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How to be a Great Speaker Without Using PowerPoint

This article gives 10 tips on how presenters can be highly effective without using PowerPoint.

powerpoint, power point, public speaking, presentation skills

RESEARCH YOUR AUDIENCE It amazes me how some speakers will show up for a speaking engagement and really not know anything about the audience they are speaking to. Many speakers just get lazy and feel that their message is so important that anyone would want to hear it. They couldn't be more wrong. Your core message may be about the same for everyone, but knowing your audience will allow you to slant the information so that the audience feels it was prepared just for them. They will relate much better to the information and think much more highly of you for creating something specifically for them. Of course, in many cases you were only slanting your information, but I won't tell if you won't.

PRACTICE The only way to look polished while speaking is to practice. This is one skill you cannot delegate to anyone else. It is you that is on stage with the microphone and it is you who will look either great or terrible. You are sadly mistaken and egotistical if you think the PowerPoint slides that either you or someone else created will make you a dynamic speaker. There are specific techniques used to practice that don't take much time and make you look extremely polished. One of these techniques is called bits. You practice a short piece of material over and over again. You don't practice it word for word, but just talk your way through it. This way you won't blank out when a distraction happens while you are on stage.

TAKE CARE OF HECKLERS The following is my famous asterisk technique; I use it to make sure hecklers don't interrupt my presentation. I get people in the group to identify potential troublemakers BEFORE I get to the event. I phone these people and interview them to give them the attention they are craving. I then mention their names during the speech. This virtually eliminates the chance they will give me a hard time because I am praising one of their opinions. This works really well but don't mention their names exclusively or the rest of the audience that knows these people are trouble may think that you are just as bad. Mention a wide variety of people in the audience. Just make sure the bad ones are included which normally keeps them at bay.

USE EMOTIONAL LANGUAGE Boring old facts rarely move people to action. Learning to use words that evoke emotions in people will make a much greater impact when you speak. There are many emotions you can trigger in the audience just by your choice of words. Happiness, anger, sadness, nostalgia are just a few. Knowing your purpose for being in front of the group helps you to pick which emotions you want to tap. When your purpose is known, choosing words to get the desired emotional response is much easier. For instance, if you wanted to take someone back to a childhood experience you might say, "Do you remember when someone did something bad at school and the teacher smacked the yardstick on her desk?" The word Phrase "smacked the yardstick" would evoke an emotional response that many adults can relate to. A younger group may not relate to this phrase since corporal punishment has all but disappeared from schools. You must pick the words that would mean something to your audience.

REVEAL YOURSELF Often people have trouble implementing this idea because they like to remain aloof and private. This will hurt their chances of making a good connection with people in the audience. You certainly don't have to reveal your deepest darkest secrets when on stage, but you certainly could tell someone how much you like horses, or how you love to cook . . .anything that will give them a glimpse into the real you will give you a better chance of connecting with them and getting them to listen to you.

USE PROPS A prop is worth a thousand words. People can really anchor a thought in their minds when it is connected to an object that relates to the point you are trying to make. You could use large, small, funny or serious props. Always relate the prop to the point you are trying to make and make sure the audience can see it. Sometimes you'll want to hide the prop so people don't wonder what it is until you are ready to present it.

USE HUMOR Even Shakespeare used humor in the middle of the tragedies he wrote. Humor is a powerful and effective tool that gives the audience's mind a chance to breath in the face of heavy material. It also makes you more likable and fun to listen to. Humor is also much more likely to make your information more memorable. You don't have to be a stand up comedian to use humor in speeches and presentations, and you don't have to tell jokes either. There are many ways to add humor that don't require any skill at all. You can show funny visuals, tell stories, or read from books or periodicals. Just like with props, make sue your humor relates to the point you are trying to make and you will be much more successful. Each issue of "Great Speaking" has about 20 pieces of humor you can use during speeches.

MOVE 'EM TO ACTION If you are going to bother taking up people's time to speak to them, don't you think it would be a good idea to get them to do something positive because of your presentation? Even if they do something negative, it's still better than doing nothing because they will at least get a chance to learn something from their mistake. Regardless of the size of your ego, the reality is that you are there for them, not the other way around. I'm all for you building up your reputation, but if you go into your speech thinking it's all for you, it will show and you probably won't do as well as you would have had you concentrated on the needs of the audience more.

BRING SOLUTIONS One of the best ways to make sure the audience loves you is to bring solutions to their problems. If you have done a thorough job of researching your audience, you already know what their problems are. It's your job to bring ideas for them to try. In modern day thinking this is what motivational speaking is all about. No longer is it good enough to get people all fired up where they are bouncing off the walls without a clue as to what they will do with this new found excitement and motivation. Modern professional motivational speakers bring solutions and a plan of action to achieve them. Now those are motivating.

PAY ATTENTION TO LOGISTICS The best preparation, practice, and audience research could be ruined if you forget to pay attention to all the details surrounding a presentation. You want to know what is happening before you speak, and what is happening after you speak: How are the people seated? Are they at round tables where half of them are facing away from you, or are there no tables at all? What kind of microphone is appropriate? How big is the screen in the room? Will the people be drinking alcohol? What is the lighting like? All these items and many more affect the overall effectiveness of a presentation. The same exact words delivered with significantly different logistics could be received in entirely different ways. You could even go from a fantastic evaluation to a bomb just because of the way people are seated. It's up to you to know the differences and how they affect a presentation.

 

How To Get the Most Out of Your Speaker Investment

In a perfect world, you would have an unlimited budget to hire top speakers for your next meeting or convention. Since it's not, here are some tips on getting the most for your meeting dollar.

investment keynote speakers bureau meeting planner toolkit convention partnership contract customer service event planning fees costs budget presentation materials technical requirements surcharges

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In a perfect world, you would have an unlimited budget to hire top speakers for your next meeting or convention. Since it's not, here are some tips on getting the most for your meeting dollar. Let me tell you about a project I worked on with the American Payroll Association that could be a model for you -- or at least expand your thinking about ways to use speakers.<br><br>
APA's Executive Director/CEO, Dan Maddux had a week of speaking and seminar slots to fill. Instead of assigning each slot to a different speaker, Dan chose to maximize the contribution of a few top people, using three of them in three different ways. That's how Dan made 1 + 1 + 1 = 9. Three speakers used three ways equals nine slots filled. Here's how such a move can save your organization and money and let you "trade up" to speakers you otherwise couldn't afford.<br><br>
<b>Save on Hotels and Airfare</b><br>
Cutting the number of speakers might or might not reduce the total nights lodging needed, depending on your schedule. However, you'll definitely save on transportation -- for instance, three round-trips versus nine.<br><br>
<b>Speakers May Reduce Fee</b><br>
I can't promise you that all speakers will do extra presentations for the same rates -- they won't. But the speaker you hired last year might have been more flexible if you had only thought to ask, "After your keynote, could you do a breakout session?" Or," Could you emcee?" "Could you moderate a panel?" Even, "Our chairman is a bit nervous. Could you coach him on speaking?"<br><br>
Speakers may give you a better price for three consecutive days at one hotel, rather than three separate dates months apart.<br><br>
For example, for the Florida Realtors Association, I asked, "After my luncheon speech, would you like me to do a seminar on speaking skills?" They said, "Well, the agenda is already slotted in, but we'd love it if you would emcee our Top Producers' panel, the first breakout session after lunch."<br><br>
For the California Interment Association, I was scheduled to present a two-hour seminar after lunch. I said, "What else is going on? Would you like to me to do a spouse program?" They said, "We've never had one, but we've invited spouses for a breakfast get-together." I added a 45-minute program that same morning. The only difference to me was that I had to go to the hotel a few hours earlier. Like most speakers, I want my clients to know I am there to serve them, not to pick up my speaking fee and run.<br><br>
<b>It's Easier to Get Sponsors</b><br>
Trading up to big-name (or bigger-name) speakers makes it easier for you to get sponsors. Whenever people say, "We can't afford you," I always ask, "Do you have sponsors to help pay for your event?"<br><br>
Who would sponsor your event? Consider approaching the exhibitors at your conventions, or whoever sells to your members or who wants good PR with the people in the audience. List these "angels" prominently in the program. I always make a point of giving sponsors a good plug in my presentations. For example, after my opening story for the American Cemetery Association, I quoted the founder of my corporate sponsor, Service Corporation International. Then I gave examples to reinforce my points by reading from their newsletters, and my walk away line incorporated their name. I always let sponsor know, "Don't worry, they won't have any doubt who paid for me," and make a joke about it in my speech.<br><br>
<b>Three Invaluable Bonuses</b><br>
Having speakers on hand throughout your event gives you far greater flexibility in scheduling. Continuity can establish a powerful connection between audience and speaker, getting your message across in a way that a wide variety of speakers couldn't. Dan Maddux says, "We found that when we triple-booked those speakers, they become even more popular, really getting to know our people who always want them to stay around longer." Continuity, during an event or from year to year, means your speakers are able to notice and volunteer to help your organization in special ways you may not have thought of.<br><br>
<b>How It Works</b><br>
Recently, 1,674 members of the American Payroll Association attended its Sixteenth Annual Congress in Nashville. Dan chose as keynote speakers Art Linkletter, Susan RoAne, Willy Jolley, Al Walker, and me, Patricia Fripp. He had little trouble getting sponsorship to help pay for these keynoters because of the success of his past conferences.<br><br>
The Congress was scheduled to start on a Monday. Dan came up with the idea of offering an extra pre-Congress program on Sunday, "For Women Only." This isn't as sexist as it may sound because seventy-five percent of APA's membership is women. Dan figured that many could take advantage of cheaper Saturday night airline tickets, saving their company's money, so they might be open to an extra day of education and fun.<br><br>
He called this extra program "Women on the Ladder to Success: Career Strategies for the Millennium," and used six presenters. Three were from within the Association and industry, including the current president. Three were professional speakers who were also scheduled to speak during the main Congress. Each of the professionals gave two talks at this separate Sunday session. I did "Women in the Workplace, the Evolution of Career women" and "Are You a Wonder Woman or Superman in Payroll?" (In a custom-made Wonder Woman costume I had made 20 years ago. The fact I can still wear it deserves applause!) Susan RoAne spoke on "Taking Charge of Your Accomplishments" and "Women Who Make Things Happen: Traits of the Savvy and Successful." Diane Parente's programs were "Your Passport to Image Credibility" and "Looking Your Professional Best Without Spending a Fortune."<br><br>
Then, at the kick-off Monday session for the full membership, Susan was the keynote speaker with "Schmooze or Loose: How to Gain the Verbal Edge." She also presented a program for the vendors, "How to Make the Most of the Trade Show." Diane Parente delivered a breakout session on "Image, a Powerful Tool," and gave Dan's Board of Directors one-on-one consultation as a bonus. (17 in all.) I delivered the Congress's keynote speech, "Insights into Excellence," presented a marketing seminar for the vendors, "How to Nurture Relationships Once You Leave the Trade Show," and, as a break-out, conducted a workshop on "How to Sell Yourself and Your Ideas."<br><br>
Having booked the Sunday before the conference, Maddux thought of a way to use his talent pool for a Speakers' School on Saturday. Last year this program had been a success, but with a smaller audience of their speakers who talk on tax law changes, it had not justified a hiring a keynote caliber presenter to teach it.<br><br>
As I was already going to be there for several days I was excited at the prospect. I suggested we invite his association members scheduled to give programs during the congress. He also invite the APA leadership from the State chapters who have to speak at their meetings and get no formal public speaking training. As far as I am concerned the more the merrier. I charge the same whether my audience is five or 5,000. After the session I helped the President and Woman of the Year totally rewrite their talks. They have now requested I train them at least 3 months before next yearís convention.<br><br>
<b>Synergy Makes Good Sense</b><br>
Dan says "Using proven professionals in several slots so they develop a rapport with the audience is a better investment than bringing in a different speaker for each slot. In our case, two of the speakers, Diane and Patricia, had been so successful as keynoters the previous year that the audience was looking forward to seeing them again. This gave us the advantage of repeat role models, because our presidents turn over every year. The added fact that Patricia, Diane, and Susan had worked together before, and are best friends, gave us even more bang for our buck. We could never have put a dollar value on that kind of synergy.<br><br>
"I need my speakers to deliver a message and be powerful role models. Patricia, Diane, and Susan are all self-made women over fifty, looking good, feeling good, and they've built their careers themselves. This is an important message for our Association audience."<br><br>
<b>More Bang for Your Buck</b><br>
Dan Maddux was able to negotiate with his speakers for a lot of extras. Many professionals figure that, as long as they are there anyway and being well paid, their time belongs to the client. Therefore, they are happy to take on extra tasks.<br><br>
The next time you are planning to hire a speaker, consider using him or her in multiple ways. It doesn't hurt to ask if the speaker would be willing to:<br><br>
<ul><li>Deliver one or two "breakout sessions" or a spouse program along with the keynote at the same half-day fee.</li>
<li>Introduce other speakers.</li>
<li>Emcee the event that they are part of.</li>
<li>Help association Presidents of Board of Directors with their own presentations, either in advance or while the speaker is there.</li>
<li>Say a prayer at a meal.</li>
<li>Moderate a panel.</li>
<li>Sign autographs.</li>
<li>Appear in the sponsor's booth to make their sponsorship more of an investment.</li></ul>
Like most of my comrades in The National Speakers Association, I want to be memorable and to give full value for your meeting dollars. For the Hamilton Bank in Philadelphia, I even leaped out of a spaceship, wearing a Wonder Woman costume. (Getting into the spaceship was a little more complicated, but that's another story.)
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How To Learn French Language That Fits Your Schedule

For those who wish to learn French language but think they cannot because of their busy schedules, there are actually plenty of options.

In many countries, lots of institutions offer classes. However, not everyone has the opportunity to take these time-extensive courses that are spread over several years for in-depth learning. With the fast and busy pace of these modern times, lots of people need quicker and more convenient methods. Fortunately, there are learning techniqu...

Learn French Language

For those who wish to learn French language but think they cannot because of their busy schedules, there are actually plenty of options.

In many countries, lots of institutions offer classes. However, not everyone has the opportunity to take these time-extensive courses that are spread over several years for in-depth learning. With the fast and busy pace of these modern times, lots of people need quicker and more convenient methods. Fortunately, there are learning techniques that can be squeezed into a tight schedule and yet still be effective.

To learn French language efficiently, consider your needs and your current schedule, so that you can set realistic goals. As a starter, you can turn to the Internet, which provides you with plenty of programs. Many sites offer free material that are basic and introductory. This is a great way to learn numbers, letters, grammar, verb conjugations, and basic sentences such as greetings. If you are at least at intermediate level, you often have to pay a certain rate to get access to lessons with more substance and features.

Considering your needs helps save you time and energy. For example, if you are more interested in becoming fluent with your speech than in improving your reading and writing skills, you do not need to include books or writing exercises in your studying.

Instead, go for audio-based lessons such as those that are offered through cassettes and CDs. These courses concentrate on proper pronunciation and make you apply your listening skills, which is similar to having an actual conversation with a native speaker.

When the aim is a quick learning of the language, choose methods that have a practical approach to teaching, such as words and phrases used in everyday conversations. That way, you focus on picking up essential words and phrases—only those that are pertinent to daily use, as opposed to memorizing dozens of vocabulary that you are unlikely to use often.

If you do want something in depth and have the time, learn French language from experts and not from amateurs. Do not risk picking up wrong sentence structures and inaccurate translations of words and phrases. It is important, therefore, to find and choose accredited programs and tutors who have the knowledge and the experience to show you the right way. Also, when you feel comfortable enough, you could try a language exchange with a native speaker to improve your pronunciation and vocabulary.

A source where you can learn French language is http://Pimsleur-language.com. The website provides 30-minute lessons on cassette or CD. The lessons last for one month, and include instruction from a teacher and pronunciation practice with a native speaker. Visit http://www.pimsleur-language.com to find out more about the courses they offer.




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