Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Public Speaking

In Awkward memorization from Seth Godin's Blog from Seth Godin share,

“My suggestion: Don’t memorize your talk. Memorize your stories. Ten stories make a talk. Write yourself a simple cue card to remember each story’s name. Then tell us ten stories.”

I hate public speaking! I have hated writing and reading speeches and avoid them at all costs!
I have given a few presentations (which I prefer to do rather than speeches). I see giving a presentation a lot like teaching a class.

Ever since I’ve seen TED talks, I realized that this is how I want to give a presentation. I don’t want to use a PowerPoint that lists things and then I read the things off of the slide. I know when I see these things, I read them and copy them down. I’m more focused on the slides and the words than I am on the speaker.

The most effective way that I have given a presentation is by finding pictures that represent what I want to speak about. These pictures are a trigger for me so I know what I want to speak about. On each picture slide, I will have a title that reminds me of what I want to say. People seem to enjoy the pictures as much as hearing me speak. I think the pictures help relate to what I’m talking about.

I have my own notes for each slide that remind me to talk about the main points I want to say. This really helps me at the beginning when I get really nervous. I try to keep what I say short for each slide so that I’m moving to the next slide easily. This changing of pictures help keeps the audience engaged. I also let the audience know that I will share my notes later with them, so they don’t have to copy everything I say. This is always helpful to me so that I can really pay attention to what is being said.

Since I’ve started giving presentations this way, I am much more comfortable with talking before a group. I just know in my head that I need to avoid saying it is a “speech” and I will do much better.

We need to teach our students how to give presentations like this. This keeps them from trying to memorize words or facts and will help them really learn the material. They still will have notes but won’t be allowed to read them from the paper. They will have to put the information in their own words.

How do you help your students learn how to do public speaking? Please share.

Photo by Miguel Henriques on Unsplash

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