Blog

Tips for Visual Aids in Speeches

Ever wonder why you remember some presentations and not others?  It could be because good speakers do more than just address what you hear. They address what you see.  Here are 3 hints for making the visual part of your speech memorable:

  1. Make your photos BIG on the screen. It’s easier to get an emotional reaction the crowd when you monopolize their visual space. Think like  Steven Spielberg. Your audience is used to not just good…but GREAT…visuals.
  2. Use close up photos. Wide shots are useful but your audience might miss what you really want them to notice.
  3. Use videos. Millennials expect action.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Good and Great Speeches, Heck of a Blog, Public speaking. Leave a Comment

Pre-Speech Beginnings Must be Planned

Want to make a great entrance when you are giving an important speech? Just ask Leslie Knope, political candidate for the city council in the fictitious Pawnee, Indiana, how to start a speech strongly…or how not to.

Knope, played by Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation, was presenting to a crowd of 100 spectators and had a red carpet for her entrance to the speaker’s dais. But the red carpet didn’t go all the way to the stage; the floor, which was supposed to be a basketball court, had been changed to an ice rink; and her motivational music, “Get on Your Feet,” lasted 10 seconds and had to be replayed in spurts for her to reach the podium 90 seconds later.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Free Tips, Good and Great Speeches. Leave a Comment

Learning from The King’s Speech

Ever wondered what it’s like to work with a speaking coach? The Oscar winning movie, The King’s Speech, is an excellent example of how a person with serious presentation skill problems can overcome difficulties with the help of a communications expert. Although the king had a stuttering problem, many of the techniques his speech coach used with him are the same as those I use with executives in one-on-one coaching.

Here is an analysis of one speech technique exercise in the movie. You can do it on your own to improve your presentation skills.

Abdominal breathing exercises for speakers …or “Sit on him, Queen Mum.”

Most people breathe shallowly, expanding only the upper regions of their lungs.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Analyses of, General articles, Good and Great Speeches. Leave a Comment

Leadership interview

What does speaking well in public have to do with leadership?  Everything!  This weekend I was interviewed by leadership coach Judy Nelson about good and bad speeches and things that leaders can learn to make their communications better.   Here’s the link.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/CoachJudyNelson/2009/05/16/Jean-Palmer-Heck-

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Free Tips, General articles, Good and Great Speeches. Leave a Comment

Great speaker still needs these 2 tips

I heard a very good speaker at a luncheon a few weeks ago, who gave us insights into the economy.  CNBC pundit, Joe Battipaglia, was the speaker.  A large man with a large personality, his energetic approach, even with the grim news, kept the audience interested.  Despite that positive assessment of his speaking style, I still have some comments that could improve his presentation … tips that you can put into use in your speeches, also.

He started his presentation with a  joke.  I really don’t like speeches that begin with jokes.  They can put an audience ill at ease.  You never know whether it will be funny, edgy, offensive, or delivered poorly.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Analyses of, Free Tips, Good and Great Speeches. Leave a Comment

Speech Openings CNBC

I heard a speaker at a United Way Tocqueville Society luncheon yesterday, who gave us insights into the economy.  CNBC pundit, Joe Battipaglia, was the speaker.  A large man with a large personality, his energetic approach, even with the grim news, kept the audience interested.  Despite that positive assessment of his speaking style, I still have some comments that could improve his presentation … tips that you can put into use in your speeches, also.

He started his presentation with a  joke.  I really don’t like speeches that begin with jokes.  They can put an audience ill at ease.  You never know whether it will be funny, edgy, offensive, or delivered poorly.  

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Analyses of, Good and Great Speeches, Heck of a Blog. Leave a Comment

How to Deliver a Tough Speech

It looks  like we’re in for 4 years of lessons on public speaking from the White House.  President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress last night and once again gave us a lesson on how to give a speech. This one was a tough speech for tough times.  What did he do that made it exceptionally good?

  1. He practiced.  His delivery was better than usual, with lots of vocal variety in the tone of his voice, the volume and the pacing. Even the commentators said they could tell he had practiced his speech.
  2. The speech was written to be spoken.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Analyses of, Good and Great Speeches, Heck of a Blog. Leave a Comment

GOP Thompson Demonstrates 9 Speaking Tips

Disclaimer:  This is a NON-partisan blog.  Its purpose is to point out the good, the bad and the ugly of giving speeches.

Day 1 of GOP convention

Best speaker:  Fred Thompson.   Worst speaker:  Bill Gross

If you have any uncommitted time, google “Fred Thompson’s GOP Convention Speech” and watch it.  He is a master, as you might expect from this senator-turned-actor-turned-presidential-candidate-turned-supporting-politician.  He gets an A ++.

Here are the positives you need to think about in your speeches before large crowds.  And some of these pointers might surprise you.

1.    He used “but,” “uh,” and “and” throughout his speech.  While there are speech coaches worldwide who will tell you to eliminate those words from your speech persona (and I do, too, if they’re an annoying habit) … his speech sounded so conversational with these 3 tiny words included.  

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Analyses of, Good and Great Speeches. Leave a Comment