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July 19, 2010

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FieldVole

Some great ideas here - and I love your final point. I don't think presentations and talks are the best place to convey a lot of information, so being entertaining and enthusiastic becomes extremely important

But I don't altogether agree with your advice that you should do a couple of rehearsals tops. I think this is very person specific and I certainly need to practice a lot! People say that if you know your talk too well, it can end up sounding dead, and yes this is certainly a danger. But if you think about it, actors have to deal with this all the time. I feel that a lot of practice helps me to own my talk properly, so I have more control over how my audience will respond when I deliver it.

Jean

As usual a very good piece of advice! Thank you Phil Bradley!

Mark Moran

Excellent advice all around, Phil. I came across the "focus on 2-3 people" almost inadvertently. As I sat on the altar at my wedding, all I could see was a mob of 200 people in the church, seemingly waiting for me to stand in front of them and stumble as I tried to profess my vows. I didn't know how I was going to get the nerve to even try. Finally, I saw my 5yo cousin on the end of the pew, making faces and sticking her tongue out at me, with her 8 yo brother right joining in. Suddenly, it was no longer an amorphous mass out there; it was merely my young cousins, and I stood right up and sailed through the vows. 2 months later, I stood to read at a friend's wedding; cowered while peering at a large crowd, saw a bloc of fraternity brothers, and said to myself "you're not at a wedding, you're at a brotherhood meeting" and read right to them in a clear voice. And at every speaking opportunity since, I've engaged with some friendly people in the crowd before hand, and then looked right at them for much of the presentation.

Biddy Fisher

As a rookie Trades Union official addressing her first massed audience, knees starting to knock, papers ready to shake (no power point in the stone age), I took off my glasses to address the audience and made eye contact with who knows who! So if you see me now with no glasses you know you are making me nervous! Here's looking at you ????

Caroline Roche

Thanks for some excellent advice Phil! I have just started off on public speaking, and have lots to learn. This article ( which isn't too long!) gives lots of useful tips from a seasoned and interesting presenter. I still have to crack the 'too much information on your PowerPoint' scenario; but am improving with practice! Thanks for this article - will be referring to it for a while I think!

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