This month’s question:
"I’m a water plant and wastewater plant operator and a safety coordinator. I have been in charge of running a safety program for the past eight years and have had limited time to work on the program. I have one day a week to work on the safety presentations, but I cannot seem to make the speeches educational, memorable—and entertaining—with this lack of time. I need help and do not know which direction to go. Any advice?"
Response from the editors:
Creating great presentations does take time. So the first step is to look for ways to ease the burden of developing new programs all the time.
Ask your safety-equipment vendors whether they offer free training programs to customers. Talk with your local emergency services departments about working together on joint presentations. Connect with other plant operators, perhaps through an industry association, to form partnerships. If you can collaborate with three other operators to develop programs, you will quadruple the time each of you has to create a training program.
Seeing how others deliver memorable safety presentations will give you more ideas for adding interest to your programs. One tactic that will save you time and make programs more effective is to focus each presentation on only a few key points. Instead of delivering one lengthy training program on a topic, divide it into shorter segments.
Then add activities that will engage the audience. Involve them with polls, role-playing exercises and challenges. For example, divide the group into teams to compete in solving a problem related to the training or to answer questions about the key points. Those will hold their interest and reinforce the lessons.
Need advice on how to wow your audience with your next presentation or speech? Send your questions to Lori Smedley, editor, at email@example.com.
A reader asks:
"Typically, no one will ask questions during the Q-and-A time at the end of my presentation, but afterward several people will approach me to pose questions. How can I convince the audience to ask questions in front of the group?"
Been there, done that and survived to talk about it? Send your suggestions for prompting questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
October's Poll Results:
Last month we asked what resources would most help you to build your confidence, so you could start looking forward to public speaking. Half of you answered that you wanted a personal speaking coach who could address your particular needs.
You asked for it! Now you have a chance to meet with a speaking coach to find the answers you need at the two-day Ultimate Communicator Training Camp. Unlock the persuasive speaker in you! On a small scale at meetings or on a large scale at conferences and conventions, if you can express ideas clearly and influence people to want to join you, there is no limit to what you can accomplish.
Register for the upcoming Ultimate Communicator Training Camp, held Feb. 3-4, 2011, in New Orleans.
Learn more at www.theultimatecommunicator.com, including how you can earn continuing education credits by attending.
Join the conversation! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Delivered each month, American Speaker Forum offers you public-speaking advice and tips for wowing your audience during your next presentation. This resource also offers you a way to ask for feedback on your next speaking engagement and to share your own experience with your colleagues.