Polishing Your Presentation

When it’s time to move beyond introductions and shine in the limelight, be ready to take the microphone, make a great impression, make a difference, and make those you’re talking with want to take the next step toward a relationship with you and your business.

Stepping up to the microphone

You’ve likely heard of TED, the clearinghouse for free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most remarkable thinkers and speakers; presentations are posted free at www.ted.com . In addition to sharing amazing information, each TED talk runs not a second longer than 18 minutes, and all obey the following “commandments,” which provide great advice for any speaker to follow:

Dream big. Show the real you. Make the complex plain. Connect with people’s emotions. Don’t flaunt your ego. No selling from the stage. Comment on other speakers’ talks. Don’t read your talk. End your talk on time. Rehearse your talk in front of a trusted friend — for timing, for clarity, for impact.

When preparing your next speech, consider the TED commandments and follow these steps:

check.png Plan ahead: For how-to instructions, pick up Confessions of a Public Speaker (O’Reilly Media), by Scott Berkun, who gives these tips:

Take a strong position in the title. Avoid titles like “Risk Management 101” (Berkun says everyone remembers 101 courses as boring) in favor of titles like “Mistakes I Made in ...

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