What are the 5 most important quick ideas for improving your public speaking? I’m going to go for broke this week and blog on 5 quick takes in 5 days. Put them together and you should have a good ‘cheat sheet’ for fulfilling your resolution to improve your public speaking in 2012.
4. In delivery, don’t fall into the Power Point Triangle of Death. I have seen so many speakers, even confident, highly paid speakers, talk to their slides instead of the audience. It’s a dead giveaway that the speaker is using the slides as speaker notes, and it’s a nearly unforgiveable sin. Here’s what happens. The speaker stands between the computer and the screen, forming a triangle. Then, all of his motions and gestures are confined to that triangle, and are not focused on the audience.
Why is that bad? Because we’re only interested in motion toward (or away from) us. Motion by the speaker that is toward the screen or a random computer causes us to check out. If you don’t think this is the case, watch how interested you are when someone half-turns away from you, or gives you the ‘cold shoulder’. You check out; you can’t help it. Same thing is happening to your audience if you’re not always moving toward them, and away when you are changing the subject or moving to a new topic.
Learn your slides so that you don’t talk to them, or your computer. Talk to the audience. Always.