Sunday, December 4, 2011

3 Presentation Tips from Model Communicators

Recently, I attended the TEDX Ranier conference at the University of WA. This is an offshoot program of TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design.) I’ve always recommended my clients to visit to view the excellent, inspiring speakers. Speakers are urged to put forth ideas that will change the world.

This program was no exception. Dr. Leroy Hood discussed human genome mapping and Scott Oki, who has funded 18 non-profits, talked about education reform. Adreen Mahmud described how he uses technology to solve social problems and Chrystie Hill gave examples of how libraries can build community. Daria Musk performed and sang with Google +Hangouts from all over the world - she’s had 200,000 in her web audience.

The delivery styles of these model communicators were all very different. Some were better speakers than others but they were all passionate and committed to their causes and no one was boring. How can you become a model communicator? If you wanted to become a master chef, you would seek out the best culinary school or watch videos to learn techniques or apprentice yourself to the best chef around. Perfect your speaking technique by studying the performance of the best communicators.

In general, they display the following behaviors:

1. They thoroughly plan and prepare their presentations. One client told me that he started being unusually nervous before and during his speeches. SInce he was a good speaker, he had skipped rehearsing or visiting the physical site as he felt he didn’t have to make that effort any more. However, the best communicators will tell you they step up their rehearsals. Once my client got back into a strong preparation routine, the nervousness diminished.

2. They start from where their audience is; not from where they are. Even though they are experts, they start from the same level of knowledge as their audience and find common ground.

3. They take responsibility for the audience’s ability to understand the topic. They have a gift for taking a large amount of material and breaking it down into smaller, cohesive units that can be easily understood, remembered and applied by the audience. You will go far if you can synthesize reams of data and edit it down into useful information.

More tips from model communicators next time. Meanwhile, visit , attend presentations of famous speakers who come to town and be more aware and learn from the best speakers in your organization.

Jan D'Arcy

1 comment:

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