Sunday, March 08, 2009

Tips for Speakers from James Duncan Davidson

I consider comfort with public speaking to be an important leadership skill. Leaders can not avoid being in front of groups, and they should strive to look comfortable there. Note that I didn't say they have to feel comfortable.

James Duncan Davidson is a photographer who has spent a lot of time photographing speakers, most notably for O'Reilly Media conferences. Being forced to watch both good and bad speakers has given him some insights into what works. I particularly liked this one: "Don't pace aimlessly. ... From the audience perspective, a speaker like this looks like a caged animal."

In public speaking, practice helps, but I've found that careful consideration of what works for others has been more help to me. James' article is well worth a read to help you avoid common mistakes.

18 comments:

kenflosmooth said...

A leader should lead by example. He should be an excellent communicator and motivator. He should know how to get things done without unecessary irritation to his underlings. most of all he should strive to help they to reach their potential and remember not to expect perfection in an imperfect world.

Ken Flowers said...

Nice summary, thanks.

Kenneth Flowers said...

A leader needs certain qualities therefore he should strive to develope qualities such as decisiveness, organizational skills, flexibility, adaptability, listening ability, empathy, courage, a self sacrifing spirit, and most of all humility

Ken Flowers said...

I'm happy for all participation, but it looks like something is wrong because the above post is labeled with my name, but is not me.

kenflosmooth said...

A leader should be able to understand human nature in a wide range of areas, and use that knowledge to tailor his responses on an individual or group basis. Keeping the attention of others requires an animated delivery. Reasoning with them and dignifying them by not talking down to them. Motivating them to action by relating to them and giving sound reasons why they should do as you say and how it will benefit them to do so.

kenflosmooth said...

Leaders need to see beyond the obvious. They need an umbias ability to judge matters. And a zeal for the mission chosen. Total committment and soundness of mind are also necessary elements. Wisdom is of paramount importance. It is the ability to use ones knowledge to the benefit of yourself and others. Leaders should not be think narrowly but should have a broad scope of the world and how they can have an impact on it. They should understand Group dynamics and office politics expertly. and know how to be diplomatic when it is called for. World leaders need to know how in different cultures words and gestures differ from their own. This is so they do not violate local customs or insult someone unwittingly. It is a lifelong project to become an effective leader. Most of all he (or she) needs High moral standards

Ken Flowers said...

Hi Ken Flowers (my only reader who has the same name as me),

I'm not sure why you are posting these particular sets of thoughts to this post, but I agree with what you are saying. Feel welcome to the conversation. I hope you have a chance to read some of my other posts, and I'm looking forward to reading what you have to say on your own blog.

Kenflosmooth said...

Hi Ken, I'm back. you know I could'nt resist this blog. By the way to see my blogs just google "kenflosmooth". I enjoy commenting on them and getting feedback. But for now back to leadership, A leader should not necessarily love the limelight but leads by necessity. With a pure motive and the ability to to see through people trying to deceive. Honest is not synomous with naive. and mildness is not synonimous with weakness as many think. Rather, such qualities help one to see clearly and stay grounded. Instead of trying to give the impression of knowing everything he admits it when he does not know something and surround himself with experienced and knowlegeable people. His strenght is helping people by coordinating, maintaining focus, imlementing strategies. Realizing that popular opinion is not always right.

Kenflosmooth said...

A Public speaker should always use an outline and not make notes and recite them verbatum. Instead he should use them as a memory aid..Naturalness is what you should strive for. And while poise is important do not become overly lax as it gives impression of cockiness and unprofessionalism. Gestures should be natural and should include facial gesturing as well to emphasize appropriately the emotions you are trying to convey. Never misquote someone taking information out of context but always strive to give factual verfiable up to date information. Your demeanor should be dignified and professional

kenflosmooth said...

Charisma will help you, it is an inner drawing power based upon a persons aura. Your aura is simply your spirit that emanates from your attitudes, confidence level, experiences, innate qualities, and your image of yourself. Charisma is not something you're born with, you develope it by developing and shaping qualities, coherent communication, fluency, and style in delivery. A good smile helps too. The way you dress and gestures that exude confidence from inner values will assure charisma.

Kenflosmooth said...

Practical Leadership is something that you can actually apply in the real world and succeed. A leader should not be to flashy a dresser because people would then focus on the person rather than his message. But he should dress in a dignified manner that fits the occassion. This should be according to local custom. The art of negotiation should be a goal of any leader. Good manners and culture is essential. No good leader airs his dirty laundry. Even when others take the low road of vulgarity and pettiness the leader remains determined to always stay clear of such negative traits. He stays true to his Calling.

Kenflosmooth said...

Obama showed great leadership ability when he related to the muslim word by using terms that are able to connect with and that has emotional impact with them. He showed that he was adaptable and he focused on their similarities rather their differences. This reminds me of the biblical account when the Apostle Paul spoke in Areopagus at Acts 17:22-31 in which he spoke to them concerning the difference in his God and the many gods that they served. He eloquently drove home the point that they were already unknowingly giving godly devotion to this then unknown God that he served. He then elaborated on the superiority of the God that he served and some of them began to mock while others said:"We will hear about this even at another time." The response to President Obama was similar because some listened and were moved while others maintained their rigid stance although acknowledging that it was a wise course for President Obama to do so

Kenflosmooth said...

A leader needs to have been tried by adversities yet come forth as gold. Pure Gold has a scummy dross that is within it until it is heated to a certain point. Afterwards its perceived quality is enhanced by its appearance. We, are similar. Adversity can bring to the fore the best qualities that are necessary to lead. Such as unflinching faith, single mindedness, strength of charactor, and compassion.

Anonymous said...

Nelson Mandela suffered dearly for his beliefs. Moses willingly suffered although he could have lived a comfortable life as pharoahs son. These men suffered for what is right and there is no shame in this. In fact, their suffering actually forged qualities in them that qualified them to lead in a more compassionate and dignified manner. It also gave them credibility with the common people. From Kenflosmooth

Kenflosmooth said...

Supervisors and others in management need to be aware of situations that require the ability to see through the fog so to speak. In todays world many people will vendictively make false accusations against those they do not like for one reason or another. Management needs to then follow procedures strictly to assure that all parties comply with company guidelines. Also to avoid needless legal ramifications. Those non-union jobs need to be extra careful because the temptation is always there to abuse ones authority or to show favoritism to those in a favored group. Taking matters to the extreme to avoid affecting the status quo is also a pitfall. Fairness and treating employees in a way that shows that you care will go a long way. Therefore do not rush to judgement for expediency. Your conscience should be your guide only if it is well trained. In short treat others the way you would want to be treated!

Ken Flowers said...

Hi Ken,

It's been a while, welcome back.

Kenflosmooth said...

Hi Ken Flowers, I just wanted to let you know that website post like yours are helpful to those who want more than a run of the mill existence. A few people have commented on your post and it has been helpful. Thanks for me to post on your site from Kenneth A Flowers, Kenflosmooth

Ken Flowers said...

I appreciate the support.