2 Minute Talk Tips

2 Minute Talk Tips helps you improve your public speaking. Each episode starts with a 2 minute, practical tip so you get value right from that start. After that, we have a deeper discussion about issues affecting public speakers. We talk about Speaking, PowerPoint, relating to an audience, stand-up comedy, storytelling, preparation, and much more. If you've got only 2 minutes, you have time to learn stuff. If you have more time, we've got more detail. Public speaking is an important skill to have in any role that requires good communications skills. Anyone who has spent a lot of time in meetings will agree, and they will likely bemoan the lack of effective speakers. The good news is that developing strong public speaking skills isn't hard. Between books, podcasts, seminars, and meetups there are plenty of resources that can help. A lot of folks are intimidated by the idea, though. They think that to learn public speaking, they need to become the next Tony Robbins, Ronald Reagan, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, or Cicero. That's not true, though. Don't focus on being the best speaker ever. Instead, become a better speaker tomorrow. And do that every day. That's the pathway to success. Don't get best…get better. I'm Bill Monroe. I've built a career on public speaking and training. In my work at Microsoft and Toshiba, I used these skills to teach folks how to sell technology products and to excite them about those products. I've worked with customers in the retail, public sector, and corporate industries as a technology evangelist. Yet, while I've been conducting presentations for more than 25 years, I'm still learning and improving. I believe everyone -- from novice to expert -- can become a better speaker. Sometimes that requires small changes. Other times it requires more deliberate strategic decisions. With 2 Minute Talk Tips we can all become a little better every day.
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Jan 17, 2017

This Week's Tip: Use the Cursor Keys

  When you are in slide show mode, you can navigate a PowerPoint slide deck by using the cursor keys. This makes it easier to navigate back and forth through your slides while speaking to a group.  

Post Tip Discussion

  We start by talking about the nature of PowerPoint. Many folks have learned to fear "Death by PowerPoint," and they blame PowerPoint for bad meetings.   In reality, this is not a problem with the tool. It's the way folks use PowerPoint.   If you don't want to use it, that's fine, and the reality is that in most organizations and meetings, not using it is not an option.     The trick to successfully using PowerPoint is to use it to reinforce what the speaker is saying, not to replace the speaker.   In many organizations, PowerPoint is the Word Processor of choice. If your organization is like that, make sure you do not use the same decks for email reports that you use to conduct a presentation. To be effective the deck should be written for the way you expect your audience to consume it -- from a computer at their desk or led by a presenter at a meeting.   A deck is not a presentation. You cannot email someone a presentation because a presentation exists at a specific time and place.   What are your thoughts on PowerPoint and how to use it properly? Post them here, or call the listener line at 650-TalkTip (650-825-5847)