Ignite: How Speakers Prepare

Ignite is an event where speakers have 5 minutes to present 20 slides that are auto-advanced every 15 seconds. It is a bit like speed chess where timing is a big part of the game.

Interesting survey data from Scott Berkun on how speakers prepare for ignite presentations.

Conclusion is that excellent speeches take a lot of preparation, even for pros, and that generally speakers don’t rehearse enough.

Why are professional speakers so good? One explanation is that they do a speech many times to improve it. They also prepare and rehearse more than regular speakers.

Networking for Results

This past Thursday I attended the Ottawa chapter of the Certified Management Consultants meeting which had the theme of networking. The meeting was in a real nice facility where Bitheads does business. It has a comfortable area for mixing and mingling and a theatre for the guest speaker Michael Hughes to present:

“Turning 3 minute Conversations into long term relationships and lasting results”

I was impressed by Michael’s content and presentation. As a toastmaster I couldn’t help but evaluate Michael’s speaking style and passion. I thought he did a wonderful job as a speaker and reinforced his points by getting the audience engaged in some short exercises. With his wealth of experience he had lots to share and he did it most effectively by breaking the information into manageable chunks.

I particularly liked Michael’s networking model that has 6 phases. He explained not only what needs to happen in each phase – he also identified the most common myths and hangups people have with each phase and what can be done to overcome them. Michael provides a free document summarizing his networking model on his web site – www.networkingforresults.com.

Mixed in with all the practical advice and wisdom was the really effective use of stories to reinforce his points. I especially liked his story of sitting down with the chairman of the board (his wife) to do a startup company review. I think all the small business entrepreneurs in the audience could relate to the struggles and desire to do better faster.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Michael to anyone who is interested in improving their networking skills. I really believe in Michael’s key point:

Put relationships first with a sincere desire to help and business will follow.

The Importance of Public Speaking and Goals

You probably already know the importance of public speaking but sometimes it helps to be reminded why.
It also gives you some ammunition when you want to convince someone why you want to buy a book (even if the person you are convincing is yourself).
Why you want to be a better public speaker .

A fellow I know once told me that if you want to turn a wish into a goal you need to examine the pros and cons to establish your motivations and make a plan.

The planned goal should be SMART or even SMARTer . Driven by your vision of the benefits (pros) that will result and designed to overcome the obstacles you expect (cons).

Do you have any goals you would like to achieve in the new year? Don’t leave it up to Destiny .

The Definitive Guide to achieving your new years resolutions .

Be like the Canadian junior hockey team and never give up on your dreams. Dare to Dream.