The Key to Credibility is…

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Alex Rister:

Another entry on Prezi’s Top 100 Presentation Resources list is my superteacher partner in crime, Chiara Ojeda of Tweak Your Slides. Check out this post she wrote yesterday on empathy using two great videos, one animating Brene Brown’s work…

Originally posted on Tweak Your Slides:

Empathy! Yep, that’s right–not credentials, expertise, title, or extensive research. The key to achieving strong credibility with your audience is to empathize with them. Why is this? Because, empathizing with the audience helps speakers achieve the type of true credibility Aristotle describes in Rhetoric:

“We believe good men more fully and more readily than others: this is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided. . . his character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion he possesses.” Aristotle, Rhetoric

True credibility comes from a person who is “good,” a person of good character. Empathy, the ability to become your audience’s needs, wants, values, fears, and desires, is key to conveying good character. A presenter who can empathize with his or her audience is truthful–no one likes to be lied to; a presenter who is empathetic conveys…

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Prezi’s Top 100 Presentation Resources

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I am excited to announce that Creating Communication was named one of Prezi’s Top 100 Presentation Resources!  Check out their list: “The #PreziTop100 Online Resources Every Presenter Should See.”

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Don’t forget to answer this week’s Wednesday Challenge with YOUR favorite online presentation resource!  You can also leave a comment here.

Wednesday Challenge: Favorite Presentation Resource

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On Wednesdays, I am facilitating a brand new audience-centered series called The Wednesday Challenge.  I’ll provide a prompt, and you leave a response in the “Comments” section.  I’ll share the best comment along with a new prompt the following Wednesday.

Last week, I asked you to tell me about your favorite TED Talk and why that particular presentation resonated with you.  Chiara Ojeda of Tweak Your Slides responded:

“My favorite TED talk (man this is actually really hard!) has to be Lisa Kristine’s ‘Photos that bear witness to modern slavery.’ When I first watched this talk I was floored–Lisa’s hauntingly beautiful imagery, richly detailed verbal imagery, superb poise, and moving call to action changed my perception of her subject and also taught me a few important lessons about crafting a message that sticks. Lisa uses her story, empathy towards her subjects, and concrete details/images to imprint the importance of bringing light to the issue of modern slavery on her audience. Such a beautiful talk!”

Lisa Kristine’s TED Talk is definitely one of my favorites.  Check out a previous Creating Communication post called “Top Ten TED Talks Delivered By Women” to learn more about my favorite presentations by women at TED.

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This week’s Wednesday Challenge is an activity AND a discussion:

Post a link to your favorite online resource for learning about public speaking and presentation.  Tell me why this resource is so good.

I’ll share one of your responses next week.

Commencement Speeches: Advice From The Experts

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Graduation season is upon us which means my favorite kind of presentations is being delivered in high schools and colleges nationwide: the commencement speech.  In March of 2013, I compiled some expert advice on graduation speeches in this article.  Even further back in August 2012, I posted “5 Best Practices for Commencement Speeches” including my advice to prepare, know your audience, keep it short, avoid getting too emotional, and inspire in an unexpected way.

This graduation season, we have a whole host of commencement speech experts we can learn from.  In NPR’s “Anatomy of a Great Commencement Speech,” Cory Turner and the NPR Ed Team analyzed hundreds of speeches dating back to 1774 to come up with a few important rules: 1) Be Funny, 2) Make Fun of Yourself, 3) Downplay the Genre, and, most importantly, 4) You Must Have a Message (Source).  Read or listen to the article in its entirety here.

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Decker Communications gives us “The Commencement Speech: How To Rock It” with three tips on effective content preparation.  Citing famous graduation speeches from Conan O’Brien, Bono, and Steve Jobs, Kelly Decker’s advice is spot on.  Check it out here.

Entertainment Weekly shares 2014’s best celebrity commencement speeches along with video of each presentation.  From Sandra Bullock to Charlie Day, you’re sure to learn presentations lessons from watching these actors and musicians delivering this year’s graduation ceremony speeches.

Along with celebrity star power, political figures are always big on the podium at graduation day.  “10 Things To Learn From This Year’s Best Graduation Speech” proclaims Admiral William McRaven as this year’s champion of commencement presentations.  The NAVY Seal who commanded Operation Neptune Spear (Google it) spoke at the University of Texas at Austin, and Inc. says we can learn a lot about life and happiness from the Admiral’s speech.  These ten life lessons are a must-read.  Check them out here.

What was your favorite commencement speech of 2014?  What public speaking advice did you glean from watching that graduation presentation?

Simon Sinek’s “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe”

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Simon Sinek has done it again!  “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe” is a new TED Talk by the speaker who gave us wildly popular “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” or the “Start With Why” speech.  This March 2014 presentation is not to be missed.  Check it out below:

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This speech emphasizes trust and safety as the keys to establishing leadership in a company or business.  If employees live in a culture of constant fear, if they feel they could lose their job at any moment if they don’t abide by the rules or the chain of command, leadership is not good if it can be called “leadership” at all.

Sinek teaches us that good leadership is about nurturing and opportunity, education and discipline, as well as a focus on building self-confidence.  He says if an employee at a company with good leadership is having performance issues, that company focuses on coaching and support.  He also says good leaders sacrifice numbers for people.  Companies with strong leadership know that people are the bottom line and not money.  Sinek tells story after story after story of companies with leadership that empowers people.  You have got to watch his Talk.

Leadership is infinitely fascinating to me.  I recently shared several articles I’ve been reading in the last edition of Links of the Week.  I began a new leadership training at my company today.  Yesterday, I had a meeting with my professor to flesh out my leadership-centered graduate thesis topic.  I can never read enough or learn enough on the topic, and I think I am most curious because I see leadership and presentation/communication skills so closely linked.

What great resources on leadership have you enjoyed lately?  Did you like this Sinek talk on leadership as much as his first TED presentation?

Wednesday Challenge: Favorite TED Talk

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On Wednesdays, I am facilitating a brand new audience-centered series called The Wednesday Challenge.  I’ll provide a prompt, and you leave a response in the “Comments” section.  I’ll share the best comment along with a new prompt the following Wednesday.

Last week, I asked you to tell me about the best compliment you’ve ever received from an audience member about your public speaking and presentation skills.  Presentation expert Phil Waknell responded:

“After teaching at business schools, I often get asked, ‘When are you going to train the other teachers to present like that?’ I take that as a compliment.

But perhaps the best I ever had was a young tech student who followed my course and won a pitch contest.  He told me:’You changed my life.’

Comments like that make it all worthwhile.”

Follow Waknell on Twitter here to learn more about the amazing work he does.  You can also read previous mentions of him on Creating Communication here.

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This week’s Wednesday Challenge is another question:

Share a link to your favorite TED Talk of all time in the “Comments” section.  Explain why that presentation, above all others, resonated with you.

I’ll share one of your favorite TED Talks and the reason why you loved it next week.