Public Speaking as a Second Language

Posted: March 27, 2012 in Landscaping, Presentations, Public Speaking

Friday was the last class in an eight week landscape design program I have been teaching.  It was a great class and I honestly think the students all took away some valuable information.  Friday was final presentations.  I find I am so much more excited to see how everyone delivers their designs rather than how their designs actually turn out.  I love public speaking.

I had a student who did not want to present because his english was no es bueno.  The class was great, encouraging him to get up and give it a shot.

He nailed it.

Why?  The basics.  The basics of delivering a good presentation trumped his heavy accent and mediocre grammar.  These points are true whether present to one person or 100.

1. Take your time.  He didnt rush, spoke slowly, and consequently was easy to follow.  The best way to make sure that you don’t rush is to practice.  Don’t just focus on your formal presentations, but rehearse your greetings, elevator pitches, and networking talking points.  (if you don’t have a less than one minute, simple description of your business and what you do, then write and practice one.)

2. Beginning, middle, end.  A pet peeve of mine is talks that are all middle.  He set up the presentation, then delivered the information, then wrapped it up nicely.  Before you start talking, always pause, just for a second, to let the room focus in on you.  Then have a clear start, don’t just roll in to the meat of the talk.  Finally, have a rehearsed finish that ties everything together.  A well organized sales presentation will be better received then one packed with too much unorganized information.

3. Eye contact.  He looked up and connected visually with the audience.

4. Content.  He had a good project.  Good content matters.

When you dont know where to start, go back to the beginning and start at the basics.

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