“What does roller skating have to do with developing a terrific, exciting, well-received training program or presentation?” you are asking. My answer is, “Shouldn’t our training programs be as much fun and exciting as roller skating?”
Terrific seminars have many of the similarities of skating. A skater experiences many things such as, 1) fun, 2) fast, 3) never boring, 4) awareness of your surroundings, 5) being a fearless kid, and 6) good timing.
Let’s identify some of the similarities between skating and speaking so that you can create a terrific seminar for your next presentation.
Have fun. Skating is fun and your presentation to your audience should be fun too. The audience wants to have fun and be entertained as they learn new things. They want to interact even in a small way.
Activity: Identify some FUN activities you have done on past programs. Or programs you have heard from other speakers. Write them down and keep them for future reference when you are preparing your next presentation.
Be fast, yet take simple steps to get there. Just like skating you need to know how to get from Point A to Point B in the quickest, easiest manner. State your key topic. List as few tips under your key topic as possible to get your point across. It is easier for your audience when you use short, easy steps.
Activity: Practice writing one key topic with three tips that will get your point across. Use this model on a future talk and see how your audience appreciates your clear and concise way to reach your point.
Be a Fearless Kid. Skating is a fearless activity for kids. Practice your craft and you will be a fearless kid again.
Activity: If you are just starting your speaking career, practice your presentations in front of your friends and organizations such as the Lions Club, Rotary Club, etc. Once you learn how to do it you will feel like a fearless kid again.
Never boring. Skating is not boring. Don’t bore your audience.
Activity: Find ways to avoid boredom in your presentations. That means get to the point fast skipping boring verbiage. Your audience will appreciate it and they will remember your key points.
Be aware. As a skater you have to be aware of your surroundings—dogs on a leash, kids running in front of you, cracks in the sidewalk, etc. You need the same awareness in your presentations. Is your audience falling asleep? Are they laughing with you? Are they nodding their heads affirming what you said? Pay attention to your audience.
Activity: At your next presentation be aware of how your audience is reacting. Are they attentive or falling asleep? If you are speaking after a meal it is expected that some of them will fall asleep, especially if they served turkey! Be interactive. A simple thing to do is ask a question, hold up your hand to acknowledge that you want them to raise their hand if they are in agreement with your question. It takes some practice to be aware of your audience’s behavior, but it is an important thing to do.
Good timing. In skating you have to plan your time so that you get to your destination and then back in time. Most inline skaters don’t like to skate in the dark so getting back on time is important. Always end your presentation on time or a little earlier. Your audience will appreciate it. Let them want more.
Activity: Plan your program so that you end on time. For example, if you have five key topics to present always be ready to eliminate one or two if it looks like you are going over the time allotted.
If you decide NOT to use these training techniques, then maybe the audience will be looking at their watches hoping you end soon. On the other hand when you use these techniques 1) your audience will have fun, 2) they will learn and remember your presentation, 3) they will never be bored, and 4) they will be surprised that the time has gone by so fast.
One final thought… The next time to see someone skating think about ways you will give that Terrific Seminar. Your audience will love you for it.
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Joan Clout-Kruse at 60-something skated in the Los Angeles Marathon with 2,000 other blade runners. She discovered many of the techniques mentioned in this article from her skating experiences.
If you are stuck with a specific goal or writing project contact Joan Clout-Kruse, the Book Writers’ Coach at CoachJoan@powerhousewriting.com to get you back on track. As your productivity book coach she can help you write your book in 90-Days or less. A free 30-minute consultation will help you to determine if you are ready to write.
Joan is the author of “The Top 10 Traits of Silicon Valley Dynamos, ” and the e-books “How To Write Your Book In 90 Days or Less, ” and “The ABCs of Success. ” Contact Joan at 650 759-2042 or check out her Web site at http://powerhousewriting.com to get your book done once and for all.
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