Ironically, as writers, we are often asked to speak. In fact that is the best case scenario, that you are asked to speak. But what if you are not a speaker? What if you are a writer because you like to sit in a dark room and make up stuff?
We’ve discussed some basics about speaking in a previous podcast. Catharine is currently wrapping up an Executive Coaching session for presentations and I thought I’d share some of what I discovered teaching this class.
Dos and Donts
Sing in the car
Listen to happy music
Recover, if something goes wrong, just smile and move on, the audience will not remember the mistake if you don’t reference it.
Have an emergency story or two that ties into the theme of your presentation. Use this when something goes wrong, or the PowerPoint fails, it can be an all occasion story.
Stay on message. If you feel you are wandering, just look at your notes and say “I was so excited about this theme, I lost track of time, let me make sure I’m delivering all the information you need.”
Remember your strong outro, make sure people remember who you are and how you can be reached.
Reference your co-workers and their presentations, it makes the company and your efforts look that much more cohesive and professional.
Listen to break up songs
Listen to too much news/talk, it will put you in a bad mood.
Use too many acronyms. There may be a new person in the group just learning these terms, be the good guy and spell them out once during the presentation, they will silently thank you for it.
Wear tight clothes or short skirts (sorry guys, really, don’t wear the mini), you are on stage and everything looks shorter on stage. Wear comfortable and professional outfits.
Drink too much the night before the presentation, save it for the night AFTER the presentation.
Don’t give it away – Save the big announcement or the big reveal for the end of the presentation, don’t hint and don’t get so excited that your blurt it out at the beginning of your talk. Just bide your time, your audience will thank you.
We have plan A which we are living right now.
Plan B, which is the attractive option but what about plan C? The plan for when I all goes to hell. What is your plan C? Sail around the world? Live with mom? Tend bar in Turkey? Write about the plan when it all goes south.
Word of the week
When the Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth wrote a letter to a friend in April 1795, she commented on her recent reading, “It is a scarce and very ingenious book; some of the phraseology is so much out of the present fashion, that it would make you smile: such as the synonym for a little man, a Dandiprat.”
A dandiprat may be a dwarf or small boy but also sometimes an insignificant or contemptible person. She was somewhat premature in her claim that the word was unfashionable: it survives to be included in a few modern one-volume dictionaries because it turns up from time to time in historical or fantasy fiction. In evidence of this, I place this before you:
Who is so wise as to distinguish, with unerring precision, between a little man, a dwarf, a gnome, a midget, a shrimp, a runt, a pygmy, a Lilliputian, a chit, a fingerling, a pigwidgeon, a mite, a dandiprat, a micromorph, an homunculus, a dapperling, a small fry or someone with bad posture, weighted down with the cares of the world?
Forward the Mage, by Eric Flint and Richard Roach, 2002
though this perhaps proves no more than that Messrs Flint and Roach possess a thesaurus with historical pretensions.
Nobody has the slightest idea where the word comes from. It first appears in the language in the early sixteenth century in the sense of a small coin current at the time, curiously worth 1½ pence, but then quickly develops its other senses.
Anne Naylor: http://becauseofbipolar.com.au