Monday, November 28, 2011

Speaking Lesson from Apple

Last night, I got a message on my iPhone asking me to download recent updates.

I get messages like these from Firefox all the time. Rarely do I pay attention.

But the one from Apple got my attention. Why?

Unlike Firefox, Apple told me specifically what the updates would do. In simple, concrete language, I learned which problems the updates would fix and how they would make my phone better.

So often speakers make the mistake of jumping into the substance without first explaining what they're there to do in the first place. The result? People lose attention.

From the Green Room: Early in your presentation, tell your audience what you're there to do - and how it will impact them. If you communicate clearly where you're taking them, your audience will be more likely to stay with you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Be the Host - Not the Guest

This Thanksgiving, will you be a guest or a host?

A good guest shows due gratitude and appreciation to the host. But as a guest, you have much less power.

A host manages the entire experience for the guests. And a good host ensures that the guests feel welcomed, satisfied, and content.
If the evening is a success, it is the host who takes credit.

From the Green Room: W
hen you speak, be the host - not the guest. Rather than begin your speech by thanking the audience for inviting you, begin by welcoming them to an experience.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Leave Room for Improv

Watch this hilarious Ted talk from this week - Charlie Shodd: The Shared Experience of Absurdity:

The absurd scenes created here were funny only because of the people involved who had no idea what was going on.

Speakers tend to practice as a way to avoid the unexpected. But while preparation is absolutely essential, it is sometimes those unexpected moments in a presentation that make the most impact.

From the Green Room: Know your core message. But don't memorize your speech. Leave room for a little improv!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Don't Suffer

What happened to Rick Perry in last night's debate is a speaker's nightmare - a brain freeze followed by 43 agonizing stammering seconds.

If this gaffe brings him down, it won't be because he forgot the name of the Department of Energy. It will be because of his response.

Rather than moving on with confidence and ease, Perry suffered - and the audience suffered with him.

From the Green Room: Face it - You will mess up. What matters is how you bounce back. Never suffer. Emotions are contagious and your audience will suffer as well. Keep your confidence. Keep your cool. And move on.