Being a good storyteller can improve your presentations at work, boost your social skills and make you more likeable in general. But it's not an ability that comes naturally to everyone. If you're not sure how to go about telling stories that captivate an audience, these simple dos and don'ts will give you a good place to start.
Tagged With public speaking
Public speaking is rough. Even people who give public presentations all the time can still get struck with a bit a stage fright. While the age-old tip of picturing everyone in the room can certainly help (or hurt depending on who you are), Fast Company has another idea for combating a difficult public speaking event: incorporate a story.
Off-white humour blog McSweeney's has a guide to asking questions at public events, formatted by writer and teacher Meriah Crawford as a final exam. Questions include "How long should my questions be?" and "Is this a good opportunity to explain how the speaker is wrong?" and answers include "Sit your ass back down" and "It's ideal to tell a brief story about yourself first, so the whole audience understands how important you and/or your question are."
We've all received the conventional wisdom that filler words such as "um", "uh" and the especially dreaded "like" have no place in conversation. They make you sound dumb! They diminish your authority! But, according to a linguist, filler words serve an important function, and we shouldn't be so quick to try to banish them from conversation.
We all listened to Oprah's acceptance speech for the Cecil B. de Mille Award? Yes? Good. Did you notice how even though she's Oprah, and could probably make us cry by reading a takeaway menu backward, she put a ton of work into her speech? And how through that work, she took a celebration of her accomplishments, respected that premise, but turned it into a rallying cry for the forces of good? Next time you speak in public, would you like to be a little more like Oprah?
Here’s the scene: A sea of roaming eyeballs and some powerful fluorescent lights, all focused on you. Does this freak you out? If you’ve ever struggled with public speaking, this incredible infographic runs you through the ways you can prevent public speaking anxiety and ensure you’re giving presentations the audience will remember.
We all know that being seen as confident, but not cocky, at work can have a positive effect on our careers. From one-on-one meeting with your boss to giving a presentation to the whole team, your voice is one of the most important parts of project confidence. Here's how to adjust your voice so that how you say something has as much impact as what you say.
I love explaining things to small groups of people and through writing on the web, but when it comes to speaking in front of large groups of people I turn into a bumbling mess. Public speaking is one of those acquired skills that I never quite got, but there's still time. This week Fast Company spoke to a few podcasters who have mastered the skill (and have shows places like NPR and WNYC to prove it) and came up with a list of tips that even people like me can use to improve. Here are a few big takeaways.
I once showed up to a party alone, before any of my friends arrived. Instead of mingling, I hid in the bathroom to kill time and avoid talking to strangers. Embarrassing but true. For a shy person, social interaction can be a stomach-churning, anxiety-filled experience. It was for me, but I was able to get it under control with some work and become comfortable talking to strangers.
At any reading, screening or panel, the audience Q&A carries the potential to beautifully cap off the event, or ruin it. For a few minutes, the whole room is captive to anyone who can hold a microphone and likes the sound of their voice. Not everyone deserves such power. Here's how to handle it appropriately.
We all fear speaking in front of people. Some of us are just better at squashing those anxieties -- probably by not following flimsy advice like, "Imagine everyone in the room naked." Instead, they prepare thoroughly and thoughtfully and learn what keeps people interested. Here's how you can, too.
If you've never sung karaoke, it might seem like a nightmare. You're standing in front of a bunch of random people, singing all by yourself, and praying the monitor with the lyrics doesn't go out. But a lot of your fears are unfounded, and there are plenty of things you can do to ease yourself into the spotlight.
Public speaking can be terrifying for some people but it's something that business owners often have to do in order to raise their company's profile. Even speaking at an intimate networking event can be daunting. One start-up founder recommends having a back-up personal story that you can rely on when you freeze up from stage fright.
Writing a speech and delivering it are two separate challenges. If you're not sure where to start with the writing process, use this six-part outline as a guide.