iSpeakEASYblog

How To Decide What To Say (and what NOT to say)

In marketing, Public Speaking on January 30, 2018 at 3:44 AM

Think back to the last time you ate at a buffet: did you scan ahead to see what was buffet 1offered other than the food in front of you? You were probably thinking you have a limited amount of space in your belly and should fill it with those things most important to you. While you may have appreciated the abundance, you did not place equal value on all the choices. You took some of one dish while ignoring others completely.

Information is like this: some is very important to us while other information is of lesser value.

As speakers, we often feel the need to tell everything we know on a subject. We feel we are cheating, or not telling the whole truth, if some bit of information is left off. “Data dumps” tend to overwhelm, over stuff, or just plain bore the audience. Rather than going away with more information, listeners check out, and retain less.

It is up to you as speaker to determine which 3-5 bits of information are essential to your point. The most important info may vary from situation to situation even though the topic is the same. The objective of your talk, the audience, and what you want the audience to remember will determine which information is critical. Everything else should be left out. While this may seem hard, your audience will appreciate your efforts. You will make it easier for them to understand and retain the information you give them.

It is hard to cut information out of your talk. The goal, however, is to awaken and provoke the audience. If there is something not covered that is of interest to them, they will ask.

As you plan your next presentation, whether it is to a large group or one-on-one, take time to scan ahead at the great buffet of information ahead of you. Select what to say and what to leave out. This will help your audience remember your message while reducing the chances of over stuffing them.

 

 

© 2007 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY.  Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

3 Elements Of An Effective Talk

In business, Business Presentations, Communication, Public Speaking on October 26, 2017 at 2:27 PM

Would you be a more effective speaker if you knew exactly what your audience wanted? Would you be more efficient in your prep time if you had a clear idea of the target before you began planning your presentation?

There is good news! A recent survey conducted by Andy Goodman tells us just this. Information was gathered from more than 2500 people who both watch presentations and make presentations. This data produced a list of the three qualities audiences most want in a presentation.

Clarity

A well-designed talk is organized and centers on a single main message.  This message is crystal clear and uses up to 5 sub-topics to support it. Audiences are less interested in your data and more interested in your message. Keep it short and to the point. Often in preparing talks, we come up with multiple messages. Write all of these down and then find the one overarching message that incorporates as many of these as possible. Be clear in your mind as to what you want to say and this will help the audience understand your message.

Interaction

Audiences are intelligent! They are more interested in feeling a part of the learning process and less interested in you being the “expert source of information”. More than just the standard question and answer session, audiences want the opportunity to interact with the speaker and with members of the audience. Ask many questions, encourage dialogue, and find innovative ways to have your audience work in small groups to “discover their own data”.

Enthusiasm

Energy, charisma, passion – the audiences interest is perked when the speaker exhibits these qualities. Face it – when the person speaking looks as excited as a bowl of oatmeal, it is hard for the audience to get excited. Enthusiasm is contagious.

Four additional qualities that rated high in the survey were humor, use of stories, relevance, and well-produced visuals.

Clarity, interaction, and enthusiasm are qualities audiences want the most! While this research focused on formal presentations, the principles will work when you are speaking one-on-one or to small groups (such as at staff meetings). Use these ideas to help improve the effectiveness of your presentations today!

 

 

Source: “Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes”, Andy Good and Cause Associates. 2006

© 2007 by iSpeakEASY – All rights reserved. This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. For information on workshops and coaching, contact us at Ethan@iSpeakEASY.net

Intrigue Your Auedience – Don’t Overwhelm Them

In Uncategorized on October 26, 2017 at 2:18 PM

When my children were young, I dreaded going to the store to buy children’s aspirin. I remember standing there at the wall of products completely overwhelmed and very clear that there were many options but not clear at all about the right choice. Aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen or store brand? Pills, capsules, chewable, or liquid? Infants, child, teen or adult? Cherry, berry, or grape? Coated or uncoated? With fever reducer or without? 10, 25 or 100? It was too much!

aspirin-aisle

I always worried that no matter what I brought home, it would not be the right choice.

Speakers often overwhelm audiences in the same way. In an effort to fully educate, to tell the whole story, we give too much information and too many options. We give more than the audience wants, can remember, or can even keep straight in their head. Speakers often try to cram what has take years or even decades to learn into a 40 minute presentation.

Given too many choices or too much information, audiences become dazed. Rather than being moved to action, they are more likely moved to a state of paralysis. In a sales situation, this means no sale. In a management situation, this means no change in behavior. In a community forum, it means no change in belief

An effective speaker gives the audience one clear message. An effective speaker supports that one message with 3-5 supporting points, and they are done. An effective speaker keeps it clean and simple.  An effective speaker is able to discern what needs to be stated and what needs to be left out.

Take the time to figure out your one message and find your three to five supporting subtopics, and leave everything else out.

The worst that can happen when you give less is your audience will want more information and ask you a question.

 

© 2007 by iSpeakEASY – All rights reserved. This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. For information on workshops and coaching, contact us at Ethan@iSpeakEASY.net