This a lecture on How to Speak by Patrick Winston from MIT.
Here’s a summary written in one of the comments.
- Do not start a talk with a joke.
- Promise - Tell them what they gonna learn at the end of your talk.
- Cycle – make your idea repeated many times in order to be completely clear for everyone.
- Make a “Fence” around your idea so that it can be distinguished from someone else’s idea.
- Verbal punctuation – sum up information within your talk some times to make listeners get back on.
- Ask a question - intriguing one
Place and Time
- Best time for having a lecture is 11 am. (not too early and not after lunch)
- The place should be well lit.
- The place should be seen and checked before the lecture.
- The place should not be full less than a half, it must be chosen according to the amount of listeners.
Tools For teaching.
- Board – it’s got graphics, speed, target. Watch your hands! Don’t hold them behind your back, it’s better to keep them straight and use for pointing at the board.
- Props – use them in order to make your ideas visual.
Visual perception is the most effective way to interact with listeners.
For Job Talk. Exposing, Slides
- Don’t put too many words on a slide. Slides should just reflect what you’re saying, not the other way around. Pictures attracts attention and people start to wait for your explanation – use that tip.
- Make slide as easy as you can – no title, no distracting pictures, frames, points and so on.
- Do not use laser pointer – due to that you lose eye contact with the audience. Instead you can make the arrows just upon a slide.
Show to your listeners your stuff is cool and interesting.
You have to be able to:
- show your vision of that problem
- show that you’ve done particular things (by steps)
All of that should be done real quick in no more than 5 min.
Persuade your listeners you’re not a rookie (Prof. Winston contrived to do that from the very first seconds of his talk)
If you want to your ideas be remembered you’ve got to have “5 S”
- Symbols associate with your ideas (visual perception is the best way to attract attention)
- Slogan (describing your idea)
- Surprise (common fallacy that is no longer true, for instance, just after you’ve told about it)
- Salient Idea (not necessarily important but the one that sticks out)
- Story (how you did it, how it works…)
How to End
- Don’t put collaborators at the end, do that at the beginning.
- Question’s the worst way to end a talk.
- It’s good to end with a Contribution slide – to sum up everything you’ve told with your OWN decision.
- At the very end you could tell a joke since people then will leave the event feeling fun and thus keep a good memory of your talk.
- “Thank you (for listening)” isn’t good ending, it’s trite at least. You can end with a quote of a prominent person (my own knowledge), with a salute to people (how much you valued the time being here, the people over here…, “I’d like to get back, it was fun!”
That part actually I find the hardest one, since saying “Thanks” is a kind of a habit and it’s really difficult to make people clap if your talk wasn’t fascinating, so you’d better do this great and you won’t have to worry about how to end!
I personally felt it was a wonderful talk. I hope others find it useful as well.