I picked up Michelle Bowden’s book How to Present when I realised I’d forgotten to pack a book for my flight to Brisbane.
I always love to pick up little tips that I can practice to make my presentations more exciting and keep the audience awake. With the launch of my first book in May, I am booking in plenty of speaking engagements and hosting a few events, so I thought Michelle’s book would be the ideal way to brush up on my skills.
Some of the things I picked up from Michelle’s book:
- Use music at your events to signify the end of the break. Increase the volume gradually and then let it reach the end of the song.
- “The right word may be effective but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” Mark Twain
- What happens when you don’t the answer to an audience question… I was literally asked this exact thing by a friend just this week, and I told my friend that when that happens I simply ask if anyone in the audience would like to share their answer to the question. This way, someone else in the room gets to shine by sharing their story. After all the presentation is about the audience, not the speaker (you)!
- If no-one volunteers to answer the question (which is rare), I’ve now learnt from Michelle to do the following to buy some time so you carefully consider your answer… Re-iterate or paraphrase the question, and also explain why it is an important question for people in the audience. If you’re still drawing a blank and no-one comes to the rescue, offer to find the answer for them after the talk!