Episode 104: The Best Practices for Gaining Presentation Expertise

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation.

Episode Transcript

Shawn: Intro: Hi I am Shawn Doyle- and across from me is the lovely and talented Racheal Doyle. I am the CEO of Shawn Doyle Training and Rachael is the COO. Our company is a training and development company.

Welcome to Winning Edge at Work. Glad you could join us today. In season one, we are going to be talking about Presentation skills. Today: The best practices for gaining presentation expertise

Shawn: I think it is interesting how some people think that you are just born with the ability to be a great speaker of presenter- but that isn’t true. ( story ) It’s something that you can learn to become! There are so many resources out there and many of them are free or low cost.

Rachael: It is amazing…just a quick search of “public speaking skills” on Google results in 634 million results! So there are LOTS of resources out there- I think the question I would ask is.. which ones are most valuable?

Shawn: Yeah- that is amazing and I think it can be overwhelming..

Rachael: Oh no.. I don’t think 634 million results is overwhelming! I mean if… only people had an EXPERT to guide them in the right direction. You know- someone who has been speaking and presenting for over 30 years. That would be great.

Shawn: Well the calvary has arrived! That is what we are going to talk about today!

Rachael: As Ben Franklin once said “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Shawn: There are several kinds of resources people can tap into: 1) Where you attend a meeting in person 2) Online/virtual 3) Podcasts 4) Books and reports

Rachael:How does someone pick what is right for them?

Shawn: It’s just personal preference- and I always say: “If it works its good, if it doesn’t it is bad!” Seriously just experiment and find out what works best for you.

Rachael: Where shall we start?

Shawn: How about Toastmasters? Why don’t you give people the scoop…now here is Rachael with a report…

Rachael: So here is a little background on Toastmasters - Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organization's membership exceeds 357,000 in more than 16,600 clubs in 143 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. Just go to toastmasters .org

Shawn: Wow- 16,600 clubs that is a lot of toast- they should have Wonder Bread sponsor them..just kidding.

Rachael: Oh that was a joke? In order to be a joke, it is supposed to be funny! I have often wondered about the name..I mean people don’t do toasts anymore except like at weddings

Shawn: Toastmasters was started back in 19 24 in California by a guy named Ralph Smedley. It was at a YMCA and it was intended to teach young men how to be better at presenting. He would set up a banquet and they could practice giving toasts and the after dinner speech. He called it The Toastmasters Club. So that is where the name came from. Here is what I LOVE about TM- it’s live and person- they are 1) inexpensive 2) easy to access clubs because there are so many 3) you learn 3 skills – 1) how to speak in a formal way, 2) how to impromptu speak and 3) how to be a leader and run meetings.

Rachael: I am curious how does that work on formal speaking- since we are on the topic of presentation expertise…and you are the expert!

Shawn: You join a club and you get a manual- then you have 10 in person speeches you give over time- each speech is about 5-7 minutes and you get someone to evaluate your speech. It’s the best way to get practice and get feedback in an environment that is very friendly

Rachael: What are the speeches about?

Shawn: You can talk about anything you want—each speech has an objective like vocal variety or using gestures or movement.

Shawn: The evaluator is another club member that may have more experience. They get up for two minutes and talk about what you did well and what could be improved. Here is the deal in most cases people at work want to have that winning edge- but no one at work will give them feedback, because they want to be nice or to be honest they may not have the right expertise.

Rachael: Very true. Here is a good quote about feedback “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” That was said by who?

Shawn: Hmm.. lets me guess—Simon Cowell?

Rachael: No Bill Gates. So we talked about Toastmasters-

Shawn: Hang on…one other thing about Toastmasters that is really interesting- they have a great Toastmasters You Tube channel! Lots of great tip videos on many topics and even clips of people who are competing in the world championship of speaking- and they are all (this is secret…) so don’t tell anyone it’s free and you don’t have to be a Toastmasters member!) A GREAT resource!!!

Rachael: Wow that is wonderful and the price is right- because you know me I am a good shopper!

Shawn: Yes you are!

Rachael: So now onto online…what should people look at there?

Shawn: There are so many great resources online- let’s start with Udemy. So tell folks about Udemy.

Rachael: Well it an online learning portal and its has over 100,000 courses and 24 million students. If you look there are over 4,558 programs on presentation skills. It’s at Udemy.com

Shawn: Yep it is pretty amazing.

Rachael: One of my favorite courses there is Jumpstart Your Presentation skills by Shawn Doyle. You have quite a few students in that program.

Shawn: Yes I have 2,432 student in that program. What I like about Udemy is you can buy a program and then log on and take it anytime you want. It never goes away once you buy it. It is also a worldwide platform so we have students from all over the world.

Rachael: How can people find your course? By going on Udemy and put in your name Shawn Doyle in the search box.

Rachael: Are there any other resources?

Shawn: Yes there are many great ones- there are also some other great online learning resources. 1) Linkedin Learning is good.

Rachael:They have over 2000 courses and all you do is on your LinkedIn page click the LinkedIn learning spot at the top right corner.

Shawn: That is right- many people miss it and don’t notice it is there. Including me originally.

Rachael: That is because you have “man vision.”

Shawn: Is that when you look in the fridge and say I can’t find the mustard and then someone else looks in there and says here it is.?

Rachael: Yep! Man vision…

Shawn: The good news is that LinkedIn Learning is free for people who have premium membership on LinkedIn.

Rachael: Another resource is Skillshare that is at Skillshare.com and there are over 700 programs on presentation skills and speaking.

Shawn: Yeah there is some good stuff there. Including one program How to give a five minute talk without dying! Love that title!

Rachael: I thinks lots of people would like that one.

Shawn: Good one.

Rachael: I was thinking we are both fans of Ted Talks.. can that be a resource for gaining a winning edge at work?

Shawn: Yes if you go to Ted.com and TedX.com it can be valuable- (Explain Ted Talks) it can be valuable in two ways 1) There are Ted Talks on public speaking (over 80 of them ) and 2) Watching others speak and evaluate what they did you liked and what you didn’t – it’s a great to learn by evaluating others. One other note- it’s free. You are never going to look at speakers the same way again.. and that’s when you know you are really learning. You have a new way of looking at it-

Rachael: When you the change the way you see something it is important.

Shawn: Yes.. it’s kind of like a musician watching someone play a song and saying “ I like how she hit that note- maybe I could play it that way…

Rachael: Yes tons of them. So we have talked about meetings like toastmasters, and online virtual resources. Did we miss any?

Shawn: Yes- You Tube- you can go on and search for presentation skills tips- and if you like a certain person you can follow them so each they have a new video you get a notification.

Rachael: Like a subscription.

Shawn: Yes- just like that.

Rachael: We talked about live meetings, online resources like LinkedIn Learning and Skillshare and Udemy and of course Ted Talks and You Tube. One other thought- How about books on this topic?

Shawn: There are two I would recommend- an older one and a newer one.

Rachael: You mean a CLASSIC one?

Shawn: Yes umm not older.. I mean a classic… it was written back in the 40’s but a great book. The Art of Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie. One of the best book ever written on public speaking and it’s still true today. And then one of the latest books is- Ted Talks- the official guide to public speaking- by Chris Anderson.. the Head of Ted!

Rachael:That is his title? Head of Ted?

Shawn: Yes so I was thinking maybe I should be Head Talker at Shawn Doyle Training?

Rachael: You already are.

Shawn: That sounds O.K. by me.

Rachael: Shawn as an expert- any other advice around this topic?

Shawn: I have tons so I guess it’s good we have 8 shows this season to talk about it. 1) Just keep looking and seeking out resources 2) Take notes and study – you can do this!

Rachael: As Pelé once said “ Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. “ In the show notes the is a list of resources and websites you can look at…

Shawn: On our next show: Presentation myths and how to reframe them- and remember as I always say- “ you are the architect of your own life!”

Rachael: Now go out there and make it happen!

Rachael and Shawn Doyle