- Fear will decrease over time, learn to ignore it. Make a list of your fears.
- Anxiety heightens your awareness and improves performance. So it’s a good thing to have.
- Write your talk, but don’t read it. The more you read, the less they listen. It’s just like writing. There’s a beginning, middle and end. Outline what you want to say using amazing, zippy words.
- Edit and re-edit your talk.
- Rehearse your talk. You can record it to find what you need to work on. Find a beta audience. Practice is important, but you don’t have to know it 100%. Make it effortless and remember people will not judge you negatively for being nervous.
- Power points are good, but don’t put every word on the slide. Keep them simple and relevant.
- Long and complex slides are distracting.
- A few other power point mistakes are bad color schemes and small font. Don’t use anything smaller than a 24 point font and don’t forget to spellcheck.
- Keep graphics simple and avoid animation sounds.
- Don’t use the bottom of the scene; the people in the back row can’t see it. Craig recommended using 75% of the scene.
- Review or summarize at the end.
As writers, there are four types of speaking. We participate in our chapter and critique groups. We give pitches for agents and publishers. We havelaunches, signing and reading events, and conferences we attend and/or are presenters.
How do we improve? Start small. Participate in classes and conferences. Watch others and note what you like about their presentation. Use a speaking coach.
What I noted about Craig’s presentation was his energy and enthusiasm. He made speaking seem effortless. He must’ve had lots of practice. His zeal for speaking has encouraged me to participate more in groups.
I had the opportunity to present to groups twice this month and tried to follow his recommendations, but it became obvious to me that it’s not as easy as Craig made it seem.
There’s always room for improvement, right? My biggest struggle is over analyzing my talk, which Craig also recommended we don’t do. In addition, he reminded us that we don’t have to know all the answers.
Thanks, Craig, for sharing these tips and showing us how it’s done. We appreciate your wisdom and wit.
For the power point slides go to: https://speakerdeck.com/craigkingsman/how-to-speak-good