PUBLIC SPEAKING: How to Open & Close Presentations Like a Boss | Alex Lyon | Skillshare

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PUBLIC SPEAKING: How to Open & Close Presentations Like a Boss

teacher avatar Alex Lyon, Communication Professor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Overview & Welcome


    • 2.

      Primacy & Recency Echo


    • 3.

      Qualities of Strong Openings & Closings


    • 4.

      How to Open with a Story


    • 5.

      How to Close with a Story


    • 6.

      Open & Close with Quotations


    • 7.

      Open & Close with Questions


    • 8.

      Open & Close with Statistics


    • 9.

      Open & Close with Illustrations


    • 10.

      Open & Close with Humor


    • 11.

      Stacking: Pro Tips


    • 12.

      Fine Tuning: Pro Tips


    • 13.

      Next Steps: Put it into Action


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About This Class

This course teaches you to open and close your public speaking presentations "like a boss." The class is designed for students who already have some basic experience with public speaking and want to take their presentation skills to the next level.

The course 1) Introduces you to key components of great openings and closings, 2) Teaches you numerous specific techniques to open and close, and 3) Looks at pro tips to fine-tune tips to make your openings smooth, creative, and engaging. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Alex Lyon

Communication Professor


I make courses to help emerging leaders build their communication skills. I believe that good leadership and communication change lives. I formed this belief when I was young. My first few bosses made a big impact on me. Some of my supervisors were excellent but others had weak leadership skills that made everything worse. Now that I am a leader and supervisor myself, I want to help as many new leaders as possible increase their impact so they can lead their teams with excellence.

I've been a full-time college Professor, consultant, and speaker for almost 20 years. I published my first book in 2016. 

Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin:

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Level: All Levels

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1. Overview & Welcome: welcome. You are about to learn how to open and close your presentations like a boss. I designed this course for people who already have a little bit of presentation skills experience. But now you're ready to take those skills to that next level of Polish terms of what you get out of the course. The first couple of lessons are all about the thinking behind what makes a strong opening and closing the middle section of videos about the specific techniques that you can use to get in smoothly, add some creativity and pique your audiences interests and in the last couple of videos, there really fine tuning videos to help take all the other lessons and to make them stand out even more like a pro. In terms of my background, I have been doing workshops on communication and presentation skills for about 15 years or more. I also have a relatively popular YouTube channel called Communication Coach, and I have a couple of other skill share courses at this point that I invite you to check out. I am also a full time tenured professor at a state college in the beautiful state of New York, so I invite you into the rest of the course so you can learn how to open and close your presentations like a boss. 2. Primacy & Recency Echo: there's a Latin expression that I love fitness origen a pen debt in English. It means the end depends upon the beginning. And in this video we're going to talk about how important it is to start strong and to close stronger openings and your closings, the Alfa and the Omega, the beginning and the end. One of the two key reasons why it's so critical that we spend extra time and effort crafting are openings and closings are two things called the primacy effect and the recency effect. We tend to remember the first thing we hear in a message the primacy effect, and we also tend to remember the last thing we hear the recency effect. Those are the two parts of most messages that stick with us. We still might remember what's in the middle, but that whole beginning and ending framing really bring a message home. And that's why you see professional level speakers spending that extra effort, crafting a great opening and closing, and there's simply no better way than I know of to have a strong opening and closing than to connect them. In other words, you start really strong, as strong as you can, and then you echo that beginning when you are closing. So, in other words, if you start with a story, you might continue more of that story in your closing. If you start with a great quotation than you, revisit that quotation in your closing and so forth. Now it's not really going to sound repetitive because people have had the benefit of hearing your entire presentation, and then when you bring it back around, you might vary it a little bit because they don't need to hear the exact same message twice . But the idea here is that you echo what you did in your opening in your closing, and that's the way almost all of the great presentations begin, and they echo the attention grabber and what some people call there clincher. It's worth the extra investment of time and energy crafting those two parts of your presentation, because those are the parts that are going to stick with your audience as a Latin expression goes, fitness originate, penned it. The end depends upon the beginning. See you in the next video 3. Qualities of Strong Openings & Closings: this video, we're going to talk about qualities that make an opening and closing more effective. So I'm gonna talk about four ways that you can make sure your opening and closing really stand out for maximum effect. Some people call this, by the way, the attention grabber, and they're clincher. The very first thing you say and the very last thing you say. So I will use those terms interchangeably. So the first quality of a good opening is that it's the actual first thing out of your mouth. So in other words, whatever you planned to do first, that should be the first thing out of your mouth. So let's say somebody introduces you and maybe there are some polite applause. Or maybe it's just silence. Before you start, the very first thing out of your mouth should be that killer story that you planned or that awesome quotation that you practiced. Ah, lot of times I see people put in unnecessary filler or chit chat in between when they're supposed to start, and when they actually begin their planned attention grabber. So let's say the very first thing you're going to do is tell a story. Make sure you start with that story. You don't want to do things like Hi. My name is like, don't introduce yourself there. There are other places to talk about who you are. Don't say. Oh, well, let me see if my microphone is working. And don't announce your topic. Don't say today I'm gonna talk about leadership, and I'd like to start with a quotation from Abraham Lincoln. Just start with your quotation from Abraham Lincoln. It's gonna be very clear just a few seconds later that you're talking about leadership. So announcing your topic, fiddling with technology. These are all examples of things you should not do. Just start in directly with whatever you planned as your attention grabber. I want to make one exception to this general rule, and that is sometimes and some professional contexts. It's expected and normal to thank whoever invited you veer to speak and to do some basic acknowledgements. Now I personally like to take those thank you's and acknowledgements, and we've them in a little later in the opening or the introduction, or even into the body of the presentation. But sometimes because the expectation is so strong that you say thank you to those who invited you induce of acknowledgements. What I will do is I will do that as concisely as possible. And then I pause silently for 3 to 5 seconds, take a deep breath, and then I start with my planned attention grabber. Then usually that extra 3 to 5 seconds of silence builds the anticipation back up so that you can go in with your planned opening. So that's the first thing you want to start directly in with your attention grabber. The second tip for making your opening more effective is to make sure it's directly connected to the heart of your message. In other words, if you start with a story, that story should lead directly to the main point that you are going to be sharing through the rest of your presentation. If you start with a great quotation, it should be obviously connected to everything else you're doing. You don't just want to do something that grabs people's attention is generally like I've seen. People do weird things like those slams and books on the table and say, I'm glad I have your attention. I saw a guy recently did a great job actually sharing some great quotations and some statistics about a topic and then, But they weren't really related heat and even said after he shared them OK, now that the fun stuff is done, let's get into the presentation and it was like, How you you're off to a great start. You had this great concept, but then it didn't connect to the message. So you want to make sure it's some of the strongest material that you have that connects directly to the heart of your message. So the third tip is to make sure your attention grabber has your listeners interests in mind. In other words, your attention. Grab your opening is listener centered. So it's not just some story that you thought was excellent. It's a story that they're going to be able to see themselves. And it's not just a neat quotation that you're sharing. It's a quotation, perhaps, from someone that they know and respect and love. So you have to think about your audience is interest as you're crafting your opening, not just what you think is great, but what you think is great, and what your listeners are going to think is great Now let's talk a little bit about the fourth tip, and that is how to make sure you're ending really stands out. Now we're gonna talk about throughout the course how your opening and you're closing should be connected. Euro Pure closing essentially should echo whatever you opened with this. It's nothing more psychologically set of spying than an opening and closing that are connected. Okay, in addition to that basic idea, there a couple of other tips that you have to make sure you embrace. I've seen a lot of people to a whole great presentation, and at the end, it's sort of fizzles out. So the way to do this is you plan your last couple of sentences very carefully, and then when you actually deliver your presentation, you do it as planned, and then you stop talking. Ah, lot of times I see people and really strong, and then they're not exactly sure how to finally end. And so they start talking again because they're nervous or they're not sure if it's clear to listeners that things air over. Another thing I see oftentimes is someone will have a nice strong ending. But again, because of nerves and insecurity. They'll end up saying something like, Well, that's it. That's the whole thing. And that's a really down. Or, you know, if you finish with a great closing, you want it to land in your audiences minds and in their hearts. You don't want to add any kind of filler toward the end. You don't want to do any filler the beginning, and you don't want to do any filler at the end. It's going to detract from your message, no extra words. So the universal way to end on a high note is you finish with your planned attention grabber. You close your mouth, you smile, nod, wait for two seconds, wave and walk away. So it looks like this. Let's pretend I just said an amazing quotation from Albert Einstein. I close my mouth, I go like this and I walk off. You have to plan this out. You have to actually practice closing your mouth. When you're behind the scenes getting ready for your presentation, you have to plan exactly what you're going to do when you're done. Otherwise, it's going to look like you didn't even realize Oh, I guess I'm done or the and I have seen, I think, in 99% of the cases when you close your mouth smile, nod, wait two seconds wave and walk off that 99% of the cases your people will applaud. They will recognize that you are finished and then you're ending will be nice and strong. So those are some tips to make your opening and closing a little more effective those like fine tuning tips. Now, in the next several videos, we're going to talk about some specific techniques that you can use, like quotations and stories and statistics to really make your opening and closing pop. So let's get into those videos now. 4. How to Open with a Story: in this video, we're going to talk about how to open a presentation with a story. Stories air one of the very best ways to open a presentation. There's something about a concise, well told story that will transport your listeners into your presentation, really speaks to the hearts and the minds of listeners. And I think it's one of the strongest ways that you can start. We're going to start with a 32nd to 62nd story. Keep that in mind as we talk about it. If your stories get too long, there's a tendency for them to get off track or for people to lose the point. But if you can learn how to tell a good 32nd to 62nd story, then you can build on that as you become a more effective speaker. So I often hunt times here. People say, Well, what if I'm not a good storyteller? Well, thankfully, the template that we're going to unpack in this video will help you become a better story. I think if you use this framework, you can instantly tell something that sounds like a pretty good story. So don't worry about that. Storytelling is a learn herbal craft. People often ask me, Alex, where do I get these stories you're talking about? There are three potential sources. I am only going to recommend the first to the first source is your own personal life and the lives of the people right around you. In other words, stuff that you've witnessed and experienced yourself. That's where the best stories they're going to come from because the uniquely speak to who you are as a person will be authentic and they'll be fresh. No one else is going to have your stories. The second legitimate source for stories is your research. As you are preparing your presentation, you're reading and you're looking into facts, statistics, and you're gonna come across this little nugget. You're like, Wow, that's a fascinating example or story. Well, you can craft that using this framework that we're gonna talk about in a second into a Tele Bill story. So your research and your reading that's a great source for stories and the third source for stories which I don't recommend, is when you hear another person tell a great story, it's very tempting to just use their story in your presentation. I try not to do this every once in a while, they'll be a really good reason. Like if this story is your presentation is about that person. You might tell one of their stories, but I shy away from that. I want to come up with my own stories and also come up with stories from the research I'm doing. So don't borrow other people's stories. That's for them. So those are the sources of stories. So let's not talk about this basic three part framework that almost all the great stories that you have ever listened to follow. Every story has a beginning, middle and end. There's a chronological order to a story that makes it sound like a story. The sequences, what holds the events together you're beginning should be about one sentence, maybe two. We're talking about a 30 to 60 seconds story, and it has to have at least three elements. The three elements are the time, the people and the place, and you can do this and about one sentence so you can tell us make anything sound like the beginning of a story by giving the people time and place. You could say For example, a couple of days ago, I took a walk down to my local post office that includes the people, time and place, and already it sounds like I'm beginning a story. People time place. The middle of the storytelling framework is the body of the presentation, and that's where all of your details come out. The first thing you want to do is establish whatever kind of situation your characters are facing. What do they want, what are their goals? And that will set up the dilemma that your story is leading towards. And then the next couple of elements air related. Usually characters experience a series of obstacles. They have to overcome challenges. And then the last element of the the middle of a story is the climactic events of that story. This is what the whole story essentially is leading to. This is the pivotal moment that happens to your main characters, and so those are the elements of the middle of a story. You have the situation that they're in the goal, what they want, the series of obstacles that they have to overcome those challenges and then the climactic event, that key turning point and this is going to take up in a 32nd story. This is gonna be about where you spend your 20 seconds and then you come to the ending of a story. The ending of a story can be just a sentence or two, and this is where you find out what the outcome of this story was. How did people grow from the story? What did they learn? What was the end result? How did everything land in the end? So that's the beginning. Middle and end off every well told story, and you can compress just about any experience into a 30 to 62nd story. Now there's also 1/4 hidden point or 1/4 point in a story that sometimes we say directly. Other times we just leave it implied. And that's the moral to the story. The lesson learned. Sometimes you say this directly. Like you might say, this story shows the importance of hard work. Other times it's obvious, and you don't have toe to say it out loud. Now, the key here is that whatever you want your story to illustrate, you have toe pick the pieces of the experience that drive toward the point of the story. You don't tell every little detail. You could never fit it into 30 seconds of 60 seconds. So you have to choose. What do I want this story to ultimately say? And then you edit out anything that doesn't need to be there. So let me give you an example from a movie Siri's that you probably have seen. And then I'll give you one from my own life to show you how simple this convey foreign everyday experience. The movie I want to share with you is the Star Wars. Siri's. The original three Star Wars movies have a great chronological arc to them. So what's the classic beginning to the Star Wars movies? Ah, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. And then the very first thing that scrolls up talks about how the rebels are in a battle with the empire. So here you have the people time and place a long time ago, a galaxy far far away, and then the people of the rebels who are fighting the empire. So that's the beginning to that story. Now the middle of that story really takes three movies to tell. But it gives all of the ins announce of how good is in a fight with evil. And that's the essential dilemma. Luke is the main character, and he overcomes obstacle after obstacle on the road to becoming a Jet I. And the climactic event is in the third movie, where he has to face Darth Vader. And in fact, he does defeat Darth Vader. But he spares him his life. And because Lucas so pure of heart, Darth Vader turns to the good side and kills the emperor and then the outcome of that store . So that's the middle, and then the ending or the resolution of that story is where they have the funeral for Darth Vader, and it's really obvious that balance has been restored to the universe. So that's the framework. The beginning, middle and end of Star Wars, and the moral to the story is something they shared throughout the whole Siri's, and that is that good side of the forest has to overcome the bad side of the force. So good defeats evil. Ultimately, So now that's a huge story that a lot of people know. I'm gonna tell you about an ordinary average day experience for me, and I'll show you how you can probably take almost anything from your life that happened to you and turn it into a story. By following this format, I'm gonna tell you about a time that I struggled to record some videos. So here's how I would tell that in about 30 to 60 seconds a few Saturdays ago, I woke up with the goal to record a batch of videos. I was shooting for about five or six videos. So there is my whole beginning. A couple Saturdays ago, I'm the main character, and I was recording some videos. I was in this space here, people, Time place. So then I give you the situation, the challenges and the climate. The situation was, I spent about three hours recording videos for a course that I'm creating, and it was a struggle, and I had to redo a whole bunch of videos. But in the end, I thought I ended up with some pretty good videos. I was hugely disappointed when, at the end of a long, exhausting day, I found out that almost none of the video looked any good and was completely unusable. and some of the videos had no audio whatsoever. The whole day was wasted. So there is the middle of my story. So now we'll go to the resolution. The ending of my story. Well, I was really disappointed and talked to a couple of friends in the evening, and they cheered me up and I said, Just get up and do it against I got up the next day I re recorded all the videos and in the end the videos came out entirely better because I was so much more comfortable doing them all through a second time. So is beginning middle and end, and the moral to the story could be almost anything that I want to draw out of there. That's consistent with that story. In this case, I would probably talk about persistence and how getting up when you fall down is really the key to doing great work. So there's an ordinary average experience for me, and now I would like to give you a homework assignment. Now, I would like you to take this templates this beginning, middle and end template that has all of these parts to it. And think of some event that happens to you recently and again. It can be an ordinary average event, and I want you to put it into the templates. So it follows that nice beginning, middle and end Carl Andre Order has all of those parts. It might take you a few minutes to sketch out, but I think you'll learn that you can turn just what sounds like a normal everyday experience into a Tele Bill story. Now, don't worry right now about connecting it to a presentation you come up with. Just give. Just use the template to see if you come up with something that sounds like a story. So go ahead and work on that, and I will see you in the next video. 5. How to Close with a Story: in the last video, we talked about how to open with this story, and now we're specifically to talk about how you might close with a story. So let's say you've shared a great story in your opening. You go through the whole presentation, and now you're at the end of your presentation. You already concluded and said, All that and this is the very last thing you do is your clothes. So here you want to be extremely concise. You don't want to tell a whole another story. You've got to start shutting the presentation down. So I recommend, of course, echoing what you did in the attention grabber in your opening story. Don't tell a new story. Just echo what you did instead of this retelling the story, though you want to simply with just two or three sentences. Refresh our memory about what you were talking about earlier, just enough So that comes back to mind. So you might want to use some key phrases used earlier that stood out or any kind of imagery that helps us transport us back into that moment, and then you want to do something new, you want to add some brand new value so that there is an additional benefit to bringing this story back around and there are a few ways to do that. The first way you might do it is to tell us what happened next. Tell us what the outcome is of this story. So, for example, if you started with the story and went up to the climactic event and maybe even a little bit of the resolution here, you can tell us looking forward into the future. What ended up happening out of that? What was that final outcome that could be very satisfying? Another way to add some value is to give us some kind of twist that we didn't know the first time you told us this story. So, for example, I watched a presenter and he told a very touching story about a young boy, a poor young boy in the opening. And then he came back to the end of that present it. He came back to the street at the end, in the closing, and he revealed to us after he refresh our memory about the story that he, in fact, was that boy. And so here he is a grown adult telling the story, and it really added ah, layer of interest and twists. So we saw the whole presentation differently when he revealed that new information. One of my favorite techniques, though, is to refresh your memory about this story and then use it as an opportunity to turn it over to your listeners. So you maybe you told a story about perseverance, for example, and your transition and ask your audience about obstacles that they may need to overcome through. Persevere so turning it over. So your practical action step for this video is to think about whatever story you've been working on from the previous video and figure out a way to come back around, refresh our memories about that story and then add some value to it. And you can use some of the techniques I've mentioned. Or you can think of a new way to bring that story back around and add value. So that's your practical action step. Go ahead and work on that now, and I will see you in the next video 6. Open & Close with Quotations: this video, we're going to talk about how to use quotations to open and close your presentation. There are a lot of advantages to using a great quotation. Chances are someone well known or at least an expert said it. And so it's going to add a lot of credibility to your message. If if you just said it alone, that might be okay. But by quoting someone else, you're adding that weight of their words. So you're pairing up with them and joining forces, so that has a lot of credibility. Also, a lot of times when you're quoting someone, that quote is a usable quotation because it's been well crafted and they're shaving it down . So oftentimes quotations air really concise and they say essentially what you're trying to say better sometimes with humor or drama or other kinds of emotions that can really benefit your overall message. So I do recommend using them. There are also great ways to concisely get into a presentation of your brief presentation, quotations air easy to put in, and then you can move on to the rest of your presentation. Sometimes, though, if you want to use a quotation in a longer presentation, you might consider combining it with some of the other techniques we're talking about, because oftentimes they could be so brief that they don't do the job of actually grabbing people's attention. So you may want to build it out a little bit bore by combining it with some of the other techniques. So in terms of researching and come up coming up with these quotations, you want to make sure whatever you're reading, you tracked down the original person who really said it. You make sure you know who that person is, and you verify that to some degree, the best degree that you can. A lot of times nowadays, on social media and on the Internet, people are constantly misquoted, and you don't want to fall into one of those traps because it could hurt your credibility if someone asks you about it. And oftentimes I get asked about quotations that I use in my presentations more than anything else, they'll come up after and they'll say, Wow, that was a really go great quotation. You know who said that? And I better know what I'm talking about. I don't want to say I don't know It's something I found on the Internet that's gonna hurt my credibility. Sometimes we often will not realize who said, and we'll give credit to the wrong person. That's one of the things that happens on the Internet. So this almost happened to me in workshop, and thankfully, I looked into it the night before and really found out who said this quotation. The quotation was attributed Some places online toe Einstein, who didn't say a guy named Feinman, said a Richard Feinman. But it went something like this, and by the way, when I gave it in the workshop, I didn't really quoted. I called it an expression because there I knew there was some controversy about who said it and other people have said things like it, But it goes like this. They say if you can't prepare a freshman level lecture on a topic, then you don't understand it well enough yet. And then one of the guys in the workshop said, Oh, Einstein said that and which he didn't. Einstein was the guy in the Internet. Everybody said had said it, but really it was a sky Feinman and another guy said No, it wasn't it was fine, man, and I was very happy to be able to say Yes, I believe that it's fine, man who said that a lot of people think it was Einstein and had I not known that I would have lost a lot of credibility in that moment. So you really want to make sure you do your homework and no, who said it makes sure was really them and maybe even know a little bit about them? So if anyone asks you, you can tell them now, in terms of in the moment, how do you actually bring up the quotation? Let's put ourselves in this moment of opening. So we were just introduced. People there may be clapping, and it's our turn to talk now to open a presentation. You want to do this in that storytelling framework that I mentioned. You want to introduce the quotation and cited up front a little like a story so you might say the people time and place or where you found the quotation and then give the quotation . Don't say the quotation and then say, Oh, by the way, Mother Teresa said that it just doesn't sound the same. It sounds much more credible and more conversational and smooth if you introduce it. So let me give you a couple of examples. In the words of the legendary boxer Mohammed Ali, the fight is won or lost far away from witnesses behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road long before I dance under those lights. So what I did there is, I sighted my source, Mohammed Ali, the legendary boxer once said. And then I give the quotation. I don't want to say great quotation and say, Oh, Mohammed Ali said that it just sounds a little stiff. It doesn't sound normal now in a paper for writing a paper for college class. You know, we were always taught to cite your sources and usually cite him at the end. But when you're presenting, you want to mention it up front, and if you want to build this out a little more, then you can set up the quotation a little more by telling a story about how you found it. So you might talk about Ah, few days ago, I was reading about the legendary boxer Mohammed Ali, and he said something that really spoke to me, and then you give the quotation so there's a way to build out the quotation a little bit, puts a material around it that pumps it up and highlights a little bit. And you can do that when you're first opening a presentation, and then when you get down to the clothes, you can also remind us. As always, you can echo that quotation later on, and now when you're quoting, sometimes you want to say it exactly the same. Sometimes you can skip the whole introduction about who Muhammad Ali it was and all that cause you've already said it. You might want to revisit that quotation. And then the important thing is, after a good quotation, I find that you want to say as few words as possible because the meaning of it we're already be apparent from your whole presentation. So what I would do is I would share that quotation one last time, and then I would just sit my mouth smile, nod, wait a couple of seconds and wave and walk off. You don't want to add ah, bunch of your own half baked words after you just quoted Mohammed Ali, let him have the last word, and that's how to end on a strong note. So what I'd like you to do is pick a famous person for your homework. Here, pick a famous person, some of that you know it admire and see if you can find a quotation from them online. But what I want you to do is track it down to the original source. See if you can figure out who actually said this. And where did they say and see if you can come up with some origin like that? They write in the book that they say in the speech. Do your homework and verify You may find that some of the things that you think your favorite people have said didn't actually say them. And the Internet is, you know, the culprit here. We find this a lot, so make sure you look into it. That's your Simon. Find a good quotation from someone you know, respect and love and make sure it's actually from them. It should take you about five or 10 minutes, but it'll be well worth the effort. So go ahead and do that now, and I will see you in the next video 7. Open & Close with Questions: in this video, we're going to talk about how to ask questions as a way to open and close a presentation. Questions air Wonderful because they're very concise. You can think of them pretty quickly in your preparation stage. But once you ask a question, our brains wants you respond to that question. So a speaker comes up and the first thing out of their mouth is a question you're drawing in your audience personally there, personally, reacting to whatever it is that you are saying. So they're a great way to open. I use them all the time Now. In the downside, one of the weaknesses is that sometimes a single question. It's just not going to do enough work to really grab people's attention. So we'll talk about some ways that you can build it up a little bit and get the most out of asking questions in terms of how they're supposed to function. Questions can be purely rhetorical. In other words, you ask a question of your audience, and then they're really just supposed to answer in their minds. They don't answer out loud. I do sometimes do this, but I think it's sometimes more helpful toe actually ask them to respond in some way so they write something down in there, notes. You can ask them to do that. You can ask them to raise their hand if they agree or disagree, or whatever it is you're asking them to do. You could also ask them to shout out an answer. I tend to only use this if I'm very comfortable with the crowd and I know how to handle it . I don't recommend this. If you have not been in the habit of asking questions, sometimes you'll ask them to shout out and somebody will take you on a tangent. And it's like the first thing in your presentation asking questions and someone in your listening audience sort of takes over. It's only do that if you're really comfortable, but whatever you're asking them to do, you would be very clear about that when you pose the question in the first place that you might want to say, Raise your hand if you've ever and then you raise your own hand, accused them to raising you might take out a pencil or you might mimic it with your hand. What I'd like you to do is write this down. You demonstrate writing it down, signal to them what you want them to dio. And then after you asked the question, you want to make sure that you give them time to answer it. You have to generally pause after a question. If you don't pause, then the question goes by so fast that they don't even have time to react to it and then it hasn't done its job, hasn't really drawn them in very much. Just sounds like any other statement in your presentation, and when you are pausing and you're speaking, it can feel like an eternity, so you have to make sure that you really do give them extra time like count a few seconds. Give them that moment to respond. They'll need a few moments at least your response. So in terms of how to ask these questions in the type of questions you can ask, make sure you ask nice, concise, easy, clear questions. You don't want to make this Ah, hard experience for your listeners. I've seen a lot of presenters get up there and start acting like a teacher like they're quizzing the participants straight out of the straight out of the presentation here. You don't want to put people on the spot. You don't want to quiz them. You don't want to give them homework. You want to make it very easy for them to instantly enter a kind of dialogue with you and with the other people in the room that you're presenting, too. So make sure your questions air easy and clear. You also want to make sure the Nicene Concise don't ask long winded questions, but people will get lost in has to be very obvious what you're asking them to do. So let me give you a sample of a question I have opened within the past, and then we'll talk about what I like about it, but what it still needs. So here is a sample question. Have you ever had a job that you wanted to quit but didn't? So let's unpack that. Here's why I like it. It's concise. It's clear it's easy for them to respond. I'm not necessarily asked them to raise their hands because wanted to quit a job. Well, maybe that's personal. Maybe it's not. I try to keep it as easy as possible in this scenario now. One of things I don't like about that question is that if I'm on Lee asking that question to open, it might go by so quickly that people don't catch on or doesn't really draw them in enough . So one of the techniques that you can use to build up your questions a little bit more is to ask a series of two, sometimes three, questions in a row that build to a point. So here's how I would add to that question. Have you ever had a job that you wanted to quit but didn't? Why did you stay? Was it the money, the friendships, no other options? And then I would pause after each of these questions, and certainly at the end. Now, from there I can go right to the point of my presentation, asking a few questions in a row. Well crafted, fought out will leave you and your listeners to where you want to go. Another way to build out a question a little bit is to give your listeners something to react to. When you ask the questions, you give them some content, and then you ask the question. You could give a statistic and then ask them to react to that. You could give a nice quotation. These are some of the other techniques we've talked about. Sometimes I just like to set up a scenario and then ask my questions. So let me give an example of how I would set up a scenario and then ask questions. I would like you to choose between two scenarios. Scenario one. You have all the money in the world, but you have no true friends. Scenario. Two. You have an average job with an average salary, but you have truly excellent relationships with all of the people that matter. Would you choose the money? Would you choose the relationships? Then again, I would pause at the end. So what I did there is. I gave a little bit of contents and then ask people the question. Something to react to. Stimulus response says another way to build out questions again. One question is great if you're doing a very short presentation, but you may want to build this up a little bit and add momentum that drives towards your point now, in terms of closing with questions, sometimes I will ask the exact same questions that I asked in my opening. But they've heard the whole presentation, so they're going to sound a little different, like I gave them something to engage them and grab their attention in the in the beginning . And then I gave them all this content throughout the body of the presentation, and now the questions in retrospect sound a little different. You've answered them in a sense, giving them giving them something to consider. So when you ask the questions again, it really is satisfied because, oh, we answered those questions. I remember those. And yeah, now I feel good about my answer so you can just pose the same questions or maybe close paraphrases of this questions. When you are closing in terms of your next step, your homework. I would like to give you a pretend presentation topic, and you're going to be speaking to a group in this scenario as well. So your topic is going to be leadership. Your group that you're speaking to is gonna be 20 people that are professionals, and they're thinking about going into leadership, taking their career to the next level, and I want you to craft three questions that you could open a presentation with about leadership, they would drive towards your point. So craft out three questions that build into this opening that you're going to craft. So you'll do that when you stop the video. It's gonna take a little bit of time and make sure you look at some of the tips we talked about to really put some meat on these questions. But I think you'll find that if you craft these right, it can really be a powerful way to instantly draw people in. So go ahead and get to work on that, and I will see you in the next video. 8. Open & Close with Statistics: in this video, we're going to talk about how to use statistics to open and close a presentation. Statistics have a lot of advantages. You can say them very quickly, so if you have a concise presentation that you could get in and get on with the rest of your introduction very easily. Also, thes can be generally interesting if you come up with a really good one. And it speaks to the logical part of listeners brain so it can, if used them well at some credibility. Now on the downside. Ah, lot of times statistics air dry, and they are hard to get excited about. They also sometimes tend to go by too quickly, so that doesn't do the job of truly grabbing your audiences attention. So I recommend if you're going to use a statistic and you wanna build it up a little bit, you combine it with some of the other strategies we're talking about in this video, Siris on how to open a close like use it with a story or weave it in as part of a quotation . You wanna build it up a little bit, so has maximum interest. So let's talk about some do's and dont's here. Well, when you're using statistics, you want to make sure they're coming from a trusted source. So that means if you come across anything online, for example, you have to trace it back to the original source. You don't want to be citing ah blawg or anything from social media. Keep digging until you find a really credible organization or institution that helped generate this research. So you want to dig all the way down to you come up with something from the Centers for Disease Control or the American Medical Association, the Department of Labor? You want to use really solid sources for your research for your statistic. The other thing you want to do is make sure you cite your sources. This boost credibility to what you said. You don't just want to throw a statistic out there. You want to say where you got it from, because now it's not just something you made up, but you're giving credit to the original institution or researchers that came up with this little boost, your credibility and in this day and age, by the way, people do not often trust statistics because they've been manipulated so often in books and online and by speakers that if you really have to cite your source inside it clearly so people know where it's coming from. And for the same reason you never want to exaggerate a statistic. You really have to say exactly what the statistic is. So if you come across the number, that's 40%. You don't want to say half, you know you don't want to stretch it because if anyone looks into it or cause you want it , then that can get you into trouble. You lose a lot of credibility almost instantly. I think the key thing here is that as you're researching and as you're looking into your materials to prepare your presentation, use the best, most interesting and maybe even shocking statistic that you can. Something that really popped out to you is likely to come across strongly to your audience and make sure it drives to the heart of what you're trying to say. Not that it's just shocking, but that it drives to the heart of the message you're about to share. So let's talk about how to bring this up. How do you actually say it out loud. Well, in the other video about how to tell stories, I recommend that you start introducing your statistics as if your telling a little story. In other words, you give the beginning part two that storytelling framer. You give the time, the people and the place, and then it makes your your statistic build up a little bit. It gives it a little more color and at the same time, sites your source. So I'm going to give a statistic now to show you how this is done and notice how I don't just jump into the stat. I give the people time and place, and then I share the actual statistic. So it sounds like this. I recently came across an interesting statistic from a 2017 research study from the Society for Human Resource Management. In that study, they said that 65% off all employees preferred respectful treatment of all employees at all levels over the importance of their salary. So what have done there is have used the storytelling beginning to set it up. I talked about the people time in place, so the time was recently I was looking at a 2017 study that people was myself and the Society for Human Resource Management. Any place was this particular study that they did. And then I give the statistic of 17. 65% of the people thought that respectful treatment was more important than money. That's the way you've set it up, and it gives a little more interest. It transports you a little bit more into the statistics so it doesn't sound so dry. So here's another example. A few days ago, I was reading a 2017 study from the Centers for Disease Control, which shocked me. It showed that over 40% of adult Americans suffer from obesity, and again, that's from the Centers for Disease Control. There's the people that time was a couple days ago, in 2017 and then the location was a study that I read. So there's the people time and place, and if you use that beginning to set up your statistics than it's gonna have a little bit more personality to it, and it's going to avoid some of the downsides, like if they're dry and they go by quickly, then this is a way to build up the statistic a little bit more so that it's more likely to stick now when we go down to the closing of a presentation. That tip is always to echo your opening in some way, so you don't want to necessarily say it exactly the same the second time. But you want to bring it back around, call it back and remind us of that statistic and then add a little value to it for your closing. So let's say I went through the whole presentation and we're talking about obesity, for example. And we talked about diet nutrition. So I get to the very end, and the last thing I say might be something like this. As I mentioned earlier, 40% of Americans suffer from obesity. But having heard this presentation on diet and exercise, hopefully you will not become another statistic. So that's how I might bring it full circle around in a very satisfying way. So remember, any time you open strong, it sets you up to close strong, and statistics are one great way to do that. Your homework assignment is really simple, and it's something that I recommend you do go look for some statistic on any topic that interests you personally. Like, what do you care about what gets you fired up and then try to track back a statistic about that topic from a credible source back to that government statistic or the Mayo Clinic, The Centers for Disease Control something really credible. And then watch how you can turn it into a little Tell a bill story so it builds it out a little bit more. It doesn't have to be tied to an upcoming presentation. Just pick a topic that you love. Start Googling statistics about blank and then track it down to that credible source and turn it into a story. This whole process should take you about 5 to 10 minutes, but it will be time well spent and invested. So go to it now and I will see you in the next video 9. Open & Close with Illustrations: this video, we're going to talk about how to open with an illustration, a demonstration or something visual. Now I'm lumping a whole bunch of ideas together here, but they all have something in common. You're giving your listeners your audience more to react to than your words. Essentially, you're bringing your message toe life visually in some way. And one of the great things about this is that it appeals to different learning styles. You're not just using your words. You're giving something visual, something that they can see and almost experience right in front of them that's going to have a lasting impact on them. They take a little creativity, and it's sometimes outside of people's comfort zones. But if you're this type of person, if it fits your personality, then you may want to consider adding something visual to open. So let's talk about a couple of ways to do this. The first thing you can do is to act something out, and I'm just gonna give you a whole bunch of little examples and you'll get the point. Act something out. So, for example, a few months ago, our youth pastor at the church I go to. He's very dramatic, and he was jumping off the stage with a hatchet onto a table full of lemons that he was hacking away at. That was something visual and very easy to remember. Now I'm not gonna do that isn't fit my personality. But if you're a dramatic person, you might be able to do that. Sometimes speakers will get in a character, and they act out something like a little bit of dramatic moment. They acted out either on their own or they might act it out a little scene or scenario with somebody else so you can get in character and dramatize something. Keep that brief, though. If you dramatize it, keep it brief. Another thing you can do is get a volunteer of some sort of helper toe, actually act something out with you. You may not be in character, but it has to people, and you want to act it out, back and forth. If you do this, make sure your volunteer is very cooperative and on board, you don't want them to not know what's going on. You have to practice this ahead of time, otherwise they could detract from your opening. You could do something that fits your personality a message like play the guitar or another instrument. You can sing a song or do something else that brings an idea to life that's very memorable . Audiences love that. You could do something very simple. For example, like If you're talking about your grandpa and some memory, you might have a little pocket knife and you're slicing. Await an ample too demonstrate what your grandpa was like. You all you have to really know limited these. All you have to do is think about what's one way to bring this to life visually, that I can act it out. That will leave an impact on your listeners. So if you're slightly less dramatic, let's talk about demonstrations. You don't actually have to get in character for these. It's just something that you visually demonstrate. So I used to do a lot of magic tricks in my class. I wasn't in character. I was just doing little coin trick or little card trick on Monday morning class just to get people's interest up. If it connects to your message, some kind of demonstration like this, a visual demonstration can really bring a message to life. Another thing you might do is just take out like a measuring tape. I I talk about leadership a lot, and I talk about How do you measure leadership? Well, for this, what I could do is take out a measuring tape as I asked this question about measuring leadership. And that's just a demonstration, You know, you because I'm showing a measuring tape and I'm talking about measuring leadership. It's just a way to visually bring it to life. I'm not really in character acting it out so much. It's just like a visual prop. A demonstration, if you will. And another way to do this is just by using a visual aid that's very simple and typical. For example, you might have an image on a Power Point slide of some sort. You may just hold open object like a ball and ask them a question about the ball. Talk about what it symbolizes, just some kind of visual aid visual prop that you could use to help make your point. Now, one of the things that you have to realize about this, though, is that these thes visual demonstrations don't speak for themselves. You have to wrap your verbal message around it a little bit. You have to connect the dots for people. But one of the big advantages they have is that there's so much more than just your words to react to. People tend to really remember these demonstrations, so give it some thought, especially if this fits your personality in terms of your practical action. Step your homework assignment. I would like you to think of your very favorite topic and then think of some way that you could bring that to life. Visually, what is something you could either act out or demonstrate? And for this homework assignment, I want you to stretch further than just saying, Oh, I would just put up a slide a picture. I want you to stretch a little further, tap your creativity and come up with something you can either act out or something you can at least demonstrate in front of your listeners. So go ahead and do that now and I will see you in the next video 10. Open & Close with Humor: this video, we're going to talk about using humor as a potential way to open a presentation. Now, I want to be really clear. I am not going to teach you how to be funny. I'm not gonna tell you how to tell a joke. We're not gonna go into any of that. I really just want to explore this idea of, you know, should you use humor to open a presentation because I've heard some people out there give bad advice and they say, Oh, just open with a joke Now one of the reasons why I think opening with an actual joke and a punch line is bad is because it's what I would call high risk, low reward. So it's high risk he took because these often fail. I've seen a lot of speakers go up there and start with a joke in a punch line, and it just dies. Nobody laughs, and it's low reward. Let's let's say you know they do left. So what? They laughed a little bit. It doesn't really add that much value to your presentation, and then, if your joke bombs, which it often will, then you have to go through the whole rest of the presentation like this, like, Oh, man, I opened up and it bombed, and I thought I was gonna get big laugh. You have all this going through head as you're trying to continue presentation, so I recommend not using any kinds of jokes. However, I'm a big supporter of humor. I've used a lot of humor in my presentations, but it's all light hearted humor. It's all just keeping it a little more emotional in a light hearted way. I never go for a big laugh. I never go for a punch line. I never do it because I want them to react in that way. To me. What I do is I just weave it into my existing content and so you can weave in light heartedness in some humor into your existing material. So what I'll do is if I want to open with something somewhat humorous, I might tell a story that has a somewhat humorous angle, or I might use a quotation that has some humor built into it. I might read a portion of an email from a customer, for example, that has Cem lightheartedness in it. There are lots of ways to integrate lighthearted humor into your opening and anywhere really in your presentation without the risk of having a joke bomb. So if it fits your audience, if it fits the topic, if it fits the occasion event that you're speaking out if it fits your personality. I am four using light hearted humor if you're already pretty funny and it's easy for you to do. But I strongly recommend against jokes. I know a lot of people say Start with a joke. I'm not going to give that advice. So try weaving in some lighthearted humor. There is no practical action separate homework for this, other than just to consider the this idea. Like, Am I really funny to people? Constantly laughed at me. Well, then I should take advantage of that. And we've humor in. If not, then you may want to pass on using humor until you get more comfortable. I'll see you in the next video 11. Stacking: Pro Tips: in this video, we're going to talk about the killer strategy of stacking your opening techniques and you're closing techniques. So sometimes in a concise presentation, you may just want to begin with a story alone or a quotation alone or some rhetorical questions alone. In a longer presentation, though, one of the most effective techniques that you can use is to stack these up. In other words, in your attention grabber. You actually use more than one technique like to, or I recommend, three techniques. So you start with a story, and then you go to a nice quotation and then to rhetorical questions. And then that series of strategies is all stacked up three in a row, and then you jump into the rest of your introduction and in a longer presentation, when, when professional level presentation prison presenters stack these things, the technique really blows us away because when they get down to the closing and they then back out of those same techniques, they remind us of the story, revisit the quotation and finish with some questions. It has a multiplier effect on the impact of their opening and closing, so you're still echoing, but you're stacking in the beginning, and you're stacking in the clothes as well. Now a couple of tips about this, you know, how do I link my story to my quotation? To my questions? Well, sometimes the link can just be a pause. Sometimes you might share a great story and pause and then quote somebody. And that quote should be like, almost feel like a natural extension of that story. And then you share the quotation and then you pause, and then maybe you have some questions that you might just say by a show of hands. How many can relate to this quotation? So sometimes just a little pause is all you need to connect those. And in that one second pause, your audience will find the connection for you. Other times, you might have to add just a couple of words, some a phrase that get pivots you from one technique to the next. Some connective tissue. But make sure it's nice and brief. You don't want to go the extra mile and really explain all the connections. If you've chosen them well and you've ordered them properly, it will feel like a natural fit. So the other question. I get a lot as order. Well, how do I order him? How do I decide if I should start with a story or start with a quote? How do I order these when I'm sacking them? And that really is not an answerable question, because the answer is it depends. It just depends. Depends on what you're trying to say. It depends on how good your quotation is compared to your story. It depends on which one seems to naturally lead from one to the other, so you have to work that out. There's definitely some creativity to this, I find when you start stacking openings and closings, this is where people get really creative and come up with some interesting material that will really wow their listeners. So those air some techniques that you can think about as you're considering stacking. Now the homework assignment for here is not to create a whole presentation, but just think of any topic where you can come up with more than one technique, like try to combine some story that we've been talking about that you've come up with with a quotation with some questions. See if you can stack them and link them together. And you don't have to do it for the closing as well. Just for an opening. Just come up with three techniques that you stack and linked together that drive to the heart of whatever fictional message, whatever practice message you're working on and you'll begin to see the power of stacking these techniques up. So go ahead and do that. Now take 5 10 minutes to work on it, and I think you'll see the value in it assumes you talk it through to go to work, and I will see you in the next video. 12. Fine Tuning: Pro Tips: in this video, I'd like to share with you two tips that will help you fine tune how you open and close. There are two related habits that I have seen a lot of speakers do Even very effective speakers that I believe detract from the overall impact that they're opening and closing could have. So on the opening side, what a lot of times people will do is they will telegraph what they're about to do. They will announce what's coming next, and I don't think should do this. So here's what it sounds like. I have a story that I would like to tell you. Okay, that's telegraphing. Don't say I've destroyed. I'd like to tell you just go into the story. Just say when I was five years old and go right into the rest of the story. Don't say I have a great quotation from George Washington that you are going to love. Don't do that. Don't telegraph it. Don't announce it ahead of time. Just go right into the quotation. Say, George Washington once wrote, Go into the quotation. When you announce it ahead of time, it reminds everybody. Oh, this is a presentation. This speaker is prepared some ideas. It takes them out of it a little bit. It lets the anticipation out of Lets the air out of the balloon, and you want to stay in that moment with them, especially in your opening. Now, after you share some content, people tend to do something similar. Like, let's say you share a great story about George Washington. Oftentimes a speaker is looking for a reaction, and they're hoping people respond to it. And so they'll draw that out a little bit. And I think this is a mistake. You want to stay in the moment and you don't want to step out off the presentation. So after you share a great story, don't say, Isn't that a great story? Or I love that quotation or, Oh, don't you love that? Is that great? Don't look for a reaction afterwards, state in the moment, so great comedians will do this, the audiences laughing and howling along with them. But they don't ever step out and say, Oh, I'm glad you like that joke. They stay in the moment because it keeps that presentation more intense. It keeps the message more effective, and as I mentioned. I have seen even pretty experienced speakers do this, but I think it will reduce the impact if you telegraph ahead of time. And if you step out off the content after you share it, so make sure you just go right into your attention grabber your opening. And then after you share any bit of content in your presentation, stay in the moment. Don't step out of it. So consider these thoughts as you think about your own style. And just ask yourself, Do I telegraph? And if you do figure out a way just to jump right into the material, see you in the next video. 13. Next Steps: Put it into Action: Hello and welcome back to this last video. Congratulations. You have made it to the end of the course. Now let's talk about some next steps for you so you can take all the ideas you've learned and actually put them into practice. The first step would be to pick a dates or an event where you can do a presentation within the next couple of weeks. Now I recommend presenting to a safe group on known group, and it doesn't even have to be that big of a group, but somewhere where you can stand up and speak for about 10 minutes or more, The other thing I want you to do, of course, is to use the specific techniques that we have been talking about in the course. Specifically used the echo technique. Were you open and close with the same kind of strategy. So if you open with a story, finish with a story. If you open with a quotation finish with a quotation, that's really the best way to do this. I would also like the challenge you a little more difficulty here. Use these stacking technique so use open with a couple or more techniques and then you finish with two more techniques, and that really takes that professionalism to the next level. People will say, Wow, that was an amazing presentation when you stack those openings and closings And, of course, azure practicing practice, getting in clean in getting out clean, no filler before and no filler after. That's how the pros do it. That's how to present, like a boss. So I would like to ask you now for something. If you haven't yet given this course that thumbs up or reviewed it, I encourage you to do so. It gives other people on skill share information about the kinds of classes that may or may not want to take. So go ahead and do that. Now I appreciate your time and look forward to seeing you in a future course.