Tuesday, November 27, 2007

kindle your next speech

My speaker trainings help you learn how to speak eloquently and without notes where possible, but for many speeches, a text is essential...and creates more problems for speakers. Pages get dropped, make noise, look awkward when you're toting them to the lectern and occupy your hands when you might be gesturing. That's why I got excited this weekend reading about the new Amazon Kindle. This new e-reader device is sold out at the moment, so I haven't tried it yet. (I'll review it in a future post, and welcome comments from early adopters below.) But this latest entry into electronic books offers new features that have great potential for speakers. With it, you can:

-Display your speech--not just books with speeches: Its wireless access allows you to email your own documents (think speech text) to your Kindle and display them just as you would books; because the wireless access is built on cellular phone signals, it's available more widely (and it's free).

-No more shuffling pages: The page "turning" controls are large keys on either side, allowing easy movement back and forth; you'll use your thumbs to page through the text. This lets you avoid dropping pages, shuffling noises and carrying your very obvious printed documents to the lectern. (The Amazon Kindle is the size of a small paperback.) Looks to me as if you can page forward with only one thumb or finger, leaving another hand free to gesture.

-See your speech text in sunlight or indoors: No-glare screens that lack a computer backlight make it possible to read your text in any setting.

-Adjust to large-type settings: Six font sizes allow you to create the display you can best see.

I'm looking forward to testing the Kindle with our trainees and for my own upcoming speeches, and will report back here. In the meantime, if you've tried an Amazon Kindle,try using it for displaying your speech text or talking points and give us your feedback in the comments below.