Tagged With speeches

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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?

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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.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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No matter what, a toast is hard to forget. It's either the highlight of an important event, or an awkward mess that people talk about for years after. Whether you're in the wedding party, or just toasting someone's success at a nice dinner, here's how to give a classy toast and look great doing it.

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Even if it's not your job to read the evening news, a teleprompter can come in handy. Maybe you're practicing a speech you haven't memorized. Maybe you're shooting an online video. Maybe you just want to time your presentation. TelePromptor turns your laptop, computer, or handheld device into a usable teleprompter.

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It's hard work to appear effortless. High production values can often be measured by what you don't see in a show, whether its a live performance or on television, and one diligent, necessary worker behind the scenes is the teleprompter operator.