Top Stories to Boost Your Presentation Prowess

The National Speaker Association sent out the top 10 stories of 2012 influencing the “speaking” industry.  After reading through them, the following offered valuable tips to help ensure you are confident, heard and inspiring next time you step up to speak.  What do you think?

Joel Osteen: 7 keys to successful public speaking
Forbes
From Jan. 18, 2012: Few people give weekly talks or “presentations” to as many people as mega-pastor Joel Osteen. His Houston church attracts 16,000 for each sermon on Sundays. He reaches millions more on television in more than 100 hundred countries. Whether you are a religious person or not, there is no denying that Osteen is an influential speaker and that he has something to teach anyone who wants to improve his or her public speaking skills. Here are seven keys that make Osteen a popular communicator. More

The most common PowerPoint mistakes
Ragan’s PR Daily
From April 10, 2012: We’ve all seen that speaker: The one who flies through 100 PowerPoint slides in 20 minutes. Or the one whose font size is microscopically tiny. Or the one whose slides magically appear with an elaborate whooshing noise. Don’t be like that speaker. The following are the five most common PowerPoint mistakes — and how to avoid them. More

What to do with your hands when speaking
Harvard Business Review
From Jan. 18, 2012: The most frequently asked question of presentation coaches is “What do I do with my hands?” Author and coach Jerry Weissman cautions against choreography. He says he has seen far too many presenters attempt to illustrate their narrative with specific gestures and wind up tying themselves into pretzel knots. Instead, he suggests using your hands and arms as you do naturally, to illustrate what you are saying. However, he does recommend one gesture: to extend your hand and arm periodically, bridging the gap between you and your audience, with your hand in handshake position. More

The perfect length of a presentation is…
Ragan’s PR Daily
From April 24, 2012: Twenty minutes. At least that’s what new research from Maureen Murphy at the University of North Texas suggests. Author Susan Weinschenk, writer of the forthcoming book “100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People,” agrees. She points out that the terrific TED talks are usually 20 minutes long. “These same presentations stretched out to an hour might not be quite so brilliant,” said Weinschenk. More

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