I work hard on my speaking skills–not just how I present myself on the platform, but also the content of what I say, and how I present that. I’ve almost converted to Keynote, but occasionally still use PowerPoint.
For AYE, we don’t use any PowerPoint (or equivalent) at all. Here’s why. If you scroll down, you’ll see Dwayne’s reference to Life After Death by PowerPoint by Don McMillan, an engineer turned comic. (I laughed out loud.)
At Better Software, I’m doing an hour-long thing (not quite a full workshop, but much more interactive than an hour talk) about how to be a better speaker. I was going to mention all the points Don makes, but I might just play the video.
Some of the additional points I was going to make are:
- Don’t drone on about you or your company. Set the context in less than 30 seconds.
- Make eye contact with the people in your audience.
- Use a microphone.
- Understand that the people in the audience want you to succeed. You don’t have to think about them as naked (icky, yucky, blech), just as people.
- Market your session all through the conference.
Do you have any pet peeves about speakers? Anything else I should make sure to include?