Are You an Efficient Speaker?
“Get attention immediately. Begin your talk with an incident. Arouse suspense. State an arresting fact. Ask for a show of hands. Promise to tell the audience how they can get something they want. Use an exhibit”– Dale Carnegie, The Quick And Easy Way To Effective Speaking
As much as you would like to think, every word you write is not always worth of Ernest Hemingway, every quote you use in your presentations is not always worth of Henry James, and every word you utter in your talks is not always worthy of Winston Churchill.
What I am saying is, like the rest of us, sometimes what you write is so-so, the quotes you use falls flat, and the words you use when you present might not be the right ones.
In other words, you are normal. Ernest Hemingway, Henry James, and Winston Churchill were unknown at one time and were panned until they became more powerful than their critics. But they too were rejected by many people before they became famous. Remember, everyone was not famous before they became famous.
Couple this with the finite time you have to get done what you need to get done, and, it will become obvious, you need to increase your efficiency in speaking to hit the ball out of the park more often than not.
I look at the presentation process as before, during, and after. For this newsletter, I will be concentrating on the before because the before part of the process is where all presentation efficiency starts. Also, a full 90% of the success of your presentation will be due to your presentation preparation before your utter a word in front of your audience.
Do You Reuse Your Content?
We know you only have a finite amount of time to develop your presentation content. Couple this with the fact that different people access your content in a number of different ways. This fact will lead you to the logical course of action of allowing people to access the same content in a number of different ways like your blogs, your books, and your podcasts to name a few.
For instance, I am in the process of using the content in my new book, “Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques” to create my new digital course, “The Influencing Speaker.”
Another example, is every week when I develop these newsletters, I post the newsletter to my blog, I send it to my newsletter e-mail list, and also post it to LinkedIn and Facebook. I also save it as a LinkedIn article.
Your current blogs, books, and podcasts can be used by you to create specialized presentations to different groups.
You will save an incredible amount of time by reusing your current content.
In this section I have talked about reusing your existing content.
Another great way to become a more efficient speaker is to record stories you hear, see, and read. The best stories to record, of course, are your personal stories.
Do You Keep a Story Book?
You’re a speaker. You know the powerful effect of stories on your audience.
You, undoubtedly, say to yourself from time to time, “Boy, that was a great story!” Why not record these great stories, whether they are your own or not, to use in your future presentations.
The key is when you think of a story to record, don’t judge whether, where and when you can use the story. Just record it. When you need a story in your next presentation, open your “storybook” and see if any apply. If you have been recording these stories for a few months, my guess is there is one or more you can adapt to your next presentation.
There are three very good reasons to use stories in your presentations: stories grab the attention of your audience, stories give your audience “hooks” so they can remember and apply your main points, and stories tap into the emotions of your audience.
Maya Angelou once said, ““I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Use stories from your “storybook” to tap into the emotions of your audience.
You now know reusing your content and recording stories in your “storybook” are great ways to become a more efficient speaker.
The third and final way to become a more efficient speaker is to modularize your content.
Do You Modularize Your Content?
So what do I mean by modularize your content?
By modularize your content, I mean to divide your content into different main points you can use as main points in your other presentations.
Let me give you an example.
Say you have three presentations with main points 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 in Presentation 1, main points 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 in Presentation 2, and main points 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3 in Presentation 3.
You may be creating a fourth presentation, Presentation 4, that could use main points 1.1, 2.3, and 3.1 from Presentations 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Why create three new main points for Presentation 4 when you already have content from Presentations 1, 2, and 3 that give you either all or some of the main points in Presentation 4?
This can be viewed as organized reuse of your content.
However, this does take a bit of categorization on your part to make your main points of all your content searchable so you can find the content quickly.
In fact, I did this in the last section. Last year, I wrote a newsletter called, “Daddy. Tell Me Another Story!”
The three very good reasons to use stories in your presentations I cited in the last section came from the “Daddy. Tell Me Another Story!” newsletter I wrote last year: stories grab the attention of your audience, stories give your audience “hooks” so they can remember and apply your main points, and stories tap into the emotions of your audience.
You will find modularizing your main points of your content and making them searchable will save you enormous amounts of time when you are creating new content.
When you start creating your content, you will have to create it from scratch for the first couple of months. However, if you continually create your content from scratch, you will very quickly find it is a tremendous effort to do so, not the least of which takes a lot of your time. You will also find you will be getting behind on your planned content creation if you create content new every time.
It would be better to become a more efficient speaker by (1) reusing your content, (2) keeping a “storybook” to draw on for your future presentations, and (3) to modularize your content for easy retrieval for your future presentations.
You don’t have all the time in the world to accomplish what you want.
However, you can “tip the scales” in your favor to become a more efficient speaker by following the three reasons above.
Your time is your life. Don’t waste your life. Use your presentation content creation time more efficiently?
Call to Action
From this day forward, don’t create new content until you have examined the applicability of the content you have already created
From this day forward, keep a “storybook” of your own stories and the stories you hear from other sources and people
From this day forward, modularize your content and don’t create new content until you have examined your already created content modules
“If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.”– Warren Buffet
Introducing a new book from Frank DiBartolomeo!
“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”
DiBartolomeo Consulting International’s (DCI) mission is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence.
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