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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 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...


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...


Episode 060 -- Assume Your Screen Shows and More Thoughts on Storytelling

2-Minute Tip: Always Assume Your Screen is Showing I think we've all been in that meeting at one point where someone's PC is connected to the projector and suddenly an embarrassing IM pops up. Or the meeting gets derailed by a 5-minute discussion about they're wallpaper. There are lots of notifications that popup on our devices -- meeting reminders, email previews, Skype notices, Windows 10 Action Center updates, etc. Sometimes we just have assorted files scattered across folders...


Episode 059 -- Believe Them and 8 Questions to Ask After Your Talk

2-Minute Tip: Believe Them When your audience members tell you that you did a good job, believe them. In our zeal to be the best we can be, many speakers have an inaccurate and often negative view of our own performances. Often we see how it could have been better. Or we notice a mistake no one in the audience did. We can obsess over those "failures" no one else saw. But it's not about us. It's about the audience. When audience members tell you that you did a good job, take...


Episode 058 -- Schedule Practice and 3 Myths and 1 Mindset for Nervous Speakers

2-Minute Tip: Schedule Your Practice We mean well. We put "practice" and "rehearse" on our To Do lists. Unfortunately, that often gets bumped by other, more urgent matters. Or meetings get scheduled in our open blocks of time. That's why it's important to schedule practice time on your calendar. Set up a meeting with yourself to rehearse. Reserve a conference room if you don't have a private office. When you have practice actually on your calendar, you are more likely to...


Episode 057 -- Photograph Your Space and Digital Ink in PowerPoint

2-Minute Tip: Photograph Your Space The brain plays tricks on us. It can be difficult to see clutter and distractions in the space around us because we tune them out. That can be true in a home office, in a conference room, or on a presentation stage. Try taking a picture of your presentation space with your phone. Better yet, have someone take a picture, or several pictures from different angles, of you standing in your speaking spot. Then look at the background in those...


Episode 056 -- Create a Desktop Folder and 7 Tips for Better Conclusions

2-Minute Tip: Create a Folder Many of us have thousands of files on our computers, in our clod drives, and attached to email messages. Getting to the right one can take some work. That's fine when we are by ourselves and have a few moments to spare. During a presentation, or between presentations, it can be more challenging. Sometimes we may need to drop out of our slide show to answer a question, demonstrate a resource, or change course. To make it easy, create a folder on...


Episode 055-- Slides are not Time and Talk Less, Say More

2-Minute Tip: Slides are not Time How many slides should be in a 15-minute presentation? How long is a 10-slide presentation? I don't know because the number of slides is a poor proxy for presentation length. I would rather see a presenter add more slides than to use a small font. Splitting one slide into multiple slides doesn't lengthen your presentation. It just makes content more legible. Conversely, replacing 10 text heavy slides with 3 graphic slides doesn't shorten your...


Episode 054 -- Nose Contact and Slow is Smooth Smooth is Fast

2-Minute Tip: Use Nose Contact Using eye contact effectively is an important skill for speakers to master. It helps the audience feel that the speaker cares. It emphasizes how the speaker and audience members are all participating in a shared experience. Looking at audience members' eyes can be unnerving for some speakers, though. The solution is nose contact. Instead of looking at the eyes of the audience, try looking at the bridge of the nose. The audience members will still...


Episode 053 -- Don't Change Your Caffeine and The Power of Rituals

2-Minute Tip: Don't Change Your Caffeine Consumption It can be tempting the morning of a big speech to load up on coffee and enjoy that miraculous substance. If that's part of your standard morning ritual, that's fine. Go for it. But don't suddenly double or triple your standard consumption. I get that you may feel tired or nervous, but excess coffee will not help. Instead, you will just ramp up the anxiety even further or cause other last minute biological challenges. You are...


Episode 052 -- Avoid Dairy and The 7 Deadly Sins of PowerPoint

2-Minute Tip: Avoid Dairy Before Speaking I love a big bowl of sugary cereal or a nice cheesy pizza. I used to drink mochas like water before I decided to switch to Americanos for weight loss (by the way, switching from mochas to Americanos will NOT make 30 pounds just fall off). So I like my milky, cheesy goodness. But not right before speaking. Dairy consumption promotes phlegm production. Excess phlegm means that when speaking you have to clear your throat more off, deal with...


Episode 051 -- Event Forms and 5 More Deadly Sins of Public Speaking

2-Minute Tip: Use an Event Form I used to travel from Seattle to Irvine, CA, quite a bit. It got to the point where I thought I knew where I was going down there. That was a false confidence. I began making wrong turns because I didn't think I needed a map to help me. As we do more public speaking, we can easily make that same mistake. It's easy to blow past the initial logistics of a talk and just assume, "I got this." That's when things start to go wrong. The more speaking you...


Episode 050 -- Do Q&A Before Your Conclusion and Practice Gestures

2-Minute Tip: Conduct Q&A Before Your Conclusion Many speakers go through their entire talk, and then open things up for questions. This is a mistake. You will be more effective if you take question before you launch into your conclusion. The end of your speech is a golden time. It's the last the audience will hear before they go out into the world. Since its the last thing, it can also be the most memorable. Make sure that what they remember is the stuff you want tem to remember --...


Episode 049 -- Restrict Your Practice Time and My Content Process

2-Minute Tip: Restrict Your Practice Time Two of the biggest sins of public speakers are going overtime and rambling. Both disrespect the audience, When you go 5 minutes over, you're not just taking 5 minutes. You're taking 5 minutes from everyone in the room. If there are 20 people in the room, you've actually taken 100 minutes in total. To address both these issues, restrict your rehearsal time. That doesn't mean rehearse less. It means that if you have 45 minutes for a talk,...


Episode 048 -- Keep Your Shirt Off and Understand Criteria

2-Minute Tip: Keep Your Shirt Off Breakfast is the most important meal of the day (if you believe "Big Breakfast"). When travelling to give a talk, we may start the day with room service breakfast in a hotel room while we putter about getting ready for the day. That makes it really easy to spill coffee or jelly on your presentation outfit if you get fully dressed before eating. The simplest way to avoid that is to keep your presentation shirt off until it's time to leave. Post Tip...