My public speaking tips were developed by doing, watching and teaching.
Public Speaking Training
I love public speaking. I began doing it during my 20 years as an executive in Japan. Early on, I took advantage of participating in Toast Masters at the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ). That was for public speaking in English. I threw myself into an intensive series called Hanishikata Kyoshitsu (Way of Speaking Classroom) where 500 Japanese and one blond woman practiced making speeches in front of each other in Japanese. The leader did a great job of pounding into us to be specific rather than the using the vague references that come so naturally with the deferential Japanese language. I also want to acknowledge an amazing course with Werner Erhard that I took in the late 80’s called Presentations, Negotiation and Enrollment. My key take-away from Werner was to “be with the people.”
My Courage Group partner Ray Gordon was a presentation skills trainer for the American Management Association and received certification to train GE personnel, so I was able to learn a lot from him as well.
I enjoy attending conferences and absorbing knowledge from experts in their fields. I also learned about how to moderate and present by watching what makes other presentations effective. Through my company, The Courage Group, I teach a course on presentation skills that utilizes video feedback in both English and Japanese.
Top Ten Public Speaking Tips
1. Never moderate a panel or speak in public without preparing
2. Create a map of important points you want to cover
3. Never read a speech nor an introduction
4. Use a computer screen to glance at your slides so that you are looking towards your audience
5. Tell stories that allow the audience to visualize what you are talking about
6. Use slides that appeal to the “right brain” of your audience
7. Be with your audience, check their faces – are they getting it?
9.Time your presentation. Allow no less than 15 minutes for questions
10.Take advantage of attending the conference you are speaking at
How to Moderate a Dynamic Panel
1. To gauge who is in the audience, allow the panel to participate in deciding what questions to ask
2. Interview each panelist separately, to understand their strengths so that you can make each shine
3. During interviews, create maps of important points and questions to cover and share with the panel
4. Make sure each panelist commits to meeting as a group before the panel, preferably in person
5. Listen. Be ready to lead where the discussion is going
6. Ensure that the panel is delivering concrete, actionable information
Linda Sherman Speaking Engagements
This has been an enjoyable month for being on stage. I started off May 5th moderating a panel called the Facebook Factor for Digital Hollywood at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Los Angeles.
May 21st I spoke twice at SheCon, a new conference hosted by Julie Wohlberg in Miami. I spoke by myself for a session called Interactive Social Media Audit, and I participated in a panel on PR.
May 24th I spoke at BlogWorld Expo in New York City on How to Write for and Engage the 50+ Online Marketplace.
Women In Business Radio Interview with Michele Price
I appeared on Michele Price’s radio show Women In Business Radio on June 6th. Here is the archive. I am the “featured speaker” but my appearance begins 24 minutes into the hour.
Do you have any additional speaking tips to share?