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public speaking

Getting humour right in public speaking

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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 sexist.  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 avoi...
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Beginning at the end

Whenever I deliver training programmes it's always lovely to be invited back to the organisation to see how the participants have put the learning from our workshop into practice. Last week I revisited a group who had attended a ‘Putting A Presentation Together’ workshop earlier in the year. The purpose of my visit was to observe their presentations, offer feedback and  discuss with them how their...
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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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Another way to alleviate presentation fears

If you are worried about giving presentations and pitches – and, let’s face it, very few people don’t feel at least some nerves – then here is a bit of advice which has come about from a new piece of research.  According to a study published in the journal Science, writing down worries before a stressful situation greatly boosts your performance. Just jotting down what your concerns are appears to...
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