How to Speak Good

How to Speak Good

Tips and tricks for the technical speaker. Everything from overcoming fear to how to use PowerPoint properly.


Craig Berntson

April 19, 2016


  1. How to Speak Good CRAIG BERNTSON MAY 6, 2012 How

    to Speak Good Craig Berntson
  2. None
  3. Biology Mood Behavior Thinking

  4. Anxiety will increase over time Anxiety is dangerous Anxiety worsens

    performance People will judge you negatively Avoid the situation Practice so you know everything Write down your talk and read it Don’t ask for questions Sit out of leader’s line of sight Hide your nervousness Picture audience naked Analyze what you did
  5. Tell stories Don’t impress people, touch them Notify your face

    Look audience in the eyes Prepare Repetition Allow gaps between notes
  6. Make a list of your fears You do not need

    to be an expert Prepare Rehearse
  7. Only one thing we have to fear is fear itself

  8. Hi! I’m Craig Church Disk Jockey in high school &

    college Tech events in North America & Europe Master of Ceremonies
  9. None
  10. Fear Types of Speaking Prepare You’re on!

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  12. Someone asks you Speaking is required You want to speak

  13. Entertain Inform Persuade

  14. Impromptu Business Social Online Events

  15. Meeting • Want to talk • Do not evaluate •

    Focus • Speak up Authority figures • People too • Know them • No negativity • Confidence • Strengths • Every day Interview • Worry • Challenge fear • Connect • Regular conversation • Refine skills Called on • Do not hide • “I don’t know” • Best shot • Follow flow Answering questions • Guidelines • Every question • Follow up • Why afraid? • As many as possible
  16. Online No animation Don’t move too quickly Stay in front

    of microphone Don’t connect wirelessly
  17. Fear Types of Speaking Prepare You’re on!

  18. • Keynote • Session Type • Know them • Content

    Audience • White board • Post-It Notes • Pencil & Paper Create an outline • Define flow *critical* • Something attendees can follow Storyboard
  19. Plan in Analog Plan before you open the software. Sketch

    ideas on paper or whiteboards. The “Napkin Test” It’s not the software. It’s how you craft and deliver the story.
  20. Messianic Sense of Purpose “We’re here to put a dent

    in the universe” What am I really selling? You have to love what your doing
  21. What

  22. Why

  23. How

  24. Introduce the Antangonist Do this early Setup problem, “Why do

    we need this?” Describe problem in detail Elevator pitch for your solution
  25. Reveal the Conquering Hero Describe the state of the industry

    After establishing antagonist, use plain English how you have a cure Be passionate about it
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  27. Draw a Roadmap List key points you want your audience

    to know Categorize your list until you are left with three to five points Under each point, add rhetorical questions to enhance narrative
  28. Single Major Point

  29. One Question that Matters Most Why should I care? Eliminate

    buzz words and jargon One thing consistent across all marketing collateral, including press releases, website, and presentations
  30. Simplify 2007 CES Steve Jobs Bill Gates Avg. words/sentence 10.5

    21.6 Lexical density 16.5% 21% Hard words 2.9% 5.11% Fog index 5.5 10.7 2008 CES Steve Jobs Bill Gates Avg. words/sentence 13.79 18.23 Lexical density 15.76% 24.52% Hard words 3.18% 5.2% Fog index 6.79 9.73
  31. Use “Amazingly Zippy” Words Unclutter your copy Simplify Have fun

    with words
  32. PowerPoint Death by PowerPoint

  33. Most common mistakes Put every word on slide Keep slides

    simple and relevant Long, complex slides take time to read The more they read, the less they listen Spellcheck Excessive bullet pointing Maximum 4-5 bullet points Maximum three levels of indentation
  34. Bad color schemes Understand the color wheel In PPT 2007

    or later use built-in schemes Earlier versions had bad color schemes, backgrounds, and default fonts Event or employer may provide template
  35. Deliver Their Inner Zen Avoid bullet points One theme per

    slide Create visually aesthetic slides
  36. Data, graphs, charts, and diagrams Keep graphs simple If you

    can’t, use “builder” slides
  37. Dress Up Your Numbers Use data to support facts ◦

    Don’t use too many numbers ◦ Carefully consider figures Make data specific, contextual, relevant Use rhetorical devices such as analogies to dress up numbers
  38. Animation Avoid animation, sounds, transitions May be needed at times

    Emphasize a point Complex diagrams
  39. Fonts No smaller than 24 point font Use sans-serif rather

    than serif font Font color should contrast with background
  40. General Two basic slide types Show whole slide at once

    Prompt to keep you on track Reveal technique Show one bullet point at a time Summarize what you are going to say
  41. General If it’s on the slide, talk about it Images

    add impact Back row can’t see bottom of screen Only use top 75% of slide
  42. No PowerPoint Visual aids Whiteboard Flip chart 3x5 index cards

    Everything else is the same
  43. Flow Transition Timing Demos Slides Blocking Setup

  44. None
  45. Make it Look Effortless Practice, practice, practice Practice some more

    Record your presentation
  46. Toss the Script Write your script in full sentences in

    the Notes section Highlight or underline keywords from each sentence and practice Delete extraneous words. Leave only key words Memorize the one idea per slide Practice the entire presentation without notes
  47. Realistic audience • Local group • Work colleagues • Family

    Run through without breaks • Request feedback • Check timing
  48. Fear Types of Speaking Prepare You’re on!

  49. Don’t install stuff two weeks before Check in with organizers

    Double-check travel plans Video cable! Power cable! Upload presentation Put presentation on USB drive Presentation clothing
  50. Wear the Appropriate Costume Dress like the leader you want

    to become Wear clothes that are appropriate for the culture If you’re going to dress like a rebel, dress like a well-off rebel
  51. Check in with organizers Verify location of room, size, layout,

    etc. Check your laptop with projector Blocking
  52. Setup • Turn off IM • Use restroom • Empty

    pockets • Laser pointer, clicker, etc • Other material • Water or energy drink • Turn off cell phone Display • Open everything you need • Show or Presenter View • Mouse pointer off screen You • Be fresh • Be enthusiastic • Be yourself • Be entertaining
  53. Make first point positive Starting with a joke is not

    always best Introduce yourself and the topic Set expectations and skill level Go over agenda Don’t hunt for files Keep hands out of pockets
  54. Tell them what you’re going to tell them Tell them

    Tell them what you told them Remember golden rule It may be obvious to you Attendees may not get it the first time Skill level is usually wider than expected Include conclusions and summaries Repetition is a good thing This drives it home Clearly identify your key point
  55. Share the Stage Have customers that use your product back

    your claim Incorporate testimonials Publicly thank employees, partners, customers
  56. Stage Your Presentation with Props Build a product demo during

    planning Commit to the demo Provide something for every type of learner: visual, auditory, kinesthetic
  57. Reveal a “Holy Shit” Moment Plan the moment Script the

    moment Rehearse the big moment
  58. Obey the Ten-Minute Rule Your audience checks out after ten

  59. Master Stage Presence Body Language ◦ Eye contact ◦ Open

    posture ◦ Hand gestures Say it with style Act like the leader you want to be Vary your vocal delivery
  60. Macbook Air What is MacBook Air? In a sentence, it’s

    the world’s thinnest notebook The world’s thinnest notebook We decided the build the world’s thinnest notebook Macbook Air. The world’s thinnest notebook Apple introduces MacBook Air – The World’s Thinnest Notebook We’ve built the world’s thinnest notebook
  61. It didn’t stop there The industry’s greenest notebooks 1,000 songs

    in your pocket The world’s most popular music player made even better Apple reinvents the phone iPhone 3G. Twice as fast at half the price
  62. Create Twitter-like Headlines 140 characters Once sentence vision statement Consistently

    repeat headline Offer audience a vision of a better future
  63. Never talk down It makes you sound condescending Don’t assume

    attendees are idiots Don’t insult them Don’t assume attendees are geniuses Explain what you are talking about
  64. Misunderstanding or insults Culture Humor Slang

  65. When things go wrong Reset once Don’t debug Betty Crocker

    moment Apologize once Move on
  66. Wrap up •Give summary •Take questions •Contact info •Get off

    stage •Be available
  67. Set rules Always repeat Off- topic I don’t know Don’t

    make up ? ? ? ? ?
  68. Evaluations • You can’t please everyone • Appreciate good •

    Accept bad • Use both to improve
  69. Fear Types of Speaking Prepare You’re on!

  70. Resources Start small Community theater Improv Toastmasters Classes Mentor Billboards

  71. Resources Watch others Guy Kawasaki Steve Jobs Scott Hanselman

  72. Master communicator Passion Simplify Practice

  73. Resources Books The Confident Speaker Beyond Bullet Points Slideology The

    Craft of Scientific Presentations Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs Presentation Zen Presentation Patterns
  74. Resources Websites Blogs

  75. Resources Speaking coach

  76. Summary What, Why, How Tell them what you’re going to

    tell them Single most important point Repetition, repetition, repetition Tell them Tell them what you told them
  77. Summary Know your material Knowing the subject isn’t enough You

    don’t need to be an expert Be prepared Slides, demos, flow, and timing Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse Above all, enjoy yourself
  78. Have fun Treat presentation as “infotainment” Never apologize

  79. The Payoff

  80. Questions Email: