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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Feb 21, 2017

This Week's Tip: No Eye Charts

  Eye charts are presentation slides will small text, lots of numbers, and/or detailed charts. They might look okay on the presenter's desk, but to the audience, they are illegible. A presenter will often apologize for the eye chart and simple state the point they want to make. The better option is not to use illegible slides at all. If the audience can't read it, there's no value in the slide. Here are some tips to avoid them:
  • Use only fonts larger than 24 points
  • Include only the most relevant part of a spreadsheet
  • Trim extra labels from charts
  • Break up a single eye chart into multiple, legible slides
  • Look at your slides from the back of the room while practicing so you see what the audience will see

Post Tip Discussion: Managing Q&A

  Question and Answer is an unavoidable part of a live presentation. When you manage Q&A well, you conduct a more effective presentation. We'll talk more about handling questions in future episodes. For now, there are four key areas we focus on:
  • You can take questions during your sessions
  • You don't have to take all the questions
  • You might get stumped, and that's okay
  • You can help your audience shine by taking their questions

Call To Action

  • How do you manage Q&A?  Tell us in the comments below
  • What is the most challenging Q&A session you've had? Tell us in the comments below
  • If you enjoy 2 Minute Talk Tips, please leave us a rating or review in the iTunes store
  • If you don't already, please subscribe to 2 Minute Talk Tips in your favorite podcast app
  • Avoid eye charts and practice your Q&A approach
  • Don't get best...get better