Tips on How to Present an Award

You have been asked to give an award and you are terrified. You are not used to public speaking and don’t have a clue as to what to do or say. You realize this is a very important event for the recipient and you want to do your best. If you work, belong to a club, are involved in a church or a school organization this responsibility could fall on you.

You want to present the award with dignity and grace. One of the best ways to accomplish that is to be prepared. Do your homework. When preparing your speech you will want to refer to the occasion and the purpose of the award. It might be a volunteer of the year award, a retirement party, or possibly the winner of a contest. Include a statement about what the award represents and its importance. At a retirement celebration you would want to mention the years of loyal service, etc. Achievement occasions would call for mention of the contributions the recipient has made or the high regard in which the recipient is held.

Then you will want to pay tribute to the recipient. Explain what the recipient has done, the sacrifices and dedication he or she has shown. This is a great time to illustrate his or her contributions with any personal experience you have had with the recipient. The use of humor is good to relieve tension but be careful to use it only in a positive way. You do not want to embarrass the recipient in any way! Be brief in your comments. Three to four minutes is a good amount of time to accomplish the presentation.

Part of your preparation is making sure the presentation area is properly set up. Try to have the award displayed where everyone can see it during your presentation. If it is possible try to meet with the recipient ahead of time to go over the process with him or her. Careful planning helps to put everyone at ease.

Now is the time for your presentation. Once you have given your speech, pick up the award and call the recipient to the stage or platform. Stand with your side slightly toward the audience and present the award to the recipient with the hand nearest to the recipient. Mention the recipient by name (be sure you pronounce it correctly) and mention again that it is a token of gratitude or accomplishment. At this time step back from the lectern to allow the recipient to make an acceptance speech. If the acceptance speech will take several minutes you can actually return to your seat.

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Presentation & Performance – Less is More

The Less is More principle is not only fit the trend, beauty & fashion subject, but also fit perfectly in presentation and performance of a great speaker. In fact, it is such a valuable principle that you need to use in every aspects of your life as well.

Especially in presentations which use graphics to support ideas, it is best for audience perceptiveness to rely on the wisdom of Less Is More, and its corollary; since it has been used in graphic design in the last hundred years by well known and famous graphic designers – it would also last longer in the audience impression & memory as well.

-Determine priority points – make list on what are the most precious points, reduce some and sort them out in the right order.

-Simplify your language – in your presentation your main goal is to send your ideas or messages to audience, not to impress them with your genius-ness and outstanding knowledge of vocabulary. You can show off your fluency in more personal relation with friends and colleagues.

-Remove clutter — or other additional notes out of your presentation. A cluttered presentation will distract audience ability to focus and understanding your main message. It is OK if you want to decorate it, but please don’t overdo.

-Give more space — to get better feast for your audience’s eyes. More space will give more comfort for the eyes and make it easier for them in capturing the frame and then to lock them up inside their memory.

-Reevaluate – get an objective opinion on your presentation before you deliver it to the real audience. Present it to your friends or families — if they’re impress then it’s a good one. It is better to underestimate audience perception rather then overestimate them. Although your attending audiences are bright scholars, you should not underestimate the chance if they are in low physical condition/ health performance which could lower their perception to your message (researcher in Mayo Clinic reported that even a flu virus such as picornavirus could infect central nerve system, causing mild brain damage, the lost part of long term memory and clinical cognitive memory deficit).

So when you are in doubt, leave the item out.

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Buying Stuff For an Ex Girlfriend – The Dos and Don’ts of Ex Girlfriend Presents

When you’re trying to be friends with your ex girlfriend, you may feel a sense of dread as a birthday or holiday approaches. You know that you need to get her a present, but you don’t want to send her the wrong message.

The type of present you give your ex girlfriend is crucial and depends on many factors. Is she in a new relationship? Do you still have feelings for her? Do you want to get back together?

If you want to get back together with your ex, then your present selection is even more important. Follow the advice in these dos and don’ts to get some great ideas.

Do select a gift based on something that she said. Do you remember her saying something that she really likes? Perhaps she once mentioned her favorite childhood book or movie. Maybe she said something that she wanted but would never buy for herself. When you give her this type of present, she will be impressed with your memory and thoughtfulness.

Don’t buy her lingerie or other sexy things. These are too suggestive for an ex boyfriend to give and will make her feel uncomfortable.

Do choose something that she likes. When many people give gifts, they often select a present based on their own tastes rather than the recipient’s. When you choose something based on her likes, she will realize that you care about her.

Don’t send her flowers or give a gift card. In most cases, these gifts are generic. It shows that you didn’t think much about what you wanted to get her. It also could signify a last minute gift, which doesn’t make her feel special.

Do purchase something that will remind her of something you did as a couple. A CD of a concert you went to with her or a night out at a favorite restaurant are both things that could make her think fondly of you.

Don’t get her a gag gift. You may think it’s funny, but she probably will not. In fact, she will have a hard time knowing what to think about this kind of gift, which is not really the effect you want to have.

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Meditation & Being Present – The Art of Paying Attention

For many of us, the phrase “pay attention” conjures up memories of parents, teachers, and maybe even bosses who would scold us for not being focused on what they felt we “should” be focused on. But paying attention has a much deeper and fundamental meaning. Paying attention is the equivalent of being present.

We’ve all had intense moments of presence. For example, someone driving in front of you brakes really hard and you almost hit them. You feel present then, don’t you? But it’s also possible to be present on a more regular basis. Before I explain how, let’s first discuss the rationale for being present.

Consider the alternatives. Living predominantly in the past is tragic. What kind of life is it to always dwell on what we used to have, what we could have or should have done, never forgiving others for the ways they’ve “wronged” us, and regretting missed opportunities or poor choices? Nothing can be done about the past, nothing can be changed.

Living in the future also has its problems, though it’s arguably a step forward (no pun intended) because future-thinking implies growth. The problem with living in the future is that the future only exists in your mind. Whereas the past is a story, the future is dream.

Clearly there’s a time to reflect on the past: to learn from past mistakes, to boost our confidence by remembering successes, to strengthen our relationships by reminiscing about shared experiences. And a time to visualize the future: to set goals, to avoid obstacles, to plan for growth, to anticipate new experiences. But to do so at the cost of the present moment is to miss the point.

The only thing that is real is the present moment. Life, as I like to say, is in the present tense.

Try this exercise, right now. You might be in a passive reading mode and telling yourself you’ll do it later, but please take this opportunity to do it now.

1. Sit quietly with your eyes closed and notice what you are experiencing. Don’t judge it. Just for a moment, let go of the feeling of wanting a different experience, and pay attention to the Now.

2. Focus your attention inward and notice what you’re feeling. What mood are you in? Resist the urge to judge your mood or change it. Is there a particular emotion you’re feeling that you might not have been aware of a moment ago? Is there another emotion below that one, maybe subtler but still affecting how you feel?

3. Now focus your attention outward. What sounds and smells do you notice that you weren’t aware of a moment ago? What sensations can you feel in your body that your mind has been filtering out until now? Focus on your big toe on your left foot or how it feels to sit in your chair. Now focus on the temperature of the air that you’re breathing, the feeling in your chest as it expands and contracts, and the sound your breath makes.

Don’t you feel more alive when you are present? Are you surprised by all of the things you noticed–inside and out–that you hadn’t noticed before? These sensations were there all the time, only you weren’t paying attention to them.

What you just did was a meditation. What I love most about this kind of meditation is that it can make the mundane feel magical. Try it the next time you brush your teeth. Notice the sounds of the brush against your teeth and the water against the sink. Notice the smell of the toothpaste, the feeling in your gums, and the temperature of the water. Or try it the next time you’re bored. You can use this technique to bring more life into any situation.

As the saying goes, this moment right now is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. You are an artist and the world is your canvas. And you can create great masterpieces just by paying attention.

©2006 Curtis G. Schmitt

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6 Questions to Find Out If You’re a 20th Or 21st Century Presenter

Last week I attended a training exhibition and was disheartened to note how many presenters were still using traditional presentation methods, which weren’t engaging people and in some cases appeared to be sending them to sleep.

And my colleague, Ann, was complained to bitterly (again!) about the number of people who think they’re a good presenter or a competent trainer, simply because they are experts at something and can put a PowerPoint presentation together!

Here’s an opportunity to be really honest with yourself.

- Do you create an environment so that people are motivated to stay listening and can easily take in your information?

- Do you incorporate awareness of different brain functions in how you present?

- Do you input, even technical, information using all 5 senses?

- Do you use the 8 major intelligences to make information understandable to everyone?

- Do you anchor multiple memory triggers to ensure information is easily recalled later?

- Do you review learning at least 3 times within the first 24 hours to make sure it sticks in long term memory?

If you can honestly answer ‘yes’ to all the questions then you’re a 21st century presenter because you are giving your audiences the very best opportunity to absorb information in a way which works for them, to remember what they’ve learnt, and to go back into their lives and workplaces and get measurable results from their learning.

If you haven’t answered yes to any then that’s fine because you can quickly learn how to become a 21st century presenter and make sure your audiences remember more of what you present.

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How to Deliver High Impact Presentations

In order to deliver a forceful and dynamic presentation, you need to apply the right strategies. First thing first, a positive self-image is very important. You need to be careful in selecting your dress. Make sure you dress formally and you are comfortable wearing it.

Besides your physical look, having self-confidence is essential because it helps to reduce all the last-minute fears and nerves. How should you boost your confidence level?

In my personal opinion, you need to put in hard effort in making your preparation. When preparing for a presentation, you are recommended to train yourself to visualize the scenario in a positive manner. Imagining successes is not wrong. It is definitely useful. You are suggested to increase your self-confidence by imagining yourself giving a perfect presentation. You can picture enthusiastic audiences loving your successful presentation. Tell yourself that you need to convey important messages to the audiences and you are being given a great opportunity to do so. You can imagine your audiences giving response, taking notes, laughing at your jokes, asking constructive questions and so on. You are reminded to practice making eye contact with your audiences so that you are able to build positive rapport easily in the real scenario.

Are you ready to present?

Let’s see the content of your presentations. In order to attract the audiences at the first place, you need to develop more effective openings. At the same time, you are required to organize your thoughts and materials in a systematic manner. Ask yourself honestly whether your content is informative or not. If you are selling new ideas, you should build more credibility through the use of evidence and visuals.

You must always keep in mind one important point. In order to be a great presenter, you need to be more flexible and your content must be interesting. It will be ideal if you can deliver your presentations without reading a written talk. If your presentation is too long and you can’t remember the entire content, you should ensure that you make the written text alive. If possible, work out mind maps so that you won’t miss the key points. When you start to talk, please ensure that you speak clearly and concisely. If there are audio-visual aids available for you, you are advised to select the right ones and integrate them effectively.

Last but not the least; during presentations, you are reminded to be yourself. Use your own natural speaking style. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Trust me. You can really do it!

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Do’s And Don’ts Of Using Humor In Speeches And Presentations

If you are given a choice between two presentations or speeches – one where you laugh a lot and one where you don’t. Which one would you rather attend?

The single most important criterion for succeeding in giving speeches or presentations is that the speaker connects to the audience. Speakers or presenters who fail to connect to the audience rarely get their message across. In speeches or presentations where the audience feels a connection with the speaker, energy starts flowing along this invisible ‘connection’. If this connection achieves a bond like quality the speech or presentation becomes an epic and the fame of the speaker lives on. There are many things that create this connection such as charisma, presence, skills for using emotional appeal, mastery in using imagery that evokes powerful reactions and last but not least, humor.

The famous roman orator and statesman, Cicero (106-43 B.C.) argued that the best orator would also be the best human being, who would understand the correct way to live and instruct others in it through speeches, through the example of his life, and through making good laws. Now, this is quiet high a demand. Very few people can in all honesty say that they should be considered the best of human beings. Think about it. The next time you walk up to give a speech try telling the audience that, “The roman orator Cicero said that the best orator would also be the best human being, so I am here to speak to you as I am among the best of human beings!” Only totally serious people with deadpan expressions would take that as an affront and not burst into laughter. Well, to be on the safe side, you better laugh at yourself. Then your audience will warm up to you.

Humor relaxes people and they start letting down their guard and this creates an atmosphere where positive human interaction is more likely than if the situation were to be strictly formal. Humor is scattered within your presentation and surfaces wherever and whenever it surfaces spontaneously. This kind of speech or presentation achieves a free-flow quality, which raises energy levels.

Be very careful with jokes

You don’t need to be a comedian to use humor effectively. You don’t even have to be good at telling jokes. The key in using jokes skilfully is that they should have at least some relevance to your theme or story and should bring some insight, perspective or added value to any point that you are making. Telling a joke to just make people laugh and have fun is not enough.

The best humor springs naturally. Anecdotes from personal experience make a presentation or speech come alive. They are easy to share because you’ve lived the experience; they spring from ordinary, real-life experiences that audiences can easily relate to.

Using humor is, of course, more difficult if you are very serious and don’t have a sense of humor.

“Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly; devils fall because of their gravity.” G.K. Chesterton

Cultural relativity of jokes

One thing to be careful about is the cultural relativity of humor. In many cultures the locals crack jokes about many things and everybody rolls in laughter, but the moment a person from another culture or overseas head office makes the same joke, it can cease to be a joke and become a cultural affront. Presenters making jokes with the audience going along and laughing is very common in British and American cultures but considered strange behaviour by the Japanese. Consider the tradition of humour in your audience culture before using humour. In Thailand, where the people are very easy-going and jolly, you would make people very cross if you cracked jokes about the King or the Queen, whom they respect very much. Two American clients of yours in France might make everyone roll in laughter by their Bushisms, but the moment you start Bush-bashing, they might interpret it as your having anti-American sentiments. The emphasis here is on ‘might’. You have to keep your finger on the pulse.

In many cultures making jokes is a coping mechanism. When you are utterly powerless, as an individual, to change or improve things, you crack jokes about the very things that plague your life. An outsider lives in a different world with very different realities and cannot fully understand the reality of the locals. The supply of electricity is very unreliable in many parts of India and as an individual there is precious little you can do about it. So an Indian either moans about it in winding lengthy diatribes or makes jokes about it. But when a Swedish boss, who doesn’t usually face daily power supply interruptions jokes about it, jokes about the ‘reliability of power supply in her speech, Indians might read into these funny comments utterly irrelevant issues like criticism of their culture and way of life and values and even throw in issues like colonialism.

Some Do’s and Don’ts of Using jokes in Speeches or presentations

  1. Don’t laugh aloud at your own story or joke. It’s very embarrassing if the narrator alone is laughing and no one else knows why and when they should laugh.
  2. Don’t offend anyone. For example: a person without an artificial eye may not think a blind man joke is funny.
  3. Don’t make jokes about people’s skin colors, ethnicity, sexual orientation, height, weight, religion etc.
  4. Don’t repeat a story or joke during one presentation. Once is enough.
  5. Do keep stories and jokes short. If it’s a very long one, people fall off.
  6. Do tell a story or joke about yourself. This makes you more human and sympathetic to audience members.
  7. Do use the name of living persons in a story or joke to which the audience can relate, but don’t offend anyone and respect others.

One good tip for testing your humor is to try it on a friend, mentor or trusted person from the same culture as the audience.

Remember that the audience is on your side. They came there to see you and listen to you, as they want to know what you have to say. Most certainly they wouldn’t choose to have a boring time but to enjoy and get something from your presentation. For the presenter, the best situation is when lecturing at a prison, where you already have a captive audience.

Relax and enjoy your presentation. There is a saying attributed to Ella Wheeler Wilcox from her poem “Solitude” in 1883 ” Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone.”


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Making a Professional Presentation With Wireless Laser Pointer Presenter

This is the age of electronics technology and it is forever advancing.

When making a presentation our objective is to create an impression on the minds our audience with the message that we are delivering. But the message on its own cannot have the effect that you would like to achieve if it is presented in a sloppy manner. That is to say you cannot have a good presenter, presenting with inferior equipment and expect to get the desired outcome that you intended in the first place.

In order for the message to be instill in the minds of the audience the entire presentation has to be flawless. Therefore, to create that ever lasting impression on your audience, you have to ensure that the tools are just as good as you; and the only way you can do that is to keep abreast with the times by using the latest electronic equipments that are available to you and do away with the cumbersome electronic technology of the past.

Wireless remote control laser pointers are today’s high tech electronic equipment for making a presentation that requires visual aid.

Wireless laser pointer presenter or wireless presenters are capable of handling Microsoft suite of software and are compatible with most operating system if not all. These modern laser pointer presenters give the presenter total control over his presentation without any assistance. The presenter has the ability to freely move about and interact with his audience. Whenever emphasis is needed you can easily draw the attention of the audience to that area of the screen/slide by using the laser pointer beam without obscuring the visual.

This is truly the modern way of making a presentation using state of the art electronics equipment.

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Message Based Presentation – Make Presentations Powerful and Memorable

When you stand in front of an audience to present, the first two minutes of your appearance are golden. Everyone is paying close attention, listening for that golden nugget they hope you will reveal. Don’t waste those high-impact minutes with the standard and instantly forgettable “Hello. My name is…Thank you for inviting us.” That’s what everybody does. And that’s what makes you look like just another ordinary member of the pack.

To stand apart and make your presentation both powerful and memorable, begin with your message.

Everyone agrees a presentation needs a message. And because your executive team knows a good message is key to results, they huddled, focused, work-shopped and visioned to create a memorable message. They thought it through, talked it to death, and succeeded in crafting a catch phrase that passes the elevator test — you can say it in 60 seconds or less. You even have a branding book that spells it all out. Yet surprisingly, when it comes to your sales presentations, everyone carries on the way they always have: selling by platitude.

What happened to the message? Where is it? Who, in your audience could repeat it? Do your presenters even understand what a message is and why it is important for your audience to hear it? You want your audience to know you are different from–and superior to–your competitors. And that’s what a message makes clear. Yet in the presentations I see–and I see thousands–there are consistent problems getting that message across.

First, there are presentations that have no message. They usually go something like: so the first thing is…and the next slide shows… and another thing is… Those presentations are problematic not only because they have no message but also because they are an information dump–which means you talk lots and your audience remembers little. Secondly, there are presentations where, if I listen hard, I can find a message, but it is so deeply buried in a mass of content, an ordinary listener would be hard pressed to dig it out with a shovel. And finally, there are presentations in which presenters save the big message hoping to dazzle their listeners at the end with something like, “So what I really want you to know is…” –by which time it is too late. The audience has either stopped listening, forgotten what the whole thing is all about or simply fallen asleep.

Your message is the one BIG thing you want your audience to remember even if they forget everything else. Your message is what you would say after you say, “What I really want you to know is…” A message is not a tag line; it is always in sentence form. It is the confident assertion you would make if CNN put a mike in front of you and said you have one minute to tell the world everything they need to know about you.

Last week I was working with a new client on a shortlist presentation. They have a huge opportunity and somebody suggested I could help them get their presentation right. I began our session by asking them to tell me their message. “It’s about our technology” Martin said. “Give me that in a message statement” I told him. He thought for a minute then said, “Our message is about our technology.” Martin clearly had no idea what a message sounds like. So this is what I told him: A good message is a strong statement of fact that intrigues intellectually and resonates emotionally. A powerful message gets the people in your audience thinking, “wow!”

A good presentation opens with a good message. Then, to make the message memorable, the presenter answers the “why should I care?” question. In other words, the presenter tells the audience what it means to them; don’t expect them to make that leap on their own. Tell your audience what you want them to believe, deliver content that supports or proves your message, and your audience will believe it. Of course, every presenter on the team must talk the same language–and it has to be language the rest of us speak.

Put another way, the best presentations are message based; everything that follows–all the details and explanations–are merely proof of that message.

Good presentations:

  • begin with the message
  • provide content that supports the message
  • end with the message.

In the first two golden minutes of your appearance, start with your message. Apply it to your audience. Repeat your message. Then–if you didn’t do so as people arrived–introduce yourself. And everyone will hear you. Even more impressive, they will remember you and your message. And that wins sales.

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5 Tips For Stuttering Your Way Through Presentations

Most of my comedy life is getting up on stage and telling jokes. Most of my professional life is getting up in front of people as a teacher or keynote speaker. All of my life is lived as a person who stutters. People who stutter (and even those who don’t) are surprised that an individual who stutters can command a room or have the “guts” to stand in front of people and talk. I enjoy it and with the exception of neck, back and jaw aches on some days, I am pretty unaffected by my speech. Of course, there was the one day when I stuttered and a piece of my breakfast flew out of my mouth and landed on one of the participant’s fingers but other than that, stuttering doesn’t interfere with my stand-up or when leading and training groups.

People who stutter email and message me all the time on Facebook and ask me how I can get up in front of people and talk and if I have any tips. I thought I would offer some suggestions that would help my stuttering brothers and sisters, but might also help a broader audience.

1. “I stutter and you are going to have to wait patiently for all my brilliant ideas.”

When do you tell a person that you stutter? Do you let it happen organically? Do you talk around the words that you think you will stutter on and strive for complete fluency?

These are all questions that I have asked myself. I remember being in high school Speech class and constructing speeches where I took out every word that I thought I would stutter on. Once I even did a horrible rap (on Doxidan – a popular laxative at the time) because I knew that I could be fluent if I rapped or put on a voice. Oh my God, it was just awful! Another time I had to work with a partner to review a movie. We chose “Strange Brew” and I spent the entire time talking like Bob and Doug McKenzie Canadian accent (“take off, eh?) to achieve fluency.

Through the years I have embraced my speech. Being around others who stutter has helped significantly, which is why I highly recommend finding a National Stuttering Association chapter or conference or similar organizations. Seeing and experiencing people who talk like you is validating and an important step in self-acceptance. With self-acceptance comes a level of comfort with how you speak and subsequently self-disclosure. I personally, disclose my stuttering in stand-up comedy or when doing presentations as early as possible. If I am doing stand-up, I do the first part of my set on stuttering. If I am doing presentations or even when I am on a job interview, I state early “just so you know, I stutter so you are going to have to wait for all of the brilliant things I have to say.” This usually breaks the ice plus I just told the people I am meeting with how I want them to respond to my speech and that I am a capable person. The reality is that most people don’t know how to respond to our speech since we might be the first person they have ever met who stutters. If we can mold their response to us it can save some awkward moments later on. If time allows in my presentations, I will go more in-depth and share more tips and even talk about the cause of stuttering (current research indicates it is neurologically based).

Everyone is going to disclose their stuttering differently. You should develop a way that you are comfortable with and even try it out on different friends and family to see their response. Remember, it is your stuttering, your presentation and your audience. So many times as people who stutter we feel our speech is out of our control. When doing presentations, you may not have control of your stuttering, but you do have control over your presentation because, you know, it’s yours! So seize it!

One more thing. Don’t apologize for your speech. Your stuttering is a part of you. Why would I get up in front of a group and apologize for having brown hair and my grandmother’s big butt that I inherited (in Italian they use to call her “culo.”) It is important that you stay in control of your speaking opportunities. This shows that you know what you are talking about and you have nothing to feel sorry for unless, of course, your breakfast comes flying out of your mouth and onto someone in the front row.

2. Be passionate about what you are talking about!

You know what I don’t do presentations on nor do jokes about? Things I don’t care about! As a person who stutters I know that what I want to say is sacred. I have not always been comfortable talking and when I have chosen to interject, it is because it is something I am so passionate about that I can’t keep quiet. When presenting on a topic, be passionate and knowledgable about it. If the thing you love is the civil war and the modes of transportation used during that time, then do your presentation on that (although make sure you have the right context to present). If you love the thing you are talking about then your audience will appreciate what you have to say and the excitement for the topic will be contagious. I always speak from my heart and try to relate to practical things in my own life. Through the years I have developed an arsenal of stories that I use on different topics. These stories can be planned into a presentation or, even better, may come up at spontaneous times, so it looks like you are speaking off the cuff when, in fact, it was already planned.

Loving what you talk about gives you context and expertise. Participants will be impressed with your knowledge and you will feel that you are in a zone to be successful.

3. “I just said three P words in a row. Try saying that if you stutter!”

There might be times where stuttering may get in the way or come to the foreground of your presentations. For example, in my stand-up, when I am quoting someone who said something awful about my stutter and I stutter on what they say, I will add “but they didn’t stutter when they said it, that is probably a key point.” I acknowledge that my stuttering is somewhat out of context. I poke fun at the process of speaking but I don’t necessarily make fun of myself. Another example from my stand-up act is when I say three P-words in a row (for the sake of keeping this article PG rated I will leave the direct quote out). After saying the sentence, I add “try saying that if you stutter, I had to practice that a lot in the car on the way here to say that fluently.”

The other day I was showing off Google’s speech to text software where you can speak into your phone and it appears in Google docs. One of the workshop participants said she wanted to learn about “hieroglyphics”, a word I would definitely stutter on, which I did when I spoke into my phone for the demonstration. The software butchered my word and it came out funky. I said, “Google speech obviously doesn’t like people who stutter.” This demonstrated that the software had some issues for people who might not have standard speech and that I could have a sense of humor about the process of talking, but I remained a good communicator.

4. Remember, good presenting isn’t all about you!

Not everyone gets this one, especially my university professors. When presenting, yes, you are the focus, but it isn’t all about you. I think sometimes, as people who stutter, we feel we have to command the room at all times and talk the entire time. It is more helpful to think of yourself as a facilitator rather than a speaker. Your goal is that your audience takes ownership of the topic you are presenting on. Helping them develop what this means for them is a big part of that. Some ways to do this include:

-Pair and Share: put people in pairs (sometimes I will have them find someone with the same sock, eye or hair color) and direct them on what to discuss.

-Walk and Talk Activities: have participants walk around the building or the block for a few minutes and discuss a topic that you give them. This involves them in the topic and rejuvenates their brains to be able to sit through the next part of your presentation.

-Small, medium, and large group discussion. People need to construct their own knowledge of a topic in order for them to buy into it. Just sitting there listening to you is not going to do that.

5. People who Stutter can be good communicators!

Many people who stutter have internalized the fallacy that we are bad communicators. One has nothing to do with the other. There are plenty of fluent people who could improve their communication skills and plenty of people who stutter who maintain strong communication skills. Strong communication skills for presenting, whether or not you stutter, include good eye contact, fluctuating the tone of your voice and/or body language, and using distance to emphasize your talking points. Using these techniques in a way that is authentic to who you are is key. I tend to be a silly, downright weird person at times and even in professional situations I try to remain true to who I am. Using different voices, hand motions, walking around the room and making eye contact with every single person in the room helps to convey my objectives.

Using multiple modes of expression (visual, auditory, and hands-on) also helps communication. Using PowerPoint slides with pictures, videos, and music can also facilitate what you are presenting. I even do an interpretive dance to describe the brain of someone with dyslexia. Using other modes of presenting is just good teaching and presenting. You are more than a speaker, you are orchestrating your audience’s learning and your mouth is just one of your instruments.

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