Tag Archives: public speaking

Tips for the best PowerPoint presentations

By Simon Jones

Simon Jones explains how to create effective slideshows in Microsoft’s market-leading tool – and keep your audience from boredom or nausea

When you’re designing a presentation, it’s tempting to make it as whizzy as possible. After all, PowerPoint offers plenty of fancy features, so shouldn’t you try to use them?

Actually, no – just because you can perform eye-catching tricks doesn’t mean you should. PowerPoint is a great presentation tool, but it’s too easy to go overboard by adding stuff that distracts from the message you’re trying to convey. The general principle when working with PowerPoint is definitely “less is more”.

Let’s take an example. The act of moving from one slide to another is called a transition, and PowerPoint lets you choose from many different effects. Some of them are subtle, but many are so garish that you risk frightening your audience right out of the door. Preview them all, then pick the one that best matches the message you want to convey, your company’s image and the audience that will see the presentation.

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4 Steps to Finding a Speech Topic that Clicks

By Michelle Mazur

“You can speaking on anything you like. I’m sure whatever you come up with will be great.” These words give you absolute freedom to say whatever you want. With absolute freedom comes absolute terror because now you have unlimited speaking topics!

Ahhhh! What’s a speaker to do?

Before I launch in, this post is meant for aspiring speakers, Toastmasters and students, those who have no clue what topic to choose for their next speech. It’s also for anyone looking for their next big speech idea.  I’ve been asked this question a lot lately via email – “How do I choose a good speech topic?”  I’ve even been asked, “What’s the best speech topic?”

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Four Presentation Myths and How you can Overcome them

Do you enjoy speaking in front of an audience? More than likely you don’t. Glossophobia, or the severe fear of public speaking, is one of the most common phobias. Statistics say far more of us prefer death to giving a speech. Although you may not consider yourself a glossophobic, giving a presentation in front of an audience may still not be your idea of a fun day.


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How to Capture the Audience’s Attention

Nothing can frustrate an audience more than listening to a boring or ‘bad’ public speaker.

One of the things that you should remember when delivering a presentation is that it is very easy to divert the audience’s attention. Once they find your presentation uninteresting, they will cease to pay attention to you. They will just let their mind wander or pay attention to something else.

It is your responsibility as a public speaker to avoid this.

Here are some tips on how you can grab the public’s attention when delivering your speech:

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The Art of Speechwriting


By David Zielinski

Just because you are a good speaker doesn’t mean you are a good speechwriter. The advent of PowerPoint software has made the fully scripted paragraph an endangered species, replacing it with bulleted lists, catchy headlines and whiz-bang special effects. But good writing remains at the heart of good speechmaking, particularly when the intent is to inspire or motivate audiences. If you’re among the fortunate few, you may have staff speechwriters or communications experts to help you craft that spellbinding speech. But most of us aren’t that lucky, which means having to face down the terror of the blank computer screen on our own.

So what’s the key to writing a memorable speech that doesn’t lean heavily on PowerPoint for speaker support? We talked to some of the best speechwriters in the business – who between them have written speeches for U.S. presidents, cabinet members and CEOs of some of the world’s largest companies – about what it takes to write a speech that is music to the audience’s ears.

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Steve Jobs & Guy Kawasaki — Powerpoint Best Practices

by Brian Halligan

I have recently come across some interesting Powerpoint best practices that I thought I would share with you.

Steve Jobs

The first best practice was from watching Steve Jobs’ presentation at MacWorld this year.  What was fascinating about his slides is that they were either just a picture or just a picture with a couple of words in extremely large font.  It turns out that Steve wants the audience to listen to him tell the story, rather than read the slides.

Here’s a picture of one of Steve’s slides:

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25 Awesome Public Speaking Quotes


Public speaking is the number one fear in America.  Death is number two.

From sweaty palms to cracking voices, speaking publicly can be terrifying, yet it is a crucial skill to have in the business world.  We’d like to alleviate some of this stress by offering up some inspirational, informative quotes.  These quotes are in no particular order, and the speakers range from well-known orators to presentation gurus.  Some are serious, some are classic, and some are short and funny.  Feel free to spread these around, write them in your journals, whatever you want! Enjoy!

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Are You Reaching Your Audience?

by Ed Tate

Beyond connecting with your audience, are you:

Stirring them?

Moving them?

Touching them? (Not literally)

Rocking them?

Reaching them?

What is reaching an audience? I know it when I see it, and so do you, as this example from a reality TV talent show on April 11, 2009, illustrates:

Q: “What’s the dream?” A: “To be a professional singer.”

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