Tips for public speaking

I was at a conference today and I learnt some things that I want to write down and share. So here goes:

#1. Never start a lecture with Q&A. Even if the previous night you did not have time to take a few questions, leave them for the end of your lecture. They may not be of interest to all the attendance and you will only lose their focus.

#2. Q&A: Find the real question with the one who is asking. When someone puts a question he is usually focused on his particular situation and to give a good answer for him you must understand his condition. Do this by asking him some clarification questions. Usually, if you did not understand the question correctly, the audience will not say it.

#3. As a translator never speak over the lecturer. If you are translating someone, never interrupt him. If he has long phrases, just ask him to use shorter sentences.

#4. Deal with hecklers at Q&A. There may be someone that wants to put you in bad light or is acting rude. Let him finish his questions (monologue) and them give a quick and short reply. Then say “The next question please”. Be polite, you do not want to be rude or hurt someone’s feelings. The audience will be on your side.

…and a bonus

#5. Always have something to write when you are in the audience. Even if the subject is not interesting maybe it will make your mind working and you will lose those ideas if you cannot write them down.

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