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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Apr 4, 2017

This Week's Tip: Face your Audience

  It may seem obvious that the speaker should face the audience, but we're probably all been in sessions where the speaker keeps turning  away from the audience to reach and watch their slides. Each time they advance the show, they turn their back to the audience again so they can read to their audience or just figure out what point to touch on next. An audience does not usually appreciate staring at a presenter's back for 20-90 minutes.   To make sure you always face your audience, do 2 things. 
  • Make sure your laptop display faces you while you speak to the audience. It shouldn't be against a wall facing the audience
  • Know your slides well enough so that you don't need to read them to make the point you want to make. A glance should be all you need

Post Tip Discussion: The Job's not Done until the Paperwork is Done

  The presentation doesn't end the moment the speaker leaves the stage. There is a lot of value a speaker can generate from their own post-event reporting. In this week's episode, I explore that idea in greater detail.  
  1. Why should you report on an event?
    1. If there's no report, it didn't happen. Creating reports gives you greater accountability, confirmation to your supervisor that it happened, and opportunity to praise you team for their assistance. It's also helpful when you compile your annual review months down the road.
    2. It helps preserve institutional memory of events. This is especially important for annual and semi-annual recurring events.
    3. It's a great way to keep track of follow-up items
    4. It helps you become a better presenter by keeping track of the things you can improve on
  2. When should you compile your reports?
    1. Immediately or ASAP.
    2. Reports will not get any better with time. Details will start to fade after a few hours.
  3. How do you compile data for reports?
    1. Make notes during a session.
    2. Review your slides.
    3. Repeat the question when an audience member asks one.
    4. Listen to a recording of your session.
    5. Things about the folks who approached you after a session.
  4. What should you include in your reports?
    1. Logistics
      1. Date
      2. Place
      3. Time
      4. Presenter names
      5. Number of attendees
    2. Summary of the event
      1. General description
      2. Operational details
      3. Stories of things that happened
    3. Feedback
      1. How the audience responded
      2. Comments the audience made with verbatim comments
      3. Opinions folks offered about your content or presentation style
    4. List of questions
      1. Questions you were able to answer
      2. Questions you were not able to answer
    5. Follow-up items
      1. Each item you need to follow-up on
      2. Post event To Do list
    6. Pictures
      1. Any pictures, videos, or multimedia from the session

Call To Action

  • What best practices do you have for post-event reporting? How do you compile reports? Please let us know in the comments below.
  • Please subscribe to 2 Minute Talk Tips in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
  • Face your audience.
  • Do your reports.
  • Don't get best...get better.