My Top Ten Speaking Tips

They work for me

(WORLD) I’m one of those weird people who loves to get up on stage to speak in front of hundreds of people.

My career only spans 4 years but in that time I’ve delivered talks on four continents and to thousands of individuals at cross-sector events, conferences and in-house sessions.

Along the way I’ve learned a few things and thought it time to share the wisdom. So without further ado, here’s ‘My Top Ten Speaking Tips’ (not in priority order) based on personal experience:

    1. Finish the presentation the night before—it stays fresher in your brain than if you completed it a few weeks previous. This is important for my industry as stuff moves so quick but it also offers the opportunity to add in references from earlier talks (if it’s more than a one day event) plus ensures you can omit things which have already been covered. Most importantly though it doesn’t give you a chance to practice…

    2. Don’t practice—a great talk is like a conversation (and no conversation goes the way you planned, no matter how many times you practice it in your head). Sure, run through it once to check the timings plus transitions etc but this is more an exercise of knowing what you want to convey rather than rehearsing exactly what to say verbatim.

    3. Don’t do lecterns—it forms a physical barrier between you and your audience. Less is definitely more in this instance and before you say, “where do I put my script…?”

    4. Never use a script—if you know your stuff you don’t need it written down. This method means: head down, losing intonation / connection with your audience / professionalism. We don’t talk the same way we write and it just doesn’t work. If you’re an organiser of any events / conferences, ban podiums and scripts. It will scare a lot away but I guarantee you’ll be left with fantastic speakers who simply know their stuff.

    5. Let your client dictate the topic not the content—I once had a very needy client who heavily dictated the content of a presentation I was giving at their event to the point of even signing it off. It’s the ONLY time the organisers didn’t think I delivered (even though three quarters of the audience thought I was good/very good). Coincidence maybe, but experience tells me otherwise.

    6. Move—the best speakers are passionate and passion means movement. Move around the stage / floor. Move your arms, your face, your eyebrows. Communicate with your body not just your words / slides.

    7. Look at your audience—engage them through eye contact. Don’t pick a spot at the back of the room / hall and drift off. Sometimes this is hard if you’re speaking on a lit stage but you can still make people out. After a while you can have some fun with this: I like to pick out those yet to be convinced (you’ll spot them through body language—the ones with their arms crossed and sitting back in their seat—once you have them coming forward and sitting on the edge of their chairs and nodding their heads you know you’re onto a winner).

    8. Bullets kill people—well maybe in this case it’s attention. People can read faster in their heads than you can read it out loud. The only words I use in my presentations are the titles for each slide. This directs my talk. They act as cues for the topics or a point I want to convey. The underline comes from the images/video plus the story weaved around it.

    9. Fool your nerves—those damn butterflies can turn into courage-eating moths which can eat you from the inside out. Trick them. The emotional and physiological response to fear is exactly the same as when you’re excited. Tell yourself it’s not nerves but positive anticipation and after a while you will create an ingrained learned response.

    10. Enjoy it—if you don’t have fun speaking then don’t do it. There are other ways to promote yourself or spread your message.

As stated, all of the above work for me—they might not work for you. Then again they could.

Do they help or hinder? Agree / disagree?

MediaSnackers Speaking/Masterclass

MS Podcast#153

Bloggers and brands

(NED) The MediaSnackers podcast focusses on individuals, organisations or companies who are simply impressing us and which are crying out for more discussion.

Nalden runs the extremely popular blog Nalden.net out of Amsterdam is also the founder of We Transfer.

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0.00—0.28 intro
0.29—1.30 Nalden.net
1.31—3.00 the background and development of the blog
3.01—4.05 what brands and organisations can leanr from bloggers
4.06—5.25 examples of brands Nalden has worked with
5.26—7.05 how to ensure authenticity
7.06—8.00 video interview with Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman
8.01—9.47 brands Nalden wouldn’t work with
9.48—10.44 how can brands and organisations use / partner with bloggers?
10.45—11.17 future
11.18—11.27 outro

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Continue reading MS Podcast#153

Shift Happens : ALT Shift

Arts | Learning | Technology

(GBR) More than humbled to be opening the second day of the fantastic Shift Happens : ALT Shift conference here in Pilot Theatre, York (the exact same thing I did last year).

This year my aim to explore power, engagement and play in the context of social media use.

DK is an inspirational speaker, his presentations are always geared to his audience, and he knows how to generate a real buzz in the room. Most of all he knows his stuff, presents it brilliantly and is able to convey thoughts, ideas to enable true understanding. He has delivered keynotes at our last 2 shift happens events and he totally rocked the crowd. Thanks DK I have learned a lot from you and your presentations.

Marcus Romer, Artistic Director, Pilot Theatre

Here’s a Wordle created from all the responses, quotes and tweets from my talk:

Shift Happen 2010 Wordle

Grab the full text of quotes and tweets here: ShifthappensTwitQuotes (.rtf file) to create your own on Wordle.net

Here’s also a quick AudioBoo with Bec from Pilot Theatre:

Listen!

Plus here’s another interview from KhaozMediaYorklisten here.

UPDATE—check out the video of the keynote here.

MediaSnackers Speaking/Masterclass

Related post: Shift Happens 2.0 2009

6th World Summit Part Two

wskarlstad2010

Reflections

(SWE) The World Summit on Media for Children and Youth 2010 last week was amazing—Karlstad, Sweden lived up to its happy sunny name and the people I met were simply incredible.

The overall organisation, venue, wifi, hotels, food, entertainment etc. was superb. My two “Social Media For All” sessions were well attended and received some lovely feedback.

As for the content of the conference itself, well the programme promised more than it delivered I’m afraid.

Speaking to the many delegates there seemed a consensus of opinion on the lack of energy and dynamism from the session speakers plus an over-emphasis on traditional media models/practices. The last summit in Africa also had hundreds of young people (compared to about 30/40 at this one).

So for what it’s worth here’s my five top tips/suggestions for the organisers of the next World Summit in Bali, 2013 :

  • decide between youth participation or a youth presence : it’s hard to create legitimate youth participation at such a professional-focussed event, therefore, making the decision either way is better than trying to serve two masters (remember, a teachers conference is not less due to no student involvement but separating the young participants from the main event is not participation). The youth who were involved were fantastic though and I was lucky enough to help them out with their website, Global Youth Media Council, check it out plus their final presentation to the conference

  • fold social media into the event : like streaming the sessions (using Ustream or CoverItLive, update the Facebook page or Twitter presence regularly to offer insights and ongoing commentary, create a Twitter list of people attending the conference (like I did), go public with the hashtag more than a week before the event (reread the tweets from the #wskarlstad2010), upload the presentations to SlideShare etc

  • book speakers on their talent not titles : my major gripe with most conferences this one. It’s a constant juggle for organisers to land high-profile speakers and ensuring the audience will not be treated to a head-down-read-from-the-script session (maybe introduce the Pecha Kucha style format into some of the sessions)

  • multi-media it up : mix in every medium going to reflect the current media landscape; TV, film, radio, print, web, social media, gaming, geo-location, music, crowd sourcing/funding, performances, open source, mobile, unconferences etc.

  • book me as a main stage speaker : cheeky I know but valid nonetheless. Seriously, if you want someone to offer energy, fun and insightful discourse on the current mediascape then I guarantee I’ll deliver (or your money back)!

All of the above given with respect, no expectation and a smile.

Thanks again to this years conference organisers for the opportunity to participate—it was great!

Here’s some stuff I created from the conference : Continue reading 6th World Summit Part Two

South Dublin County Council Internal Event

sdcc logo

Celtic cousins

(IRE) We love delivering our Internal Events as it means cross-departmental delegates and organisational-wide impact.

Today we’re with South Dublin County Council, serving them a contextualising presentation on the (social) media landscape changes and then five different masterclasses, totally bespoke and specific to their needs.

The best thing about MediaSnackers is they don’t just tell you about platforms and projects—they show you. The fact that they are blogging, tweeting, photo sharing and recording all through the event enhances the message and immediately gives participants the ability to see it in action and participate.

Within 24 hours of our recent internal event with the MediaSnackers I saw great changes! Blogs started appearing, twitter feeds picked up, ideas began to circulate. The fear and apprehension that had surrounded the use of social media in our organisations had been diminished. People are playing, having fun and ‘clicking the button’!

I doubt any other company could have delivered to such a diverse group of organisations, ages and abilities and inspired everyone to action. The internal event was definitely the best way to kick start our journey into social media and has opened up new areas for further exploration and training.

Carolyn Jones

MediaSnackers Internal Events

MS Podcast#152

The youth olympics

(WORLD) The MediaSnackers podcast focusses on individuals, organisations or companies who are simply impressing us and which are crying out for more discussion.

Julian Lim is the Head of New Media for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (the first ever youth olympic games).

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0.00—0.40 intro
0.33—1.42 the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games and the Cultural Education Programme
1.43—2.19 what role does social media play in the preparations
2.20—5.03 what have they been doing : Facebook fan page, Twitter, YouTube channel, Flickr and WhyOhGee plus the Million Deeds Challenge
5.04—6.07 specific uses of the platforms
6.08—7.33 user generated content from the attendees and participants
7.34—8.08 opportunities vs challenges
8.09—11.29 future and legacy creation
11.30—11.43 outro

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Want to suggest someone or put your virtual hand-up to be interviewed? Then get in touch here.

Devour our other podcasts.

Continue reading MS Podcast#152

Intersection vs Destination

A little observation

(WORLD) Think about the busiest places you know…

I bet there are all intersections of some description : train stations, town centres, concert halls, motorways etc.

Same for social media : iTunes, Facebook, Twitter, Skype etc

If you're looking to create traffic then think about creating intersections not destinations.

Which is why Google wins and Yahoo won't with its new $85 million ad campaign :

Image credit

Thurrock Consulting Gig Part One

thurrock

Starting the journey

(ENG) Yesterday MediaSnackers started our eleven day consulting tenure with Thurrock Youth and Connexions Service.

Our first task was a mammoth day of information gathering to orientate ourself with current operations, strategy and policy considerations plus levels of digital literacies with the staff (amongst many other things)—all with the view of developing a package of social media training and project ideas.

Check out the photos from the day below:

Related post : Thurrock Youth Service

MediaSnackers Consulting

Laurea University Lecture / Consulting

Finland gigs

(FIN) Today I'm crossing another country off my list and delivering a couple of gigs at Laurea University, Finland.

I have the honour of presenting a lecture to a several groups of students and their professors on the impact of social media. Then in the afternoon I'll be working with the internal marketing team on thier specific use of social media and the opportunities it affords.

Thank you for delivering us an interesting and inspiring presentation and discussion afternoon on social media. The event was very successful one with about 60 participants varying from students to teachers and other Laurea’s staff. All the feedback I have received afterwards has been highly positive. I can strongly recommend you for any organisation and hopefully we will have a chance to use your services again the
future. All in all, a very thorough and professional day but with a refreshing approach.

Susanna Ba, Project Planner, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

MediaSnackers Consulting and Speaking/Masterclass