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At 2-Minute Talk Tips, I help people become more effective public speakers in as little as 2 minutes a week. If you have more than 2 minutes, stick around as I explore other strategies, tools, and topics relevant to public speakers.

At 2-Minute Talk Tips, I help people become more effective public speakers in as little as 2 minutes a week. If you have more than 2 minutes, stick around as I explore other strategies, tools, and topics relevant to public speakers.
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At 2-Minute Talk Tips, I help people become more effective public speakers in as little as 2 minutes a week. If you have more than 2 minutes, stick around as I explore other strategies, tools, and topics relevant to public speakers.






Episode 080 -- Thread a Story Through your Talk and Meet Diana Wink

2-Minute Tip: Thread a story through your talk Figure out how to tell a story in your talk. Story telling is a powerful tool and is a great way to engage your audience from the moment you step in front of the crowd. Don't stop at opening with the story, though. Weave that same story through your talk and keep coming back to it, either to reference it or to advance it. It provides a simple, entertaining way for your audience to remain engaged while you speak and to better understand the...


Episode 079 -- Know You Can Do It and Meet Dr. Denise Vaughan

2-Minute Tip -- Know You can do It The first thing to know about a talk is that this IS something you can do. You can get out on stage. You can move around deliberately to make the points that you want to make. If you're not comfortable with eye contact, that's fine. You can come up with a solution. But regardless of the challenges, go into it knowing that you can do this. Post Tip Discussion -- Meet Denise Vaughan Denise and I were both members of the Carroll College Talking...


Episode 078 -- Focus on Feeling and Meet Hilary Billings

[bctt tweet="'I'm all about trying to live my life to the fullest. You only get one, right? So, do all the things.' -- @hilary_Billings #publicspeaking" username="CurrentlyBill"] 2-Minute Tip: Focus on how you make your audience feel [bctt tweet="'I'm all about trying to live my life to the fullest. You only get one, right? So, do all the things.' -- @hilary_Billings #publicspeaking" username="CurrentlyBill"] Hilary tells us about her experience interviewing mega-star interviewer,...


Episode 077 -- Influence One Person and Meet Patricia Missakian

2-Minute Tip Influencing dozens or hundreds or thousands of people can be intimidating. That's a lot of work, and it's a lot of minds to change. So how do you do that when the public speaking jitters start rattling your stomach? Don't. Think about influencing one person in your audience, instead. Then that person can influence others and help spread your message. The interesting thing about this mindset is that the bigger the crowd, the less intimidating the goal. Influencing one...


Episode 076 -- Make Eye Contact and Meet Social Media Consultant Louise Brogan

2-Minute Tip: Make Eye Contact Making eye contact with your audience is a great way to show them that you care and are interested in their success. It's much more effective than looking down and a script or shuffling note cards around. Bonus Tip: Watch the Air Quality Before you go someplace to speak, check the air quality in the city. A simple web search should bring up the latest data. For example, the air quality in Seattle right now is 153. That's unhealthy. Good air quality is...


Episode 075 -- Write Your Thoughts Down and Meet Magician Victoria Mavis

2-Minute Tip: Write it Down In the run up to a talk, our minds can go all over the place. Thoughts come and go, and it can get pretty loud inside our heads. It becomes hard to focus on what we need to do and to be present like we ought to be to maximize our success. One way to deal with this is to write down all those thoughts on a piece (or pieces) of paper. That gets them out of your head and your brain can let them go since you can deal with them later if you choose. I find...


Episode 074 -- Use a Checklist and Thoughts on Crowd Size

2-Minute Tip: Use a Checklist Everyday, thousands of airline pilots around the world pull out the same task list them read hundred or thousands of times and it out loud to their colleague. Even though they have the whole thing memorized by now, they still refer back to that list to nearly guarantee they don't forget anything. The consequences of failure are huge. Forgetting one thing can cost hundreds of lives and millions of dollars in damage. So the use a check list. The consequences...


Episode 073 -- Connect with your Audience and Meet NursePreneur Catie Harris

2-Minute Tip: Connect with your Audience Often you don't need to adopt a high energy approach and dance around the stage. Focus instead on making a connection with your audience. Share stories. Help them see the things they have in common with you. That makes your presentation more credible and memorable. Post Tip Discussion: Meet NursePreneur Catie Harris I connected initially with Catie Harris through the work I do with Strokecast. Catie has a background in nursing,...


Episode 072 -- Use a Big Face and How to Memorize a Speech

2-Minute Tip Much of the communication we have with folks is non-verbal, and facial expressions play a big part in that. When we conduct a presentation, though, we lose much of that subtlety because we are further from our audience. Instead of 2 feet away we are 10 or 20 feet away. To make up for that, we need to use much bigger and more dramatic facial expressions. Smile bigger. Open your eyes wider. Exaggerate your head tilt. In practice it may feel like you are going too far...


Episode 071 -- Zoom In and Read Ted Talks: The Official Guide to Public Speaking

2-Minute Tip: Zoom In With you present during a webinar, there are lots of things to consider. I talked about several of them way back in Episode 014. This week, I add to that list by suggesting you zoom in the web cam tighter on your face. This will block some of the clutter in your background and it will make it easier for the camera to focus and get the exposure right. Plus it helps emphasize the personal connection folks try to achieve by being on camera. That doesn't mean...


Episode 070 -- Speak about your Fire and Meet Dr. Melissa Bird

2-Minute Tip -- Know the thing that lights you on fire Melissa Bird explains that the key to success is to know what lights you on fire. When you know that fire and can speak to your passion, it becomes so much easier to let your voice through regardless of the audience size. But how do you figure out what your fire is if you don't already know? Here's where I think pen and paper and a quiet corner or coffee shop can help. Give yourself 15 minutes and write down the answers to...


Episode 069 -- 3 Tips and Meet Pradeepa Narayanaswamy

2-Minute Tip: 3-Fer This week's tip comes from our special guest, Pradeepa Narayanaswamy and is a 3-pack of tips. check out Amy Cuddy's work Post Tip Discussion: Meet Pradeepa Narayanaswamy Pradeepa is a corporate trainer, speaker, and fertility coach whose mission in life is "to help men's women's, and couples' infertility journey suck less." We talk about how she group up in the public speaking world, first learning by watching her father, and later being coached by him when...


Episode 068 -- Raise Your Energy and Meet Melanie Childers

2-Minute Tip: Raise Your Energy One of the most powerful things you can do to conduct an effective presentation is to raise your energy and dominate your stage. There are a lot of ways you can do that. You can channel your inner Lady Gaga or try running in place. Regardless of how you do it, a high energy level will put you in a position to let your message burst through. Post-Tip Discussion: Meet Melanie Childers Melanie is a coach focused on helping progressive women run for...


Episode 067 -- Poll the Audience and the Power of Limits

2-Minute Tip: Poll the Audience A simple way to increase audience engagement and inter action is to poll the audience. Ask them if they've had some sort of experience, like dealing with a tough customer or a misunderstanding with a boss. You already know the answer (probably) so you can use that to lead right in to your next point. When you poll the audience be sure to tell the how to answer. Do you want the to say, "Yes!" Or do you want them to clap? Or do you want them to nod...


Episode 066 -- Practice in the Shower and Meet Mario Porreca

2-Minute Tip: Practice in the Shower The shower can be a great place to practice your talk. It's a comfortable, warm environment. You don't need to pay too much attention to your other activities. You are less likely to be distracted by other folks and tasks. In general, the environment really helps you shift your mindset in a way that allows you to mentally prepare and visualize yourself conducting a great presentation. Plus, it also forces you to go through your content without...


Episode 065 -- Close to Open and Presentation Translator

2-Minute Tip: Close to Open In retail, management coaches employees to Close to Open. That means to get the store clean, stocked and signed at closing time so it's ready to open up the next day and get right to business. If you are doing a series of presentations, you can do "Future You" a big favor by taking the same approach. Close to open. That means when you're done, you don't just throw everything in your bag and run out the door. Take the time to: Don't leave your self...


Episode 064 -- Talking Points and Don't care

2-Minute Tip: Prepare Talking Points It's one thing to plan your presentation when you are leading the discussion. It's another when you're not. During informal presentations like interviews and panel discussions you may not be driving the whole discussion. That's why you need to prepare talking points ahead of time and review them before the talk. Pick 2-3 key points you want to make during your limited time. What do you want the audience to know? What do you want them to do? How can...


Episode 063 -- PowerPoint Online Photos and 6 Observations

2-Minute Tip: Use PowerPoint Online Photos PowerPoint has some great tools for sourcing images online. In the version for Windows that comes as part of Office 365 (and possibly other versions), PowerPoint content layout frames include an option to insert online images. If you are working without layouts, you can reach this same function through the Insert menu. Once you choose that option, you will get a search box that includes categories of photos, drawings, and graphics,...


Episode 062 -- Tell A Story to Add Value and Meet Iszi Lawrence

2-Minute Tip: Tell a Story to Add Value When presenting, we are often selling something. It may be a product, a service, or an idea. To be effective, though, don't just go through a barrage of features or details. It's the story that you can connect with your topic that gives it value. It's the story you tell that your audience will respond to and remember. It's the story you tell that makes your subject rise above the fray. Post Tip Discussion: Meet Iszi Lawrence The human...


Episode 061 -- Prewire and Bad Boss Advice

2-Minute Tip: Prewire your big meetings I first learned about the idea of Prewiring a meeting from the folks at Manager Tool. Check out their podcast for a deeper discussion. I also talked about it in the early days of this 2-Minute Talk Tips in Episode 7 (Empty Your Pockets and Prepare Your Audience). Basically, to prewire your audience before a big proposal, meet with your stakeholders one-on-one to brief them on what you want to do, get their feedback, address their concerns, and...