Posts tagged ‘oral presentations’

Delivering Effective Oral Presentations

Whenever you must give an oral presentation, being aware of a few critical elements can make a significant difference in the impact of your presentation.

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First, make certain you know how loudly you must speak in order to be heard. Venues come in all different sizes and shapes. Whenever possible, get an idea ahead of time of what you can expect from the physical layout of the venue so you will know how loudly you need to speak. Ceiling heights can vary quite a bit, and some venues have walls that absorb sound while others do not.

It is also a good idea to practice using your voice within a variety of different spaces. Ask someone to observe and let you know how easily you can be heard. Explore using your voice in a range of softness and loudness.

People tend to respond better to the type of delivery that is informative and conversational. It is essential to know your own audibility in order to deliver an appropriate presentation.

Common Sense Rules of Advocacy for Lawyers, by Keith EvansAlso vary our pace as well as your tone. Without this type of variance, your delivery will sound boring. Record yourself and listen to the playback. Even better, video yourself while you are having a simple conversation with someone else. Listen to your delivery with a critical ear. Does it seem as though your pace is too fast? Does it sound too slow? Do you cover a range of both lows and highs? Most people are often somewhat reticent about examining themselves in this manner, and yet it can help you develop a solid understanding of how you deliver oral presentations and where you can make improvements to be more effective.

There is certainly no reason to be bashful about examining yourself in this regard. You can be certain that others will be examining you throughout your presentation, and you do not want to be the last person to know if you have some habit that could be easily corrected.

Finally, be aware of timing. Take advantage of the opportunity and the power of the pause. Timing is essential to any outstanding oral presentation, whether you are acting on stage, delivering a closing argument in a courtroom, or testifying before Congress. Many inexperienced speakers often feel the need to maintain continuity and to continue speaking in order to avoid lapses. A well timed pause can be all it takes to create impact.

Reference: Common Sense Rules of Advocacy, by Keith Evans, Rule 30–Know Your Audibility, Rule 31–Vary Your Pace and Vary Your Tone, Rule 32–Be Aware of Timing and Use the Power of the Pause

For more information about becoming a better advocate, see these resources from TheCapitol.Net:

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Making Effective Phone Calls to Elected Officials

If you want to make effective telephone calls to elected officials and their staff, follow these simple guidelines.

Operator Please
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First, never give a person who answers the phone the opportunity to say no to you. Before you even place the call to a legislative office, ensure you know which staff person currently is responsible for your particular issue and then make a point to get to know them.

Always make sure you connect to the right person. You can waste precious time and resources by playing phone-tag and trying to connect with the correct person. Make sure you have the right person on the line the first time.

Clearly establish your connection to the official’s constituency of the member.

Make a specific request. For example, be sure to mention what legislation or issue you are referring to and what your specific request is. For example, you might mention that you want to schedule a meeting to discuss a new bill that is up for consideration.

Be concise. Remember that elected officials and their staff are under considerable time constraints.

If you must leave a voice mail, immediately get to the point. Staff typically do not have time to listen to drawn out messages that ramble and take forever to reach the actual point of the phone call. Slowly and clearly give your name and telephone number at the beginning of the message. Even if you are a frequent caller, always leave your name and telephone number. If your message is controversial, avoid leaving it on voice mail and instead save it for an in-person meeting or live phone call.

Learning to communicate effectively on the telephone is one of the most important things you can do to advance your cause or issue. To find out more about improving communication skills, consider these Capitol Learning Audio Courses, Effectively Using Persuasion in Your Oral Presentations: A Trial Lawyer’s Perspective, and Business Etiquette: Keys to Professional Success.

Reference: Lobbying and Advocacy, by Deanna Gelak, Section 8.24 Effective Phone Calls

For more information about effective advocacy in Washington, see these resources from TheCapitol.Net

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