Improve Your Presentations with the Ten TED Commandments

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For anyone interested in speaking and listening to interesting speakers, TED is always a great place to visit. Each TED speaker is given the “TED Commandments” to help them create a talk to suit a typical TED audience.

These commandments are useful not just for TED speakers but for anyone who has to stand up and speak in front of an audience. They’re filled with guidelines that, if followed, will make your speech entertaining and interesting for the audience while at the same time allowing you the chance to enjoy yourself.

The TED Commandments are:

  1. Dream Big. Strive to create the best talk you have ever given. Reveal something never seen before. Do something the audience will remember forever. Share an idea that could change the world.
  2. Show Us The Real You. Share your passions, your dreams … and also your fears. Be vulnerable. Speak of failure as well as success.
  3. Make The Complex Plain. Don’t try to dazzle intellectually. Don’t speak in abstractions. Explain! Give examples. Tell stories. Be specific.
  4. Connect With People’s Emotions. Make us laugh! Make us cry!
  5. Don’t Flaunt Your Ego. Don’t boast. It’s the surest way to switch everyone off.
  6. No Selling From The Stage! Unless we have specifically asked you to, do not talk about your company or organization. And don’t even think about pitching your products or services or asking for funding from stage.
  7. Feel free to comment on other speakers’ talks, to praise or to criticize. Controversy energizes! Enthusiastic endorsement is powerful!
  8. Don’t Read Your Talk. Notes are fine. But if the choice is between reading or rambling, then read!
  9. End Your Talk On Time. Doing otherwise is to steal time from the people that follow you. We won’t allow it.
  10. Rehearse your talk in front of a trusted friend … for timing, for clarity, for impact.

 

 

If you enjoyed this post then why not try more of our presentation tips:

 

image: Steve Jurvetson (Flickr)

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Learn How to Engage Your Audience with Passion

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One of the key ways to get an audience interested in your idea or topic is to show your passion for it.

When you stand up and speak with real passion, your audience will hear see and feel your passion, your passion will intrigue them, they will want to know why you’re so excited about this topic and they’ll feel that if you’re excited then maybe they should be too. Passion is the best way to connect with your audience

The opposite is also true. Think back to when you were in university or college, think of that one lecturer who always sounded bored when they gave their lectures. Were you interested in the class or were you just as bored as he was? If’s not just passion that we feed off . If the lecturer finds their subject boring then there’s nothing to keep us engaged so we stop listening which results in a whole group of people who don’t care and can’t wait for the class to end.

Have you got an got an idea that you’re passionate about but don’t know how to present it to an audience? Do you want to learn how to present with more passion?

Come along to one of our meetings and see how we can help you show your audience the passion you have for your topic.

We meet at 7.30pm  on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays in the Lantern Centre on Synge St (off Camden St), see you there.

Click here for more information.

image: PopTech (Flickr)

Using Improv to Improve Your Speaking

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This Tuesday we’re going to give you a new way to improve and expand your speaking skills. In our Improv workshop, Kevin is going to to show us some improv-based exercises that we can use to develop creativity in our speaking and writing.

Why Improv?

  • In improv, you learn to think on your feet; this will help you be better equipped to answer unexpected questions in meetings or interviews.
  • Improv helps you to step outside your comfort zone and take a risk in a safe environment. This is what Cogito Toastmasters is about, creating a safe place for you to try things out and see what works so that you can excel when you’re giving that vital presentation.
  • Improv helps you stop over-thinking and instead helps you learn how to let go and go with the flow, this again helps you to deal with the unexpected in a calm relaxed manner.
  • Improv expands your creativity. In improv, everything is possible, there are no rules and you can say or do anything, it’s this type of freedom that can fire up your creativity and help you come up with new ideas, so embrace it and enjoy it because it’s great fun!

 

Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday.

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 22nd November 2016

Where: The Lantern Centre, 15 Synge St, Dublin 8

 

 

 

image: Alan Levine(Flickr)

The Secret to Learning a Speech or Presentation

daniel-novta-5336855585_97a1ba3837_bFor most people when they learn a speech or presentation they learn it as they expect to say it,  i. e.  beginning at the start and reading through it to the end.  This is definitely a good way to learn a speech but there is one big problem with this method. You usually end up knowing the first half of the speech better than the second half. This is because when we make a mistakes we typically go back to the beginning of the speech and start again. The other problem with learning it in such a linear way is that if you go blank in the middle of the actual presentation,  it can be difficult to work out what to say next.

The way to solve this is called “Chunking” and it involves breaking your speech or presentation into smaller chunks of text. The trick is to learn each chunk of text individually i.e. as if each is a mini-speech and you don’t even have to learn them in any particular order, the key is to ensure that you know each chunk equally well  before learning all the chunks together.

There are a number of advantages to this method:

  1. Your delivery is consistent – you know every part of your presentation equally well thus you can present each chunk with passion and confidence.
  2. End with impact – Audiences don’t really remember most of what you say but they usually remember what you say last so it’s important to end strongly and with impact. By learning your speech in chunks then you know your ending as well as your opening, this gives you the extra confidence to punch home your message with a strong authoritative conclusion.
  3. Going blank – if for some reason you do go blank in the middle of  your presentation then it’s not a disaster, because you won’t have to go back to the start, there’s no need to panic, all you need to do is calmly move on to the next chunk and continue the presentation.

 

If you enjoyed this post then why not try more of our presentation tips:

 

Image: Daniel Novta

Inspirational American Leaders

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Our next meeting falls on the same day as the US Elections but instead of talking politics we’re going to dedicate our meeting to the theme of Inspirational American Leaders as most great leaders have also been great speakers and after all, the only reason to give a speech is to change the world….

Brian will be our Inspirational leader and our world changers will be Leah, Kevn and Jean Marie, we’ll have an icebreaker speech from our newest member Leah, Kevin will tell a spooky story and Jean Marie will give tips on tackling table topics then we’ll have the chance to put those tips into action during Jag’s table topics session.

See you there!

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 8th Novemebrr

Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St (click here to see a map)

To sign up or see the agenda of the meeting, click here

Evaluation Tip: Organise Your Evaluation

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Evaluations are challenging.

You have to watch and listen carefully to a speech while at the same time trying making notes on the strong points and the areas that could be stronger and then you have 20-30 minutes to work out what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it and come up with solid suggestions to help your speaker become a more effective communicator.

It’s little wonder that with all this pressure that some evaluations can sound a bit disorganised but there is a very easy way to get around this problem, you need to remember that a good evaluation is a speech. Thinking of it as a speech gives you an automatic structure with a beginning, middle and end. Using this will help you sound more organised and confident when giving your evaluation.

Here are the 5 steps you can use to build an organised evaluation:

  1. For your opening, keep it simple, connect with the speaker and give brief outline of what you’re going to cover in your evaluation.
  1. Select a structure for your evaluation. Here are some popular structures:

The Sandwich method: Begin with something that the speaker did well then give an improvement with a helpful recommendation and wrap up with another of the speaker’s strengths.

P.O.S.E (Positives, Objectives, Suggestions, Encouragement): Start with the speaker’s strengths, outline the objectives for the speech, show the speaker how they can bring the speech to a higher level and round out with some encouraging words.

P.I.E.S (Positives, Improvements, Encouragement, Summary): Start with the speaker’s strengths, then suggestions and recommendations, encouragement and finish off with a summary of your evaluation.

G.L.O.V.E (Gestures, Language, Organisation, Voice, Enthusiasm): Break your evaluation into five sections – body language,  words and language used, speech structure, vocal variety and the passion of the speaker.

Try out different structures to see which suits the speakers’s needs best, if none of them work then look at developing your own structure.

  1. Read through your notes and choose only 2 or 3 points to discuss. Remember that you only have 2-3 minutes for your evaluation, if you choose too much to talk about then you will go over time. When selecting talking points concentrate on the strongest strengths and the areas in need of the most improvement.
  1. Don’t take your notes on stage with you. Instead, transfer the points that you want to talk about onto a separate piece of paper or better yet, put each point on its own notecard. This allows you to arrange your notes into the structure chosen above which helps you give a clear and focused evaluation.
  1. Wrap up with a very brief summary and some final words of encouragement for the speaker.

By following these steps you will be able to build and deliver a structured and focused evaluation which will ultimately help the speaker and the whole audience become more effective speakers and presenters.

 

This post is part of our series of tips to help you become a better evaluator. To learn more about evaluating, check out these posts:

 

Image: marco antonio torres (flickr)

3 Steps to Writing a Great Speech

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Step 1: Your Audience

Before you start to write your speech or presentation think about who you will be speaking to, do they know anything about your topic? How do they feel about it? Do they even care?

It’s important to remember that giving a speech or presentation is not about you, it’s about your audience. You must be able to pitch your presentation at the right level for them, too technical and they’ll be confused, too easy and they’ll get bored.

To get an audience to listen to you you need to be able to answer the questions they’ll be asking in their heads:

  • Why should I care?
  • How will this affect me?
  • How will it benefit me?

Once you can answer these questions in your speech then every audience will love you.

 

 

Step 2: First Draft

With all this in mind write your first draft.

This is not about perfection. This is simply about getting all your ideas down on paper and this achieves two things:

  1. You’ve moved from the state of inaction where you are agonising over the right way to begin to a state of action and progress, this is a great place to be.
  2. No matter what else you do, you have achieved something and more than that it gives you something to work on and improve.

Once you’ve finished writing the first draft done say it out loud.

This helps greatly because what looks good written down doesn’t always sound good when you say it. For instance your sentences could be too long, there may be some words or sentences that are hard to say or sound wrong.

As you’re speaking it out loud, you will also notice parts of your speech that you will want to change, make quick notes of the changes as you find them and continue saying the speech.

Once you’ve finished, start on draft 2.

 

Step 3: Drafts 2 to X

Continue the cycle of writing the speech and then speaking it out loud. Each draft will require less and less changes. Keep this cycle going until you either reach a version that you are happy with or it is time to give the presentation.

Another advantage of this cycle of writing and speaking is that it’s also a form of practising, it gives you the chance to learn the flow and language of your speech

It’s important that as you write each draft to keep checking that your speech is still being pitched at the audience’s level and addressing their needs. As you write always ask: “Will my audience get this?”

 

Following these three steps will ensure that you always write a speech that people will want to listen to.

 

If you enjoyed this post then why not try more of our presentation tips:

 

Image: EcoVirtual (Flickr)