I had the chance of meeting Ze Frank (web, twitter) a couple of times, back in 2010 and 2011. Last time I interviewed him on some of his public speaking tips (read article). Now, he just published this hilarious but also very practical video that distills in a “how to” [non blinking] style his best advice. I will surely take these into account when I prepare for my next speech.
By the way, Ze suggests that you don’t imagine that your audience is naked to fight your nervousness, a quite popular tip for first time speakers.
Last Thursday I met Ze Frank (web, twitter), who a few days later would hold the closing keynote speech at the design & creativity conference MAD in Spain. I had previously seen Ze talk at TED Global 2010 in Oxford and had found his presentation both entertaining and professionally interesting as he deals with creating online experiences that generate powerful and intimate interactions with his audience (if you never heard about Ze Frank or watched him speak, I suggest you watch these two of Ze Frank at TED Global 2010 and at TED 2004).
During our chat at the opening event of MAD we talked about public speaking, what makes a good presentation and some of the advice he gives to speakers while coaching them.
Note: Although I tried to record Ze’s tips on my iPhone while we were talking, my love-hate relationship with technology once again came to surface when I discovered that the device had only recorded the first 3 seconds of it (my fault I guess). So what follows comes from my imperfect memories of that evening (it was late, noisy and I trusted my iPhone was getting in on tape so I could later write this article).
These are the two tips and an observation to improve your public speaking:
Rehearse alone in an empty room and don’t stop
There’s only one way of preparing a good talk and that is practice. Especially if you’re a new speaker, but not only, Ze suggests you try your speech in an empty room. You can have a mirror if you want, but that’s not the key. Ze Frank suggests you make your full talk several times non-stop. Just go the whole way through with your speech and don’t stop to write down improvement remarks like “I’m using too many ‘eehs’ and ‘aahs’, I should correct that”. People usually do that and what happens is that they rehearse very well the start of their talk instead of just going on in order to improve the whole delivery of the presentation.
To associate great public speaking with Steve Jobs is a recurrent cliché (I already wrote about it here)… but it’s undeniable that Jobs’ presentations are remarkable per se, not only in the corporate & technology world.
Carmine Gallo (twitter, website) -a famous communications coach, author and speaker- has made a colossal work by carefully dissecting Steve Jobs presentation techniques in his latest book “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs” (amazon link).
Gallo uses clear and direct language to explain the techniques that you should master and makes no secret about the fact that to achieve that mastery you have to practice, practice, practice… sorry, no shortcuts here. The book is divided in 3 parts or “acts”, each containing a series of short “scenes” that approach every aspect of the presentation method: from planning to writing a headline, from delivering the experience to refining your skills.
A few days ago I wrote about a book that presents an approach to making better presentations. Today I found a short video (less that 7 minutes) that dissects and teaches some of the main techniques used by Steve Jobs in his live presentations. Interesting and educational (found through Cordef’s blog).