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Public speaking

Do you want to be an after dinner speaker?

How do you feel when you finally get an invitation to be a guest speaker at a big social event? A great friend of mine has been angling for such an opportunity for a long time but when it came, he was completely thrown. Although he speaks in public, regularly it has always been in a work environment and normally about presenting a report of his project. So when he started to prepare for the event,...
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The art of delivering humour

When you are first making a presentation  or speech people may tell you to avoid humour because it is difficult to do.  With some, such as after dinner speeches, that is tricky because there is an  expectation that you will be both entertaining and amusing.  So, let’s look at dispelling the myth of ‘it’s too hard to do well’ and concentrate on some techniques to help you be as funny as you want to...
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Avoiding PowerPoint – unless it’s really necessary

Oh how I hate presentations driven by software like PowerPoint.    Far too many speakers start off preparing their presentation with the template and begin to write straight into it without being clear about their purpose or objective. What is often surprising is everyone knows what is wrong with using PowerPoint in this way yet they still persevere with it.  I would be very rich if I had a pou...
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Oh No: Not another old joke

I have just attended an event where the key note speech was marred by the speaker’s attempt to be funny by choosing to tell two very old jokes, so old they managed to be both racist and anti women. The lack lustre clapping at the end proved it wasn’t just me who found the humour cringe making. When you first make a presentation of any type, or speech of any sort, people will often tell you to a...
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Making the most of networking

Social networking is the buzzword of the moment. The likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are playing an increasingly important part in business marketing. But let’s also remember the old-fashioned kind of networking, where you go along to a breakfast or lunch, for example, and meet people who you may like to do business with and who – you hope – will want to do business with you. Face-to...
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