Author Topic: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?  (Read 778 times)

Offline alastairgott

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Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« on: February 09, 2021, 09:42:39 pm »
Does anyone have any tips on public speaking/video calls?


I have had to listen to myself a few times on recordings of video calls, and each time I'm left thinking I wouldn't feel very confident in my own viewpoint. It's always been a weakness, but the err, err, durrr, I, I, yes, mmm. Is more pronounced and takes up about 50% of the things i'm saying along with the classic "yer, you know".


What tips, if any, do people have for the impromptu or even planned delivery of words to larger groups of people.

Offline mikem

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2021, 09:57:14 pm »
Don't watch yourself & plan what your going to say beforehand

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2021, 10:22:09 pm »
Practice

Offline ZombieCake

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2021, 12:24:08 am »
I'm kind of in a similar boat.  I tend to talk way to fast in presentations and get a bit carried away.  If you can a bit of prep it works well to increase confidence.  Bear in mind a lot of the audience are secretly thankful that they're not the one on stage speaking. One thing to consider is that there are really only three types of presentations:

> The one you learned
> The one you gave
> The one you wished you'd done afterwards

Hardest thing I find are presentations to a group of people you know well, seems easier when the audience is alien.  Add a bit of humour, breathe and pause, and don't take yourself too seriously.  I also umm and err a bit as well, you know, like there's stuff and things...
If you know your subject well it defuses the uncertainty, and you can change tack to suit.
Don't worry when you lose your train thought mid way through speaking. A quick recap works well to pause and regain the train of thought, indeed something like 'any questions so far', or 'does that seem OK' ?
Tell them what you want them to hear, remind them of it, and tell them again to make sure.
It's OK to feel nervous beforehand because everyone else is.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2021, 08:24:30 am »
To pick up tips about timing, humour injection, giving just the right amount of information for folk to understand without getting lost etc, it's worth watching a few of former President Obama's speeches. Some of them were about as close to perfection as it's possible to get.

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2021, 08:54:46 am »
To pick up tips about timing, humour injection, giving just the right amount of information for folk to understand without getting lost etc, it's worth watching a few of former President Obama's speeches. Some of them were about as close to perfection as it's possible to get.

I agree. In particular he had perfect command of the art of the pause. I always found his use of the English language beautiful.

I think the most important point when public speaking is to remember that you are in charge of the rate of speaking. The worst thing you can do is to gabble. The old trick of looking at someone at the back of the audience and imagining you are speaking only to them is difficult with remote speaking - you will have to use your imagination.

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Offline Fulk

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2021, 09:03:18 am »
Never talk down to your audience.

Offline Steve Clark

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2021, 11:05:32 am »
I hated public speaking for years. I worked for a large construction company and was put on a 'presenting with excellence' course. I was dreading it and was trying to find a way of getting out of it. I ended up on it, in a unfamiliar environment of a fancy london office block with 15 other people I'd never met. Nightmare! I can't remember the name of the guy running the course, but he was excellent. He specialised in teaching live TV presenters to cope when things were going wrong. I learnt a massive amount over the two days. Anyway, I'm no tutor and not very good at it, but these are the things I took away from the course :

Any nervousness is an obstacle that your brain is creating and it's going to make everything more difficult. It's like learning to abseil, the more you do, the more natural it feels. Also, like abseiling, you still need to start with a proper plan. Just because the nervousness has gone away, you can still f#cuk it up - know your material and be prepared with your structure.

Build trust in your audience. Some self-deprecation helps. It's far better to expose some weakness early and then really deliver with the detail & knowledge, rather than come across as a super-confident professional presenter and then fall apart when you get into the detail. You can see this with some of the most relatable people. They start the presentation with some slightly embarrassing story, then get stuck into something interesting and only later do you realise they're actually the world-authority on something. That seals the trust deal.

Learn about 'right side brain' visualisation technique. This is about painting a picture in your audience's mind. Using words like 'Picture this....', 'Imagine you are...' etc. This is a great way to distract the focus from you. Your words are building something in their head. They've stopped looking at you and started thinking. This is a massive thing if you can get it right.

Get rid of the annoying habits. Unfortunately, you need to be brutal with this. On my course, on the second morning once everyone had built into a team and it had started to become a bit of fun - they put the presenter at one end of the room and everyone else at the other. They started speaking and we were encouraged to shout out faults! "Too quiet", "EEERMMM", "Too fast", "Too fast", "Too fast", "Too fast", "Pause NOW", "Pause NOW", "Get your hand off your face!". I'm not sure how you'd do this by yourself, but it was an incredibly quick way of fixing it.

If you want to appear intelligent, use simple words to explain complex things. Not complicated words to explain simple things. It's about getting a message across, not a p1ssing contest.

Offline nearlywhite

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2021, 11:19:29 am »
Most practical tips?
-plan: work out the things you want to say and 'boil them down'. You end up using shorter sentences with simpler words.
-Don't fill time for the sake of it, once you make your points then stop.
-if you can't plan (i.e. a tangent in a conversation) then some people find this structure helpful:
    >state the view you disagree with
    >say why you disagree
    >say your view

It's really natural to worry you've not given a long enough answer - people assume longer means more argument/evidence for your view, and it can play a big psychological component; '80% of that conversation was people crapping on this idea therefore it's bad' is a real worry, but you don't fix it by over-inflating what you have to say.

It might help to know that even the most over-confident of speakers (i.e. me) feel like they've communicated poorly. I lost a vote over the timing of the next BCA AGM a week ago and I'm sure if I rewatched a tape would cringe at the delivery of my rebuttal.

Offline mikem

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2021, 12:51:23 pm »
I'm not sure how you'd do this by yourself, but it was an incredibly quick way of fixing it.
It's not the most fun way, but doing the talk to yourself on the screen can work.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2021, 10:57:59 pm »

Get rid of the annoying habits. Unfortunately, you need to be brutal with this. On my course, on the second morning once everyone had built into a team and it had started to become a bit of fun - they put the presenter at one end of the room and everyone else at the other. They started speaking and we were encouraged to shout out faults! "Too quiet", "EEERMMM", "Too fast", "Too fast", "Too fast", "Too fast", "Pause NOW", "Pause NOW", "Get your hand off your face!". I'm not sure how you'd do this by yourself, but it was an incredibly quick way of fixing it.


That sounds a bit like Lester Beck's 'Dissasemblage' method:


Offline Alex

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2021, 09:32:48 am »
I have found giving talks over Zoom to a computer screen far less nerve-racking than doing it in person, and strangely people actually seem to enjoy them, so I may do more.

Advice, I just run through the talk with my partner first, that helps a lot, it also helps I am passionate about my subject to talk about, which in my case was the first (very small) expo we (BRCC) ran, going to Armenia.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline nickwilliams

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2021, 04:49:08 pm »

I think the most important point when public speaking is to remember that you are in charge of the rate of speaking. The worst thing you can do is to gabble.


This, 100%. Slow down, and don't be frightened of a few seconds silence if you need to think. Make sure you have a glass of water to hand so you can use it as an excuse for a pause if you need one. Better still, get a jug and create a few seconds of extra space by filling your glass before you drink from it.

The other thing which makes a massive difference is to engage in a dialogue with the audience. I always ask for questions as I go along so I can engage the audience's interest and avoid the presentation becoming a monologue.

If you are using a Powerpoint presentation, don't just parrot the lines. The presentation needs to be a framework on which you can hang a discussion.

Finally, remind yourself that the audience isn't going to eat you. As a caver, you will have done loads of things which are objectively much more dangerous than standing in front of a group of people, most of whom understand how nervous you feel and are willing you to do a good job.
"Economics is simply the branch of sociology that deals with people trading items and the fact that they use more numbers does not make it anymore of a science."

Offline JoshW

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2021, 05:26:08 pm »
If you are using a Powerpoint presentation, don't just parrot the lines. The presentation needs to be a framework on which you can hang a discussion.

This! Presentations should provide imagery or set out as Nick says the 'framework' of what you're saying. to some extent, less is more. The more you put in there the more it will distract the listeners from what you're saying.

I worked in insurance consulting for quite a few years and the amount of times I'd see a presentation being presented that realistically could be standalone, in which case what's the point of presenting it. It should be brief but also have enough reminders that if someone was listening to the presentation they'd be able to be reminded of the points that were being made from the slides.

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2021, 12:33:36 pm »
.... Make sure you have a glass of water to hand so you can use it as an excuse for a pause if you need one. Better still, get a jug and create a few seconds of extra space by filling your glass before you drink from it.


These are really good tactical points.

You need tactics and a bit of planning.

.

.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2021, 01:29:40 pm »
Thank you everyone, seeing Nicks water trick reminds me of the last job interviews I went to where one recruiter from Leeds gave me the goldmine of taking a notebook. Referring to it a few times (to also make a show of it and give the brain time to digest the question, while looking prepared).
 Even the final question, “have you any other questions for me” can be satisfied with one or two questions from the book, while you think of another.

I had no job offers in 4 months of going for interviews, but in the last 3 interviews I went to in the same week, I got offers from all three. The only change was the book and the confidence it gave me.

I’ll make some improvements, while my brain shouts errrrm at itself, to stop the verbal stalling.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Tips - Public speaking/video calls?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2021, 02:15:17 pm »
At least you're not hairy and old yet ;)

 

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