Public speaking

Headlines speak for example in effective business presentations

It was a pleasure to once again host a Speakeasy event at our offices in Manchester this evening. Speakeasy as a concept – to assist business owners and professionals craft and deliver their business message – is growing in popularity with 7+ live groups in and around Manchester and international expansion imminent. It is a testament to the hard work and effort invested by its founder, Andrew Thorp.

Alistair MacDonald was an excellent co-facilitator at this evening’s event.

Key learning points in relation to delivering effective presentations for me were as follows:

Start with a headline

Rather than launch straight into the dense detail of your presentation content, start with a teaser headline e.g.

“It was on the 10th January 2010 that my life changed…..I’ll return to the reason for this in a moment but first let me explain how I got there…..”

Think about news programmes and how they craft their message. They always start with short, punchy headlines.  Headlines both frame a story and provide a teaser to pique interest, before returning to flesh out the detail. The same technique can be used with great effect in public speaking.

Tell stories by using the words “for example”

A repeated lesson from tonight’s Speakeasy (in fact from pretty much every decent presentational training event I’ve been to) stressed the need for the presenter to use stories to engage the audience and provide memorable hooks for the audience to take away.

Alistair MacDonald provided a great insight in that he said his ears prick up when he hears a speaker say the words “for example” as he knows a story is imminent. This provides an excellent hook for speakers to remember to use to introduce stories plus it provides a smooth bridge to bring in stories throughout a presentation.

Are there any other tips that you find help turn an otherwise dull, mundane talk into an inspiring and engaging presentation?

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#003 Speakeasy – Effective Business Communication with Andrew Thorp

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Andrew Thorp as our guest on this week’s Business N2K podcast. Andrew is a business speaker and trainer focusing primarily on effective communication skills within business.

Andrew recently launched SpeakEasy within the North West and it is proving hugely popular amongst the local business community.  SpeakEasy is a forum for business leaders and owners to get together in a supportive and informal environment to practise delivering their business message and obtain valuable feedback in the process. I was lucky enough to attend a recent SpeakEasy event in Manchester to experience the benefits first-hand – it was a great and enlightening experience.

In this conversation, Andrew shares some tips and learning points on effectively communicating your business benefits and message including:

  • the art of influencing and making an impact
  • the importance of engaging listeners with your passion for your business proposition
  • how to effectively use humour
  • implementing changing ‘status’ to add impact and influence
  • incorporating the 3 circles of influence
  • introducing the Magic of 3
  • essential tips for using slides (or the dreaded PowerPoint)

It is said that a US survey identified public speaking as the No.1 Fear held by people (death was ranked as a lowly second!). Yet with practise and perseverance in an encouraging atmosphere like SpeakEasy, many more business people should be able to tackle this vitally important (life as well as) business skill with confidence.

How you can listen to the BusinessN2K podcast:

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Please leave your comments, feedback and suggestions for future shows in the comments section below.

Credits: Thanks to Andrew Thorp for this week’s show + music used in the BusinessN2K podcast is by Viba – In the Orchard lies a Secret – available as a free download and is released under a Creative Commons Licence

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