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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May 16, 2017

2 Minute Tip: Use a Call To Action

  If you've ever left a meeting and wondered, "What now?" the speaker probably did not use a Call To Action. The Call To Action tells the audience what the speaker would like it to do. That could include things like:  
  • Take concrete steps
  • Consider some new ideas
  • Implement a plan
  • Develop a plan
  • Change its mind
  • ...and more.
  As a speaker, you want to start with your Call To Action, and then build the rest of your presentation around it. This makes it easier for your audience to know what it should do and to act on your presentation.  

Post Tip Discussion: Prepare for Losing a Laptop

  In the Spring of 2017, the US began banning laptops and tablets from the passenger cabin of US bound flights on certain Middle Eastern airlines from certain Middle Eastern Airports.  According to Bloomberg, this ban could extend to all flights originating in Europe. There's always the potential the ban could spread further.   All laptops and tablets will need to go into checked baggage. Most airlines, however, do not accept responsibility for electronics in checked bags.  If a laptop or tablet is stolen, lost, or damaged in checked luggage, the airline is not responsible. Plus, even if a laptop arrives safe and sound, it's still possible to have a hardware or software failure before a big presentation.  A speaker to have contingency plans in place in the event they can't use their laptop. One way to organize these contingencies is to split them into Content Solutions and Hardware Solutions.  
  • Content Solutions:
    • Know your slides so well you don't need them
    • Store your deck on a flash drive
    • Store your deck in the cloud
    • Email your deck to an on-site contact
    • Export your deck to JPEG
  Content is only half the solution. It needs to be paired with a hardware solution.  
  • Hardware Solutions:
    • Consider a "burner" laptop
    • Make a late night retail run
    • Borrow a PC
    • Use your smart phone
    • Ship your gear on ahead

Call To Action:

  • Use a Call To Action for all your presentations
  • Prepare for losing a laptop -- just in case
  • Add your favorite laptop loss contingency plans to the comments below
  • If you liked this episode, share it with your friends through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or the social networks of your choice
  • Don't get best...get better