This section contains a variety of websites and resources that will be useful to anyone preparing a presentation, brushing up on skills or looking for both proven and innovative ideas in the public speaking arena.
Speaker Net News
This is a terrific newsletter, published each Friday, that gives a myriad of tips on enhancing presentations. Although it is directed largely at those who speak in public for a living, it nonetheless offers many useful and creative ideas for the corporate presenter. Pertinent topics for your speaker's tool kit include tips for engaging audiences, technology short-cuts, travel time-savers and relationship building.
An intriguing site for your speaker's tool kit, since listening to or reading great speeches helps improve your own skills. Here you will find a text and audio data base of over 5,000 political speeches, lectures and sermons plus a featured speech of the week. There are over 200 audio clips illustrating rhetorical figures of speech such as alliteration, simile, analogy and oxymoron, each with a definition and both written and audio examples. And for sheer fun, there is a text, audio and video database of over 120 Hollywood movie speeches, with a new speech added every three weeks.
Quotes are a terrifically useful tool for grabbing the audience's attention, making your point or message more memorable or injecting a bit of humor. No speaker's tool kit is complete without a resource for quotes. This site has a wealth of material, well organized for ease of use.
This is a searchable treasure trove of classical literature and contemporary reference sources, with titles as diverse as Gray's Anatomy, Bullfinch's Mythology, Roberts Rules of Order and the 1914 Oxford edition of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. In this robust collection, you can explore four main sections -- reference, verse, fiction and non-fiction -- and find cross-referenced biographies, quotes and entire novels and plays. A must-visit site, if only for the sheer volume of material.
[Trivia Question: Who is Bartleby? Answer: Bartleby was the title character in Herman Melville's Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street.]
A Thesaurus At Your Fingertips
Looking for another word for presentation?? This is a wonderfully convenient site for finding synonyms to enliven your writing and move away from your favorite (possibly overused??) words and phrases. There is also a dictionary and encyclopedia for more information.
This is a robust site offering a comprehensive database of parts of speech and rules of grammar. Complete with a review of basic grammar rules, downloadable grammar lessons and a grammar checker and proofreading tool, you no longer have to puzzle over how [its...it's...its'] done.
Word of the Day
Subscribe to a daily e-mail on this site and have a different word delivered to your mailbox each day. Along with the word comes its pronunciation, origin and several sentences using it in context. This is a great way to painlessly increase your vocabulary.
Wondering what rhymes with presentation? At this site, you can type in a word or phrase and get words that rhyme, are synonyms, antonyms or homophones...you can even search for your word in Shakespeare's plays.
The History Channel's Famous Speeches in History
Another site where you can listen to the masters. Search the archived audio files for hundreds of great speeches in history. Everything from FDR's request to Congress for a declaration of war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor to Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" to Edward VIII's abdication of the British throne.
This fascinating site is dedicated to all aspects of persuasion...how we change what others think, believe, feel and do. It contains a variety of theories, techniques, quotes, articles, book reviews and more. Worth a visit to check out the "clusters" of body language or the 11 methods of persuading through repetition.
World Wide Words
More than 1600 pages on this fascinating site trace the origins, evolution and peculiarities of the English language worldwide. Looking for the origin of dog and pony show or who created the word bafflegab? This is a great place to uncover a little known word or definition to enliven your presentation.
The Free Dictionary
Ever wonder what the Norwegian word is for presentation? The Free Dictionary site has dictionaries in numerous languages as well as medical, legal and financial dictionaries. You can also look up commonly used phrases in the idiom dictionary and find out both the meaning and its origin.
The Cartoon Bank
A wonderful archive of New Yorker cartoons with a special group designated for business presentations. Although there is a small usage charge, this is the perfect alternative to boring clip art (or an overload of bullet points) to liven up those PowerPoints.
Think tongue twisters are just silly kids' games? Not so. They are a very effective way to loosen up the mouth and jaw muscles, particularly when these muscles have been tightened from stress or anxiety. Practicing with tongue twisters can help you minimize stumbles and mis-speaks. Before your next presentation, pick a challenging tongue twister or three; say it quickly outloud; exaggerate your enunciation; repeat.