to Becoming A Good Speaker21 Secrets
to Becoming A Good SpeakerKai-Fu Lee
Microsoft Research, ChinaWe Present Every Day!We Present Every Day!Not just conference talks….
Product group meetings
BillG / TAB meetings
Preamble to a demo
Convince a product group to be interested
Present patent to a lawyer
Present a group result at offsite
“Elevator” talksBut I’m not good at it….But I’m not good at it….Presentation skills can be acquired.
Kai-Fu LeeWhat You’ll Learn Today:What You’ll Learn Today:Communication skills
Preparing the Talk
Delivering the Talk
21 secrets to becoming a good speaker.What is Communication Skills?What is Communication Skills?Verbal (words spoken)
Vocal (tone, range, appeal, credibility of voice)
Visual (physical appearance, clothing, gestures, eye contact)7%
55%The Importance of Communication SkillsThe Importance of Communication Skills“Without effective delivery,
a speech of the highest mental capacity
can be held in no esteem. With effective delivery,
even one with moderate abilities may
surpass those of the highest talent.”
“The man who can think and does not know
how to express what he thinks
is at the level of him who cannot think.”
-- PericlesCommunication Skills = Fake?Communication Skills = Fake?Most important factor is PASSION!
If you’re passionate, your vocal & visual skills will come naturally.
Passion could come from subject, experience, or environment.
“There is just one sure cure for bad speeches –
Get truly excited on the subject, and 99 percent
of the faults of your speaking will disappear.”
-- Robert Montgomery But there are skills to be learned.
Like reading, writing, typing….
Must learn this, if you want your work to be understood!
Verbal SkillsVerbal SkillsBe simple and clear!
Stop to think if you need to.
Example one: Dan Quayle celebrates democracy:
Example two: Dan Quayle trying to say “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”Verbal SkillsVerbal SkillsSpeaking is not like writing!!!
Use simple words.
Don’t use complex sentences.
Can you understand this:
Don’t use ambiguous words in speech.Vocal SkillsVocal SkillsProject & resonate your voice.
No “UM”s and “ER”s. (Pause instead).
Silence is a tool (To draw attention).Vocal SkillsVocal SkillsPlay your voice with pitch and tempo.
To amplify a point, slow down, speak loudly, exaggerate inotation, pause in the right places.
“You are right. I am wrong” – Stalin to Trotsky
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” -- John F. Kennedy
BAD EXAMPLE : “I welcome this kind of examination, because people have to know whether their president is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook.” -- Richard M. Nixon
Don’t use it everywhere!Vocal Skills : Same message;
many ways to deiverVocal Skills : Same message;
many ways to deiverJohn Kennedy:
“You need to contribute to your country”’
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”.
Quayle vs. Benson Debate:
Quayle: "I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency."
Answer 1: “Jack Kennedy is better than you.”
Answer 2: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.“Vocal Skills : EnthusiasmVocal Skills : EnthusiasmPassion & Enthusiasm!
If you’re not passionate, why should we care?
Example: Martin Luther King
I have a dream. That one day This nation will rise up Live up to the true meaning to its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident That all men are created equal. Visual SkillsVisual SkillsVisual Skills – THE most important
Appear trustworthy & respectful.
US Election 1960 was won on visual skills.
Components of Visual Skills
FaceVisual Skills – EyesVisual Skills – EyesLook forward at audience (trust)
Don’t shift eyeballs; don’t look in corner.
Don’t look too much at computer screen or your notes.
Look at people’s faces (not eyes)
3-6 seconds per person.
Nod, smile, use facial expression.Visual Skills – BodyVisual Skills – BodyStand up when talking.
Walk around = informal.
Rock, shake, lean too much.Visual Skills – HandsVisual Skills – HandsGesture complements talk.
Should come naturally, without thinking.
Make sure they match!
Need to exaggerate a little
Especially with large audience.
Don’t fidget or put in pocket.
Videotape whole talk & watch.Visual Skills – FaceVisual Skills – FaceShow emotion!
Most of the time:
“I care a lot about this.”
“I really believe in this.”
“I love my work.”
Sometimes (in response to questions).
“This is the most outrageous thing I’ve ever heard.”
“I will have nothing to do with this.”What You’ll Learn Today:What You’ll Learn Today:Communication skills
Preparing the Talk
Delivering the Talk
21 secrets to becoming a good speaker.Preparing the TalkPreparing the TalkAlways OVERPREPARE!!!!!
Researching the background.
Organizing the talk.
Writing the slides.
Rehearsing the talk.
Last minute things….Researching the BackgroundResearching the BackgroundWhen you’re invited, find out:
How long is the talk?
What’s the topic?
(Say no if you don’t care about the topic).
Who’s the audience.
Once you say yes, you are COMMITTED to do a great job.Organizing the TalkOrganizing the TalkYou’re the salesman.
First lesson for salesmen:
“Tell them what you’re going to say.
Tell them what you said”
Very similar to your paper!The Central Message (it)The Central Message (it)People will not remember everything.
Have ONE clear walk-away message.
What do you want people to remember in 3 months?
The answer to the question: “How was the talk?”
Repeat it!The OpeningThe OpeningSay something provoking!
Give a (very short) outline/overview.The SubstanceThe SubstanceLogical.
Help them remember the message!
Anticipate doubts & remove them.
Don’t lose the audience
OK to re-order the sub-topics.
Keep repeating the message!The EndingThe EndingEnd with a BANG!
Repeat the message.
Say thank you.Writing the Visuals (PowerPoint)Writing the Visuals (PowerPoint)Prepation (80% time)
First prepare outline (recommend : Word).
Then modify outline for:
Logic onvincing, flow, transitions….
Actual Slide Writing (20% time)
Should come almost directly from the outline.
Use of Visuals (PowerPoint)Use of Visuals (PowerPoint)Visuals only support your talk.
Spend more time on your talk!
Simple and clear
1 idea; 3 sub-concepts; <= 6 lines.
Readable – Big & color-coordinated.
Don’t read from the slides!What if Talk is ComplexWhat if Talk is ComplexDon’t lose people.
Use grayed out outline.
If idea is complex:
Try really hard to avoid complex slides, but…
If you must use it, use layers (prevent read-ahead & lack of focus).
Remember to change slides for printing.
Example….If you must use complex layers…
a good exampleIf you must use complex layers…
a good exampleClientsUse of Demos / MultimediaUse of Demos / MultimediaKeeps the talk interesting.
Don’t overdo it.
Should be tied to content.
2,N, N-1, N-2,….3, 1 Rehearsing Your TalkRehearsing Your TalkRecord & listen to every talk at least twice!
Best : PowerPoint features.
OK : Tape recorder.
Must do sometime :
Ask experienced speaker to critique.
Style, logic, timing per slide.Get the Timing Right!Get the Timing Right!Running out of time is a disaster.
Write how much time should remain on each slide.After you’re more experienced….After you’re more experienced….No longer necessary to record.
Every new talk still must be rehearsed.
Bring notes if you aren’t confident.Just Before the Talk….Just Before the Talk….Prepare something matching the occasion.
Make sure you’re not too tired:
Get enough sleep the previous night.
Drink 3 cups of coffee!What You’ll Learn Today:What You’ll Learn Today:Communication skills
Preparing the Talk
Delivering the Talk
21 secrets to becoming a good speaker.Delivering the TalkDelivering the TalkOvercoming language barrier.
Art of Good Opening & ending.
Overcoming Language BarrierOvercoming Language BarrierPerfect English not necessary.
Know your limitations.
Don’t use fancy words, complex sentences.
Don’t take any chance of looking silly.
OK to bring cheat notes!Outline & ScriptOutline & ScriptAlways make an outline.
PowerPoint notes; Word Outline.
Don’t have to use it.
It may be best to READ a speech.
No excuse not to be fluent! (practice!)
Don’t stare at paper.
(Memorize it if you’re prefer).Overcoming NervousnessOvercoming Nervousness“Do the thing you fear
and the death of fear is certain.”
-- Ralph Waldo EmersonHiding NervousnessHiding NervousnessIt is possible to hide nervousness!
Don’t let the shaking show!
Make a fist; hold the lectern.
Take a deep breath.
Look at a friendly face.
Look above people’s heads.Art of Good Opening & EndingArt of Good Opening & EndingOpening
Say something relevant to the occasion.
Need to research background before the talk.
“If you remember only one thing from this talk, then you should remember XXX”.HumorHumorGood humor:
Relevant (better yet: original).
Plan your jokes:
Remember what worked.
Use it again!HumorHumorHow to tell a joke?
Set up (people should know a joke is coming up).
Pause after climax (punch line).
Move on naturally if no reaction!Audience ParticipationAudience ParticipationBest way for people to remember!
Ask audience a question
Anticipate their answer(s)!
Respond with something interesting AND relevant.Be YourselfBe YourselfLearn the skills; don’t copy the styles.
You must be yourself to be credible.
Many styles could be effective:
Bill Gates – Brilliant technologist
Steve Ballmer – Powerful salesman
Steve Jobs – Passionate evangelistWhat You’ll Learn Today:What You’ll Learn Today:Communication skills
Preparing the Talk
Delivering the Talk
21 secrets to becoming a good speaker.Q&AQ&AQ&A is your chance to:
Amplify your points.
Increase your credibility.
Dealing with QuestionsDealing with QuestionsEasy Questions
Amplify your points!
No need to answer directly.
But don’t hide!
Take offline.Q&A – Giving A Good AnswerQ&A – Giving A Good AnswerRespect the listener
Right body language
Repeat the question
Complete if people cannot hear.
Paraphrase to help amplify your point.
If people are too shy, you start!
Don’t argue or dismiss a question.21 Secrets21 Secrets#1 Anybody can learn to give a good talk.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#2 Don’t give a talk unless you’re passionate.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#3 Use simple and clear words.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#4 Play your voice to focus on key points.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#5 Silence is a great tool.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#6 Overprepare every talk.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#7 Tell them what you’re going to say.
Tell them what you said.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#8 Have ONE clear central message for:
the question “How was the talk”
21 Secrets21 Secrets#9 Open your talk with something thought-provoking
21 Secrets21 Secrets#10 Slides should be simple & clear.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#11 Don’t read from your slides.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#12 Order your demos.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#13 Rehearse & listen to each talk
at least twice!
21 Secrets21 Secrets#14 Time your talk on every slide.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#15 It may be OK to read from a script.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#16 Stay awake!
Drink 3 cups of coffee before your talk.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#17 It is possible to hide nervousness.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#18 Tailor your opening remarks
to the occasion.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#19 “If you only remember one thing from
this talk, you should remember XXX”
21 Secrets21 Secrets#20 Humor & Interactivity must be
relevant and well-planned.
21 Secrets21 Secrets#21 Q&A can help you
more than the audience.
ConclusionConclusionGiving a talk is easy
It just takes:
A little passion
A lot of practice!