For today's blog (which will be shorter than usual as I have been sick all week) I would like to offer a few thoughts on public speaking. I have always been told that I'm a good public speaker. I have used these talents many times over the years, often with great success. Therefore, I thought I would offer my top five rules when it comes to speaking. A quick disclaimer, these come from me and are by no means entirely agreed-upon by experts.
Rule one. PowerPoint presentations with huge blocks of text are not effective presentation tools. They will put people to sleep. I promise you.
Rule two. Treat every opportunity as important, no matter the size of the audience. I have done rooms of 3 and rooms of 300. Everyone is an opportunity to practice your skills.
Rule three. Reading off of a script is not always easier. I understand that some people that is what they need but, for me, reading from a piece of paper causes me to stumble more every single time.
Rule four. Don't get too hung up on making mistakes. Every once in a while, probably more frequently than I care to admit, I will get tongue tied. Don't sweat it. Smile, laugh and move on. Your audience will be impressed.
Rule five. Be engaging, whatever that means to you. Mark my words, it is a lot easier to win over an audience if they feel connected to you. I have always found humor to be my most effective icebreaker. Get them laughing, they are on your side!
Agree? Disagree? Got a list of your own? Let me know!