Jon Udell’s post, “Comparing notes on speaker preparation,” is a great read for anyone who does public speaking, and I’m hoping it turns it to a bit of a meme over the next few days so I can pick up some good new ideas for speaker preparation from others who respond to Jon’s post.
Udell suggests going on a walk with a recorder and speaking aloud your speech as it comes to you and capturing it to work with to later turn into slides, etc. He makes one of those simple points that, as you think about it, seems more and more profound: “speaking out loud is good practice for speaking out loud.”
I’ve always used mind mapping and story boarding to prepare presentations, and now use many of the techniques Cliff Atkinson sets out in his book Beyond Bullet Points.
My latest technique, especially when time to rehearse is limited, is to record a near-final version, put it on my iPod and then listen to it several times on the plane or in the hotel room. It helps me stay on track, keep on a better pace, remember the material I want to use better and not insert new material on the spur of the moment. One interest effect I’ve noticed is that during the actual talk I have a memory or understanding of where the emphasis and intonation should be at certain points from having heard myself delivering the speech on the iPod. I still think that doing more rehearsals is the best way to go, but when pressed for time, this experiment has been pretty successful for me.
My technique also gives me an audio version that I can edit for a podcast or online seminar and I can use the transcript for one or more articles.
Any preparation tips you’d like to share? Add a comment to this post.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
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