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© 2010 Ugur Akinci
Technical communicators sometimes communicate by writing; and other times they communicate by making a presentation in front of an audience.
Here are some tips on how to become a more effective public speaker and share what you know with an audience by delivering a speech, lecture, or a keynote address.
Accents and Vocabulary — do not imitate any regional or ethnic accents since it may backfire. Just be yourself and stick to your normal voice and accent. Encourage your audience to interrupt and ask you any words or phrases that they may not be familiar with.
Quiet Room — make sure a construction project is not in progress right next to the room where you’ll be speaking. Check out the room in advance.
Good Equipment — check out in advance and make sure that your laptop is compatible with the projector and that the projector is working well. Do the same with the microphone and the PA system.
Personal Distractions — Get rid of all distracting personal habits like scratching your head or nose while speaking, tapping your foot, or jangling the change in your pocket.
Brisk Pace — try to maintain a brisk pace since most people these days have a short attention span and they get bored easily. If there are those who would like to discuss any specific points invite them to see you afterwards and don’t allow them to hog your valuable lecture time.
Organized Content — make sure your presentation (and slide show) follows a logical and sequential order; that things lead to each other in a logical manner. If and when your audience starts to question your logic you’ll lose them.
Biased Audience — sometimes you’ll be up against a tough crowd, determined not to believe in you no matter what. In those situations keep your deliver light. Pepper your comments with light humor and keep up a positive front. If you project enough self-confidence you may turn your audience around eventually.
You can find other excellent public speaking and presentation tips in Writing and Speaking for Technical Professionals