Okanagan Panorama

Presentation Skills

Presentation Skills (47)

Having been in the Toastmasters Communication & Leadership Program for over 21 years, Rae is passionate about sharing information to help others develop their skills. 

This section hosts articles related to public speaking, writing artilces/webcopy & presentation skill development. 

Enjoy the articles and feel free to comment. Keep the discussion going.

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Power of Persuasion: Speaking to Get Other People to Make Things Happen!, article by Rae StonehousePreamble:

There probably isn’t a day go by where we aren’t exposed to the act of persuasion. Either somebody is trying to sell us something, advertising is everywhere, or we are trying to convince another to take our advice or to give us something that we want.

We developed the skills of persuasion when we were children. I recall actively trying to convince my parents why I should be allowed to stay up past my regular bedtime to watch a television show that I wanted to see. Or why I should be able to watch a show that I was interested in that was on at the same time as a show that they were watching. I’m dating myself with that example, this was back in the olden days when households only had one television. I know … it is hard to believe that people actually lived in those conditions! Even negotiating with our mothers for an extra serving of dessert or a treat, helped us hone those skills of persuasion that would become so important to us in adulthood and in our professional careers.

This article is the result of the research that I undertook in preparation for a presentation titled: ‘The Power of Influence: Speaking to Make Things Happen!’ Ironically, as I researched the topic I found that perhaps the presentation should have been titled ‘The Power of Persuasion: Speaking to Get Other People to Make Things Happen!’


Ranting Makes Right ... or Does it? Writing Resonating Rants that Rock! by Rae StonehouseI read an article the other day, doesn’t really matter which one, that really grabbed my attention and engaged me. 

As I continued to read, the realization came to me that this wasn’t the self-help or informative style of article that I usually sought out. Oh no … it was a rant! A rant, thinly disguised as expert advice.  

I enjoy a good rant. Rick Mercer, of CBC’s the Mercer Report, is turning ranting into an art. His rants are fast paced, always have a recognizable target and are easy to follow. Even if you haven’t heard of the facts or evidence that he backs his argument up with, it leaves you wondering about what he has said and eager to find out more on your own.

The author of the article broke the rules of ranting, saying that anyone that disagreed with his ‘facts’ was stupid, making it personal to me. That got me thinking about rants in general. Are there any rules when writing or orally delivering a rant? Does the end justify the means? Is this another ‘might vs right’ scenario? Does good taste come into play when delivering a rant, or is it a ‘no holds barred, anything goes’ type of scenario?

Since rants seem to becoming more common, I thought it might be interesting to research best practices on how to rant with the best of them.

Vocabulary.com describes rant as follows:  A rant is an argument that is fuelled by passion, not shaped by facts. When the shouting starts on talk radio, or when a blog commenter resorts to ALL CAPS — you're almost certainly encountering an instance of ranting.

And the Winner is … The Art of Presenting Awards: Practical Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire.

While participating in sports as a young person growing up I was a member of several teams that were presented with awards of recognition but was never the recipient of an individual award. Awards were based on proficiency and results. I displayed neither. Elementary and secondary school weren’t any different. Apparently there wasn’t an annual award presented for showing up.

Top 10 Powertips for Presenting with Passion by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire.

Tip Number One: Know your audience. Ask questions before you agree to deliver a presentation. Who will be in the audience? What age bracket are they? What are their likes and dislikes? Are there any taboo subjects that you need to stay away from? For example: the benefits of abortion would not be well received by a group of Catholic women. Should you be speaking to this group in the first place? What makes you qualified to speak to them? When you have the answers to these questions and if you are the right person, then you can create a presentation to meet the needs of your audience.

Tip Number Two: Speak with confidence. The 2001 Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking Darren Lacroix’s, mantra is “stage time, stage time, stage time.” Every time you get up to speak is practice that adds to your experience and builds your self-confidence and skill. For me, joining Toastmasters was the answer. If you haven’t heard of Toastmasters check out www.toastmasters.orgwww.toastmasters.org or www.d21toastmasters.orgwww.d21toastmasters.org.

Let Me Introduce … The Art of Introducing a Speaker: Practical Tips & Techniques by Rae Stonehouse, Okanagan-based Author, Speaker, Speech/Presentations Coach, Power Networker & Toastmaster Extraordinaire.

Have you ever heard this said “Our next speaker needs no introduction …” Well, if that’s true mister/madam emcee, then why do we need you? As a Master of Ceremonies your role is to build excitement about each and every speaker or presenter that is on your agenda.

While developing and honing my speaking skills at countless Toastmasters meetings and introducing hundreds of speakers and their speeches over the years, I have developed an appreciation for the value of an effective introduction. Whether you are introducing a speaker/presenter, presenting an award or introducing a person that will be taking on a role in the program, a professionally written and delivered introduction can exponentially increase the effectiveness of the person that you are introducing.

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