Confession of a Public Speaker

Posted by Matthias Günther
  • p 5: People with clear ideas and strong points are the ones we remember.
  • p 5: "Stop being perfect because obsessing about perfection stops you from growing" - Tyler Durden, Fight Club
  • p 9: Never plan to use the full time given.
  • p 14: the following four things are bad for survival:
    1. standing alone
    2. in an open territory with no place to hide
    3. without a weapon
    4. in front of a large crowd of creatures staring at you
  • p 16: "There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars." Mark Twain
  • p 17: Fear focus attention.
  • p 17: Fear gives us energy to proactively prevent failures from happening.
  • p 18: The main advantage a speaker has over the audience is knowing what comes next.
  • p 18: Confidence not perfection is the goal for preparing a talk.
  • p 21: respect your body's unstoppable fear responses.
  • p 58: people come to listen because
    • want to learn something
    • wish to be inspired
    • hope to be entertained
    • have a need they hope you will satisfy
    • desire to meet other people interested in the subject
  • p 59: eating the microphone - its the moment when the audience confidence in having its met had lost!
  • p 60: prepare well for a talk in four points:
    1. take a strong position in the title.
    2. think carefully about your specific audience.
    3. make your specific points as concise as possible.
    4. know the likely counterarguments from an intelligent, expert audience.
  • p 85: don't waste time giving your resume or telling the back story.
  • p 88: you are the star - speak louder, take stronger positions, and behave more aggressively than you would in an ordinary conversation
  • p 90: tension and release to grab the attention of the audience.
  • p 91: involve the audience: Ask for show hands? Ask trivia and let people shout out answers! Give them a problem to solve in the next 30-60 seconds.
  • p 118: most speakers evaluations are useless because the most valuable data is missing: How is your scoring in comparison to other speakers
  • p 120: the speaker must match the audience
  • p 120: good feedback questions
    • How did my presentation compare to others?
    • What one change would have most improved my presentation?
    • What questions did you expect me to answer that went unanswered?
    • What annoyances did I let get in the way of giving you what you needed?
  • p 122: good questions for surveys about the speaker:
    • Was this a good use of your time?
    • Would you recommend this lecture to others?
    • Are you considering doing anything different as a result of this talk?
    • Do you know what to do next to continue learning?
    • Were you inspired or motivated?
    • How likeable did you find the speaker?
    • How substantive did you find the speaker's material?
  • p 121: ask the host: "What effect do you want me to have on this audience?"
  • p 131: how to teach:
    1. Make it active and interesting.
    2. Start with an insight that interests the student.
    3. Adapt to how the student responds to #1 and #2.