Smiling your way through a successful presentation

It’s TED  Tuesday New College – Smile!

Our speech of the week is “The Hidden Power of Smiling,” presented by Ron Gutman.  While the topic is inspiring, the way in which he delivers it provides valuable learning lessons in personal style, presentational aides, and integrating resources.

The first thing you will notice is that Gutman IS his speech.  His actions are in sync with what he is saying. His smile and mannerisms not only punctuate his words,  but by modeling what he is saying, he creates personal credibility.  He is focused not only on the delivery but on the message,  making his speech enjoyable and helping the audience better understand and remember what he is saying.

The second thing to take note of is how his visuals add interest to what he is saying.  By using pictures, he reinforces smiling by showing that smiles can come in many different forms – it is something we can all do!  He also uses Prezi rather than the traditional Power Point slides.  Prezi can add movement or flow to a speech and this one is well suited for this type of presentational aide.  Please note – start slowly with Prezi.  While it has  incredible potential, it can cause motion sickness in your audience if not handled properly. (I know – I almost triggered a wave of nausea in an afternoon public speaking course with my Prezi enthusiasm!)

Finally, Gutman does a great job at integrating his resources right into his speech.  The topic of smiling and positivity is nothing new but by adding information from various studies, he backs up his words and elevates his speech from “feel good”  to plausible.   Also note that this addition of sources is done in a way that does not disrupt the flow of the seven minute speech.

So next time you are ready to present your work, keep this speech in mind.  A perfect package of credibility and integrity wrapped in a way that is both interesting and cheerful.


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