Contact Dave Hill for Speaker Bookings: (214) 668-5785 dave@davehillspeaks.com
Dallas, Texas, USA 0 Items

(Excerpt from Dave Hill’s book:  The Re-Engineered Engineer.  Communication skills for data-driven people. Deliver top-shelf content in memorable and engaging ways).

 

Dave Hill - The Re-Engineered Engineer - Speaker, Trainer, Author, and Speech Coach

Dave Hill – The Re-Engineered Engineer – Speaker, Trainer, Author, and Speech Coach

  1. Learn how to present technical information.  Join a speaking club such as Toastmasters International; find a nearby club at www.toastmasters.org.
  2. Build your confidence as a speaker with stage time, stage time, stage time.  The more time you stand in front of an audience, the less flustered your brain will be.  Once anxiety is reduced, your progress accelerates.
  3. Know your subject inside-out; don’t “wing it.”  Practice your presentation out loud to make sure it flows naturally.  Put the time in to fully understand your topic, as this helps build your credibility with the audience.
  4. To make the subject matter come alive by using stories that relate to your points.  Maximize the effectiveness of the stories by using ones the audience can relate to.
  5. If you are being formally introduced, write an introduction of no more than 2 minutes that will get the audience’s attention (humorous, engaging, credibility, unusual, etc.).
    • Give it to your introducer ahead of time so he or she can practice it.  Point out the areas where you want intonation and pauses.  If you do not take the time to do this, you can end up with an introduction that sucks energy out of the room.
    • Copy your introduction onto heavy paper (32 lb.) so there will be no rustling noises if there is a microphone and so the paper won’t visibly shake if your introducer is nervous.
  6. Start your presentation with something that will engage the audience, such as a related story or a rhetorical question.  To get the audience’s full attention, make the story impactful.
  7. Make your point by using humor and entertaining stories that relate to your subject matter.  Your talk will be more memorable, too.
  8. When using a multimedia presentation such as PowerPoint, use a remote.  You want to move from slide to slide without having to go to the keyboard.
  9. Do not have too many slides. One slide every few minutes can be effective.
  10. “Storyboard” your slides so it is clear what you are talking about and where your presentation is going.  Storyboarding is a process in which you analyze your information to determine the logical sequence.  This eliminates the need for the additional slides that inexperienced presenters tend to use as a crutch to help stay oriented.
  11. Choose colors that can be seen and read whether the room is light or dark.
  12. Minimize the number of words on a slide.  A single picture with a headline-type statement can be very effective.
  13. Know your material so you don’t have to look at the screen or your notes.  Engage the audience and make eye contact.
  14. When possible, put the lectern on the left (from the audience’s view), and make sure it doesn’t block the screen.
  15. Evaluate your audience before the event.  What is their perspective and level of understanding? Is there a possibility of conflict or confusion on some of the content?  Anticipate questions they could ask.
  16. Practice, practice, practice.  This is the key to success.
  17. Present a professional image (clothing, posture, demeanor) to help build credibility.
  18. When asked a question, repeat it so all audience members can hear. Do not just speak to the questioner; make eye contact with other members of the audience and engage them.
  19. Understand nonverbal audience feedback.  Look for signs of confusion, disagreement, boredom, etc.  If someone in the audience looks confused, ask politely if he or she needs clarification.
  20. Dry-run your presentation with your peers and solicit honest feedback.  Develop evaluation forms to document improvement opportunities on content or delivery skills.
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