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MALE SPEAKER: Hi everyone.
Thanks for coming.
I hosted this talk-- I initially was introduced
to Clarity Media when I was interviewing.
As many of you know that the Google interview process
can be a little challenging, especially from the outside.
And it's even weirder when you see it from the inside.
So I worked with Clarity Media to become more effective
in interviews and learned how to prepare
to be more effective in general in speaking.
And I was able to take the things I learned from them
and apply them to wedding speeches I gave,
to be more effective in meetings.
Even one of the wedding speeches I gave
was actually in Japanese, and I don't speak Japanese.
So there's a lot of really incredible stuff.
So hopefully it's really useful to everyone.
And a pleasure to introduce Bill McGowan.
BILL McGOWAN: Thank you.
I had no idea we specialized in bilingual wedding toasts.
That's actually even a surprise to me.
I appreciate everybody coming.
And presumably, everybody here or watching
is here because you'd like to be better
at public speaking or external communication.
So I want to give you a bunch of tips today
that I think would up everybody's game.
Right off the bat, just about every year
some kind of publication comes out
with a list of what the biggest fears in our life are.
And every year, the list stays pretty much the same.
Our fear of our own mortality is usually at number one,
getting on a plane is number three,
and I'm sure it comes as no surprise to everybody what
the number two fear is.
Everybody knows that it's public speaking, right?
And there are a number reasons why
this can throw us and send us into angst before we
have to get up and present.
Most of the people we work with are
on the left side of this spectrum.
They either have a fear of doing it,
or they can tolerate it if they're asked to do it.
They're on a team and it's their responsibility.
But very few people actually get a buzz from doing it.
And what we tend to do is try to get people from apprehension
to being OK with it.
And the encouraging news is once you get to being OK with it,
there is a way to actually get to the point
where you enjoy it.
And that's really the sweet spot,
because the more you enjoy it, the more you'll raise your hand
and volunteer to do it.
And the more you do it, the better you'll get at it.
So my key advice would be embrace every opportunity
to get up and talk when somebody on your team
suggests you do it.
Or don't shy away from an opportunity to public speak.
It's the best way to get better at it.
The one thing you should definitely
stay away from though is winging it.
And I find this is not a strategy.
Thinking that magic fairy dust is going to sprinkle down
on you and you're going to be eloquent and articulate and
effective and persuasive in the moment is really not realistic.
And this isn't just about giving a keynote speech
or giving a presentation.
This about heading into a meeting where you may think,
I'm probably going to be a spectator in this meeting
and I'm very likely not going to be asked for my input.
You can't assume that.
You should even go into a meeting
that you think you're going to be a spectator at with an idea
of what am I going to say if somebody wheels around asks me
for my opinion on this subject.
Let me plan what my point of view is and make it succinct.
Sometimes we work with very accomplished, grade A speakers.
And we'll be in a private session with them
and we'll be role playing, we'll be videotaping them.
And their energy level is not that great,
and I'll tell them I think you need to bump this up.
You're sort of mailing it in here.
And oftentimes what we'll hear from a client is don't worry,
when the adrenaline is going and I'm doing the real thing,
everything's going to be fine.
I'll be great.
And my urging to them was about practicing
the same way you play for real often fell on deaf ears
until the first presidential debate of the last election
And if anybody has read the dissection of what
happened there, the present went out to Las Vegas
and he set up debate camp.
And he was handed videotapes of Mitt Romney
and his primary debates, and he was
asked to take a look at them.
Next thing you know, he was off at Hoover Dam
shaking hands and doing some photo ops
and he's just not engaged.
And David Axelrod, his chief adviser, came up to him
and he said Mr. President, we're a little concerned.
You don't seem plugged in.
You don't seem like you're investing the time.
And the president's response to Axelrod
was very much what I hear from people
who realize that they have a tremendous aptitude for this.
So my point is if that guy can't magically flip a switch
and be great because he has short changed the prep,
there's actually very little hope for the rest of us.
Same thing with Bill Clinton.
Somebody very close to him said best communicator
I've ever known, I've ever worked with,
when he was prepared.
But when he wasn't and all hell was breaking loose
and we were crashing in the limo on the way over to an event,
it always showed up.
So don't think that there is an elite crew
of gifted communicators who can just
mail it in and be spontaneous and great.
It actually doesn't happen.
And when you're rehearsing, when you're practicing a speech
or presentation-- which you absolutely should do-- the four
words you should never say is let's just start this again.
When you make a mistake in rehearsal, don't give up.
The important thing is to teach yourself
how you pull out of a moment where you're having brain lock
or you've lost your transition, or something's gone wrong.
If you don't practice that in rehearsal,
you'll never know how to do it when you get up
and give the speech for real.
It would be almost like a pilot in training
going into a flight simulator and then
just giving totally normal conditions,
never making them fly through turbulence
or learn how to navigate the plane in trouble.
So try to force yourself through those rough patches
when you're rehearsing.
How many of you here battle with this?
Feel anxious and you get a little sick to your stomach?
It is a perfectly natural byproduct of public speaking,
and it's what usually keeps us from doing it.
The very simple equation is the more you're prepared,
the less anxious you're going to be.
It happens every single time.
And you're probably going to be most nervous in the first two
minutes of a presentation.
Until you get your feet under you and you relax into it.
So really know that opening backwards and forwards.
And I mean the first line of what you're going to say.
Don't leave the first 15, 20 second warm up to ad libbing.
Even know that.
Whenever you hear somebody at a podium who
has that little shake, that little tremble in their voice
which is a dead giveaway that they're nervous,
those are a product of nerves.
But it's also a result of not breathing properly.
And when we get really nervous, we start mini hyperventilating.
These short shallow breaths which actually winds up
depleting our lungs of air, and that's
what gives the shake to our voice.
So if you find your pulse is running away with you
and you're extremely nervous, find a nice quiet place
down the hallway before you go on.
Three or four deep yoga breaths, long intake through your nose.
Hold it.
Long, slow, steady exhale through your mouth.
It's going to slow your pulse, it's
going to replenish your lungs with air,
and it's going to bring stability back your voice.
Because you don't want to be up at the podium
and looking like you're a wreck.
But even if you don't battle real anxiety,
we all get a shot of adrenaline when we get up to speak.
And that can have a good result and it can have a bad result.
You're probably going to talk a lot faster in the first five
minutes from just being a little anxious.
So make sure you come out of the gate
in a nice, controlled pace.
Your eye movement is going to accelerate the more nervous
you are.
So right now, I'm communicating directly with you.
And I'm going to move off and connect
with somebody else in the room.
That is ultimately what you're after.
What you don't want to do is what
I'm doing right now, which is actually
ping ponging around the room and not
landing on anybody specific.
I'm looking at all of these heads as an abstraction,
or I'm drifting over the tops of people's heads.
And it doesn't have the same level of connection
that landing on people actually does.
And we have all this pent up physical energy
from this shot of adrenaline.
And our bodies like to get rid of it.
And our feet typically wind up being the portal through which
we like to expunge this energy.
So many times, you'll see people in front
of a room doing what I call the stationary march.
Which is, I'm not really moving anywhere,
but I'm also not standing still.
There's a lot a rocking, there's a lot of swaying.
And I see this all the time.
It just gives a fidgety, nervous appearance
to your presentation.
To avoid that, you want to stand with you weight a little bit
forward on the balls of your feet.
You should feel a little bit of pressure in your toes.
What that does is it keeps you off your heels
where you wind up swaying and rocking the most.
The only place you want to be leaning
is actually into the audience to connect with them.
And I'm going to show you a clip of Reed Hastings who
commits this.
BILL McGOWAN: Reed's feet actually never planted
that entire time.
They were in constant motion, and it's
only because his body is trying to get rid
of that excess physical energy.
It looks a little antsy.
And you should probably stay away from it.
Good news is all that nagging we got
as children was absolutely right.
Don't stay up until 3 o'clock in the morning working
on a presentation you have to do at 9 AM.
You'd be better off going to bed early, getting up at four,
and finishing it.
You're going to be a lot more alert.
And never do anything-- public speaking,
presentation on an empty stomach.
It's been proven medically that the synapses in your brain
do not fire as efficiently if you
don't have fuel in your body.
We just talked a little bit about making sure
that you're not slumped.
And if you're tall-- anybody really tall in this room?
Don't be apologetic about your height.
There's a lot of times I see people just trying
to compensate for their height.
Totally own your height in the front of a room.
And we talked a little bit about that connection.
This is even true across a conference table
when you're having a meeting.
The fact of the matter is we can concentrate
on what we say a lot better if we're looking into abstraction.
Looking at the pattern in this rug
gives me a lot more privacy to think
about what I want to say than looking directly
into your eyes.
It doesn't have the same level of connection.
And if anybody saw the piece in the New York Times
this Sunday in the week in review,
there's an amazing piece in there about eye contact
and how incredibly important it is
to the signals you send to the person you're talking to.
So if you find looking at the person you're
talking to too unsettling, it doesn't give you that privacy
to think, then move your focus off just slightly.
Like you could look at the stem of my glasses,
or you could look at a woman's earring.
Keep it in this general range.
No one is going to know that you're just slightly off.
And it gives you something small and private zone
in on that doesn't make the invasiveness
of the other person's stare back at you unsettling at all.
And I find that sometimes we're so
concentrating on being technically good
and not making any mistakes or stumbling
through a presentation or a speech
that we wind up flattening out.
Your focus really shouldn't be getting
through the thing technically perfect.
That should not be your definition of success.
Your definition of success is showing a real palpable
enthusiasm for the value of the information
you're sharing with other people.
If you don't lead by example, they're
not going to think it matters and they're
going to start tuning you out.
And there are a few things our mothers did not tell us.
If you want to avoid developing a frog in your throat
where you have to [CLEARS THROAT] every two
minutes be clearing your throat, stay away from cheese, yogurt,
milk that morning.
It creates congestion and wind up--
people smiling, absolutely true.
Make sure you get to the room ahead of time.
If it's a stage where you're presenting,
you don't want to be up on that stage in a strange environment
when you're doing it for real.
Try to get in the night before and check out
what the audience looks like and have it be familiar to you.
Also make sure all of your tech is
in place-- batteries on a clicker.
My assistant back in New York got
me the best holiday gift ever.
She got me a pair of cuff-links that actually come apart
and it's a USB drive.
And believe it or not, I actually
download my presentations on this cuff-link.
Because I've had a couple of occasions where the file got
corrupted that I emailed to the place ahead of time,
and I've had to pull that thing out and actually work from it.
And it just happened this afternoon.
I've coached a bunch of people here a year or so ago,
and so I have permission to be on the Google Guest
wireless network.
And I don't have to click a thing.
It just automatically kicks in.
I learned the hard way that you should always
turn your wireless off.
At another presentation, at a client
that I arrived at on a subsequent visit,
I didn't do it.
And I'm merrily clicking along, and in the middle
of slide four or five, all of my email notifications
from the night before start bonging up
in the corner of the screen.
Which was not exactly what you want to have happen.
So turn your wireless off.
Quit all programs that could wind up
sending you a notification in the middle.
When I say work the room, I mean see
if you can say hello to people beforehand.
Or maybe you're at an off-site and there's
a coffee urn and some snacks in a separate room.
See if you can get around say hello to people.
And just a series of 60, 90 second conversations.
It's going to accomplish a number of things for you.
One, it's going to keep you from huddling away and obsessively
worrying about the presentation you're about to do.
It'd be better to get your mind off of it.
You've probably done all the prep you need to do.
And in talking to people, oftentimes they'll
tell you something that you can work with.
Or somebody tells you a story at the coffee urn
and you realize, you know, that would actually be a great thing
to insert in the presentation.
A little quick story, because it's
so interwoven with the whole point of my presentation.
That can be a great way to give a feeling of spontaneity
to your presentation, to actually reference it
in your speech.
And it also brings the audience up with you
a little bit closer.
It also helps you understand is this a tough crowd,
is this an easy crowd?
How hard am I going to have to work to keep their engagement?
And ultimately, if I have a conversation with you
over the coffee, I'm no longer a stranger to you.
And so you're going to be a lot more likely to be invested
in listening to me closely.
If you and I talked beforehand, I
guarantee you're not going to take your phone out.
You're going to feel too bad that somehow I'll
feel slighted.
So what it also does is it sets up
people in various areas of the room
to bolster your confidence.
And think about your room as broken into quadrants.
So I have near right, far right, far left, near left.
And what I want to do is find four people in the room who
are good, enthusiastic listeners who are smiling and nodding
and helping me realize, OK, this is coming through.
They're engaged.
And if you get freaked out by talking to a hundred people
or more, make this a conversation with four people.
And I guarantee you nobody in the audience
is going to know that you're basically
talking to four people.
What you don't want to do is catch
the eye of the person who now is doing that.
That is going to be an absolute confidence killer.
So while you want to be able to read the room,
I often tell people don't over read the room.
You may very well find a crowd where the faces are blank
and you're getting nothing back from them whatsoever.
Don't let that little voice on your shoulder
convince you that this is going terribly.
Because many, many times I've had the most checked
out looking person in the audience
come up to me afterwards and say,
I found what you said so fascinating.
Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
And my initial reaction was, wow,
you looked absolutely on another planet.
I cannot believe you're the person coming up to me
afterwards and asking me for more.
So don't let those blank faces throw you.
You need to warm up.
Athletes do it.
Singers do it.
And there's a big fundamental difference
between silently imagining in your head what you're
going to say and in your kitchen that morning making coffee,
saying the first two minutes out loud.
It's a very different experience.
And when you hear yourself, you're
going to be better able to edit yourself and make changes
if it doesn't feel right that day.
So I think getting started is always
a very difficult thing for people.
How do you grip people right from the very beginning?
One thing I want to make sure you never do
is have sentences that have inherent apology behind them.
And I've heard just about every time slot of the day,
whether you're 8:30 in the morning, 11:30 in the morning,
two in the afternoon, or 4:30, apologize for the time.
So listen, I know it's really early.
It's 8:30.
Everybody's kind of groggy from last night.
But I'm just going to very quickly walk you
through some things.
That in and of itself says I know you don't want to be here.
I know you're being made to be here.
But don't worry, I won't be belabor the point.
Don't do that.
Or at 4:30, don't say, listen, I know
I'm the only thing standing between you and the cocktail
That is not what you're doing.
You're trying to present an image where
I know you're going to find this interesting.
I know this is going to be valuable to you.
That's what you want to be protecting.
Also, I know we've been ingrained to think, tell them
what you're going to tell them, tell them, and tell them
what you told them.
It is such a dusty, outdated method of presenting.
And everybody does it.
And my advice to you is don't sound like everybody else.
Because when you hit this conformity zone
of your structure and your words sounding like everybody else's,
that's when your audience tunes out.
Try to find a different way of starting.
We'll talk about that in a second.
And then there are the people who
get up and do the table of contents.
All right.
So I'm Bill McGowan.
I'm from Clarity Media Group.
I'm going to talk a little today about public speaking.
First of all, don't ever talk about what
you're going to talk about.
That's the biggest waste of language ever.
And don't say so now I want to share with you a little story.
Just go right into the story.
Don't constantly play traffic cop and flag me on what
you're about to do.
If you took all of those things out of a presentation,
I guarantee you'd be two minutes later right off the bat
without losing any content.
So in the book, I take the agenda setting starter
and I realized it was a very apropos acronym here.
Try to see if you can avoid that.
So my new favorite speaker is a guy named Geoffrey Canada.
I don't know if any of you know him.
He's an education expert.
And I want to show you a clip of what
I think is just an outstanding way to start a presentation.
-I'm a little nervous because my wife, Yvonne, said to me,
she said Geoffrey, you watch the Ted Talks?
I said, yes, honey, I love Ted Talks.
She said, you know they're really smart,
talented-- I said, I know, I know.
She said, they don't want the angry black man.
So I said no, I'm going to be good honey,
I'm going to be good.
I am.
But I am angry.
And the last time I looked--
So this is why I'm excited, but I'm angry.
This year, there are going to be millions of our children
that we're going to needlessly lose.
BILL McGOWAN: So the reason why I
think this is the perfect beginning--
and I realize this is probably a more theatrical setting
than what all of us find ourselves in.
But the structure applies.
And that is he's not starting off with a joke,
some random joke that could bomb and throw
your confidence completely.
He's starting off with a story that allows
you to feel like you have access to a conversation he
and his wife had.
And the story has humorous elements to it.
But the payoff to the story is central to the theme
of what his overall talk is.
So the punch line is that he's angry.
But the theme of the talk is he's
disappointed and frustrated with how little we've
moved the needle in education in this country.
So there's a point to the story.
It's not just a random drop-in to get a laugh.
And the laugh, of course, probably relaxes him
and helps him on his way.
We focus a lot on just word selection in what we do.
And we believe and agree with all the great literary minds
and geniuses throughout time that
adhered to this idea of simplicity.
Don't over complicate something.
If a $0.10 word is perfectly good to use,
don't use a $0.50 word and make it more elaborate and more
Simpler is better.
And I find that there's also a lot of new word creation going
Planful, choiceful, all this ridiculous stuff I
hear coming out of people's mouths
that if you were to write it on your computer,
there would be a red line underneath that word.
And if there's a red line underneath that word,
that means it's not a word.
You shouldn't be saying it.
If your computer rejects it, you should too.
And this stifling jargon that just infects and invades
all the communication that I hear going on,
the more you can jettison that, the better.
And it affects people at all levels.
-Sometimes you misunderestimated me.
BILL McGOWAN: The English language
gets butchered all over.
-They could refutiate what it is that this group is saying--
BILL McGOWAN: And this spot is 10 years old,
but still applicable.
-What are you guys doing?
-We're ideating.
-What's that?
-Coming up with new ideas.
-Why don't you just call it that?
-This is different.
-We need to rethink the way we do things.
-We need to innovate.
-We haven't ideated that yet.
-Good luck.
BILL McGOWAN: The reason that spot is so funny
is it's so close to the truth.
It's barely an exaggeration.
So I'd like you to really look through your content
and think not only can I strip this down to make it simpler,
but how can I take some of the stifling jargon out of the mix.
And it's one of the reasons why I want to do this book
and share some of these ideas.
And I break them into a number of principles
that I think are good to follow.
One of them is this idea of brevity.
And in the book, I call this the Pasta Sauce Principle.
I actually wanted to call it the Puttanesca Principle,
but my agent worried that not everybody cooks and not
everybody would know what Puttanesca is.
Anyway, so we made it the Pasta Sauce Principle.
And the premise is very simple.
When you have a pot on the stove and you boil that thing down,
and you reduce it, that thing has more dynamic flavor.
If you keep adding more volume to it,
it basically tastes very bland and it's
thoroughly forgettable.
So I'd like you to think about talking
the way you think about cooking.
See if even in an email-- like go back and read an email
and think, could I take 20% out of this thing?
Probably easily, right?
See if you can contract just about everything.
And when we speak, I find that most people
are pretty good about getting out of the gate of their idea
and getting to the crux of what it is they want to talk about.
But then wrapping the whole thing up
and getting to the finish line gets sometimes
to be a little bit of a messy journey in which we're
a lot less strategic, a lot less planned,
there's a lot more ad libbing and spontaneity involved.
And that's usually where we wind up
just having excessive length to the idea
we're trying to communicate.
And usually bad things happen when
we're off the trail and unplanned.
In fact, if you look at any of the analyses of big PR blunders
by notable people, you'll find that where
they made the mistake was right about there.
Right before they finished up when they were not
going according to what they had planned to say.
So rather than thinking, all right, well,
my answer to this question should only
be 35 seconds or 40 seconds-- I don't
want you to think in terms of time,
because everybody's a little bit different.
But here's the principal I'd like
you to see if you could follow.
By the time you open your mouth to start talking,
I'd like you have a general idea of what
the full arc of your thought is.
I'd like you have a general sense
of what the finish line looks like.
And I don't mean in terms of a verbatim scripted answer
that you're now just reciting.
But I do think knowing the components of what
goes into your thought are important.
What's my point and how am I going to illustrate that point?
How am I going to bring it to life for people?
And that illustration can have a number of different styles
to it.
It could be storytelling.
You could be citing a specific example.
Or maybe there's a compelling piece
of data that also serves as a supporting
point to your main point.
And I find especially in technology,
what I'm often working with with clients
is you've just built something.
It solves a basic problem for people.
And you're launching it.
I have to put out a compelling narrative
as to why you should download this thing.
So coming up with even a hypothetical example
of how you'd use it and how it would solve a basic problem
is an important thing to think through ahead of time.
I find most people plan what their point is and they leave
the illustration part of their answer way too much,
they're just trying to pull it out of thin air.
That should be as well planned and well
thought out as your major point.
And if you can't see the finish line
by the time you start talking, that's
a clue you're talking too long.
See if you can get in the habit of having control
over where you're ending up with this idea.
Another principal in the book is this notion
of thinking of yourself as a movie
director in the front of a room.
And the fact of the matter is all of us
are very visual creatures.
We all have this movie reel spinning through our heads.
We crave images and we play off them mentally.
And I in the front of the room, I
need to be dictating what images are spooling through your mind.
Because if I don't do that, I don't
try to influence the visual side of your brain,
your brain is going to go off and make its own images.
And that's what's called distraction.
That's daydreaming.
That's actually going to be resulting in disengagement.
So see if you can maximize the amount of time you speak
visually, anecdotally, and limit the amount of time you're
speaking in a very theoretical and abstract way.
You want a certain balance there.
And the fact is that if we embed information and facts
within a story, it winds up being
22 times more likely to be recalled and acted upon.
And also, images are so much more memorable
than just facts or words.
So this notion of story telling-- I
know we've heard it a lot-- has been proven time
and again as being such an important component
of your communication.
So what I would really recommend is--
I'm sure you all have these books you write in.
Realize that on a daily or weekly basis,
things are happening to us at work, when we're out
talking to maybe just people who use the platform.
They say things or do things that you realize, wow, actually
that would be a great little story
to tell the next time I have to present on this.
Jot it down.
Because I guarantee you if you don't write it down,
you're going to forget it.
And the night before a presentation is not the time
to be thinking, OK, do I have any stories to tell?
Damn, what's been going on lately?
You do not want to be in that situation.
So start amassing these stories.
How many of you deal with just filler language?
It's something we all struggle with.
I have my own little filler language
issue that I'm always constantly thinking about,
I'm trying to work on.
And to get over this idea of relying on filler,
I'd like you to accept for a moment
this notion that your brain and your mouth
are two cars on the road.
And your brain is the lead car.
It's always about a millisecond ahead of your mouth.
It's figuring out what conversational
road you're going to go down and what words you're
going to use to articulate that thought.
And then your mouth follows along
once it gets instructions.
And we'd like to think that when your brain comes up
to that intersection, it makes those decisions very
But that's not the case.
Sometimes we get to the juncture and we start pondering,
what word should I use?
Or maybe I shouldn't tell this story.
And it creates this delay in which your mouth now
needs to wait.
And while your mouth is waiting, that's
typically where filler happens.
Filler language is what happens when your mouth is waiting
for your brain to come up with a plan.
So let's accept the fact that we're not always
going to make these decisions efficiently.
I want you to embrace this principle that the less certain
you are about the next idea coming out
of your mouth or the next word you're going to use,
the slower you should be talking.
What you should be doing is building the equivalent
of a safe car length distance between your mouth
and your brain.
The less certain you are, the slower you should talk.
You should be building in more pausing as well.
So many of us feel uncomfortable with silence,
and that's why we go to fill it with like, kind of,
sort of, you know, whatever.
It's the language that absolutely
saps the appearance of our professionalism
and our gravitas.
We don't want that stuff creeping in.
Sort of and kind of is a big one right now.
And I find that when especially in tech companies where
you want to have a certain humility to what you do,
we use those words a lot because it
makes us sound less arrogant, less opinionated, less certain.
And I just would advise you not to overuse them.
Because I think it really waters down your conviction
So I like to typically end with something everybody finds fun.
We didn't talk about body language that much.
We talked a little bit about standing,
but-- anybody want to take a crack on the seven places
you shouldn't have your hands when
you're standing in front of a room?
Come on.
Let's go.
Who's got an idea?
AUDIENCE: Pockets.
BILL McGOWAN: Pockets.
Very good.
BILL McGOWAN: Very good.
So this is a good one.
Our saying is when your hands drift above shoulder level,
nothing good is happening.
And that means that you're either playing with your hair
to get it out of your eyes-- I had a guy the other day,
every 15 seconds pulled his nose.
And he has no idea he's doing this, right?
But there it goes, every 15, 20 seconds.
Or you're scratching your ear or you're playing with your beard.
No hands above shoulder level.
So pockets, shoulder level, not behind your back.
Way too apologetic.
This has an I totally don't deserve
to be up in front of you, but I'm here anyway.
Anybody else?
Very good.
Totally cuts the audience off from you.
You're not nearly as accessible to them as you should be.
So folded across the chest.
Not on your hips.
Not in your pockets.
We had that one.
This is the fig leaf, right?
It's too low.
This is praying.
That's too high.
So that's not in the mix either.
One of them is a little counter intuitive,
and that is just dangling here.
I've never seen anybody look comfortable
standing in front of a room like this.
In fact, the weight of your arms gives a little droop
your shoulders.
And you can look very slumpy.
So what I'd like you to do is move from this position
and just create a right angle with your upper arm
and your forearm.
And your hand should come together right
around your belt buckle.
Not like you're ready to kill somebody
with a very rigid clasp, and nothing
shaped that's really obvious.
I just want your hands very loosely
and relaxed overlapped right around your belt buckle.
And the reason I like this position
is I want to talk with my hands, but I
don't want it to be a big choreographed gesture that
winds up being the center of attention.
I want it to be very organic and natural.
So from here, they have a very short distance
to kind of get in the action-- See?
Kind of get in the action.
Not good.
They have a very short distance to get
into the action and a very short distance to rest.
Whereas down here when I go to use them and I want to stop,
they've got a long way to fall.
In fact, a guy the other day I was working with,
he went to stop and his arms actually
swung from the downward momentum.
So it may feel a little odd at first, but it absolutely works.
And if you're giving a presentation,
this can anchor your hands in the right position.
Just hold onto your clicker with two hands.
In terms of gesticulation, don't over think it.
The only things you want to stay away from
are repetitive motions where I'm sort
of doing the same thing all the time,
and now this starts to get really
distracting and annoying.
And you see politicians do that.
They do the air punch all the time.
And I wind up stopping listening to what they're saying
and I start timing the intervals of-- and I realize,
OK, I'm not listening to this guy anymore.
Or anything really manic where I'm just in constant motion
and I'm not stopping, and the hands are never resting.
Realize that your hands have the ability to bold and underline
an important thing you want to say.
If they're moving all the time, then you're
punching everything and nothing stands out.
So realize if I'm giving a presentation
and I'm coming up to a big idea, there
are a number things I can do to put that big idea on a pedestal
and have it be more noticed.
One is I can use my hands.
But I also want to manipulate my voice
to change up the sound of how it's coming at the audience.
Two good ways to do that are to slow down and pull back.
You don't actually want to punch your big idea louder.
See if you can pull back on your volume
and keep up your intensity to make the audience come in
and listen to you a little bit more closely.
It's a really effective tool, and it's
a little bit counter-intuitive.
I usually see people hammer that thing like harder and louder.
That's not always the best way to go.
So I'm more than happy to address
any questions anybody may have.
I often say to people too, if you're
going to take questions after a presentation,
it always good to come with what I call your own first question.
And that's because the most awkward part of a presentation
is when you stand up and say, OK,
so anybody have any questions?
Chirp, chirp.
Nobody wants to go first, nobody's raising their hand.
And you don't want to end on that note.
So always come equipped with something
and say, typically when I give this presentation, what people
are most curious to know is how much
rehearsing is too much rehearsing.
Just come with your own thing to kick start
the Q&A. Because a lot of times, nobody
wants to be the first one raising their hand.
Or what you say could trigger an idea somebody else has.
AUDIENCE: A number of years ago, I think it was on Public Radio,
I heard about a study where they were looking at speeches given
by CEOs of dot coms I think.
And they found an inverse correlation
between how much of the time they were lying
and how often they said um.
So the ones who didn't say um at all were lying a lot more.
And I was wondering if you'd heard of that
and what you think is going on there.
BILL McGOWAN: I think there is a desire for a lot of people
to try to create a thoughtfulness
and a spontaneity around something
that's very well rehearsed.
So I think what you may be finding
or what that study may be finding
is if they have some talking point that's been scripted
and approved by the lawyers and the communications people,
somebody training them may say don't blurt this out
like it's a rehearsed, memorized thing.
Bring some sort of feigned hesitance to this idea.
Like, so, um, yeah, I think-- I think
what we did here was the right thing to do.
Even though on paper, that says what we did the right thing.
Anyone who's been coached tries to create
the feel of spontaneity.
But if they're at a very high level,
I guarantee you that's been removed from the equation
if they know what they're doing.
So it may be a completely planned thing
to make it sound like this isn't our message point here,
this is actually coming from my heart and I mean it.
AUDIENCE: As a speaker, what do you
do if somebody in the audience is,
I want to say heckler, but not really a heckler,
but trying to attack you or trying
to divert you to a different direction
and keep asking questions that are not really relevant.
So how do you deal with such situations?
BILL McGOWAN: I had a client in the valley earlier this year,
and he was giving a keynote at a big tech conference.
I forget in what country.
And there was one part of his speech
that we knew could touch a nerve.
And so what we did was I heckled him in rehearsal.
And we planned what three or four possible shout outs could
be and what our responses would be to those.
But short of practicing, it happens spontaneously
and you're not prepared for it, what you want to do
is not look rattled by it.
I think what you want to give the appearance of is being
welcoming of the conversation, but just not right here.
So you could say the person, what
you raise is a totally valid point.
I'm more than happy to have this conversation with you
after the presentation, because this is something that
obviously matters to you individually.
I'm speaking to the general crowd now.
So come find me afterwards.
You don't want to just slap it down and look
like this has totally rattled me.
AUDIENCE: Can you suggest some gracious ways
to handle someone who's constantly interrupting?
Like say you've got a few points that you need to get through
and they're kind of asking questions
of the next few things you're going to say.
What would be a gracious way just to put them off
without looking like it's rattling you?
Or what's a gracious way to handle that?
BILL McGOWAN: And this person you
obviously want to maintain a good dynamic with.
BILL McGOWAN: Instead of saying, would you stop,
would you butt out?
Like a team member, maybe on a smaller scale
where you're trying to present a few key ideas--
BILL McGOWAN: I think what you want to do--
and this is advice I give to clients when
they have a potentially confrontational situation
with a reporter-- and that is don't pick a fight.
Don't immediately say I'm getting to that,
and do something that feels annoyed.
But you can say I love the fact that you're really
eager to get the whole story, and we have the whole story,
more than happy to take any follow up questions.
But it's all in here, so stay with me on this.
You almost want to create the feeling
that you like the fact that they're so into it that they
can't wait to find out about it.
You try to view it through the positive prism.
Because when you slap them down and make
it look like would you please stop doing that,
it doesn't really help.
AUDIENCE: Thank you for your talk.
We would all love to have a coach like you
before our presentations, but for us that
don't have coaches, what are some tips that you could give
us that we could do for just practicing, preparing,
BILL McGOWAN: Try not to sit down at your computer
and write it out.
So if you need to come up with a script,
I'd much rather you make an outline on index cards.
And so make yourself a structure.
And then take your phone or your tablet
and prop it up and roll video on yourself doing it.
And just organically talk through what
you would say to the outline.
And if you want then to go off of-- if you
want to have a text, like a verbatim thing, what I'd rather
you do is take the transcription of that video
and make that the basis of your presentation.
Because what that will be is a really accurate
written out version of how we talk conversationally.
Most people, when they sit down a computer,
unless they've written for TV or radio, don't write for the ear.
They write for the eye.
And that usually makes it hard to deliver the content
in a way that sounds natural and organic.
So if you have the time, see if you
can make this transcription the basis,
and then start shaving it down.
Because obviously, you're not going
to probably want to use the whole thing.
And see if you can rehearse it enough into your phone
so you can see how you're coming across.
And see if you can whittle it back to that outline form.
So you're never reading big chunks of text
on the PowerPoint or-- we didn't even talk about that today.
But I trust all of you-- try not to read your slides.
Try to use imagery as much as possible.
Try to keep the information in the data as sparse as humanly
But that would be my major advice.
And use that as a self critique tool.
And just think to yourself, what are my big ideas?
What do I want these people leaving the room thinking?
And am I teeing up these big ideas
and putting them up on that pedestal enough?
AUDIENCE: As a rule of thumb, do you
offer any guidance about how much somebody should present
for a certain type of presentation?
So for a 30 minute presentation, how many hours of prep time
do you recommend?
BILL McGOWAN: I think it's somewhat individual.
But I think that it's more important about not obsessively
rehearsing right up to the minute you go on.
In fact, I think sometimes in that last half
hour, 45 minutes, it'd be great to take your mind off of it.
Sudoku, Words With Friends, a crossword puzzle,
any mental game you have that relaxes you,
I think that's a lot better to do right before you go on.
Because I find when you obsessively
concentrate on what you're going to do when you go out there,
you can get kind of tight.
AUDIENCE: At the beginning of the presentation,
you mentioned sometimes people could
tend to sound very tight or nervous in the beginning.
And then you mentioned that breathing
is important to help with that.
I was wondering if you could elaborate.
Because just recently, we had a presentation and someone
seemed so nervous that I ended up getting nervous for them.
BILL McGOWAN: I had a woman introduce me not too long ago.
And see, Chris was totally on it.
Was calm and cool.
But this woman who introduced me, she had a piece of paper
with my bio on it.
And she got up in front of the room
to introduce me on good communication,
and her hands were shaking.
And you could not only see the paper vibrating,
but you could hear it.
It was very hard to go on after that and not acknowledge it.
I think you have to look at other people doing things that
may work and may not work and think, all right, well,
I like to look at the people who are doing really well
and try to actually dissect why they're effective.
And realize, oh wow, she does that every time she
comes up to a big idea.
That that's not random.
That's actually intentional.
Let me try that out next time.
So it can be really boring sitting
through other people's presentations.
So if you took out a pad and created
two columns for yourself on the pad when
you watch other people, effective and not effective,
and write down the techniques you feel
are working for this person and working against them,
and see if any of those in the for column
are tactics and strategies you could actually
experiment with yourself.
And that's, I think, how you learn from good presenters.
So for instance, I've seen somebody
in how they move around the room be very strategic.
And what they do is they move in transition,
but then when they come to the big idea,
they stop before the big idea.
They're never giving something of importance
when they're moving and looking down.
That's going to mute the impact of what you're saying.
So even how you move around a stage matters.
And these are some of the tips I think
you can pick up from watching other people.
MALE SPEAKER: Thanks a lot, Bill, and thanks everyone.
BILL McGOWAN: Thanks for coming.


比爾 麥克高文: "好的溝通如同健康飲食" ,在google的談話 (Bill McGowan: "Good Communicators are Like Healthy Eaters" | Talks at Google)

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Jen-wei Chi 發佈於 2016 年 6 月 26 日


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