Chapter 5: Click Here for Technology

Technological tools can supplement your speech too. If you like, you can provide your audience with prep materials in advance so they'll know what to expect, answer certain preliminary questions, or become familiar with the subject matter before you actually hit the stage. On the flip side, you can use technology to provide your audience with leave behinds. As a bonus, you can give audience members a DVD or CD that includes portions of your speech and send follow-up e-mails that include newsletters, additional resources, or announcements of upcoming speaking engagements.

Bells and whistles will also make your speech more memorable. It's a dramatic way to present new ideas or concepts. Your level of technology use also communicates whether you're current with the latest trends. People like to be affiliated with and pay attention to presenters that they believe are in the know. That's the way you want people to perceive you.

Technology is fast becoming the standard for public speeches and oral presentations. As this occurs, it behooves you to put your antiquated ideas aside and make room for modern-day multimedia. You can expect audience members to be jotting down notes on their laptop or Blackberry. Or, maybe they'll be recording your talk by using their cell phone. If you don't start using technology, you're going to lose touch with the people you're supposed to communicate with.

Another benefit of using technology is that you can use animation, graphs, pictures, and simulations to illustrate complicated information. When compared to traditional talks, multimedia can give life to complex concepts in a much more effective way than traditional communication methods.

The time has passed for transparencies and chalkboards. These days, you need to consider screen projection systems that interface with the computer and the Internet to support your speech. The use of technology can facilitate active learning as well as exciting communicating possibilities. Just don't get too carried away with technology because you can't make the right statement if your tech tools are overstated.

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