For the CORD Distinguished Educator’s Coaching Program, Dr. Gus Garmel has kindly offered to share his top 50 points to improve one’s speaking skills. These tips are great for anyone who plans to do public speaking. Thus far, this “be a great speaker” series has reviewed 40 pearls.
Here is the last set of 10 practical pearls:
- If you don’t seem interested in your topic or your talk, no one else will be.
- Good lecturers speak from their heart and their minds — not from their slides.
- Don’t read your slides to the audience – they can read them on their own.
- Walk and talk: Try walking around during your talk, if possible (don’t pace). This means have a working remote with charged batteries. Consider bringing your own remote and backup batteries. Walking and talking is challenging, but it helps the audience feel more engaged with you and what you are saying. In fact, this helps you keep your slide text to a minimum and “forces” you to know your material better.
- Make yourself available after your talk for questions and feedback.
- Ask a trusted colleague for SPECIFIC feedback on your presentation and how you can improve.
- Consider videotaping or recording your talk to review areas for improvement.
- Big finish: Don’t end with “I’m done” or “that’s it!” Summarize and pull the content all together. Remind your audience of the key pearls, perhaps using some pizazz.
- Finish on time. Even better, finish a couple of minutes early.
- Self-reflection: Rather than not thinking about your talk until the next year, reflect on how your talk went. What did you like and what would you want to change? Sometimes questions from the audience help you figure out what you need to add, remove, or clarify.