Last night I went to a talk by Professor Michelle Dickinson and Doctor James Whittaker about effectively communicating to large groups of people.
It talk was called How to Rock the Stage and it was held at the Owen G. Glenn Building’s Fisher and Paykel Auditorium on the University of Auckland’s City Campus.
Not only did the Professor and the Doctor rock the stage, they practiced what they preached i.e.: they showed AND told. It was a thoroughly entertaining and exceedingly valuable talk with lots of great tweetable lines and practical takeaways. It also raised enough money to send 130 kids through OMGTech workshops.
Doc James started out strong with the terrifying statistic that 25 Million people die every day from boring Powerpoint presentations. He and Prof Dickinson tag-teamed their talk in a beautifully choreographed example of group presenting.
They advised us to become story hunters: to open up opportunities to find and use stories to connect with people - whether it be on a stage, in a meet-and-greet queue, or at the urinal. Stories are everywhere, they said, seek them out and always have one for those important moments when you can make that connection with someone.
Top Secret Tips to Rock Your Next Stage
- One Key Message - focus on the concept not the detail; good test is if you can summarise your one key message in a tweet.
- Preparation - it’s not an option to not prepare; practice your breathing, your tempo, in front of a mirror <= clothes are optional.
- Start Strong - you’re not making a movie; get to the point fast and first.
- Props - don’t let them (ppt, technology, flip charts et al) get in the way or derail your talk; own your prop; know your presentation.
- Voice Control - modulate and inflect; remember the power of the pause and use it wisely.
- Body Language - don’t let your fidgeting and fandangoing drown out your voice; open hands are a welcoming gesture.
- Be You - be genuine; be yourself; create a persona of yourself and show a genuine version of yourself.
- Nail the Landing - finish strong; it’s the last thing your audience will hear from you and most likely to be remembered.