like lecture to an engaging, inviting talk.

Though this may sound like a tiny, inconsequential matter, the fact is that paying attention to this specific tip about pronouns will mean the difference between an audience feeling like you have “talked down” to them, or an audience feeling like you have humbly shared the lessons you have learned along the …

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