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This is a free chapter from Mr Eric Feng....

This is a free chapter from Mr Eric Feng.
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  • 1. 
 Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 2. A signboard displayed at a stall in Mexico reads: “Shoplifters will be beaten, stabbed and stomped. Survivors will be prosecuted.” If only all presenters can also get to the point with their presentation… Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 3. WHAT FANS ARE SAYING ABOUT GET TO THE POINT “Get To The Point is one of those rare, hard-to-find books, which provides aspiring speakers and public presenters invaluable tips to prepare for any difficult speaking situations they may face.” Peter Yeoh Director, Group IT Audit Neptune Orient Lines Ltd “Eric has been a huge resource to our team as a training expert with a high level of energy and ideas. It is great to see his ideas being made more widely available with the publication of his second book. Get To The Point is a practical tool that I will keep handy.” Bernard Dragon General Manager sanofi-aventis (Singapore and Malaysia) “A must read with powerful tips on every page (all 281 of them) to power up your public speaking skills. From a professional perspective in the private banking industry, Eric's tips on how to add stories and humour in business presentations is definitely a "must have" if you want more engagement with your clients. “ Calvin Foo Director UBS Wealth Management Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 4. ABOUT THE BOOK Specially written for business presenters, this book will help you become a more confident, credible and compelling speaker. Presented in a Q&A format, Get To The Point is jam-packed with over 1,000 ready-to-apply strategies and proven presentation secrets to help you:  Overcome your nervousness and stage fright once and for all  Connect with your audience effortlessly when you speak  Craft stories that keep your audience excited, engaged and at the edge of their seats  Inject the much appreciated humour into your business presentations  Organise your thoughts into an effective speech that you will remember and your audience won’t forget  Master your delivery and develop a memorable stage presence  Think on your feet and deliver effective off-the-cuff speeches  Persuade your audience more effectively and create buy-in for your ideas By the time you are done with this book, you will be equipped with the necessary skills to persuade and inspire, to turn prospects into clients, and to gain an unfair advantage over your colleagues and competitors! Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 5. Good Things Are Meant To Be Shared! 1. Send this free chapter to your friends and colleagues who will find the information valuable 2. Direct them to to download the free chapter 3. Print out as many copies as you like! (Double-sided to save trees) 4. Post the tips on your blog / website as long as you give credits to 5. Most importantly, READ it! To Your Speaking Success, Eric Feng 
 Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 6. CONTENTS Chapter 1 Getting Your Audience Interested, Influenced and Inspired 1. If you only have a time limit of 5 to 7 minutes to persuade your audience, what is/are the most important thing(s) that must never be absent in a successful persuasive speech? 2. What, in your opinion, is the most powerful kind of inspirational speech, one that will move the audience? (Sharing a personal story? Using a number of short stories? Using history as lessons to learn? Constantly addressing the audience with questions for them to think about?) Please advise. 3. How do you make sure that the audience really takes action and improves after the speech, instead of simply walking away feeling pumped up? 4. I was told that I could increase the persuasiveness of my presentation with a “power button”. What exactly is a power button and how do I incorporate it into my speech? 5. Is there a structure I can adopt in my presentation to make it more persuasive and memorable? 6. They say that numbers are a great way to add credibility in your presentation and influence your audience. But how exactly do we leverage on this benefit in our presentation? 7. How do you influence the audience to think the way you do? Chapter 2 Connecting with Your Audience 8. What are some ways to draw the audience into your speech, hence connecting with them? 9. How do you stay present with the audience? 10. Are there times when the audience does not react or respond in the way you want them to? Maybe they are not as enthusiastic (let’s say you gave the same speech to another group. They loved it so much, but this group just didn’t love it). How do you react? 11. How should you speak differently when addressing a single person, small group, and large group? Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 7. 12. How should I encourage audience participation? 13. I am the unmarried sister of the bride and I have been given the task of giving a speech during the wedding dinner. How do I make sure that I don’t bore the rest of the audience? 14. I have to deliver a speech in a public setting. How do I attract positive attention and draw a sizeable crowd to me? 15. How do I ensure that my presentation is memorable? 16. As a professional speaker yourself, what are some strategies you adopt to help you win over your audience? 17. Can you give us a few more techniques to help us connect better with our audience? Preferably techniques that are easy to apply regardless of our experience and where we can see results immediately—thank you! 18. What should I do or prepare if I have to give a speech to an audience of a different culture and I am not sure what their customs are? Chapter 3 Crafting Stories That Keep Your Audience Excited, Engaged and at the Edge of Their Seats 19. We have heard so much about the power of stories in a presentation. Can you elaborate on why stories are so powerful? 20. Can you share with us the key elements that make a good story? 21. Can you share the steps in crafting an effective story with us? 22. How do I make my speech more interesting and more impressionable? Do I start by collecting real-life anecdotes, humorous phrases and record them for future reference? Chapter 4 Injecting Humour into Your Presentation 23. How can I inject humour into my wedding speech without it being too lame? 24. What did you do when your jokes fell flat and your stories were not funny? 25. Can you share with us your process of creating a humorous speech? 26. How do we add humour into a serious, business presentation? Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 8. 27. When I make a joke, should I laugh along with the audience or not? And what’s the difference? Chapter 5 Overcoming Your Nervousness and Stage Fright 28. Have you ever felt nervous and how did you overcome it during the speech? 29. How do you calm your nerves before you speak in front of a new audience? 30. I’m often distracted by thoughts of not being good enough to be on stage. I (sometimes) lack confidence on stage. How can I improve my confidence? 31. How should people get over their apprehension and nervousness when speaking to a crowd? 32. I will be giving my first lecture really soon. Apart from practice, do you have any tips to overcome novice’s fright? 33.`Sometimes I get unexpectedly nervous when speaking in public, especially when it involves a large group of important people. How do I overcome it? 34. What are some things I can do 10 minutes before my speech that will take the nervousness out of me? 35. We all know how important it is to speak with confidence in front of our audience. So besides learning how to overcome our initial stage fright, are there any techniques you can share with us that can help us speak with absolute confidence? Chapter 6 Organising Your Speech for Maximum Impact 36. How do you start a speech powerfully? 37. Should every speech start off with a bang? I’ve been told that a speech should start with a “bang”—something to really catch the audience’s attention. However, not every speech is suitable for that and it may come off as being contrived. I’m a member of Toastmasters and I’ve seen experienced toastmasters use props and do other attention- grabbing things that to me, seem overly dramatic and detract from the speech topic. 38. How do you close a speech powerfully? 39. How do you make a call to action at the end of the speech? 40. How do you generate new ideas for new speeches and deliver them effectively. Sometimes, I lack the inspiration for the topic (not knowing what to talk about, and having already been given a deadline for presenting the speech). Sometimes I don’t feel enough for my script to deliver them effectively. Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 9. 41. Is it possible to deliver a technical presentation that can be understood by the general audience? 42. Sometimes we are called up to “say a few words” at a business meeting or a conference. Without the necessary pre-speech preparation, how can we still deliver an effective speech? 43. Can you share with us some ways to think on our feet and deliver speeches off the cuff? 44. Please share with us tips on how to deliver an after-dinner speech? Chapter 7 Preparing and Rehearsing Your Speech The Optimal Way 45. When do you start preparing your speech? Do you do a lot of research? How long is the preparation process? 46. How do you prepare mentally so that you understand what your audience wants to go away with? 47. You select a topic to present to the audience, how often do you rehearse it before the actual date? 48. How should I practice hand gestures, expressions and body language for speeches? 49. How does a champion speaker like you, find the balance between memorisation and spontaneity? 50. How important is memorisation? I can’t find the balance between speaking naturally and wanting to have the structure of a written speech that I’ve memorised. I find that I focus on trying to remember those words and if I miss a word or a sentence I get flustered. Chapter 8 Mastering Your Delivery on Stage 51. What should I do with my hands when I am speaking? Shall I just let them fall to my sides, or fold them across my chest (which seems very inappropriate to me but I don’t have a better idea)? 52. I love the hand movements of Professor Noam Chomsky. Can I follow him? Would it make me look aggressive or arrogant? 53. I have a habit of speaking very, very fast, and a lot of people have considered me to be aggressive and as a result, they get put off by my attitude. Should I slow down? If not, is there a way where I can speak at that speed and yet sound less aggressive? Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 10. 54. Is referring to notes from behind a lectern really as bad as some say it is? 55. Many say that a speaker should maintain eye contact with his audience. If this is true, with whom exactly should I maintain eye contact with? There are so many people in the audience and making eye contact with every one of them will feel very awkward. Similarly, making eye contact with only one person throughout the speech can be really irritating for both parties. What exactly should I do then? 56. I have realised that during my lectures, I keep my pen in my hand while explaining with hand gestures, is this ok? Are there lecturing taboos such as no holding of pens, notes, or no standing still during a speech? 57. When speaking in front of an audience, what do you focus on? Should it be a certain person, an object, or do you look around at the audience? 58. I think pauses are necessary in a speech so that the audience has the time to digest your message. But how can I take decent and appropriate pauses, and still avoid the pause fillers, such as umm.., well.., etc.? 59. Can you share with us some tips to make one appear really sincere during a speech? 60. What should I do if I am doing ok verbally during my presentation but my hands or knees are visibly shaking no matter how hard I try to calm myself? 61. Are my facial expressions important? Will I come across as being too ‘plastic’ if I keep smiling throughout my presentations? Chapter 9 Speaking From the Platform—Dos and Don’ts 62. I am very short and I will look strange behind the lectern. Is it acceptable for me to stand at the side of the lectern? 63. I am going to be delivering a speech on my sister’s wedding. Are there any taboo subjects that I should not bring up? Are mentions of ex-boyfriends a strict no-no? 64. How should you address politically sensitive questions from your audience (those that whichever way you answer, you would offend someone)? 65. What presentation bloopers should we avoid at all costs? 66. From your experience of evaluating presentations, what are some tips you can give us that can help us deliver a memorable and impactful presentation in a conference? Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 11. 67. There are many things that can go wrong on stage. For example, the microphone goes dead, an audience’s phone rings, someone falls asleep and starts snoring etc. What should we do when all that happens? 68. Does the venue of my presentation make an important difference? And if so what should I look out for in a venue to give a speech? Chapter 10 Igniting Your Passion from Within 69. How can one sustain his/her passion and interest in speech when they could be travelling around the world giving the same, old speech? 70. How do I present a subject I’m passionate about without appearing obsessed? 71. I know that enthusiasm is very important in delivering a message or speech. But sometimes I find it very hard to express that enthusiasm and energy. Very often, I have to consciously tell myself that I need to be enthusiastic. Most of the time, I have to force myself, so it does not turn out well. Any suggestions as to how to muster more enthusiasm especially if we’re not too keen on the topic that we’re presenting? Chapter 11 Finding Your Speaking Style 72. How can one possess or express “charismatic” stage presence? So many have tried but so few are able to capture the attention of the audience. 73. Consider the substance, humour and style of presenting a speech. Of these, which is the most important and how much of a pie should they each occupy? 74. How do you “be yourself”? We have all heard this cliché so many times, but how exactly does one do it? 75. How do I find my own speaking style? 76. Can you share with us how we will be able to stand out from the rest of the speakers? Chapter 12 Winning a Speech Contest 77. I have been to a few public speaking contests and I notice age seems to make a difference. While the veterans (speakers in their 40s or have like 10 years of speaking experience) look cool and calm on stage, the younger speakers often seem to lack this coolness or calmness that the veterans have. And sometimes, this is the edge that results in the veterans winning over the younger speakers. Being only 25, how do you overcome all that, fighting the veterans and winning all the way up to district level competitions? Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 12. 78. Winning Speech vs. Excellent Speech—what are the makings of a winning speech? Can a winning speech be considered an excellent speech? 79. What’s the formula to winning a Toastmaster’s competition? Impact, passion or a great message in 5 to 7 minutes? Chapter 13 Revealing the Secrets of Successful Speaking 80. How do you review your presentation to learn as much as you can from it? 81. Besides having a strong language background, what other traits do you think a good speaker should possess? 82. Share with us your top five speaking tips. 83. What advice will you give to novice speaker? 84. You have mentioned many times that the evaluation process after a speech is extremely important. But how exactly do I evaluate or get evaluated? 85. What is the difference between a good speaker and an excellent speaker? What qualities do an excellent speaker possess that a good speaker does not have? 86. What constitutes a great speech? 87. Please share with us how we can accelerate our growth as a speaker and be on par with the best in the shortest time possible? 88. They say that if you want to be good at something, you have to ask the right questions. Does this apply to successful speaking as well? 89. Eric, you have frequently mentioned the importance of clocking stage time if we want to become powerful speakers. Can you give us some examples of ways we can clock stage time? Chapter 14 Getting Up Close and Personal with Eric 90. How do you rate your own public speaking skills? 91. How many years of experience do you need to accumulate to become a good public speaker? 92. What motivate you to continuously perform well in public speaking? Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 13. 93. Do you think you would one day make a difference to the world? (I wish I could!) And how would you go about fulfilling that goal? 94. How far will you go to fulfil your dreams? 95. In your younger days, did you ever see yourself becoming a world-class speaker? 96. What is your best memory in your public speaking journey? 
 Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 14. 
 1 Getting Your Audience Interested, Influenced & Inspired “A person can have the greatest idea in the world – completely different and novel – but if that person can’t convince enough other people, it doesn’t matter.” – Gregory Berns Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 15. Is there a structure I can adopt in my presentation to make it more persuasive and memorable? Yes of course. A structure that I highly recommend is one of a storytelling framework because firstly, it helps you connect emotionally with your audience and secondly, it is naturally persuasive. To find out why, refer to the chapter: “Crafting Stories to Keep Your Audience Excited, Engaged and at the Edge of Their Seats”. This storytelling framework is created by Cliff Atkinson, the author behind Beyond Bullet Point. And it is made up of five questions. The setting Where are we and when is it? The protagonist Who are we in the setting? The imbalance Why are we here? The balance What do we want to see happen? The solution How do we get from here to there? The setting is like an establishing shot in a movie that shows the viewers where and when the story takes place. Likewise, in a presentation, you want to provide the context and background to orientate your audience and have them say yes to you as early as possible. Giving presentations is part and parcel of any business. Whether you are an executive, a manager or an entrepreneur, you are required to deliver presentations both internally, to your directors and clients, and externally, to the media and investors. Not only are you required to inform, you are expected to persuade and inspire. You proceed to address the protagonist who is in fact your audience. This keeps your presentation focused on them. To effectively connect with them, be sure to find out their exact needs and wants. By establishing your audience as the protagonist of your story, you are also putting the limelight on them. And your audience likes that! This extra attention helps to build their own vested interest and therefore commitment to your presentation. And that’s why we are we are constantly seeking ways to become a more effective presenter -- someone who is confident, credible and compelling. Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 16. A good story has obstacles that the protagonist has to overcome. And the more impossible the obstacle is, the more tension and drama is created. Likewise in your presentation, you want to create an imbalance. The imbalance could be the result of an impending crisis, a change in the business climate, the threat of a new trend or the entrance of a new competitor. In short, it is an existing problem that your protagonist is facing. By addressing the imbalance, you are also reminding them of why they are listening to you in the first place. Yet you and I know how difficult and daunting it is to become a presenter of that calibre. There is a lot of work involved, And with our family and work commitments, it is almost impossible to make sense of the massively large amount of information on the Internet. When we are put in a situation that we are uncomfortable in, our natural inclination is to get out of it. So just as you address the imbalance, it is crucial for you to also address the balance or in short, to answer this million-dollar question – what is it that my audience wants? This will not only create a focus for your presentation, you will also score points with your audience because you have just demonstrated that you know what they want. What we want is to have someone who has walked the path to show us how it is done, step by step. To have them share generously their strategies and best kept secrets so that we can also be like them – confident, credible and compelling! Like any good movie, there has to be a resolution. An ultimate solution that helps the protagonist overcome all the overwhelming obstacles that he faces. Likewise in your presentation, you have to propose a solution that can help your audience achieve balance – and get what they want. It could be as straightforward as this: Buy “Get To The Point”! To summarise, here are the five questions to answer if you want to make your presentation more persuasive and memorable. The setting Where are we and when is it? The protagonist Who are we in the setting? The imbalance Why are we here? The balance What do we want to see happen? Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 17. The solution How do we get from here to there? They say that numbers are a great way to add credibility in your presentation and influence your audience. But how exactly do we leverage on this benefit in our presentation? You are right! Numbers do add credibility to a speech, especially in a persuasive speech that uses logic to impress the audience. Say you are a salesman selling anti-cancer pills. One of the most-used tactics is to state the current percentage of Singaporeans that are prone to cancer. Or if you are presenting to a board of directors, you will embellish your slides with revenue figures, return on investment percentages and company turnover numbers, especially if your company is doing well. Even speakers use numbers to reinforce their points. I remember some time back, a Toastmaster courageously dished out a statistical figure that was appalling but underscored her point: Couples in Singapore are not having enough sex. In fact, based on her numbers, couples are having sex only twice a week. Now, that is something! So how exactly do we leverage on this powerful tool – numbers – to persuade our audience. Here are two points to take note of: (a) Don’t overwhelm your audience with too many numbers True, numbers do add Audiences usually only remember credibility to your speech. It one or two statistics. So it doesn’t gives your audience the make sense to overwhelm them with impression that you have done five or six. a significant amount of research to warrant their trust. But when every line in your speech is tagged with a number, it becomes an overkill. So just how much is too much? Hard to say. But here’s the thing, audiences usually only remember one or two statistics. So it doesn’t make sense to overwhelm them with five or six. In your next speech, select one or two numbers that will create the largest influence on your audience. Say you are persuading them to exercise, statistics on the probability of getting a heart attack by people who don’t exercise would be extremely useful in startling your audience. Or if you are presenting to a group of investors, instead of telling them the number of new Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 18. clients you have acquired, show them how much dollars and cents that translate into. (b) Make your statistics memorable One of the problems with using numbers is that they are easily forgettable. Though they create credibility, they lack memorability. For example, you have your lecturer telling you that 32% of your class will drop out of school. Though it registers logically, it does not move you emotionally. Hence the number is easily forgettable. But what if we do this instead. Have the lecturer come into the class and say this: Will each of you turn to look at the student to your right? Once they are done, say this: Now will each of you turn to look at the student to your left? After they have all looked, say this: One of the students you have just looked at will not be returning to the school next year.” Big difference right? The trick to making your statistics memorable is to find a way to relate the statistics to your audience. Let’s try another one. This is my favourite. This speaker was underscoring the importance of high quality control and he was scoffing at people who think that 90% quality is good enough. Here’s how he did it. Many would consider having 90% quality to be pretty good. Certainly, many more would consider 99% quality to be excellent. But, how about 99.73% quality? Would this level of quality be acceptable or even above the expectations of the pickiest consumer? If the pharmaceutical, healthcare, and public sanitation industries met a 99.73% quality standard the following statistics may provide us with an accurate illustration. There would be at least 54,000 drug prescriptions filled improperly in the pharmaceutical industry annually. The healthcare industry would be responsible for dropping over 40,500 newborn babies every year. Additionally, there would be a period of two hours every month in which the public sanitation industries would allow the water quality to be unsafe. Notice how the speaker relates each number to an incident that his audience can relate to? Not only will they remember these statistics, they will also remember the message: 99.72% quality is simply not good enough! Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 19. So the next time you want to throw in a number into your speech, stop and consider: i. Is it relevant to the speech? ii. Will the number help reinforce a particular point or message? iii. How can I make the number more memorable? Have fun with numbers! Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 20. SUMMARY PAGE 1. Here’s your checklist to crafting a persuasive presentation:  Set up the problem first  Create urgency in resolving the problem  Remind your audience the consequences if they don’t  Sell the benefits of solving the problem  Handle all objections  Appeal to your audience’s emotions  Ensure that your audience can relate to your examples  Build credibility through your knowledge, reputation, sincerity and confident delivery 2. Number one rule in speaking – you can never change a person! No matter how persuasive you are, you will never make your audience take action and improve their lives unless they want to. 3. In order to invoke your audience’s desire to take action:  They have to first trust you  Make sure the benefits are concrete and tangible  Appeal to their needs (recall Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs) 4. If you want to make your presentation more persuasive and memorable, adopt the following storytelling structure: Setting Where are we and when is it? Protagonist Who are we in the setting? Imbalance Why are we here? Balance What do we want to see happen? Solution How do we get from here to there? Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 21. 5. Inserting facts and figures is a great way to influence the audience to your way of thinking. However before you do that, ask yourself the following 3 questions:  Is the number relevant to my speech?  Will the number help me reinforce a particular point or message?  How can I make the number more memorable? 6. Here are 5 more techniques to adopt to increase the persuasiveness of your presentation:  Repeat your key point in many ways  Use this power word – “Because”  Leverage on the Principle of Consistency  Address all objections  Tell a story Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 22. Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 23. 2 Connecting With Your Audience “You can make more friends in two days by being genuinely interested in them than in two weeks trying to get them interested in you” – Dale Carnegie Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 24. Can you give us a few more techniques to help us connect better with our audience? Preferably techniques that are easy to apply regardless of our experience and we can see results immediately – thank you! Wow, you are one demanding reader! Must be from Singapore. (grins) Ok let me share with you three easy to apply techniques that can help you connect with your audience effortlessly. The first is inspired by Anthony Robbins whom I am sure needs no introduction. If you have participated in his seminar before, you will think that you have just got yourself involved in a Spielberg movie because he engages ALL YOUR SENSES! Visually, auditory, kinestically, physically, mentally and emotionally… these days, even spiritually! So likewise you want to make sure your presentation engages the audience at these levels. Couple of quick tips: How to engage visually Props Cartoons Videos (either excerpts from movies or Stock Images (get them from or How to engage auditory Music Vocal variety How to engage kinestically / physically Activities – getting your audience to break into groups and discuss an issue or explore ways to apply what you have just taught Come up on stage to deliver a speech Games Exercises How to engage mentally Share interesting content that they have not heard before or will make a Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 25. difference to them Give them puzzles or problems to solve How to engage emotionally Tell stories Talk about issues that they care about (address their pains, frustrations, wants and desires) ACTIVITY: DIRECT A SPIELBERG MOMENT In your next speech or presentation, I want you to experiment engaging your audience on at least THREE levels. Pick three out of the five I have given you and then select an activity/form that you can incorporate into your speech. So say you choose visually, kinestically and emotionally, the forms will include a cartoon, a game and a story. Once you pick the activity or form, incorporate them into your speech. After your delivery, get feedback from your audience. Ask them which part of your presentation did they enjoy the most and why. Do a quick self-evaluation – how effective were the forms or activities that you use for your speech? If successful, I suggest you try another level or another form/activity. If unsuccessful, find out why and then try again. Here’s another easy and effective way to connect with your audience. Through EYE CONTACT. The next time you deliver your speech, make it a point to connect through your eyes. There is a good reason why they say eyes are the windows to a person’s soul. If you recall your last dinner conversation with a friend or colleague or date, you will realize that eye contact is a natural thing to do. Each time you want to engage the person in a conversation, you will first catch the person’s eye. Likewise, when you are delivering a speech, I want you to get used to looking at your audience’s eyes, one person at a time. There are literature out there that dictates how long and how intense you should be looking at your audience’s eyes. Personally, I think it is too much of a hassle. Surely you don’t calculate the amount of time you spent looking at your date’s eyes right? Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 26. ACTIVITY: LOOK INTO THEIR EYES Part 1 of the exercise requires you to be conscious about your conversations with people. In your next conversation with a friend, colleague or date, I want you to make a conscious effort to look into the person’s eyes when you talk. The whole intention is to get used to it, so that it becomes natural for you. Avoid staring. Avoid quick glances. It will make you shifty and weird. Not exactly the kind of impression you want to give to the person you are talking to. Instead, as you look into the person’s eyes, stay present to the conversation. Enjoy the talk. Smile! Part 2 is the real thing. You got to consciously look into your audience eyes as you deliver your speech. If you are uncomfortable, you can start with one paragraph of your speech. Break it into lines, and then deliver each line to each audience. Remember, public speaking is essentially a conversation, one person at a time. Here’s another extremely simple way to connect with your audience, without any hassle. Even if you are uncomfortable on the big stage, this technique will help you raise your connection with your audience by a few notches. How? By increasing your I to YOU ratio. The more YOUs you have in your The more YOUs you have in your speech, the more your audience feels speech, the more your audience connected to your speech. The feels connected to your speech. underlying principle is easy – people are only interested in themselves. This is the same reason why we jump whenever we hear the speaker call our name or say a word that sounds similar to our name. In my case, it is ERIC-BODY. So get your script ready because there is some counting to be done. Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 27. ACTIVITY: INCREASING YOUR I TO YOU RATIO Part 1 of the exercise requires you to count the number of Is and YOUs in your speech. A good guide will be a one “I” to three “YOU”. Part 2 is even easier. Convert all the “I”s to “YOU”. For example: “I want to tell this story about my cat who knows how to jump over the moon. It’s really bizarre. In fact, I was so surprised that I took a photo of my jumping cat…” [3 “I”s and 2 “my”] Here’s how I would edit the speech. “How many of YOU own a cat? For those of YOU who do, have YOU ever seen YOUR cat jump over the moon? If YOU do see one, I am pretty sure YOU will be surprised as well. In fact I think YOU will take a photo of YOUR jumping cat!” [8 “YOU/YOUR” and 2 “I”s] Compare the first and second speech, which do you prefer? 
 I have to deliver a speech in a public setting. How do I attract positive attention and draw a sizeable crowd to me? This is a question I ask myself when I did my first book talk in Kuala Lumpur (KL). Unfortunately, I could not find any credible or relevant information that answers this burning question of mine. In times like this, I improvise. The good news is some work and I will like to share them with you. Here are the workable ones that have been refined after three book talks. 1. A crowd attracts a bigger crowd so hire groupies if you need to People are naturally curious. So if they see a crowd (about 5-10) standing, with their full attention on you, they will check it out. Most of these people will stay for about 30 seconds to assess if your talk is relevant or interesting enough for them to drop their agenda. If you want to play safe, I encourage you to “hire” a crowd. Gather some of your friends and fans. Make sure they report on time. Get them to rally together. Each time someone passes by or stops, have them give a warm smile to the person and invite him/her to join in. This has proven to work wonderfully well! Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 28. 2. Location, location, location! Pick a place where you have a lot of open space. This way, you are highly visible. When we were in KL, the first day turned out was much better than the second day even though the second bookstore was a bigger one. Here’s why. On the first day, we were right smack in the middle of the bookstore. Hence most of them have to pass by us to get to the other parts of the bookstore. I even have an associate who will stop these people and invite them to sit in. However on the second day, we have this really huge waterfall blocking us. Hence we only have a crowd on the far right and we miss about 50% of the people in the bookstore. Plus, the talk was held in the quadrangle, which creates an invisible barrier. People who are not in the quadrangle will think it is a scheduled talk and avoid it. This is why the crowd size did not increase significantly compared to the first day. 3. Let them do the talking Make sure you have a lot of activities that get your audience talking and mingling. Firstly, this creates buzz, which attracts people. Secondly, it allows the audience to interact with one another, which makes the whole environment friendlier. So what you get is a friendly buzz that naturally draws people in. Getting my listeners up to talk works like magic. It’s usually normal to see someone in suit talking since people will assume he has been hired. However to see a shopper speak, now that is something you don’t see everyday. So in your talk, find as many opportunities as you can to have pockets of your listeners up on stage or make sure you have a lot of activities where they get to interact with one another. 4. Use the “S” word The word SECRET and SUCCESS seems to have an effect on the audience. Each time I say something along the line of “Let me tell you a secret…” or “Here are three tips on how to be successful…”, you will hear a pin drop. Everyone will keep really quiet. Even the kids. Passer bys will deliberately slow down so that they can eavesdrop into the million-dollar secret that you were about to share. The lesson is simple - make it exclusive. Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 29. 5. If need be, pay them to laugh at all your jokes and clap at opportune times Laughter and applause are your two best weapons in drawing crowds. In a short 60 minutes, I have about 8 stories planted in my talk. And each of them was intentionally funny. Some even require audience participation. So if you are going to give a talk to an open crowd, make sure your speech has about 80% stories, 20% tips. Stories are naturally engaging so it becomes your magnet in pulling a crowd. After you finish your story, land them with a power point or a valuable message, that will keep them staying. Repeat the formula and you will have 10 soccer teams eating out of your hands in no time. Here are other miscellaneous pointers on drawing an attentive crowd. Don’t just address the crowd. Make sure you talk to passer-bys too. Catch their eye and speak to them as if they are meant to be listening to you. I guarantee you that they will stop and listen, at least until they find you boring or irrelevant to their needs. Have a whiteboard with big words on it. Mind maps work well too. When passer by walks past, they will be curious enough to check out what you have written and since it is hard to walk and read at the same time, they will linger for a while. Final note: Even if you have just one listener, hide your disappointment. It’s ok. Really. On the bright side, you won’t be suffering from aerobic effects of public speaking and if you keep at it, you will start to draw a crowd. Why? Because people are naturally curious. They will be wondering why are you speaking to only one person. Why is that one person so focused on you? Is there something that they are missing out on? And before you know it, you have ten, twenty people clamoring for your attention. Final final note: I am going to assume here that you have SOLID content that (1) resolves your audience’s top three frustrations or challenges and (2) bring them one step closer to their wants and desires. Good luck with your next public appearance! Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 30. SUMMARY PAGE 1. Make your audience the hero by incorporating them in your speech or stories 2. Deliver solid content with high speech value 3. Look your audience in the eye as you deliver your speech. The connection comes from the eye contact. 4. Speak in a conversational tone. Public speaking is no longer a monologue, it is a dialogue! 5. Keep them on their toes by surprising them or varying the way you deliver your content 6. Answer this question right at the start – what’s in it for me? 7. Get flesh-time with your audience 8. Keep them laughing – it is one of the fastest way to connect with your audience 9. Be sincere – say what you mean and mean what you say 10. Increase your “I to You” ratio 11. This is what goes on in your audience’s head while you are speaking. Be sure to answer all the 4 questions as you speak.  So what?  Who cares?  What’s in it for me?  It’s all about me! 12. Direct a Spielberg moment – engage your audience visually, auditory, kinesthetically, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. 13. Instead of worrying about how your audience will think about you, focus on ensuring that your audience gets the best out of your presentation. In other words, be audience-centric. Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 31. 6 Organizing Your Speech For Maximum Impact “Tell them what you are going to say; say it; then tell them what you have said. That’s the art of a good speech.” - Anonymous 
 Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 32. Sometimes we are called up to “say a few words” at a business meeting or a conference. Without the necessary pre-speech preparation, how can we still deliver an effective speech? The truth is most of us do not have the luxury of creating speeches weeks in advance. And even if we do, we tend to leave it till the very last minute. The good news is you can still create a speech in under 10 minutes, one that is equally effective and to-the-point (without all the fluff!) And here’s how. 1. Start with the conclusion! Echoing Steven Covey's 2nd habit, it is critical to have the end in mind. In the case of your speech, ask yourself what's your message? Are you convincing the board to say yes to the new IT project? Are you inspiring your committee to work as team? Are you persuading your customers to buy your product? No matter what speech you make, however long or short it is, you ALWAYS have a message! Sidenote: If your speech is a relatively short one (say 5-10 mins), focus on just one message. In that way, your audience has a higher chance of remembering it. 2. Three points max What are three reasons why this IT project is critical to the growth of your company? What are three ways your team can follow their heart? What are three problems that can be solved by using your product? For every point you made, substantiate with an example or even tell a mini story to underscore your point. A universal structure that I often encourage presenters to adopt is PREP. P – oint R – eason E – xample P – oint 3. Work on an attention grabber The first 30 seconds of your speech is the most important as your audience will subconsciously decide if they should listen to you for the next 9 minutes and 30 seconds. So you should always aim to grab their attention right from the start. It can come in many forms. Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 33. Here is a list of attention grabbers that you can try for size. • Startling fact (If you were born today, you would already owe US$186,000 to pay your share of the national debt) • Induce curiosity (If insurance has such a bad name in today’s market, why do more than a million Singaporeans still buy insurance?) • Expert Opinion (A recent Ernst & Young survey just revealed a shocking truth…) • Quotation (Our CEO, Mr XYZ always said…) • Rhetorical question (Most of you must be thinking, “Why do we even need this product?”) • Personal anecdote relating to your message (The year was 2007 and I was…) • Reference to a current event (If you have read today’s paper, you will notice the headline saying…) • Live demonstration • Video Clip • Show a picture or a prop My personal favorite is the use of rhetorical questions because it gets the audience thinking. There was once I gave a keynote speech that inspires the audience to live for the moment. I started my keynote with three questions. When was the last time you sat down and saw the entire sunset? When was the last time you have ever taste your food? When was the last time you have called your mum and tell her how much you love her? That immediately set the tone of my keynote. My guess is that most of them have not done the above three things for a long time. Asking these rhetorical questions also gets them interested to know what I have to say next. Together with your attention grabber is an answer to the following question - "Why should the audience listen to you?" or "What's in it for them?" This will create a stake for them and you will have them eating from your hands. Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 34. And finally, practice makes permanence! I Practice makes cannot emphasize the importance of practice! permanence! Try out the techniques as often as you can. You will find yourself getting increasingly competent. With the extra time at hand, you can then focus on improving the quality of your speech or honing your delivery skills. In no time, you will be on your way to become a highly effective speaker! Can you share with us some ways to think on our feet and deliver speeches off the cuff? To answer your question, let me first set up the premise. In order for us to think fast, we need to first learn how to think smart i.e. understand how each side of our brain works. As you would have probably realized by now, we have two sides of a brain. A left side and a right side. The left side of our brain is logical and linear, while the right side of our brain is intuitive and imaginative. Unfortunately we never learnt how to leverage on their strengths and use both! As a result, when we are asked to deliver a speech on the spot, we go into blue screen. Or what some speakers begrudgingly called “blank mind syndrome”. When we are asked to speak off the cuff, many of us feel confronted, cornered and coerced. With so many emotions running wild, our right brain also starts going into an overdrive mode which causes speakers not to “think straight” since that’s the function of the left brain! Now that you know the science behind our “blank mind syndrome”, you will also appreciate the technique behind thinking on your feet. In order to us to think on our feet and say something smart within seconds or minutes, we need to first think in terms of STRUCTURE i.e. a roadmap you can take to deliver your speech. In other words, we need to allow our left brain to first come up with a logical approach to answering the question or delivering the speech BEFORE deciding on the content, which will be the responsibility of the right brain. And here’s another benefit. Your mind cannot do two things at once. So if you are deciding on which pre-defined structure to use, you cannot be feeling nervous at the same time. Here is a list of pre-defined and foolproof structures you can use in future when attempting to deliver a speech off the cuff: Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 35. 1. Chronological • You arrange your speech using a time frame • Before, During, After • 1990, 2000, 2010 • Conceptualization to Design to Implementation 2. Spatial • Follows a direction (from a starting point ‘A’ to an ending point ‘B’) • For example, getting to my desired location. First, take a bus to Clementi interchange, switch to a MRT, then take a bus again down to Bukit Batok. • Or here’s where we are at right now and this is where we want to go. And in order to get from here to there, we need to take the following steps. 3. Causal • Explore the cause and effect relationships • For example, how the financial crisis happened and how that is going to impact the way we do business in the coming decade 4. Comparative • Compare and contrast different proposals or plans, usually to persuade that one is better than the other • For example, why you should buy Product A rather than Product B 5. Topical • Splits the main topic into subtopics or looking at the same issue from multiple perspectives • For example, explaining the different genres of music • Or look at three different points of view of drunk driving – the victim, the victim’s family and the driver’s family 6. Problem-solving • Presenting a problem that needs to be solved and a solution to that problem • Usually used for persuasion or motivation • For example, campaign speeches addressing health care, transport or war veterans To help you remember the structures better, I have come up with a symbol each to represent the structure. Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 36. AB +/- Now that you know the structures you can use in your speech, let’s see how they fit in when you are given a task of delivering a speech off the cuff. Step 1: Start by deciding the message you want them to remember. Keep it short and sweet, like a twitter headline. Step 2: Decide on the structure you want to use (pick only one!) Step 3: Announce the message. For more advanced speakers, you can even attempt to start with an opener, leading to your message. Refer to the earlier questions in this chapter for examples of openers you can use. “If you drink, don’t drive. If you drive, don’t drink.” Step 4: Announce the structure you want to adopt. “To understand the seriousness of drunk driving, let’s take a look at three groups of people who will be impacted.” (Topical, Symbol: TRIANGLE) Step 5: Start with point #1 of your structure and then back it up with a reason and elaborate with an example. It helps to numerate your points so that your audience can follow you as well. “First, the victim because he is the one who has to suffer the shock and physical pain of your reckless driving. Imagine what goes on his head when he sees a pair of blinding headlines rushing towards him at 120 km/hr.” Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 37. Step 6: Continue with point #2 and then point #3. Step 7: Recap the three main points you have covered. Step 8: Repeat your key message. For the more advanced speakers, you can end your speech with a closer that echoes your key message. Refer to the earlier questions in this chapter for examples of closers you can use. And without knowing, you have survived your attempt in speaking off the cuff! With more practice, you will definitely gain eloquence and speak with even more confidence. Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 38. SUMMARY PAGE 1. Structure is like the skeleton under the flesh of your words. Without it, your speech becomes flimsy and there is a high chance your audience will get lost, including you. 2. Here are 6 foolproof structures you can use when you deliver your presentation:  Chronological  Spatial  Causal  Comparative  Topical  Problem Solving 3. To help you remember the structures better, here are the 6 symbols to represent each structure. 4. A universal structure you can use is PREP – Point, Reason, Example, Point Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 39. 5. The key to grabbing attention is surprise. The key to keeping attention is interest. 6. The first 30 seconds of your presentation is the most critical. Your audience is the most skeptical and you are the most nervous. This is not a good combination hence starting strong is critical. 7. Here are 10 surefire ways to kick start your presentation:  Open with a humorous or emotional story that leads to your key message  Ask a rhetorical question that gets your audience thinking  Do a demonstration that leads to your message  Shock them with a startling fact  Induce curiosity  Share an expert opinion that links to your topic  Reference to a current event  Start off with a cartoon or video, humor is optional  Pause…  Do something different or crazy! 8. Here are 4 major no-no when it comes to closing your speech:  Going overtime  Ending abruptly  Introducing a new point  Thanking the audience Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 40. 9. Instead, you can end your speech powerfully with the following strategies:  Review your points and tie them back to your introduction or central message  Tie your conclusion back to a key moment in your speech that your audience can relate to  Close with a dramatic act that plays on your audience’s emotions  Tell a personal anecdote that either summarizes the points or underscore the central message. For maximum impact, pick a story that can generate the most emotions.  Show your audience how the lessons you shared fit into the bigger picture  Observe how other speakers conclude and incorporate their best practices into your next presentation 10. To deliver an effective informative or technical presentation:  Create a listening by making your speech relevant and practical  Relate to what your audience already knows  Involve them in your presentation  Have a clear structure so they can follow  Make your speech interesting by engaging different senses  Repeat your key message or key point  Be credible, confident and comfortable 11. In order for us to think on our feet and say something smart within seconds or minutes, we need to first think in terms of structure i.e. a roadmap that you can take to deliver your speech. Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 41. Good Things Are Meant To Be Shared! 1. Send this free chapter to your friends and colleagues who will find the information valuable 2. Direct them to to download the free chapter 3. Print out as many copies as you like! (Double-sided to save trees) 4. Post the tips on your blog / website as long as you give credits to 5. Most importantly, READ it! To Your Speaking Success, Eric Feng Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |
  • 42. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bestselling Author of “The FAQ Book on Public Speaking” Business Week (USA) Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs of Asia 2007 Professional Certified Coach, International Coach Federation (USA) Eric Feng is the go-to-guy if you want to speak with more confidence and charisma. Well known for his fresh insights and results-driven programs, Eric has successfully coached over 3000 managers and C-level executives in the area of public speaking and organizational storytelling. Apart from teaching them how to deliver memorable business and technical presentations, 
 Eric also guides corporate leaders and senior management to effectively convey their messages through business narrative (better known as storytelling). Some of his recent personal clients include the Executive Director of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Regional Manager of Pfizer and General Manager of Sabic Asia. Eric has also been invited to speak in countries like United States, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia (KL) and Hong Kong. Eric’s expertise in public speaking has been translated into a book titled “The FAQ Book on Public Speaking”, which sold over 8000 copies and became a national bestseller. He was also interviewed on national TV and radio for his expertise. As a celebrated Toastmaster in Singapore, Eric has won numerous national level speech competitions. In 2005, he won the championship title for the Division Level Humorous Contest in Philadelphia, United States. He was also a two-time winner of the International Speech Contest at the Division Level in 2007 and 2008. As acknowledgement for his speaking achievements, The Straits Times featured him as one of the top 25 alternate achievers of 2006. In 2007, Eric was also recognized by Business Week (USA) as one of the top 25 young entrepreneurs of Asia. Eric’s success and achievements in the speaking industry have also been featured on regional media like Channel News Asia, Prime Time Morning, Business Times, Lianhe Zaobao, News Radio 93.8 and many more. In spite of his successes, Eric feels that there is more he can do for the world. His personal mission is to bring light and laughter to as many people as he can. Be it through his smiles, his stories or his programs, he wants to leave this world a better place. He can be reached at Copyrights © 2010 by Eric Feng |