Thursday, April 17, 2008

How to deliver an effective speech or presentation

Whether it’s an upcoming employee training session or a presentation in front of the executive big wigs, delivering a speech or presentation are two things the majority of us don’t look forward to.

Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek,” shares some simple tips from Al Gore’s speech writer on how to master the art of the presentation in a post last week. It’s a worthwhile read, even if you just click through to watch him breakdance.

Here’s a run-down of some great speech tips he shared:

Any good speech will answer two questions: What is your point? and Why does it matter to your audience?

A speech is like a story, give it a beginning, middle and end.

Mix it up. Share funny anecdotes in between facts and figures, it will keep your audience engaged.

After you figure out what you’re going to say, get rid of 20% of it.
“In all my years of preparing and watching political and business speeches, I’ve yet to hear anyone say, ‘Gee, I wish that speech were longer.’”
Remember the speech isn’t about you, it’s about the audience and what they can take away from it.

Don’t try to be someone else when you present. Be yourself. Remember to focus on the value of the speech, not how funny your jokes are.

Do your homework and tailor your message to the audience.

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