How To Give A Talk


Published on

Published in: Career, Technology, Education
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

How To Give A Talk

  1. 1. How to Give a Talk?
  2. 2. PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE TALKS <ul><li>Any effective talk must do three things: </li></ul><ul><li>(1) communicate your arguments and ideas, </li></ul><ul><li>(2) persuade your audience that they are true, and </li></ul><ul><li>(3) be interesting and entertaining. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Principles <ul><li>USUALLY BETTER USUALLY WORSE * Talk * Read * Stand * Sit * Use visual aids: outlines, pictures, graphs * Have no visual aids * Move * Stand still * Vary the pitch of your voice * Speak in a monotone * Speak loudly and clearly, toward audience * Mumble, facing downward * Make eye contact with the audience * Stare at the podium * Focus on main arguments * Get lost in details * Finish your talk within the time limit * Run overtime * Rehearse your talk * Don't practice * Summarize main arguments at beginning & end * Fail to provide a conclusion * Notice your audience and respond to their needs * Ignore audience behavior * Emulate excellent speakers * Emulate mentors regardless of their speaking ability </li></ul>
  4. 4. Principles <ul><li>1) Talk rather than read. You'll be easier to understand, and you'll be better able to make genuine contact with your audience. Furthermore, ultimately talking will help you think more clearly by forcing you to communicate your points in ordinary language. There's nothing virtuous about perfect grammar, complicated sentences, and sophisticated vocabulary if your audience can't follow you. 2) Stand up . This is better for two reasons. First, people can see you better. Second, standing puts you in a physically dominant position. This sounds politically incorrect, but in this context it isn't. Remember: you're the focus. The audience needs your help to maintain their attention. They want you to be in charge. By standing up, you accept this invitation -- making both your job and theirs a little easier. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Principles <ul><li>3) Use visual aids. This is one of the most important principles of public speaking. People are visual creatures. The old adage &quot;a picture is worth a thousand words&quot; is especially apropos in the context of a conference talk, where you don't have time to say very much. At a minimum, have an outline of your talk on overhead transparencies. Some people seem to think they're giving everything away by showing people what they're going to say before they've said it. But the effect of a good talk outline is exactly the opposite: it makes your audience want to hear the details. At the same time, it helps them understand the structure of your thinking. Talk outlines should be extremely concise and visually uncluttered. 12-15 lines of text per transparency is plenty. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Principles <ul><li>4) Move around . It's easier to keep focused on someone who's moving than on a motionless talking head. Hand gestures are also good. It's possible to overuse these devices, of course. Simply crossing from one side of the room to the other every three or four minutes is probably enough. 5) Vary the pitch of your voice. Monotones are sleep-inducing. Since it's possible to speak in a lively, animated manner without changing pitch, many people don't realize they have this problem. Get a trusted friend or colleague to listen to your delivery and give you honest feedback. (This is an important principle in itself.) Even better, tape or videotape yourself and check out how you sound. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Principles <ul><li>6) Speak loudly, clearly, and confidently. Face the audience . An important element of vocal technique is to focus on the bottom (the deepest pitch) of your vocal range, which is its loudest and most authoritative tone. (This can be especially important for women.) Speak from the gut, not the throat. Breathe deeply -- it's necessary for volume. Don't be afraid to ask for feedback: &quot;Can you hear me in the back of the room?&quot; Be careful, when using visual aids, that you continue to face the audience when you speak. 7) Make eye contact with the audience. If this is anxiety-inducing, at least pretend to do this by casting your gaze toward the back and sides of the room. Be careful not to ignore one side of the audience. Many speakers &quot;side&quot; unconsciously, looking always to the left or to the right half, or only to the front or the back, of the room. Here's another place where feedback, either from friends or from videotape, can be helpful. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Principles <ul><li>8) Focus on main arguments. Especially in a conference situation, where talks are short and yours is one of many, your audience is not going to remember the details of your evidence. In such a situation, less is more. Give them short, striking &quot;punch lines&quot; that they'll remember. They can always read your written work later, but if you don't get them interested and show them why it's important, they won't want to. A good rule of thumb is to make no more than three main points in any given talk. That's about all most people will be able to remember. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Principles <ul><li>9) Finish your talk within the time limit. Not to do so is disrespectful both of any subsequent speakers and of your audience. Most people's maximum attention span is 40-45 minutes. If you exceed this limit, you'll probably lose them. The only way to be certain you can keep within your limits is to rehearse your talk. After lots of experience, some people can gauge talk times accurately without this. But nothing is more embarrassing -- for both you and your audience -- than getting only halfway through before hitting the time limit. One trick is to develop a standard format for your talk outlines, then learn how long it usually takes you to talk about each slide. My own rule of thumb is five minutes per outline slide. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Principles <ul><li>10) Summarize your talk at the beginning and again at the end. &quot;Tell `em what you're gonna tell `em, tell `em, and tell `em what you told `em&quot;: this ancient principle still holds. If you follow this rule, your audience is much more likely to remember your main points. Even more important, it helps you stay focused on the key ideas you're trying to convey. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Principles <ul><li>11) Notice your audience and respond to their needs. If people seem to be falling asleep, or getting restless or distracted, the problem may not be you. Is the room too hot, or too cold? Too dark? Can people see you? Is the microphone on? Is something outside the room distracting people? Don't hesitate to stop briefly in order to solve these problems. Ask someone in the audience to open a window. Always use the maximum lighting your presentation format will allow. For example, you can usually leave all the lights on if you're using an overhead projector, but you'll need to turn some off to use slides. Alternatively, you may have gone on too long, or you may need to speak louder. Whatever the case, notice what's happening and use it as feedback. If you can't figure out why your audience is responding poorly, ask somebody later and fix the problem next time. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Principles <ul><li>12) Emulate excellent speakers. The best way to become an excellent presenter is to watch really good, experienced speakers and model your talks on theirs. Notice not just what they say, but what they do: how they move, how they sound, how they structure their talks. Add those devices to your own repertoire. </li></ul>
  13. 13. INDIANA UNIVERSITY GUIDELINES FOR DESIGN PROJECTS ORAL PRESENTATION <ul><li>CONTENT: </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction : Give your name and the name of the project you are presenting. </li></ul><ul><li>Overview : Quickly describe the scope of the project, and explain your concept or approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstration : Walk your audience through the space, beginning at a real or nominal entry. </li></ul><ul><li>Invite Reaction : Involve the audience in the presentation. Answer questions in a way that reinforces how your solution solves the problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Summary : Recapitulate three or four main points. </li></ul><ul><li>Sign-off: Thank your audience for their attention. </li></ul>
  14. 14. INDIANA UNIVERSITY GUIDELINES FOR DESIGN PROJECTS ORAL PRESENTATION <ul><li>APPROACH: </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate your professional competence . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dress and act appropriately (business-like attire and actions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice your presentation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Know its content so that you can discuss without having to look at the boards or computer screen for cues. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be prepared with relevant information (areas, corridor widths, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Know your vocabulary and pronounce terms correctly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid colloquialisms and slang (don't say, &quot;this is 'just-a' file&quot; or &quot;this is, 'like, you know,' a file&quot; or &quot;I 'stuck' the file here&quot;). </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. INDIANA UNIVERSITY GUIDELINES FOR DESIGN PROJECTS ORAL PRESENTATION <ul><li>APPROACH: </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize the users, not yourself . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe how your proposal meets the clients' and users’ needs, and solves their problems (and not how it reflects what you like or dislike). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not personalize the presentation (avoid &quot;I&quot; language). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not mention the problems you had in developing an approach, finding materials, getting time to work on the project, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not simply list furnishings or dwell on the obvious (such as, &quot;this is a chair,&quot; &quot;this is a lamp). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Believe in your solution, but don't be defensive. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Welcome questions and suggestions. If you can't answer your audiences’ or clients' questions, promise to find out and get back to them. </li></ul></ul>