Each month’s newsletter addresses one topic of interest to people who want to improve the way they present themselves and their ideas. The focus is primarily on public speaking and presentation skills, although occasionally a more basic communication issue will be addressed.
Many of the ideas developed in the newsletter will be taken from my latest book, Real Leaders Don’t Do PowerPoint: How to Sell Yourself and Your Idea.
Here is a sampling of newsletters that have been published over the past couple of years.
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How to End a Speech
The way you end a speech is what people will remember. A weak ending to a speech is like a limp handshake: it leaves people with a bad impression.
Seven Rules for More Powerful Speaking
Follow these seven rules to speak more powerfully: 1) Don’t Waste Your Listener’s Time…
The Big Idea of a Speech
For the most part, we need not more information, but a way of understanding the information we already have access to. That’s why leaders and successful presenters promote ideas. An idea, if it’s any good, organizes, ties together, and explains the significance and the implications of information.
Big Ideas or Big Words
Every speech or presentation should be built around one idea. Just one idea. But it has to be a “Big Idea.” There seems to be an inverse correlation between BIG WORDS and BIG IDEAS. The bigger the words used in a speech, the smaller the idea.
Why Leaders Speak
Leaders speak for one (or all) of three reasons: 1) to establish the identity of the audience, 2) to influence how the audience thinks and feels, and 3) to inspire the audience to take action.
The Four Elements of a Great Speech
Demosthenes, the father of Greek oratory, identified the four elements of a great speech: 1) a great person, 2) a noteworthy event, 3) a compelling message, and 4) a masterful delivery.
Create Images When You Speak
Masterful speakers create images in their audience’s minds, because long after people have forgotten everything else, they’ll remember the images.
The 3 Myths of Technical Presentations
Technical presenters often assume — erroneously — 1) Knowledge is power; 2) Facts speak for themselves; and 3) The best ideas win out.
Be Yourself When You Give a Speech
The trick to being a good communicator, whether you’re speaking to a small gathering or to a packed auditorium, is to be yourself. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds…
How to Connect With Your Audience
Lots of presenters speak without ever reaching their audiences. They talk AT their audiences without connecting WITH them. (And, as a result, they bore their audiences and ensure their resistance.) Reaching your audience means making a connection with them. To do so, try these techniques…
How to Gain People’s Cooperation
When you want people to do something they’re not already doing — whether at home, school, or work — it’s not good enough simply to tell them. You have to show them what you want them to do, why they would want to do it, and how they can do it…
How to Get a Standing Ovation
The best way NOT to get a standing ovation is to try too hard to get one. Aim instead to give a compelling speech…
How to Start a Speech
If you lose your audience in the first 15 seconds to 2 minutes, you might as well pack your bags and go home. You’ll never — or almost never — regain their attention. Here are some tips to help you get through the first few moments of your speech.
5 Ways to Shorten a Speech
Most speeches can be dramatically improved by cutting down on their length.
How to Improve a Technical Presentation
Here are three ways you can improve just about any technical presentation.
Projecting a Commanding Presence
Developing a commanding presence isn’t something you can learn from a workshop or a self-help book. It’s more a way of being than anything you do, although the way you act can enhance it. Here are ways you can make yourself more attractive to audiences…
The 7 Biggest Presentation Mistakes
Giving a speech isn’t as difficult as it’s made out to be, as long as you keep a few basic principles in mind. Know what you want to accomplish. Understand the audience’s needs and motivations. Organize your material simply and clearly. But it is easy to make mistakes when you’re giving a presentation. Here’s my list of seven presentation mistakes to avoid.
Speaking Trends for 2007
Here are the trends I’ve noticed as I’ve observed effective speakers and contemporary presentations.
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The Witt Communications Newsletter contains advice for improving your ability to present yourself and your ideas in a way that wins people’s cooperation. It comes out once a month. Subscribe here.
For information about how Chris Witt can help you become a more powerful speaker, contact us.