The importance of a clear objective

We asked the speakers of TEDxValencia the following: imagine that after the event a person asks one of the attendees of the event what your talk was about. What should this attendee remember from your talk? What should he transmit to the other person? That is the objective of your talk.

Chris Anderson, the CEO of TED, says that the number one problem of speakers at TED events, in their first draft, is that they want to tell too many things.

He says:

The biggest problem I see in first drafts of presentations is that they try to cover too much ground. You can’t summarize an entire career in a single talk. If you try to cram in everything you know, you won’t have time to include key details, and your talk will disappear into abstract language that may make sense if your listeners are familiar with the subject matter but will be completely opaque if they’re new to it. You need specific examples to flesh out your ideas. So limit the scope of your talk to that which can be explained, and brought to life with examples, in the available time.

You can find more information in the article “How to give a killer presentation“. A clear objective helps you to limit the scope of your talk.

An example of a talk with a clear objective and full of examples, anecdotes and references is: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life.

Favourite speakers of TEDxValencia 2012

The two favourite speakers from TEDxValencia 2012 were Jose Luis Pastor and Alejandro Hernandez. We encourange you to watch the videos as inspiration for your own presentations. Some comments of attendees are added.

Jose Luis Pastor

  • His talk was very professional, fun and stimulating.
  • He transmitted exactly what he wanted to express.
  • Great communicator, with an inspiring, motivating and encouraging message, deeply connected with the audience.
  • Excellent presentation and original content, using a touch of humor to engage the audience.

Alejandro Hernandez

  • He brought new concepts and the message was very original.
  • He captured the attention of the audience.
  • Enjoyable, fun, educational and motivating talk.
  • The talk was well structured and he used appropriate body language; the speaker was experienced in transmitting his ideas.
  • He transmitted the passion and spirit of TED in an outstanding manner.
  • Fresh message and full of possibilities for new entrepreneurs.

The importance of a good conclusion

Today a new tip for a memorable presentation at TEDxValencia: The importance of a good conclusion.

An interesting introduction is important to catch the attention of the audience. As important as this introduction, is the conclusion of your presentation, so that the people remember the most important of what you have told them. They tend to remember the last things you have said.

Some suggestions:

  • give a summary
  • make a connection with your introduction
  • don´t say “well, that´s everything, thank you”, but think carefully about your last sentence.
  • make a call for action: What can / should the audience do after your presentation?

We can find a perfect example of a good conclusion in this TED talk of Dan Pink. First he gives a summary, after that a he makes a call for action and he finishes off with a comment connecting with the introduction of his presentation.

The importance of a good introduction

As part of the speaker´s team of TEDxValencia 2012 we are in charge of the coordination of the speakers. We have already selected all the presenters and are now helping them to prepare their talks. With the frequency of two or three times a week, we send them tips for the design and the delivery of their speech. On my blog I am going to publish the tips we send them.

The first tip: the importance of a good introduction written by César Gomez, vice-president of Toastmasters Valencia.

The first seconds of a talk are critical. If the introduction is boring and without imagination, the audience will lose their interest in the rest of the presentation. A creative and interesting beginning captures and maintains the attention of the people.

Some classic techniques:
– Tell the audience why your talk is important for them
– Surprise them with a unusual statement
– Tell a story or an anecdote
– Ask a rhetoric question
– Start with a quote

A fabulous example you can find in this TED talk of Andrew Stanton.

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Workshop Speaking English in Public for TEDxValencia Adventures

workshop fotoLast Friday I gave a workshop ‘Speaking English in Public’ as part of the TEDxValencia Adventures Program. The workshop was held at Coworking Valencia.

During the workshop we paid attention to language for presentations: common sentences, phrasal verbs and ‘signposting language’ (language to guide the audience during our presentation). But it was not only about English as a language, we also paid attention to non-verbal communication: how to use the voice and body language. We did this with the use of drama techniques.

Why is it important to pay attention to non-verbal communication?

Most English learners started to learn the English language only ‘with their head’. While they learned their mother tongue through playing games, listening and imitating, through emotional interaction, they started to learn English words and grammar rules at school sitting at a desk. But speaking another language is not only about words and rules, it’s about how to communicate effectively. That’s why we need to integrate both verbal and non-verbal communication and restore the gap that was created. Especially for presentations, the non-verbal part of communicating is very important, because it transmits more than 50% of our message.

Building confidence through games

Speaking in public is the number one fear of people and speaking in a foreign language is frightening too. Speaking English in public is a combination of both. It’s frightening, because most people don’t like to make mistakes and less when they are in front of other people. But without taking the risk, you will never have a chance to succeed. We have to build confidence and we need to embrace those emotions: our nervousness, our shyness and our fears.

Attention for presentation techniques in general

It’s always good to talk about how to give presentations, because great part of presentations in all fields, business, science and education, is delivered very badly. How to catch the attention of the audience, how to keep it, how to tell an interesting story; all very interesting subjects and they deserve more attention.

During this TEDx workshop of 4 hours, we made a start working on those concepts to give the participants a little push to go out there and speak English in front of other people. More pictures of the workshop you can find in the facebook account of Purple Presentations.

Remember that next Saturday the 5th of May, TEDxValencia is celebrated. Look at the website for more information about TEDxValencia.

Three tips for speakers at TEDxValencia

… and for spreakers or presenters in general.

In 10 days, on Saturday the 5th of May, TEDxValencia will be celebrated. It will be a day full of experiences: TED talks, performances and games and dínamics to get to know each other. There will be 16 presentations, 4 TED videos and 12 live speakers.

What tips can we give the speakers?

- Keep it short. It´s important and essencial for a TED-event, because you have a limit of 18 minutes to tell your story. The conclusion is one of the most important parts of you talk, so be sure you have rehearsed so that you won´t run out of time.

- Tell the audience why you are there. One of the key questions you have to answer is: Why should they listen to you? One way or another you should catch their attention and make them interested in what you have to say. This may seem obvious, but too many speakers are mainly focussed on themselves and not on the audience.

- Keep it simple. Don´t use jargon, because it´s a very diverse audience. Explain what you have to say in a clear and easy understandable way. Everyone should be able to understand you easily.

As part of the TEdxAdventures programm of TEDxValencia, this Friday, the 27th of April, I will give a workshop about ´Speaking English in Public´.

Workshop Speaking in Public – TEDxValencia

about Purple PresentationsThe 27th of April I will give a workshop ‘Speaking in Public’ as part of the TEDxAdventures programme of TEDxValencia. The workshop will be held from 17 to 21 at Coworking Valencia.

In the workshop we will practise how to present yourself and how to present an idea as an elevator pitch: a short presentation of 2 / 3 minutes. The group will be between 4 and 8 participants.

You will learn the common sentences and phrases used in presentations for English, we will practise those 2 presentations and you will receive handouts for further practise.

Who can attend the workshop?
The volunteers of TEDxValencia and the attendees of the TEDxValencia conference, see the website for more information.

What about TED?

“The World is divided into two groups of people: fans of TED and people who haven’t heard of it yet.” That is said in one of the promo videos of TEDx and I believe it’s quite true.

TED is an amazing platform where ideas are shared. TED stands for Tecnology, Education and Design. They organize big conferences with a lot of talks on different topics with a maximum of 18 minutes each. All the videos of the talks are uploaded on their website. Why is that great?

• All talks are amazing, inspiring and interesting in one way or another.
• Spreading good ideas is natural: if you experience something great, you want to share it with a friend. Now the best ideas of the world can be shared with everyone around the world.
• If you want to become a better presenter it’s good to see other people present: on the TED website you find lots of examples of great presentations.

And what about TEDxValencia?
The 5th of May there will be a TEDx-event in Valencia: TEDxValencia. The ‘x’ means it’s a locally organized event. I’m part of the group of volunteers trying to make TEDxValencia a big success. Live talks are combined with videos of TEDtalks and artistic performances into a unique event.