Thursday, February 21, 2008

Giving Speeches

Whether you're a student, a teacher, or work in business, you'll be called upon to give a presentation. In fact, public speaking is an important basic skill that we all need, no matter what the situation - selling a product, an idea or yourself. Here are a couple resources to help get you thinking abut how you present and - hopefully - improve your presentations.

The first is a 1999 presentation from MIT Professor Patrick Winston. In the presentation, delivered every year during MIT’s Independent Activities Period, Winston provides a set of speaking heuristics that he has developed and refined over his career. The video is a bit long at 50-minutes, but gives some really simple and useful techniques.

Following the video is Ian McKenzie's brief description of the four types of speeches most people will typically encounter.

[via boingboing and overstated]

Ian McKenzie at Ian’s Messy Desk details 4 Basic Types of Speeches:
a speech will generally fall into one of four basic types:
  1. Informative – This speech serves to provide interesting and useful information to your audience.
  2. Demonstrative Speeches – This has many similarities with an informative speech. A demonstrative speech also teaches you something. The main difference lies in including a demonstration of how to do the thing you’re teaching.
  3. Persuasive – A persuasive speech works to convince people to change in some way: they think, the way they do something, or to start doing something that they are not currently doing.
  4. Entertaining — The after-dinner speech is a typical example of an entertaining speech. The speaker provides pleasure and enjoyment that make the audience laugh or identify with anecdotal information.

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