I often get asked what resources I use to continually improve as a presenter. For those of you that have seen me speak over the years, I have evolved a lot as I’ve worked out what works for me and what doesn’t. I was very pleased with my first full keynote at SPTechCon Boston this year and also my 7 minutes on stage at TechEd Europe Keynote in front of 8000+ people.
One of the big ways I learn is by watching others. At conferences I always make an effort to sit and listen to others and observe their styles. When I say styles… I mean:
- - the way they have prepared their slide deck from structure, to style, to timing
- - the way they engage the audience
- - the way they work the room
- - the way they express themselves
- - if they use any props or ‘gimmicks’…think Dux’s bowtie, my sports jackets,…
- - the way they wrap it up and call to actions
- - the way they handle Q&A at end and throughout the presentation
Some of my favorite SharePoint community speakers are: Andrew Connell, Ted Pattison, Ben Curry, Rob Bogue, Todd Klindt, Todd Bleeker, Richard Harbridge, Dux Raymond Sy, Steve Fox, Susan Hanley, Chris McNulty, Mark Rhodes…
TechCrunch also recently posted the top 20 watched TED videos. I highly recommend watching Sir Ken Robinson’s one as he mixes in great humor, timing and ties it altogether in a very important message.
Steve Jobs is one of my heros in the public speaking world, and even the one on this list where he reads straight from a script and isn’t his usual prepared self showed me how powerful a good script can be. If you don’t get emotional in that one…well then it’s probably just me…but I bet you do. What that man did for this decade will never be forgotten.
One of my personal goals is to present on TED one day, watch this space!
One thing that I think makes a huge difference is having slides right. If you follow some simple principals it will make your presentation so much better for lots of reasons. Less is more! This book dose a great job of explaining it, called slide:0logy.