4 Places to Find Great Royalty Free Images for Your Presentation

4 Places to Find Great Royalty Free Images for Your Presentation

Category:Structuring Tags : 

A great presentation has got as little text as possible. Bullets are ‘death by powerpoint’. So what most presenters do, is create slide decks with a lot of images. And they are right. After all, an image says more than a 1,000 words.

Images can tell a story on its own. But more important: images can support what a speaker is talking about. I would argue that images beat text on a slide deck every time.

When building the deck, you need to find the images that work best. There is a lot you need to think about, one of them being: where do I find the images?

Of course, there are a lot of stock photo websites, full of images you can use. But which ones are any good? And which have free stock photos? Because for most images on the web, you need to pay royalties. After all, the photographer needs to make a living as well!

There are many speakers out there that don’t have the budget to buy high-quality images from stock photo websites. They need to look for a cheaper alternative. Which is when often they turn to Google Images. Unfortunately, most images found through Google also have copyright restrictions. You can’t use most images.

Finding royalty free images for a presentation isn’t as simple as it sounds!

Four great resources to find images

Fortunately, there are some good websites that offer great stock images to use in your slide decks. You only need to know how to find them. Below I’ve listed a few that offer great material. I’ve used them often! These websites offer a library of free images, in the creative commons public domain. That means you can use the images for free and you are in the clear.

Pexels

First up is Pexels. Pexels.com is a search engine for “CC0 images”. This stands for “creative commons zero”. Meaning they are free. You can browse through the images as you go. Or choose one of the categories they picked for you, such as “holiday” or “water”. The best thing is the search engine which is prominent on the site. Type in a term and find related images. Be careful: they also show sponsored photos, these you do have to pay for!

Link: https://www.pexels.com/

Unsplash

Like all others, Unsplash shows a search bar on the front page. This will help you find the right images for your presentation. And when you do start searching, you will find some amazing images. They are some high-quality images there. Unsplash also offers some

Link: https://unsplash.com/

Freeimages

Like the others, Freeimages.com offers a huge number of images to use for your presentations. Freeimages is somewhat easier to work with because of the way they structured the site. It has collections (categories). It has a search bar, but it also offers insight into what others use with ‘popular photos’ and editor’s picks. On Freeimages you can also search for photos made with a specific camera. And you can even search through pre-fabricated lightboxes.

Link: http://www.freeimages.com/

Pixabay

One of my personal favourites is Pixabay.com. Pixabay does more than offer a set of great photos. It also has illustrations, vector graphics and even some videos. This makes it a resource where you will find what you are looking for. Another benefit is that you can search by filtering on size, orientation and even colour.

Link: https://pixabay.com/

How to find the right image you need

The key to using these sites is knowing how to search. You need to understand what you are looking for and describe that well. Otherwise, you will find the stock photo that everyone uses. Don’t use the first picture you see, but browse around. Find comparable images and see which one fits best.

Finally a pro-tip. Look at the name and description of the images you like. Then do a search that mirrors that text, which will make that you find related images.

There are many more websites that offer free photos you can use in your slide decks. You only need to look for the right ones. The three mentioned above to me are the ones that I use most. They never fail in finding me the right image.

Of course, finding the image is one thing. The most important thing is to understand what to look for in a picture you use in a presentation. Don’t take any picture. Think about it. Use one that ads value to the deck.


Small businesses should focus on storytelling!

Category:Structuring,Storytelling Tags : 

As a small business, it’s hard to compete with brands. Storytelling is the solution!

  • You can’t win on price
  • You can’t win on marketing
  • You can’t win on advertising

You can win on a great story!

Watch the video:

When you are creating the story keep in mind…

Don’t talk about how great you are but:

  • Understand your audience
  • Understand where you come from
  • Understand where you add value

Create a story that resonates and you’ll be remembered forever!

More about storytelling you can find here.

The full transcript of the video:


Marcus Tandler about handling anxiety, rehearsing, Slidestorms and more!

Category:Preparation,nerves,Starting-out Tags : 

At The Inbounder in Madrid, Bas van den Beld spoke to Marcus Tandler about his experiences as a speaker and any tips he has for other (new) speakers).

We discussed several topics: from Google to Slidestorms (301 slides in 30 minutes!), rehearsing, anxiety, tactics and much more!

Read More

Purna Virji (Bing): Speaker advise about Nerves, Structure and Preparation

Category:Preparation,nerves,Starting-out Tags : 

In the past few weeks, you have seen parts of the interview with Purna Virji being published on our YouTube channel and through our social channels. Today, you can watch the entire interview with Purna!

Learning from Purna

Public speaking for some speakers seems to be easy. They look confident on stage. They have a great story and a lot of knowledge. It seems they have no problem being on stage. Speaking for them seems to come naturally.

Often appearances are deceiving. These speakers work hard to get a presence on stage that feels so natural. And they too get nervous.

As a speaker, it is great to learn from other experienced speakers. To learn how they handle nerves. To learn how they first got on stage. In a series of interviews, we talk to these experienced speakers. To get insights from them that help you, as someone who wants to be a better speaker.

In this series, we spoke to Purna Virji (Bing), Marcus Tandler (Ryte), Cindy Krum (Mobilemoxie) and Melanie Deziel (consultant, former NYT).

In the interview with Purna, we talked about a lot of different things related to public speaking.

Purna has been speaking in public since early 2012. She still loves being on stage. Actually, the more she does it, the more she loves it!

Preparing for a presentation

Purna spends a lot of time preparing for a presentation. Including design and everything around a presentation, she spends about 100 hours preparing for a one-hour presentation!

She will start by thinking about which issues the audience is facing. What can she give them which is of most help? The key thing is, how can she add the most value. She will then go and do research about what is available and what is out there.

Her next step is to create an outline in Word. She will fill that in, almost like she is writing an article. In the end, she will convert it to Powerpoint.

Rehearsing for a talk

Purna rehearses a lot for a presentation. She likes to get in at least three rehearsals for a talk. She finds that helps to get the talk to stick in her head and to know the flow.

Purna finds that if she hasn’t rehearsed enough, she will stumble and she will find herself say “uhm” too much. Rehearsal makes that her talks sound better!

Purna has an interesting approach to rehearsing. She doesn’t rehearse in front of a mirror. She rehearses to the wall. After all, the wall is a captive audience and never has a bad thing to say! She practices on her own, in for example her hotel room or her office.

The first rehearsal she does out loud. She then can adjust content and flow. And she knows how her time is! Purna can than adjust her slides accordingly.

Nerves

Why Purna wanted to go into public speaking in the first place, is because she found it to be absolutely terrifying! She thought she would ‘die’ when she would get on stage. She hated it more than bugs or spiders. She wanted to conquer that fear.

For the first two or three years, she was still terrified. But the more she did it, the fear goes away.

Purna believes the fear isn’t a bad thing. The fear comes from caring how the audience perceives the talk and how they get value. Which is good.

To get rid of the nerves, she does things like deep breathing. She tries to change the nerves into excitement. She feels much more comfortable.

Advice

Purna’s advice for speakers who are just starting is to ‘just do it!’ If you give yourself time to think about it, you give yourself time to talk yourself out of it. If you feel there is something you have had a success in. If you have something you are proud of, know that you have value to add! Just go ahead and pitch!

Purna wants you to just go ahead and do it. The more diverse voices there are in this industry, the more the industry as a whole will benefit.

Want more advice from experience speakers? Subscribe to our YouTube channel to find more!


Measure yourself against… yourself

Category:nerves Tags : 

People have a tendency to compare. They compare products. They compare services. They compare people. And yes, they compare speakers. This is why at a conference, you will often hear the question “which speaker did you like most today?”. Heck, I’ve asked it quite a few times myself.

I’m not saying this question is wrong. But there is something about this question that you should know: it is misleading.

Why? Because it indicates that all speakers should be judged equally. Where they don’t.

Each speaker is different.

One speaker could be more of a storyteller, while the other is more about the facts. Or one speaker is doing a trend overview, where the other is trying to teach us specifically about a topic.

Someone in the audience is likely to be there for one or two of these reasons. Not all of them. So if you are hoping to learn details, you will find the storyteller less interesting. Or vice versa.

A lot of speakers compare themselves to others. And here the same problem appears. It is misleading because of the different intents of the speakers.

When you are speaking at a conference, do yourself a favor and don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to… yourself. Do a better job than last time. You’ll be a better speaker for it!

This post is part of our email series.


6 different Types of Presentation Goals

Category:Structuring Tags : 

When you are doing a presentation you always have a goal. You are trying to get a message across. You are trying to teach your audience. Or you are trying to sell something. There is always a presentation goal.

There are different goals for a presentation. Here are six types of goals. Each of them has their own purpose. And each of them should be handled in a different way. In this article, I will explain how they work and how you as a speaker can benefit best.

The six presentation goals are:

To inform

Most of the presentations in business are about informing the people in the room. A client or your manager asks you to come and present on the progress of the project. What they expect is to get informed. They aren’t looking for inspiration or funny videos. What they want is a clear explanation of what the status of the project is.

There are more examples of presentations that are about informing the audience. Like presenting financial results or presenting the findings of a research. Or when you are a teacher and informing the parents of all the things that are going on in your school.

These talks are often short and to the point. If there is too much information, people won’t remember much. They should be easy to understand for those in the room.

The talks focus on the facts. The goal is to give the audience these facts.

To educate

When the talks become a bit more complicated, that is usually because they aren’t only to inform. They are to educate. The goal is to have the audience go home understanding more about what they heard. They need to leave knowing a lot more.

This goes beyond stating facts. You want the audience to learn, so you have to pay attention to this. You need to teach or instruct the group of people in front of you. That means you need to know a lot about your topic.

There are many different examples of this talk. A workshop or training session is the most logical one of course. But also instructing your staff on new policies is an example.

Presentations to educate are often longer. Because you want the audience to remember what you teach them, you will use more examples and go more in depth. Often they are also more interactive since interaction helps the understanding. What is more important than the length, is how thorough you are on the topic.

To persuade or convince

There are a lot of presentations that have the goal of persuasion. Speakers want to convince the audience to understand or believe their stand on a topic. Or simpler: to buy a product or service.

These types of presentations you can often see in politics. The politician wants to convince the listener to vote for them. But you can see it as often in business. Each sales presentation is about persuading the potential client. You want them to choose your product or service.

A persuasive speech is working towards a solution. You show the problem. Then offer the audience the solution by presenting your views and methods. A persuasive speech offers evidence, logic and has emotion in it.

To activate

Close to persuasion is activation. These speeches present the audience with information that makes them want to take action. Fundraising presentations are good examples, but you can see them in politics a lot as well. Politicians want people to take action. Or vice versa, people want politicians to take action.

To make this type of presentation work, one of the most important ingredients is to tell them what to do. If the audience doesn’t know what to do, why would they act? Another important ingredient is passion. You are trying to make people move. They will only do that if they feel you believe.

To inspire or motivate

In essence, every speaker wants to inspire. Inspiration, after all, is one of the most powerful emotions. It is great if you are able to inspire people to think, move or change their behavior.

These types of speeches are often seen at TED Conferences. More often you see them at events aimed at personal improvement. There are many motivational speakers there. You can also see motivational speeches within businesses. When management is trying to inspire the staff to work harder or better. The best examples of motivational speeches you find in locker rooms. When coaches are trying to get their teams out on the field full of positive adrenaline.

Talks that are inspiring are often very personal. Overcoming hardship usually does very well. But it doesn’t have to be about something bad that has happened. It can be about the future. The speech Martin Luther King gave was about a dream. In the future. That can be just as inspiring!

To entertain

The last type of presentation is to entertain. Everybody likes to be entertained. And one way of entertaining is to have a great speech.

Many of these types of presentations are done in personal settings. When you are entertaining guests for example. Or when you are doing a speech at someone’s (or your own) wedding. But you can see the entertaining speeches in many places. Stand up comedy, theatre, but also presentations at an opening of an event. They are meant to entertain. To make the audience laugh and feel happy.

To make this presentation work, you have to give the audience what they are looking for: a good feeling. Sometimes you can accomplish this by telling jokes. But be careful, not everyone has the same humor. And especially these days, people are hurt easy.

To be able to make people feel good, you need to understand who is in the room and what makes them tick. You need to do your research here!

To conclude: your goals

Now that we’ve looked at the different types of goals, it’s time for you to determine your presentation goals. Have you figured them out yet? Make sure you do before you create the presentation! That way, you can work towards the goal.

And remember, when you are thinking about your presentation goals, think first about your audience. What should they get out of it? Because for all the different types of talks, the secret to all success is to understand your audience!

Now what?

You need to define your goals. That means you need to take a few steps.

First, you need to get more understanding of your audience. Do your research. Find out what their wants and needs are.

Second, write down your own goals. What do you want to accomplish?

Third, find the overlap between you and your audience. And focus your presentation on that.


I’ll get back to you on that, or maybe not…

Category:Preparation,Starting-out Tags : 

A sentence often heard in presentations is “I will get back to that” or “I will talk about that later”. This can be both good and bad. Good if you make it a ‘cliffhanger’. Bad if you actually never do get back on the topic.

Bas van den Beld explains this sentence.

Transcript:

You have speakers who are talking about a certain topic and who then tend to drift off. And then they will tell the audience: “You know what, I’ll get back to that later on. This is a point, but I’ll get back to it.”

There’s actually a good way and a bad way of handling that. The good way is very interesting. Because it can help you keep the attention of the audience. The bad way is it’s going to make them very, very, very anxious.

The good way is when you’re using the “I’ll get back to you on that” in a way that builds tension. You’re not actually saying: “I’ll get back to you”. But you’re building up, kind of like with the commercials or with a talk show. “Later on I’ll be talking about… but first … “

When you do that you’re building up tension. You’re building up the expectation that you’re building towards something. And that will keep people’s attention because they want to hear what you’re going to be talking about in the end.

The bad way however is that you keep repeating whenever you start talking about something that you’re going to get back to the audience on that topic later on in your talk. But then the audience sees the time passing and sees that you are getting to the end of your presentation. And they might still not have heard anything about what you are going to get back to. And that means that maybe at the end of your talk, you’re actually not going to get back to the topics that you mentioned before. Because you just ran out of time.

In that case, you’re holding the audience ‘hostage’. And they are kind of waiting for it, but you’re not giving it to them. So that’s when it’s bad.

So, there’s a good way and a bad way to work with talking about stuff later on in your presentation.

Use the good way. Build up the tension. But make sure you can keep your promise. And do it well thought out.


That’s too much information!

Category:Structuring Tags : 

When you are speaking in public, you might be inclined to share as much information as possible. That, however, might not be the best choice. People only remember three things.

Here’s the transcript of the video:

Hello! I hope you’re doing well and I hope, you are planning on doing a lot of speaking this year. Maybe you are already doing it!

One thing I wanted to talk to you about today is “how much you put in your presentation?” Because what I’ve learned: a lot of the times when I’m at a conference or listening to talks, is that so many speakers put too much information in their slides or in their presentations.

It’s a tendency which is explainable because a lot of speakers feel like they should give away as much information as possible as they can. However, when you do that, the chances are very high that your audience will “lose” you quite quickly.

There are only three things in general that people take away from a talk. Only three things that they will remember! And the longer the time is between your talk and when they are actually doing something with it, the less they will remember.

That’s why you need to really think about what you put in your presentation. And don’t put in too much.

Try aiming for three things that you want people to take away from your talk. And emphasise those three things. Explain those three topics. And give examples of it. But don’t try to give lists of 10 or even 20 or 15 or whatever kind of number of things you want people to take away. Because they won’t remember.

Focus on the three. Good luck!

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How to get people to come up to you after your talk

Category:Persuasion Tags : 

There are speakers who draw great crowds. Not only during their session, but after as well. People come up to them, ask them questions, take pictures and often enough, become clients.

How do they do that? Of course, with a good presentation. But there is a way to get that attention as well. Here’s how…

Full Transcript:

Hey! How are you doing? Sometimes, when you’re preparing for a presentation, you will find that you have too much material. You just can’t put it all into your presentation and that
sometimes… It sucks, it’s not nice… But it might be something that you can use for your own benefit. Let me tell you why.

Sometimes you want people to come up to you after your talk. You want them to get engaged with you during the breaks. Now, the extra material that you can’t put into your presentation, might actually be something that can help you trigger to get people to come up to you after your talk.

Imagine that at the end of your talk you are almost done and you explain to the audience that you may have a lot more stories about a certain topic. You go like “oh I wish I could tell this now but we don’t have the time for that. But you know what, if you really want to hear the story come up to me afterward and I’ll tell you the story.”

Chances are people will come up to you to hear that last bit, that last story that you couldn’t tell in your presentation. So don’t just rule out the extra information the extra stuff that you have prepared. Use it for your own benefit. Use it after your talk.


5 items every speaker needs to bring to a conference or workshop

Category:Preparation Tags : 

If you are doing talks or workshops, you need to come prepared. If you show up with only your computer, chances are something goes wrong. A well-prepared speaker brings his own items.

Let’s take a look at five items every speaker needs to bring to a conference or workshop to make sure your session goes as planned.


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How I knew I wanted to become (and how I became) a public speaker

Category:Starting-out Tags : 

How do you know if you want to be a public speaker? And how do you become one when you do want to? Everyone has his or her own reasons for wanting to be on stage. If you are like me, there is a deeper reason.

I often get asked how I got to be a speaker. I have to admit, there have always been signs that I wanted to become one. And in the end, they came together. Here’s my story.

The first signs

It was the year 1987. The year my dad turned 50. I was 15 at the time. I remember my dad had organised a party at our house. In my memory, it was in honour of his 50th birthday. He (well, my mom even more than him) organised it in our living room.

The place was crowded. In my memory, it must have been a room filled with at least a hundred people. Though it could have been fifty as well. Memories can be misleading. In any case, it was a full house.

What happens at events like this, is that several different people ‘do speeches’. They praise the person, in this case, my dad, who celebrates. I had decided that this time, I would do a speech as well.

My dad is a natural speaker. He’s also the eldest son in a family of five kids. This means that every time there was a family event, my dad would get up and do a speech. It seemed easy for him. He seemed to enjoy it.

It’s not strange, some would say. My dad was a teacher. He was used to speaking in front of a group of people. And when he became headmaster, the groups weren’t only students in a classroom, but big groups as well.

But he couldn’t only speak well because he was a teacher. It was in his genes. He could speak anywhere.

Turns out, it was in my genes as well. I was lucky. It’s not a given that qualities like that go from one generation to another. Besides that, you have to find out you have those genes. And you have to experience it to know if it’s something you want to do.

The first time I experienced that was on my dad’s 50th birthday. I did a speech. It was one of my first talks ever.

To be honest, I have no idea whether I did a good job. I remember I got some laughs. I remember my parents looked proud. But if I delivered a good speech? I don’t know.

What I do know, is that it was a buzz. A big buzz. The adrenaline pumped through my body. In a good way. The adrenaline wasn’t from fear or anxiety. I loved every second of it. That feeling, the feeling of excitement, I will never forget. And it never left. I can still ‘feel’ that moment. And a bit of that excitement, I still feel when I get on stage.

More signs

Fast forward to the late 90s. I hadn’t done much with speaking in public until then. Not intentional. It had never ‘happened’. I wasn’t that ambitious about these things during college. Even though I could have if I wanted to, I never signed up for things that required public speaking. Thus it never happened.

In the late 90s, the opportunities were there again. And so was the excitement. In my first job, I was working at a market research company. We had done research for the Dutch National Football (Soccer) League. We had to present the results of that research to each football team independent.

I was a junior employee at the time. Most of the time, I ‘tagged along’, where my colleagues were presenting the results. I was helping them set up.

I do still remember that every time I saw one of my colleagues speak, I felt I could do that as well. In secret, I hoped they would say “you do it”.

Only on a few occasions, I had the opportunity to present a few small things. Again, how I did? I don’t know. But I do remember the excitement. That feeling of having a group of people talk to me.

Getting closer

Let’s forward again to a few years later. I had switched jobs and worked at an Internet Startup. This was the early days of the web. We weren’t building exciting apps, AI implementations or something crazy. We were building websites. To be honest, at the time, that was what was revolutionary. As a business, you ‘had to be on the web’. We were making sure businesses got that website, even if it was nothing more than a ‘digital folder’.

My role was in project management and account management. I was the connection between clients and our development team.

It was a young and fast-growing company. We were young. All in our twenties. Which meant most of the stuff we did, we did for the first time in our careers. It was an exciting time. We were pioneering. Not only on the web but as a business as well. We were finding out what worked and what didn’t.

We did a great job. I know we made mistakes. I certainly did. But I also know we made it work, in whatever way possible.

The company I worked at had about 4 or 5 employees when I joined the team. In the years I worked there, the business grew to around 30 employees. This brought new challenges. To handle the challenges, we got help from outside. A group of us, management and project managers, decided to do a training course. The course was in project management, account management and growth.

We hired an expert we knew to come to us and organise a few workshops. In the first workshop, he asked us to present ourselves. Each of us had to do a five-minute talk about ourselves. We all did our five-minute talks. Each in our own ways.

There were people who in a chronological way, explained how they got to the role they were in. And there were those only describing their own roles. Again, I can’t remember how I did. But I do remember two things. I remember I did something ‘different’. It wasn’t a chronological timeline. It wasn’t a description. It was a story. I did it in a different way. Without anyone asking me to do so.

The second thing I remember was, again, the excitement. I was in front of a group again. And I loved it. I loved talking to the group.

It’s the feeling

In all three occasions, there was excitement. The feeling of being able to present to a group of people. To take them on a journey. To tell them a story. That’s what triggered me. That’s what I loved about public speaking back then. And that’s what I love about public speaking now. The excitement.

From feeling to speaking

It wasn’t until almost 7 or 8 years later that I actually got into public speaking though. It hadn’t occurred to me that this was something I could do. Until I became a blogger.

As a blogger, looking for content, I went to events. I got invitations to attend and write about the event. They would give me a free pass to the event, I would write about it. In the ‘early’ days of internet marketing, this was a great exchange. The event gets the coverage and the attention. The blogger gets the content, the attention online (traffic) and the network.

While writing about events, like for example SES London, I found myself sitting in the front row. I would look up to the stage and I would feel some excitement. The excitement was like the excitement I felt in the instances described above.

I knew then, I wanted that excitement. The full experience of it. Sitting in the front row, I felt that I could do what the speakers on stage were doing. Or in some cases even better.

The more I was writing about events, the more I felt I wanted to be on stage as well. I only had to figure out how to get there.

As a blogger, I met tons of new people. Like I said before, there is a mutual benefit for bloggers and the events. The same goes for the speakers and bloggers. Bloggers can help give the speaker more coverage. The other way around, the speaker can help the blogger get attention. Again, think traffic, social media attention, etcetera. And the speaker can help build the network of the blogger.

Having a good network helps for many things. And it definitely helps to become a speaker yourself. In my case, I felt I wanted to do it and I felt I could do it. I wasn’t quite sure how to get there yet, so I needed a final push.

That push came from the network. Those I talked to at events. They started asking me when I would speak about the things I wrote about. In the end, it was one of the organisers who gave the final push. By asking me to get on stage at an event in Amsterdam. He wanted to get local attention and local speakers. And since he knew me, he asked me to speak.

And that was the first time I got on stage for a big audience. And guess what. That same feeling of excitement was there again. I knew this was what I wanted to do.

That excitement never left. It’s what drives me as a speaker. The feeling of helping the group of people in front of you understanding a topic you know a lot about. That is excitement. And that is why I speak.

What about you?

Let me know, what is your reason for public speaking? What’s your trigger? Let me know in the comments!

Learn more about starting to speak:


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Get Out! Now!

Category:Structuring Tags : 

When you are preparing for a talk, you need to get out. Burst your bubble to create a better talk.

Bas van den Beld explains in his weekly video!


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Let Your Images Support Your Story

Category:Structuring Tags : 

Most speakers use images in their Powerpoint presentations. A lot of them look great, but it doesn’t end there. Many speakers talk ABOUT the image. But that’s wrong. The image supports your story. It’s not a story on its own.

Bas van den Beld explains.

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Want to make a point? Ask your audience these 3 questions

Category:Persuasion Tags : 

I wrote about ways to connect with your audience before. One topic I didn’t address then was asking the audience questions. Sometimes speakers want to engage with the audience by asking them a question. Often, these are simple questions (“who in the room works for an agency?”).

Sometimes the questions are more complicated. These have a high-risk factor in them. The audience might not respond. And if they don’t, it leaves you with an awkward ‘silence’. Unfortunately, you can see this happen quite often.

To avoid this from happening, there is a different way to get the engagement of the audience, using questions.

What not to ask

Let me start by saying what you shouldn’t do when asking a question. The first thing is simple: don’t ask a rhetorical or vague question. Asking ‘Don’t you feel this is a bad idea?’ will only make your audience gaze at you. You’re more or less saying you don’t want an answer.

If you don’t want an answer, don’t ask a question!

Second, if you are not specific enough, the audience will not know what you want from them. Asking ‘what do you know about X, Y or Z’ will not get you many answers. A question like “what are common believes you’ve heard about topic X, Y or Z’, will get you more answers. Why? Because it’s more specific and less ‘personal’. People are not afraid to answer that one.

The answer: Ask a series of questions

Before asking any question, you need to realise why you are asking a question. Is it ‘only’ to connect? Or are you trying to make a point? Chances are, you want to make a point. That means you want people to interact with you on a specific question.

You can ask a series of questions, building up to the ‘big one’. Build towards the answer to the ‘big question’ by asking several smaller ones.

Let’s say you want to emphasize the importance of using the right icons on an app to an audience of marketers. The point you want to make is that if you build an app, you want to use icons that people recognise.

To get them involved, you want to draw upon common concepts that are familiar to the audience. This will help lead them to the answer you want. In this case, you want to make clear that when building an app, use icons that people will understand.

You can then show a group of icons on the screen and ask “which icon represents the call button?”

Most likely, the audience will be able to point that out, since they’ve all seen these icons before. The follow-up question would then be “how do you know that icon represents the call button?” Again the audience will know the answer. Chances are they will say “because it has a phone on it”. The third question then is the key question. “Why do you think they use a picture of a phone for this function?” The audience will answer “because people recognise it.”

You’ve now made your point. If you build an app, you want to use icons that people recognise.

Of course, this is a very simple example of a relatively easy concept (we all know this, right?). The concept stays the same on different topics. Draw upon what people know and build towards the desired response.


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Be on time and prepared

Category:Preparation Tags : 

Some speakers come into the venue they are going to be speaking at last minute. It will make for a bad presentation. Here’s what you should do.

Instead, come prepared. Be there early. Get to know the room. Get a feel of the audience. And very important: test your technical settings. So you know it will work when you get on stage.

Watch the 2 minute video:

Full transcript:

Hey there! I’m going to say: ‘good morning’, even though I have no idea when you’re actually viewing this video. But I’m saying good morning because for me it is morning.

It’s actually just about eight o’clock, and in about an hour’s time, I have a training session that I’m doing, that I’m teaching. On the speaking course.

It’s actually right over here, in a nice castle. Which is great. But it reminded me of something on the way here. I thought: well this is something and I need to share with you guys. Because there’s a reason why I’m here an hour before. I want to get in early, I want to be prepared.

And this is something that I’ve always been amazed about when I attended conferences. I saw other speakers walk in like two minutes before the talk. And kind of rushed. They didn’t know where they were. They hadn’t prepared well enough. Knowing like the setup. So often times, it went wrong.

Because the technical stuff didn’t work. And they would like almost blame the technical guys. While actually, it was the speaker’s fault. I think that one of the most important tips I can give you is:

Be there on time! Get ready. Get acquainted with the room. Get acquainted with the people in the room. With the technicians. Know that your technical stuff is working. Be prepared
and then your actual talk will go a lot smoother and a lot better.

Also when you might not have any technical issues. But people’s sense it. People sense that you are not relaxed. That you’re you’re uptight because you just came running in. So my tip for today:

Be there on time and be prepared!

Good luck!

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