Three Things to Try

1) Drop the Powerpoint OK, maybe not every slide. But if you’re a slide user, think about how you would present if you had no visuals. It happened to me last year when I spoke at a TEDx event and the projection system failed. However, no-one except the other professional speaker who was there noticed my brief look of panic, and all was well. So, maybe just for one speech, forget the slides. (Or if you never use slides, try working one or two into your speech).

2) Use the backchannel Encourage your audience to use Twitter, Facebook and online surveys to record their thoughts during your speech. If you’re feeling brave, interact with them directly, and work their comments into your content. They’re going to be using social networks during your speech anyway, so try to join them there too.

3) Use video feedback There’s huge value in watching your speeches on video, and analysing what works and what doesn’t. Aim to video (and watch) as many of your speeches as you can. You will see improvements immediately.

Alan Stevens, co-author of The Exceptional Speaker (Revised Edition)

Leave a Reply