Using Public Speaking to Increase your PR NetworkWritten by Ana Ventura
The first time I was assigned an oral presentation as a college freshmen, I figured it would be an easy A. But much to my dismay, as I stood in front of classroom, my palms became drenched with sweat and I couldn't remember a word of material I had so laboriously researched.
You might be wondering, "So what does this have to do with my PR campaign?" Surprisingly, it might be more than you think. Let's say your company had decided to sponsor a charity event, and director of organization asks you to say a few words at event. Whether this invitation is spur of moment or planned, if you don't have a few good public speaking skills under your belt, you could end up doing more harm to your company's face than good.
Public speaking is not an easy task, and one that takes a fair amount of practice and confidence. Many people perceive speakers that give off a certain air of knowledge to be experts on topic being covered. Even if you aren't really an expert, it doesn't hurt to sound like one, right?
The first thing you should take in account when planning a speech is who you will be presenting to. Demographics and psychographics are two things that should be looked at carefully. Demographics deals with such issues as age, sex, socio-economic status and education level, while psychographics leans towards ideologies and beliefs systems of audience. Obviously, presenting to a group of high schoolers will necessitate a different tone and speech type than would a presentation to a group of science junkies at a physics convention.
You also need to look at message that you wish to convey to your audience. This will lead to figuring out what sort of speech you need to work on. There are different types of speeches, including demonstration, informative, or persuasive. If you expect an audience to listen, you have to give them a reason. Play off their motivations-- always remember that humans act and direct their behavior according towards wants and needs.
However, it doesn't matter how much you appeal to someone's emotions if you have no credibility. Establishing credibility is important because it builds trust between you and audience. Some common ways to portray credibility is by use of facts, statistics, narratives, and defining jargon that your audience might not be immediately familiar with.
They Called Me an Idiot! A Review of Web EtiquetteWritten by Alvin Apple
Recently I received an email from someone who had read one of my articles online. This reader told me that, while reading my article, she had noticed that I had used "their" where I needed "they're." A simple mistake, but one that could have been avoided with a little better proofreading on my part. I would have been pleased to receive this reminder to be more astute, but message didn't stop there. The reader went on to call me, among other things, an idiot.
Now we all make mistakes, and we all have our pet peeves. (Mine happens to be dawdlers.) Clearly this reader's peeve is mixing up of homonyms, and my mistake made me a criminal in her eyes. Thus, hidden behind anonymity of email, she attacked.
As a frequently published author, I am used to criticism, and always open to a reminder to pay more attention, even if that reminder stings a little at time. I am not, however, nor do I think I will ever be, open to being called an idiot. Was I upset by this person? Mildly. Do I think there's a problem with web etiquette in general? Absolutely. The insulting reader wasn't doing anything different than so many other self-appointed web critics do all time.
The basic problem with web etiquette lies in inherent anonymity of e-correspondence. The fact that we can't see someone, or hear their voice, does not entitle us to treat them rudely. Anonymity makes us bold, and some of us tend to forget our manners when sending emails or posting on discussion boards. I have a feeling that if this reader had been speaking to me face to face word "idiot" would never have been invoked.