And an Oscar for presentation

Do you have to prepare a presentation? Don’t become a slave to the content, win the hearts of your listeners. You will be a better speaker than the most recent Oscar winners. Five tips from Debat.NL for an unforgettable impression.

1. Touch from the first second.

Start with an excuse, you will start strong. The stongest opener is still the powerful first sentence that increases expectations. Obama: “They said this day would never come”

2. From the heart

Don’t turn your heart into a PowerPoint slide. Bulletpoints aren’t interesting, personal motivation is. Reveal what involves you with the subject: ‘Ambition is good, until you are injured severely, how do you keep your head high?’

3. Away from paper

Who speaks from a sheet of paper was clearly not finished preparing. Practice as long as you need to start improvising. This way you will understand the essence and will not need paper, at most a few key words.

4. Embrace interaction

A good speech comes from two directions. One way traffic causes accidents. Don’t wait for a question from the audience, ask questions yourself. The answers are free feedback and will help you put the stress on the right subjects.

5. Take the shortest route

How do you prevent that your audience finishes listening before you finish speaking. Always take the shortest route to your goal, a maximum of 3 stops and no detours.

Can I interrupt for a bit?

A lot of speakers see an interruption of their plea as an annoying coitus interruptus with their hearing. A pity, because who limits quantity gains quality. Five tips from Debat.NL to interrupt effectively and diplomatically.

1. Choose a method

Simply talking right through the other is not chic nor effective. You present yourself as a nuisance rather than a perfect distraction. The polite question “Can I interrupt for a moment” will make most speakers stand down directly.

2. Give a reason

Don’t make interrupting a goal on its own, like some politicians do: how do I get screen time? A clear reason improves chances of the conversation taking a turn for the better. Example: ‘You are making us very curious’, ‘I want to go back to the original question’ or ‘Like you I’m curious to the reactions of others.’

3. Avoid the duel

If you interrupt someone and look at them with piercing eyes you will get fireworks in return. Therefore you should not only look at the speaker, but also the rest of the meeting. Bet that they will agree?

4. Click on keywords

Notoriously ‘well spoken’ people can sometimes easily be interrupted by ‘clicking’ one word: ‘sustainability you say. You said it 5 times. Shall I tell you what that means in practice?’ Talented speaker who knows how to ignore this interruption.

5. Non-verbal amplifiers

By clearing your throat, raising a finger and giving a nod to the chairman you will signal that it’s time to take a different approach. If you are looking for a stronger means: touch the speaker for a short time.

And remember: most people are grateful for an interruption, sometimes even the speaker!

Fresh feedback

Feedback is not for the faint of heart. But who makes do without in 2014 should be worried. Instead you should push it even further. Five feedback tips from Debat.NL

0 degrees

Look, I’m just doing my job. If everyone does the same everything’s good. Does this hard worker need feedback? Of course. You could ask: ‘What do others think about your work?’ That makes everyone think.

90 degrees

Do you have to hold an entire session to give each other feedback? Of course not. Let everyone tell their neighbor what they think during the work meetings. It’s called speedbacking. You don’t immediately, but everyone becomes more cheerful.

180 degrees

You can also sit across from each other, 180 degrees. This is not for small talk. Following these 3 simple steps to see improvement: Behaviour, Feeling, Consequences. Add Desirable and you will learn really fast.

360 degrees

Are you not a fan of 1 on 1 feedback? Put yourself on the Hot Chair and ask feedback from everywhere without mercy. If you try to defend yourself you’re it. Counter attacking creates a boomerang effect. It’s the ultimate test and will make you sweat buckets. Keep listening and asking and you will learn a lot.

Alternate and plan

Like in a sauna, changes in temperature are good. This way you prevent feedback from being a sluggish activity. And always make sure there is feedforward. Feedback is mainly useful if it brings about concrete change in the short term. Cooperation becomes fun.

Inspire? Do it yourself!

Improvising when you talk is impressive, but even more so if you inspire people. Don’t wait until your boss, director or prime minister is ready, do it yourself. Debat.NL helps you with 5 techniques for inspiring speeches.

1. Improvisation? From the heart!

Don’t become the talking part of a PowerPoint. Have courage to sum up personal examples and changing experiences. Talk with your own words. Inspiring is not a language trick.

2. Express what your audience needs

If you express powerfully what truly bothers people, what frightens them or makes them feel insecure and what they desire, then what every speaker wants will happen. Your audience will hear themselves talking in your words. There is no better proof of empathy

3. Tell what you want and why vividly

Don’t just say what you think should be done, say why as well. A vivid sketch of the problems you are tackling thrills everyone. The effect: something has to be done.

4. Sketch the beckoning perspective

Formulate a goal nobody can be against en that is bigger than your or me. Age is not an issue. Malala Yousafza, 16 years, a Pakistani who survived a shot through the head by the Taliban: ‘One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world’.

5. Explain how everyone can contribute

Who inspires wants action. That’s why asking for everyone’s cooperation is the best climax of your plea. Now is the time…

The Propaganda Checker

Are you trying to snare them once again? Big chance that you are being seduced with propaganda. Keep the Propaganda Checker close. Debat.NL helps you with 5 test questions for a solid argumentation and honest discussion.

1. What does that mean concretely?

(Glittering generalities) Big words like sustainable, transparent and synergy are used daily. The people who use them don’t harm anyone, play with feel good but don’t say anything really. That way someone can go whatever way they want. Concrete = better. What do you mean exactly?

2. N=1: Do you have more examples?

(Tesitimonial) ‘Maurice de Hond also transferred to us’. Interesting, but why? Does Maurice know a lot about energy? N=1 is not representative. Question: Are there more examples, counter examples? If your partner remains quiet you know enough.

3. Why would I vote?

(Bandwagon) ‘Many voted before you’. Nice, but sheep are tame animals. If people walk after each others nobody will be thinking critically anymore. Stay cool: ‘You haven’t convinced me yet, why would I join?’

4. Are there downsides?

(Cardstacking) Selective arguing is as understandable as it is deceptive. Get serious. Who can not name downsides to his own plan is not credible. There’s no such thing as pink clouds.

5. Apart from yourself… what are your arguments?

(Plain folks) If someone pretends to be an ordinary man or woman like you, then it’s time to seperate the case and the person. Joe the Plumber was caught as well. So: ‘Back to the subject, why exactly do you want to…?’

The ideal is and remains and open debate where arguments are tested for truth and value. Without resistance every monologue will tend to be propaganda.

No excuses please

The workload increases fast. With less colleagues it’s hard to work hard and long. No wonder everyone wants to look out for themselves. So working together? No way. 5 classic excuses spoil the fun at work. Don’t accept them!

1. That’s not my job…

Don’t discuss what function, task, role or responsibility someone has or doesn’t have. Check where the willingness is. Just ask: ‘what do you want to contribute?’

2. That’s not going to work…

All forms of negative criticism without thinking are not worth discussing. Cynicism is fought with positivism. Just ask: ‘Ok, what are you suggesting to make this work?’

3. I don’t have time for that…

Everything important gets time. Don’t argue about importance and priority. Find a small opening. Just ask: ‘When are you prepared to make time for this?’

4. I don’t feel like that…

People can not be motivated, they have to motivate themselves. Look for what drives them. Just ask: ‘What has to be done so you will contribute to this?’

5. We don’t have enough money…

It’s a crisis, everyone understands that. And that’s why existing spendings have to make room for new investments. Just ask: ‘And what if this yields money?’

5 heated moments

Nobody seaks the heat in a discussion. And you would prefer avoiding redness in the face. How do you instantly cool down in 5 awkward situations?

1. The blackout during the presentation

Calmly repeat your last alinea. Few notice this and the inspiration will return. If the content fails there is still the process. Hold a short break or give everyone an assignment. Option 3 is ‘Sorry, I’m having a blackout – what will we do?’ Help assured.

2. The impossible question

Stay honest. ‘I don’t know that, but what I do know is…’ Never talk about things you only mastered partly.

3. The disappeared preparation

Everything wasted? If you control the subject reasonably choose interaction. Ask your audience what it already knows and what it wants to know. Nothing more custom than this.

4. The brutal judgment: ‘You are the biggest loser around!’

A scolding like this asks for perspective. ‘I understand your criticism. It’s very healthy. I do have a problem with the tone you use. Be a little more concrete please.’ Criticism as a chance and sweat will be pouring down the right back.

5. The declaration of love

You are unexpectedly given a giant compliment, a big pat on the back or a spontaneous kiss from the boss. Accept it with a blush!

Never sweat again during a speech

Why the irresistible urge to management by speech? You have 5 motives to reduce every request for a speech to a maximum of 1 minute.

1. The monologue is a symptom of the last of the Soviet threat. With an iron message discipline employees are made to believe that they are ‘the most important capital’ or that ‘the customer is always king’. With these platitudes nobody will argue against you. It’s saying nothing with the cynical result that everyone thinks: let them talk, we know better.

2. Pastors belong in church. Who pretends to speak truthfully outside of that is creating his own fairy tale. There’s more wisdom in the audience than behind the lectern. Employees know more than their manager. The motto for each speech is thus: crowdsourcing. You only know what to say if you know why your audience is shy.

3. What do you do when Sacha de Boer presents the news? Put some coffee, watch the laptop, talk to your roommates. Sacha keeps talking regardless. The fate of the monologue is multitasking in the audience. The blackberry, the pen and the handsome neighbor are easily included while listening. Without interaction the attention drops fast.

4. The audience wants a speech. Tell us again, chief, about our change strategy. Quatsch! Don’t be fooled! Don’t make people even more lazy than they already are Brain cells are stimulated by action.. If you want them to understand your strategy, you will have to talk to them personally.

5. During the airtime for monologues only one thing counts: get to the point as fast as possible. Ask the right question, keep your mouth shut and listen. Only when you listen well talking will become easy. Entering in dialogue can be exhausting at first, because it only works with sincere interest from your audience.