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Public speaking tips

Ahead of the Business & Management Faculty’s events on improving presentation skills, David Adams gets tips on speaking and presenting from the very best.

We all have to make presentations and perform some public speaking every now and then. Some we may enjoy, and some we may hate. But every opportunity to speak presents us with the chance to influence. How can you ensure that what you give your audience is not only interesting, but also effective?

Jonathan Schwabish is an economist, senior fellow at the Urban Institute in Washington DC, an expert on data visualisation and author of the book Better Presentations. His first tip is a very basic one: carefully plan what you are going to say, partly because it helps to think carefully about who will be in the audience. A speaker cramming in too much information is just one reason why some presentations fail to achieve their desired impact. Once you have decided what to say, start considering what to leave out. Schwabish suggests thinking about the presentation as a series of headlines. “Think about the active, conscious messages that people are going to take away,” he says.

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 261, February 2018.   

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