Presentation Skills Tip: To Keep Your Audiences Engaged, “You-nify” Your Presentations

Eleni Kelakos presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching

As a presentation skills coach and trainer, one of the most common questions I get asked is “How do I keep my audience engaged?”  There are, of course, multiple answers to that question (which I’ve written about here and here and here). But one of my favorite responses and techniques is also one of the simplest: “You-nify” your presentation.  By that I mean, say “you” more. Say the word you more than you say the word I. Say you more, so your audience members can see (and feel) themselves in the story you’re telling, the scenario you’re sharing, or in …

Public Speaking Training Tip: Three Ways to Slow Down When You’re a Fast Talker

Eleni Kelakos presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching

As a public speaking training coach, I am constantly saying some version of “Whoaaaaa, Nellie!” to my fast-talking clients. By fast-talking, I mean folks whose natural inclination is to talk (and, often, to think) a mile-a-minute, often verbally galloping way ahead of whoever they’re talking to. If you’re a fast-talker you’re probably going to be inclined to talk even faster when you give a presentation and your nerves and adrenaline kick in. Unfortunately, the faster you talk, the more your audience has to work to keep up with you. And the harder they work to stay at your pace, the …

Public Speaking Tip: Don’t Speak to a Demographic, Speak to a Person

Eleni Kelakos presentation skills training, public speaking training, speech coaching

In preparation for writing a book about the art and craft of public speaking, I’ve been reading some great books on the subject. It’s always interesting to see where and how I differ or concur with my colleagues when it comes to public speaking best practices. I nodded my head in vehement agreement while reading Chris Anderson’s terrific book TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking, when I came across the following nugget:  Elizabeth Gilbert, the best selling author of Eat, Pray, Love– who is herself a talented speaker—believes that you should plan your talk not for a …

Presentation Tip: To Engage Your Audience, Ask the Right Questions, in the Right Way, for the Right Reasons

Eleni Kelakos public speaking training

  Whether you use them to open your presentation, or drive a point home, questions are a great way to engage your audience.   The right question at the right time can take a presentation to a whole new level of feeling, understanding or insight. Which is why it’s essential to ask the right question, in the right way, for the right reason. There are, essentially, two types of questions 1.Questions to elicit a response. I use this type of question when I want to find out specific information and encourage active audience engagement: “How many of you are over six …