I speak about speaking and presentations. I show professionals how to present themselves and their ideas in a way that wins people’s attention, respect, and cooperation.
I address two primary audiences.
Speeches for Leaders
I speak to leaders and aspiring leaders. These are people who represent their organizations, whose reputation is on the line each time they speak. Their goal isn’t–or shouldn’t be–to inform their audiences. Their goal to change the way people think and feel and, ultimately, act.
I create a new speech for every audience I address. Which isn’t to say that every speech is totally new. I cover much of the same material, although I give it a new twist, more or less emphasis, and focus, depending on the audience, the occasion, and the purpose of the gathering.
When I speak to leaders–CEOs and presidents, executives, directors, managers, business owners, though leaders–I almost always touch on:
- Why Leaders Speak: Leaders speak primarily to influence their audiences (to shape how they think and feel about an issue, event, or trend) and to motivate and inspire them to take action.
- The Elements of a Great Speech: Powerful speeches consist of four elements
1) the person of the speaker (his/her character, reputation, personality, values);
2) the event itself (the audience; where, when, and why they’re gathering; the physical set-up of the room, the agenda);
3) a message that develops home one powerful idea by appealing to the head (logic), the heart (emotions), and the hands (practicality); and
4) delivery that drives home the message.
- How to Influence: Leaders don’t give people information. (People are already drowning in information.) Leaders show people how to think and feel about the issues at hand. In the jargon of political speech consultants, leaders “frame” issues, giving them context and perspective.
- How to Motivate and Inspire: Action is the goal of a good speech. And leaders know how to move their audiences to take action, not just in the short term but in the long run.
Speeches and Presentations for Technical Experts
I speak to technical experts of all sorts…to engineers, programmers, research scientists, and the like. They’re smart people. They know what they’re talking about. But they don’t know how to talk about it so other people–especially people who aren’t in their field–can understand, appreciate, and act on it.
Again, I create each speech to address the needs of the particular audience I’m addressing. And, again, I usually touch on common themes and issues:
- The Purpose of a Technical Presentation: The goal isn’t simply to educate people. It’s to win their support for a project, program, process, or proposal. The question to answer when preparing a presentation is, “What do you want people to do with the information you’re presenting?” Then, answer an equally important question, “Why would they want to do that?”
- The Seven Sins of a Technical Presentation: The best way to shut and audience down and to lose their support is to be 1) confusing, 2) boring, 3) overly detailed, 4) impersonal, and 5) too long…and 6) to fail to address the audience’s needs and concerns, and 7) to hide behind a PowerPoint slide deck that is confusing, boring, overly detailed, impersonal, and too long.
- Using The Strengths of Technical Experts: Technical experts make powerful presenters, when they use their strengths to their advantage. They know their subject. They prepare well in advance. They’re systematic. And they’re problem-solvers. The trick is to show them how to use those strengths to create and deliver a presentation that helps their audiences solve problems.
- A Down-and-Dirty Outline for a Presentation: When they’re pressed for time, they can use a simple structure to create a compelling presentation by answering three questions 1) What? What’s the issue or problem? What’s the product or process that will address it? 2) Why? Why should the audience care about the problem and its solution? and 3) How? How does it work? How do people use it?
- Delivery Skills for Technical Experts: They’re never going to sound like rah-rah sales representatives. (Who would want them to?) But simply by gaining confidence, speaking louder, and making bigger gestures and movements, they can vastly improve their delivery.
For more information, contact me here.