Andrew Hennigan is a Lecturer, Speaker Coach and Writer. He is interested in speaking, writing, social media, networking, influencing, reputation, intercultural, innovation and other topics. He is also a freelance journalist, writer for hire and author of the book Payforward Networking. Copyright Andrew Hennigan 2007-2017.
Seven and a Half Things to do When Someone Asks You to Deliver Their Presentation
When I coach people in speaking and presenting skills I always ask what they need to know about and especially what they fear the most. Pretty consistently the nightmare of most people is having to present something that someone else has prepared. These are mostly people who are already confident presenters of their own material but they dread being handed a pile of possibly poor quality slides and having to stand up and present them.
Fortunately there are some tried and tested methods for dealing with this problem and I have distilled them into a quick checklist of seven and a half things to do. I hope this helps you one day.
CHECKLIST:Seven and a Half Things to Do When Someone Asks You to Deliver Their Presentation
1. CONSIDER SAYING NO. Say no when there is no advantage to you, but consider benefits to relationships and career if you accept.
2. TALK TO THE AUTHOR. Talk with the creator of the presentation even if they have only a few minutes. If you just have one minute use that minute to ask what was their objective and their key messages.
3. FOCUS ON THE MESSAGE. Spend your time understanding the message and how to communicate it and less on the slides you were given
4. MEMORIZE INTRODUCTION. Starting without reading makes a good first impression.
5. AVOID PROBLEM SLIDES. Skip slides you don’t understand unless they contain some key data.
6. DISTANCE YOURSELF. If you disagree with something attribute it to the original author.
7. NEVER POINT OUT MISTAKES. Never draw attention to mistakes, poorly designed slides or other issues.
7½. LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE. Make sure that your own presentations can be presented by others, using clear messages and notes.
Workshops on Speaking & Influencing
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Job interviews through Skype, Facetime and other Internet-based video call services have become very common for first meetings so that people can be screened quickly without the inconvenience of travel. This means that anyone who knows how to look better in a Skype call has an advantage over the candidates who don't realize that this is even possible or do not take the trouble to prepare.
In an earlier post I described Ten Ways to Impress People in a Skype Interview, covering all the basic techniques. Today people are increasingly using smartphones and tablets for these interviews, so in these cases which tips are the most useful? Here are five that will make a visible difference.
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One of the easiest ways to improve your public speaking is to become better at using pauses. Initially people are afraid to leave pauses, especially at the beginning of their speaking career when they are still nervous. Other people tend to speak without breaks because they are trying to recite a memorized text -- never a great idea. See How to Memorize a Speech Effectively for the correct way to do this.
But a speech without pauses is much more tiring to listen to and people can miss key phrases as their brain struggles to parse a continuous stream of sounds without a break. It is the audible equivalent of trying to read Sir Thomas Malory's La Morte D'Arthur in the original, unpunctuated edition or a sentenceallruntogetherintoonebiglumplikethis.
Adding pauses helps people to understand what you are saying, it helps to attract attention and it helps to emphasize the key points. You can use pauses in several ways:
The Pause at the Beginning. One of the most common mistakes I see…