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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the October 2005 Newsletter

Integrating Visual Aids

Slides are one of those, “can’t live with ‘em and can’t live without ‘em” deals.

First: Can’t live without ‘em. Sometimes it’s because the audience expects slides, so you feel obliged to use them. Sometimes it’s because you don’t think you’ll remember what you want to say. And sometimes, it’s because we think all the information needs to be on the slides for the audience to absorb the message.

If the audience expects slides, use just enough to reassure them. If you recognize an abundance of slides may be counterproductive, you may want to let them in on that up front. “I’m limiting the number of slides today to help keep us focused on accomplishing [our goal].” Or, “In an effort to make sure everyone leaves here being able to . . . we’re going to try something new today.”

If you’re using slides to help you remember what you want to say, typically that means their design isn’t audience friendly. Slim them down and design them to help your audience. They’ll still help you remember your key points, and you’re less likely to direct your whole presentation to the screen.

And, if you’re thinking all that information actually helps the audience get your message, I’ve got news for you. They can’t read it and listen to you at the same time–-and with all that information on the slide it’s probably so crowded they don’t want to read it. Put it in the handout. Simplify what’s on the screen.

All of those tend to take care of the “can’t live with ‘em” part. Using slides because someone expects them interferes with connecting. Too much information (35 words is a crowded slide) interferes with your connecting with your audience. And fear of forgetting your information does, too.

It takes focus, determination, and simple slides to be able to “live with ‘em” effectively and comfortably.

Dear Teach

Allison King, Kennedy-Western University Corporate Communications Coordinator:

“I just finished my first set of presentations. I gave eight in total and then I presented an update on the presentations to Senior management. I have received nothing but positive feedback and compliments. Below are three of the email compliments that I have received. I owe them all to you. I want to thank you for all of the tools that you have given me. Public Speaking is much more enjoyable now, and I am better at it too.”

“After your presentation yesterday a coworker and I were marveling at your excellent speaking skills.”

“You did a great job in your presentation yesterday. You’re well-spoken, you knew what you were talking about, and you spoke clearly and at a good pace. Kudos to you!”

“You did a great job in my Sales meeting; thank you very much for taking the time to deliver that great information. You help to make the environment at K/W very professional! Thanks again.” (The Director of Admissions)

It’s great to feel good about your presentation when you finish. It’s even more special to also have others give such positive feedback. Thanks for sharing that, Allison.

Dull Delivery

“I’ve paid someone to write a dynamite presentation for me and I’m pleased with the content. However, I’m apparently delivering the message in a monotone and also not connecting with my audience. Any suggestions?”

It sounds as though you’re concentrating on connecting with your material and getting that right and concentrating on your slides. To get rid of the monotone, you’re going to need to trust that you’re in touch with your message and focus on connecting with the audience.

Be sure there are some times when you have nothing on the screen (a black screen) and just have a conversation with your audience during that time. Think of it as a conversation focusing on how this information is actually useful to them, and you’ll find the monotone practically cured, as well as having established a connection with them.

That usually feels so good that you’ll incorporate that same focus and attitude when you’ve got slides up, and you’ll be headed in the right direction.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

“Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy.” —General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” —Harvey S. Firestone

“We don’t remain good if we don’t always strive to become better.” —Gottfried Keller

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” —John Wooden

“Deserve a promotion or a raise a work? Want a better seat on the plane, a nicer view of the ocean? Then ASK. The answer may be no but asking for what you want always creates a possibility for a yes.” —Jay Tee

For more great quotes, check out these websites:

Orders

Think gifts. Someone you know is going to be giving more presentations soon. Give them a practical gift that will make those presentations easier and more effective. Learn more or Order Online.

Book
"Getting Over Yourself: A Guide to Painless Public Speaking...and More" by Barbara Rocha 208 pages, illustrated, cartoons $19.95

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Booklets by Barbara Rocha:
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Speeches on Tape:
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Seminars

**How to Overcome the Stress of Public Speaking
Pasadena: 3-day workshop October 25, 26, 27, 2010.

We have two public seminars each year: May and October/November. If you have several people who could use this training, contact us regarding an in-house seminar.

As a refresher, workshop graduates (from any of our 3-day workshops) may attend for half price at any time. People tell us they get as much or more out of the workshop the second time around.

Visit our seminars section for details or call (888) 800-2001

For more information, contact:

Barbara Rocha and Associates

PO Box 60521, Pasadena, California 91116

(626) 792-8075



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