Wednesday, November 28, 2012

8 gifts to encourage your favorite public speaker

Let's face it: Public speakers, for the most part, need encouragement. It takes a lot to get up and do those work presentations and keynote speeches. So why not encourage your favorite speaker, speechwriter or presenter with something that will advance her presentations and public speaking? Conference organizers and program chairs, if you book speakers throughout the year, stock up on these options. Go beyond applause and give one of these thoughtful gifts:
  1. Get something that's essential, but always missing: If I had a nickel for every time I showed up for a speaking gig and asked for a remote, only to be told "Oh, we lost it," I could retire on my earnings. You can advance your public speaking colleague's confidence as well as her slides with the gift of a combination remote-control and pointer, like this Logitech Professional Presenter R800. It's lightweight, small, easy to take with you and insurance against the missing remote problem. Bonus: She'll think of you every time she presents.
  2. Share a trove of quotes by women: This blog is among many voices urging that all speakers, male and female, quote more women when they speak. A trove of quotations for your favorite speaker or speechwriter is The Quotable Woman: The First 5,000 Years -- a reference that makes a great gift for the office team of speechwriters or for a woman speaker you wish to inspire.
  3. Serve up online assists for presenters, speakers and speechwriters:  Pen and pencil set? So last century. Instead, consider everyday online tools that will give a daily boost to speakers and speechwriters. Why not a gift certificate that lets her upgrade a free Prezi account to one of the paid versions for more functionality in zooming slide presentations or a premium account in Evernote, where she can save quotes, background material and notes as well as write speeches or record them, and save video of how she did?
  4. Think about gifts of historic proportions: It won't quite be out in time for the holidays, but you can pre-order The Penguin Book of Historic Speeches, a forthcoming compendium, or buy your speaker friend tickets to see the Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln, along with a copy of the Library of America's Lincoln : Speeches and Writings : 1859-1865, so she can get more insight into the famous man's words.
  5. Show an insider's appreciation for your introverted speaking friend: Like most personality types, introverts appreciate knowing that you understand them and their public speaking challenges--among them, the understanding that introversion doesn't keep you from being a good public speaker. Susan Cain talks about being an introvert and a speaker in the popular book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, or the audio CD version of the book.
  6. Lean toward language and delivery: Paying attention to your verb forms is one of the easiest ways to energize a speech, so I was glad to see that the book Power Verbs for Presenters: Hundreds of Verbs and Phrases to Pump Up Your Speeches and Presentations is forthcoming. Pre-order it now for delivery in February and get a nice card to that effect to give your speaking friend for the holidays. Or, for a deep dive into one of the most common speaker stumbles, share a copy of Um. . .: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean, a fascinating look at something speakers do in every language.
  7. Get a specialty speaker gift: Not all public speakers are alike, and many face particular challenges.  Your scientist or engineering colleague will appreciate Designing Science Presentations: A Visual Guide to Figures, Papers, Slides, Posters, and More, which you can pre-order now for delivery right after the holidays. Is your speaker also an author? Get her ready for her book tour with Talk Up Your Book: How to Sell Your Book Through Public Speaking, Interviews, Signings, Festivals, Conferences, and More. And with Hanukkah ahead, share the resource of The Quotable Jewish Woman: Wisdom, Inspiration & Humor from the Mind and Heart.
  8. Forget stocking stuffers. Think pocket stuffers: For the speaker or presenter who wants to keep those tips close to hand for last-minute encouragement, consider a gift of the paperback Um, ah, um.: A Pocket Guide To Public Speaking, or the even more packable Kindle edition of the Pocket Guide for Presenters: Express yourself with confidence