Speak Like a Winner

I recently downloaded a short but excellent book on public speaking by Akash Karia called, “Speak Like a Winner”. It is extremely helpful as it simply takes four excellent speeches and breaks them down to show you how to draw your audience in and get them excited about hearing what comes next. I think what made it such a winner was the fact that you could also download (at no further charge) the speeches referred to in the book so you could watch them yourself and then pick them apart. Extremely useful and highly recommended. Here is the link to the book. – http://www.amazon.com/Speak-Like-Winner-Speaking-ebook/dp/B00B7HC8M8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361775364&sr=8-1&keywords=speak+like+a+winner

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Three Days, Three Cities, Three Audiences

Trying to tailor talks to audiences and groups.  Aiming to maintain simplicity, humour and elements of surprise to keep attention and aid retention of information.  This has involved using a hammer to smash up an item to illustrate one point, offering spot prizes for spot the difference and other mini “competitions” during the talk plus in one version, a strong visual aid that was provided for each audience member for them to work with.

I think we have achieved some degree of “stand out” but it has been hard to balance the spontaneous passion with the number of slides and getting the two to balance.  Two more talks to go on the UK tour – one to my old school over lunch – and one to a main church service on a given theme.  Very different genres here so working hard to get the formats, lengths and delivery just right.

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Passion Covers a Multitude of Sins!

Remember that no matter how little time you have to prepare for a talk a lot of what you communicate is through non-verbal body language.  If you are passionate about a subject and let this passion shine through, an audience will forgive you a number of failings in other areas – technical stuff not working (Powerpoint), starting late, etc.  However, your passion must not lead you to abuse your audience by stealing their time through over-running, by speaking so quietly that people cannot hear you or by disrespecting them in any way.  If you are excited about something it will encourage others in your audience to believe they should also be excited about the same thing.  You can communicate this through tone of voice, varied pitch, speed of talking, varied volume, expansive body movements – arms especially, facial look – eyebrows, smiles, head moving around to make eye contact with as many sections of the audience as you can and even some controlled pacing/leaping around the stage.  If the subject warrants it, allow your sense of fun and passion to spill over to others.  Some self deprecating humour is always a nice touch and plenty of pauses to give people time to breath and stay up to speed with you.  Have fun out there!

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Short and Sweet – Former CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises, Bryan Dyson – 30 second speech?

The speech below is widely accredited to Bryan Dyson and probably was given before 1998 as a 1996 commencement speech at Georgia Tech.  From time to time it circulates by email as an example speech.

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, Friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the Air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four Balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

Thank you

This talk shows simply that less is more.  It also shows the power of allowing people to draw their own conclusions and make their own applications.  It was given way back in the mid 1990s as best I can tell and it may have been longer originally – see three versions below.

One version just added this in at the end:
WORK EFFICIENTLY DURING OFFICE HOURS AND LEAVE ON TIME. GIVE THE REQUIRED
TIME TO YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS & HAVE PROPER REST. —

Another version added a massive extra chunk!
How?

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.
Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.
Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.
Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each together.
Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find time. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings!
Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.
Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.
Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way…

This extra length just kills it for me.  It proves the old adage, Stand up, Speak Up, Shut up.  Finally, version three below, tries to cram in just TOO much.  How much of it can you remember?

Food for Thought

In a university commencement address several years ago, Brian Dyson, CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises, spoke of the relation of work to one’s other commitments: “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit – and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.” How? Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special. Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you. Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as though they were your life, for without them, life is meaningless. Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live ALL the days of your life. Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us together. Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave. Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find time. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings. Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going. Don’t forget a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily. Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And Today is a gift: that’s why we call it “The Present.”

http://www.searo.who.int/en/Section1257/Section2181/Section2211/Section2219_11481.htm

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Grab Them Fast!

If you don’t strike oil in the first minute – stop boring.  So said a Texan Oilman.  Tell them what is coming, but also hook them in through humour, audience participation (a personal favourite as it introduces a dangerous, what is coming next element) a story,  a video, a gimmick (but one that is relevant).

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Three Top Tips for Presentations

Have just downloaded a great book on my new toy – Kindle – that explains how to give great presentations by taking apart what Steve Jobs of Apple has been doing. Very helpful. Speak in threes, tell a story, death to bullet points. “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs”

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