For lecturers, much focus is placed on improving the visual display and factual content of your talk.
- Keep slides simple
- Add relevant, non-extraneous images
- Avoid cramming too much information into your talk
On the Duarte Design website, Nancy Duarte interviews Nick Morgan, the author of “Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma”. In the 18-minute podcast, the author gave some pearls which I haven’t really heard before.
For instance as a speaker, you should be focused on your non-verbal presence. How can you frame your actions and presence to help convey your information better as something authentic and worth learning about? In brief, imagine that you are about to meet up with your best friend. Your posture and demeanor will change subconsciously.
Another issue that they discuss deals with the issue of being rehearsed versus being spontaneous. Being over-prepared makes you look stilted and dry. Being overly-spontaneous makes you look unsure and unprofessional. I constantly struggle with finding the right balance. I’ve been all over the spectrum over my career and have finally settled a little more towards the spontaneous end. Where are you on the spectrum?
The author also gives some practical tips about establishing your speaking style and general approach to engaging the audience. Take a quick listen to the 18-minute podcast.