Two Public Speaking Tips to Keep Your Presentation Out of the Dumpster
by Allan Kaufman and Allan Misch
Be Enthusiastic and Your Presentation Will Be Successful
At a conference Allan Kaufman attended, there were two keynote speakers. One was trained in the art of speaking.
He had a professional appearance, was well organized, used expressive gestures, and did not use filler words such as ah, um, etc. He got his message across, but lacked one important ingredient.
He did not demonstrate enthusiasm for his topic.
The other speaker violated many public speaking principles that most trainers teach. He had his hands in his pockets, and his speech was not well organized.
Yet, he delivered his address with enthusiasm, and this made all the difference.
Allan left the conference thinking that the second speaker was more successful strictly because of his demonstrated enthusiasm.
So show your audience that you are enthusiastic about what you are sharing with them.
Do this by talking with excitement in your voice, using meaningful gestures and direct eye contact, smiling, getting the audience involved, and talking from your heart, not from your notes.
As Mary Kay Ash said, “A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.”
Being enthusiastic is the secret ingredient for keeping your audience interested. It’s an insurance policy that prevents a boring presentation. Another first-aid strategy for your presentations is to . . .
Use Saver Lines as Laugh Insurance
A saver line is a prepared short piece of humor, usually one line that you use following a joke or humorous story that falls flat. The saver line gets the laugh.
Johnny Carson made using savor lines an art form. Sometimes, he would purposely tell a joke that was not funny and follow-up with the laugh-getting real joke, the saver line.
Tom Antion in his book, Wake ‘Em Up!, talks about the value of using saver lines. Here are some of his saver lines.
“Do any of you speak English?”
“I’ve got a good book for sale outside that explains these jokes. You may want to pick up a copy.”
“I know you’re out there, I can hear you breathing.”
When your saver line gets a chuckle, incorporate it into your program at the prescribed moment each time you present.
So have a few saver lines in your speaking toolbox. They are the laugh insurance for when your joke or other humor falls flat.
Let us know in the comments what saver lines have worked for you.