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Presentation public speaking video

Walk and Talk meetings for data and research briefs

Do you do “walk & talk” meetings at your organization?

One of my favorite times for a “walk & talk” is when I’m presenting research findings. If it all possible — due to the weather and other constraints — I want to get my clients out of the office and into nature.

My reasoning? Clients tend to want to dive into spreadsheets and data dashboards — while I want to keep the discussion on key findings.

My solution? Get them out of the office and into the woods!

While walking, I’ll present key findings and a summary. We can talk through any issues that come up.

And if clients want to dive into the data, they know it’s in the report. They can review it when we’re back in the office.

If you don’t want clients to get lost in the data — lost in the woods — why not try a walk and talk meeting?

Serve as a guide. Lead your audience out of the woods so they can see the whole forest!

When’s the last time you tried a “walk and talk” meeting? How did it work out?


Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.

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How to transform presentation content into video social media posts

Here’s a question about presentations and videos I started to get a lot last month. I’ll paraphrase it:

Hey Laura. How do you do those square, short, silent little videos that you share on LinkedIn and Twitter?

The answer is: really easily! I use a tool called Canva.

As a stand & deliver trainer, I have oodles of presentation content. Canva lets me repurpose bits and pieces of this content for easy social media sharing.

Yes, Canva excels at quick online video creation. I’m finding a lot of people use Canva — but we tend not to think of using it for video. We tend to think of it for images.

I’m also thinking a lot of people have PowerPoint presentations. Why not try using Canva to repurpose your presentation content for social media posts?

Canva lets you do this in a way that’s super easy to accomplish. I show you how in this two minute video. Enjoy!

 



Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.



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Coaching communication content ideas Education PowerPoint PowerPoint Presentation Presentation public speaking video

Introduce emotional relevance to your presentations

Brain Rules by John Medina

“We don’t pay attention to boring things.”

John Medina, Brain Rules

Sounds basic, right?

But how do you NOT be boring when you’re speaking or presenting?

Medina tells us to be sure to introduce something emotionally relevant every 10 minutes.

At least every 10 minutes!

If we don’t, we risk losing the attention and interest of our audiences….because….

“We don’t pay attention to boring things.”

What can you do to shake things up for your audience?

Click on the video to discover 5 things you can do…in under 51 seconds!


Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.

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Coaching communication design PowerPoint PowerPoint Presentation Presentation public speaking

Never end your presentation with Q&A.

Never end your presentation with a Q&A.

Got that? Don’t end your next presentation by saying, “Any questions?”

There’s no need to announce that it’s time for questions and answers.

You can do better.

Always plan a strong closing.

If you’re planning a Q&A session, you can have it near the end, but not at the end.

Answer audience questions, then deliver your closing statement.

Don’t risk letting your super awesome presentation drift off into whatever might be on the mind of the last person who asked a question.

Wrap it up, partner. Put a bow on that presentation. 🎁

Consider this: I cover five strong closing techniques in my public speaking foundations course on LinkedIn Learning.

The full course is one hour. It’s a great resource to revisit before your next big speech or presentation, free for LinkedIn Premium Members.

Check it out. >>> http://linkedin-learning.pxf.io/JAb4N

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Coaching communication PowerPoint PowerPoint Presentation Presentation public speaking

The 5 Worst Ways to Begin a Speech or Presentation…

5 worst ways to start a speech or presentation

Let’s explore 5 of the worst ways to open your next keynote or major presentation…that we hear ALL TOO OFTEN!

  1. Ahem! (clearing your throat – do vocal warmups beforehand, please!)
  2. Thank you…. (your audience doesn’t need to hear this.)
  3. It’s really great to be here….(you’re wasting even more time.)
  4. Can you hear me? (do your audio check before you hit the stage.)
  5. Hey, can you see my slides? (check your visuals beforehand, please!)

    If you’ve done one or all of these, you can do better. I know you can!

    Start with a strong opening technique.

Consider this: I cover five strong opening techniques in my public speaking foundations course on LinkedIn Learning.

The full course is one hour. It’s a great resource to revisit before your next big speech or presentation, free for LinkedIn Premium Members.

I get paid when you click on the link and take the course, though.

Check it out. >>> http://linkedin-learning.pxf.io/JAb4N

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Coaching communication Education fun Presentation public speaking video

Lose your fear and learn to present on-camera

Three years ago, I organized an online web conference. At the request of an organization, I interviewed three of their Subject Matter Experts to get background information for a presentation.

The following photo is a re-creation of what I saw in this online meeting:

Uh-huh. That’s right.

For almost the entire interview, I stared at a close up of one man’s ear. After a few minutes, I told him he might want to adjust his camera.

“Oh, sorry,” he said. I then got an extreme close up of what appeared to be his hairline. 

“Is that your neck?”

“Probably.”

“I think I preferred your ear.”

“Oh. OK.”

For the next hour, we all looked at his ear. 

My interview subject never saw his audience. He never looked at the camera. We could see his ear twitch a bit as he talked, but that was about it.

Let me be clear. The expert with the wiggly ear?

He’s brilliant in his field. He had wonderful information to share. And he’s also a delightful person.

He simply didn’t know anything about presenting on camera. It was his first time, and he was too intimidated to tell anybody he didn’t know what he was doing.

He thought he could fake it. And in a way, he was right. 

We were a friendly group. We didn’t judge our colleague too harshly.

We were in a time crunch, so we smiled and went on with the meeting. And after all, we all knew the guy was a genius.

But I also know he’s doing much better now. Post-meeting, he took some good-natured ribbing and sought help.

He learned more about delivering online presentations. And of course, he continues to gain valuable experience.

There are plenty of tips available to help you improve your own online video performance. Here are six of my favorites: they’re all available through LinkedIn Learning:

1. Successful video conferencing tips

2. Developing your on-camera presence

3. Setting up your home or office filming environment

4. Wardrobe and makeup tips

5. Lighting tips

6. Tips for on-camera body language and posture

This sort of specific information and advice can help get you going in the right direction with regard to your next on-camera presentation. Think you don’t need help? That it’s no big deal? 

Your audience was raised on TV or online. We have expectations for how people look and perform on a screen. You may be warm and wonderful in person – but how do you come across on camera?

We were all kind to “ear guy” — but you don’t always have the luxury of being in front of an audience who loves and accepts you no matter what crazy thing you do. You’ll want to learn and practice some of the basics before you present to employers, clients, key stakeholders, and the public. 

You probably don’t think of yourself as a film star. But if you’re asked to present on camera, guess what? 

You’re a video star now, my friend. It may be a low budget production from your home office, but who knows? One low budget presentation could have enormous business stakes…or at least lead to previously unheard of opportunities. (It happened to me.)

Prepare yourself. We’re all video stars now.

If it hasn’t happened to you already… it’s going to happen soon. We’ll all be presenting more on camera in the future.

See you online!


Laura Bergells is a writer, teacher, and a LinkedIn Learning course author. Check out Establishing Credibility as a SpeakerCrisis Communication and Public Speaking.

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Coaching Presentation public speaking video

The science is IN! What every anxious public speaker must know before their next big presentation…

After a student gives a class presentation, I’ll sometimes conduct a quick poll. I’ll ask the entire class: on a scale of 0-10, how nervous did the speaker appear?

The audience might give the speaker a 2 or a 3. But the speaker? A nervous speaker might rate themselves a 7 or 9. That’s a pretty big gap in perception between speaker and audience.

This perception gap is a wrapped up in a cognitive bias called the Illusion of Transparency. Here’s an example of how the Illusion of Transparency works:

Let’s say you believe others know what you’re feeling when they look at you. They can tell exactly how nervous you are. They all know you’re a giant fraud.

That’s your Illusion of Transparency talking. But guess what?

It’s an illusion! It’s not real!

My informal classroom poll lines up with a 2003 study published by Savitsky and Gilovich. The title of their study is “The illusion of transparency and the alleviation of speech anxiety“. It was published in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The reality? Other people have a hard time decoding your feelings. If your audience had to guess, they’re likely to rate you as “more confident” than you rate yourself.

While a public speaker might think “I’m a nervous wreck and everyone knows” — the audience might think, “Wow, that speaker is super passionate and enthusiastic!”

It’s important for speakers to know about the Illusion of Transparency. This tiny bit of knowledge can actually help you become a better public speaker. Here’s why:

If you didn’t know about the Illusion of Transparency, you might feel nervous. But you’ll assume everyone in the room thinks so, too. And this cognitive bias can make you feel even more nervous: because it makes you meta-nervous.

Meta-nervous:

When you’re nervous about being nervous.

The Illusion of Transparency sets you up for a downward spiral of nervousness. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It can make you feel increasingly anxious. 

But here’s the great news: now that you know about the Illusion of Transparency, you’re in a better position to cope with public speaking anxiety. Savitsky + Gilovich found when they informed public speakers about this cognitive bias right before a speech, speakers presented with more confidence.

So now that you know about the Illusion of Transparency, you can say to yourself,

“Hey, it’s just my cognitive bias talking. It’s not real. I might feel nervous, but so what? No one else can tell.”

And that tiny bit of knowledge can help make you feel more confident. You can relax and deliver a more compelling presentation.

Bonus: now that you know about the Illusion of Transparency, be sure to share this knowledge with a friend or colleague. Chances are, you’ll feel even better when you help someone else gain confidence as a public speaker.

Instead of a downward spiral of nervousness, help create an upward spiral of increased confidence.


Laura Bergells is a writer, teacher, and a #LinkedInLearning author. Check out her courses on Crisis Communication and Public Speaking.

Laura has decades of experience as a business communication coach. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and leads workshops on effective communication. You can find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.

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Coaching Presentation public speaking social media

Speech pace: do you talk too fast, too slow…or just right?

I designed an exercise to give public speaking students insight into the concept of pace. If you’re curious about your own speaking pace, you can complete this exercise in minutes. Try it alone, or as part of a class (or party?) activity.

Step One: The script below contains 170 words. Read it to yourself, so you’re familiar with it. Pretend you’re delivering the script as an informational talk. Next, read it out loud. Make it as conversational and engaging as you can. Time yourself. Stop talking after exactly one minute. Count how many words you spoke aloud. (Hint: if you don’t finish, count the words you missed and subtract from 170.)

<script>

Do you think you speak too fast, too slow, or just right? When it comes to public speaking, you’ll want to talk at a conversational pace. This rate of speech typically ranges from around one hundred forty to one hundred seventy words per minute. If you speak much slower than one hundred forty words per minute, you’re probably not speaking fast enough for your audience. You might be putting them to sleep. However, if you speak much faster than one hundred seventy words per minute, you could be talking too fast. An audience could have a hard time understanding you. You also need to vary your pace. Sometimes, you’ll want to speak more quickly to demonstrate urgency or excitement. Other times, you’ll want to slow down or pause for dramatic effect. To check your pace, record yourself. Listen to the playback. A recording not only lets you time your speech, but it also lets you evaluate how well you vary your pace within the conversational range. Give it a try.

</script>

Step Two: Record yourself reading the above paragraph. When you play it back, listen to yourself talk. How well did you vary your pace as you delivered your speech? What specific techniques might help with tempo and phrasing?

(Often, the hardest part of this exercise is listening to yourself talk out loud. Many people don’t like to hear recordings of their own voices. The reason? We most often hear our own voices from within ourselves; not outside our bodies. Hearing our disembodied voice can sound…well, creepy and weird! Don’t worry: other people probably don’t think you sound weird. Also, the more you listen to recordings of your voice, the less strange you’ll sound to yourself.)

You might have a hard time evaluating your own voice, so ask a classmate or colleague for feedback. To guide the discussion, ask your evaluators to focus on pace and tempo. Here are some sample questions:

  • Did you think I was talking too fast, too slow, or just right?
  • When I paused, how did that seem to you? Too long, too short, not enough?
  • When I quickened my tempo, was I understandable? How did it sound?
  • When I slowed my pace, how did it sound to you? Did it sound appropriate?
  • Reflection and class discussion: How did you do? Did you fall within the conversational range of 140-170 words per minute? What public speaking techniques can help improve pacing? (I.e., what kind of breathing, rehearsal, body language, writing, or other techniques help?)

Final thought: Sometimes, students say they experience pace problems because of the script.

“It’s not a good script. If I could write it myself, in my own words, I’d do better.”

This is fantastic feedback. I love this criticism! Writing and speaking in your own voice is key. If you can do better by rewriting the script, do it.

What other techniques can help your pace?


Laura Bergells is a writer, teacher, and a #LinkedInLearning author. Check out her courses on Crisis Communication and Public Speaking

You can find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.

PS: I recorded this class assignment on my phone. Similarly, you don’t have to make your own recording fancy. No special microphone or lighting is necessary. Use the tools you have at hand and record the script in one take. If you make a mistake, it’s OK. Keep going. We’ll talk about handling mistakes in class.

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Coaching fun Presentation public speaking

One Simple Mind Game That Can Make You Feel Better About Public Speaking…

People say they’re scared of public speaking, but are they really? I see these people speak in public all the time. They’re relaxed, confident — and they seem to be enjoying themselves.

Take a friend of mine. Let’s call him Greg, because that’s his name. Greg insists he’s terrified of public speaking.

Yet, I’ve seen Greg at parties. I’ve seen him at work. He enters into conversations with ease, even with strangers. He tells engaging stories. He’s a good listener. He encourages other people to tell stories with his eye contact and body language.

“Well, sure,” he said when I pointed all those things out to him. “But that’s not public speaking. That’s just talking to people.”

ARE YOU LISTENING TO YOURSELF GREG?

Because that’s the definition of public speaking. Greg’s not afraid. Greg enjoys it. And he’s good at it.

So why does Greg promote the idea that he’s scared of public speaking? What’s wrong with Greg? Why is he such a dirty, rotten liar?

“No, no, no,” Greg laughed. “Give me a microphone and a stage, and I’ll clam up. I’d get the shakes. I’d stammer. I’d probably faint or fart or both. It’d be ugly.”

Oh, I see.

Greg’s not really afraid of public speaking. He’s afraid of the unknown. He doesn’t speak in big rooms or on a stage. Greg’s never used a mic.

Instead, Greg is afraid of the idea of Public Speaking, with a capital P and a capital S. He’s not afraid of speaking in public. He does it all the time.

So what’s the difference between Public Speaking and speaking in public? A microphone? A stage? More people, less interaction?

According to Greg? Yes. Yes. And yes.

All these unknowns? That’s what makes Public Speaking terrifying for Greg. He’s laid a big, scary head trip on himself.

So I laid a different head trip on him. I suggested Greg might want to change his relationship with the idea of public speaking. I asked him a question:

What are the factors that make you feel most confident when you speak in public? 

“Easy,” he said. “I’m at my best when I’m interested in the topic. I also like talking to individuals or small groups of people. And I like interaction, so I get to hear what others have to say and react. I prefer being spontaneous.”

Great. Why don’t you rebuild your relationship with public speaking? You’ve got a strong foundation: so why not grow from these strengths?

Think about it.

If you identify with Greg’s feelings on public speaking, you might want to consider changing your relationship with it, too. Rebuild it from a place of strength. Ask yourself the same question I asked Greg:

What are the factors that make you feel most confident when you speak in public?

Be specific. What kind of audience, room, content? What level of interaction?

Identify your current public speaking strengths. That’s your foundation. Grow from there. If you’re afraid of something, it could be the unknown.

But you can learn new skills and approaches. You can build upon your strong public speaking foundation. You can layer in new techniques as you learn. And you can grow stronger with practice.

Whether you’re nervous or confident, you have plenty of opportunities to practice public speaking. You can learn and grow every day. Because every time you speak in public, guess what?

You’re a public speaker, my friend. Grow from your strengths. Be open to learning new techniques. You’ll get there.


Laura Bergells is a writer, teacher, and a #LinkedInLearning author. You can take her courses on Crisis Communication and Public Speaking.