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Free images from the Internet – Caution: warning letter!

Free pictures

Whether I like it or not, there are law firms who earn their money with warning letters. I personally experienced this years ago in connection with my e-mail distribution list. Hence, warning letters are a serious topic not only since the GDPR has been introduced. What happened? One of my e-mail recipients did not simply unsubscribe from my mailing list (which, by the way, is always possible with a click at the end of my e-mails), but sent me a warning letter instead. The entire matter, including lawyer’s fees and fees for the warning cost me over USD 1’000.-. If I’m not careful, this can similarly happen to me with pictures and especially cartoons for example, which I occassionally use in my presentations. So here are a few tips on how to protect yourself from warning letters about copyrighted material especially images.

Images are protected by copyright

Basically, all pictures (and all other content) are protected by copyright. Fortunately, there are also several pictures that can be used free of charge and royalty free in your presentations. The magic keywords are “free” and ” royalty free”.

For the complaints not to turn out too harsh, I have collected 10 (not conclusive) tips for a successful 1st of August speech.

Royalty free and freeFree pictures are sometimes not 100% free.

Royalty free is not the same as free. Royalty-free only means that you don’t have to pay for recurring royalties. So it is quite possible that you pay a one-time royalty for an image, but never again afterwards, because the licensor grants you a license for an unlimited period of time. This is common on sites such as www.getty-images.com, www.istockphoto.com and www.fotolia.de.

If you don’t want to pay for an image, you should make sure that it is both royalty-free and free. In technical jargon, royalty free is also equated with the abbreviation CC0. CC0 stands for “Creative Commons” and means that it is material to which no right at all exists or is claimed and can therefore be used for everything. There are numerous image databases that offer their images under the CC0 license. Good examples are: www.pixabay.com, www.unsplash.com and www.pexels.com. It is best to briefly read the terms and conditions of each page.

Image search with Google

Google has a powerful image search function. As soon as you switch to Google, the image search is currently in the upper right corner (see screenshot: Bilder = images).

Via the search field you can now search for any pictures. Enter a search term and press Enter. Now you will see the search results. Here’s the clue: Directly below the search field a menu bar with the word “Tools” will appear. If you click on it, a “Usage rights” (see screenshot: Nutzungsrechte = Usage rights) submenu is displayed (and only then). Select the option “Labeled for reuse”.

Image search with rights of use

This keeps you on the safe side of any copyright infringements.

Why pay for images?

You might ask why someone should pay for an image when both royalty-free and free images are available. The answer is simple: The paid pictures are often better, especially if you want people in the picture. Furthermore, it is much more likely that your image has not already been used uncountable times by others. For example, for the book “To catch fish, use the right bait. Scroing a s a speaker with Power Presentations” we did buy some pictures.

Citation / attribution

Even if the picture is free of charge, copyright law stipulates that the source (the author) hast to be mentioned, i.e. you have to mention the photographer’s name. From the photographer’s point of view, this is quite understandable: he wants to be named and may receive an order in this way (for other, chargeable pictures). Exceptions: On Pixabay (www.pixabay.com), for example, it says that most images do not require image attribution.

By the way, copyright law in Germany says that the photographer’s name must be mentioned right next to the picture.

 

If you stick to these tips, you will be happy to show pictures during your presentations and will be free of warning letters along the way. I wish you success.

 

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When does a presentation start?

Start of a race as an analogy for the start of a presentationMany think a presentation starts with the first word. That is a good idea, but it is wrong. Above all, the presentation start is at the latest when attention is drawn to the speaker. Usually this is the point in time at which the speaker moves significantly. That means, as soon as the speaker gets up from his chair, all pairs of eyes are on him/her.

Recently I heard an interview by Brian Walter with Connie Podesta in the podcast “Voices of Experience” of the National Speakers Association NSA. Connie (www.conniepodesta.com) makes the point that the presentation starts much earlier. She is of the opinion that the presentation does not start on stage, but when the first contact with the potential customer takes place, that is to say many times on the phone.

What does she mean?

Before she even makes a phone call to the potential customer, she researches the customer. She is looking for a story with which she can create a good connection to the event organizer. She mentions two examples.

Example 1: Conny told the event organizer of McDonalds her personal story with McDonalds. She grew up in the same city where McDonalds opened its first store. Her father often surprised her and the family with a white bag of McDonalds. Even today she loves to go to McDonalds at the airport to drink a vanilla latte.

Example 2: When she phoned Walmart’s event organizer, she shared her father’s story. Example 2: When she phoned Walmart’s event organizer, she shared her father’s story. “My father has always been a Walmart fan and was always most happy to receive a Walmart voucher from me at Christmas. After he died, I found a valid voucher in my father’s jacket pocket. I thought a lot about what to buy with it. Finally I bought a picture frame from Walmart for a picture of me with my Dad. The picture and the frame are here in front of me on my desk.”

By the way, both times Connie was asked to tell the respective story during her key note performance.Thomas Skipwith is interviewed by Bruno Erni.

What can you take away from this for your own presentations?

  1. The presentation does not start on stage, but long before.
  2. The telephone conversation is like a short demo presentation. You show how well you understand the customer. The customer hears whether he feels comfortable with your style.
  3. You can use the story, if you are booked, for your appearance with the customer on stage.

Listen to the podcast here: www.thomas-skipwith.com/podcasts. (Bonus: You will here many more useful tips during the interview between Bruno Erni and myself.)

If you want to hear the original of Connie Podesta’s contribution in English, the best way is to download the Speakernomics app (formerly VoE) and listen to the April 2018 edition of “Voices of Experience”.

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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey inspires her audience.

Oprah Winfrey

“It was 1964. I was just a little girl. I sat on the linoleum floor in my mother’s house and watched the Oscar ceremony on TV “(0:50). With these words Oprah Winfrey begins her speech. The details (cold floor, white tie and black skin) revive the event. She describes the moment when Sydney Poitier was the first black man to win an Oscar for Best Actor. This means a lot for the little girl, who at that time was following the Oscars from the “cheap seats”. This personal reference makes the speech very emotional.

In 1982 Sydney Poitier received the Cecil B. de Mille Award at the Golden Globes – the award that Oprah Winfrey is now the first black woman to receive. She skillfully draws attention to the fact that little girls are now watching again. So she refers twice to what she mentioned before: First black man/woman, little girl.

Tempo, gestures and repetition

During Oprah Winfrey’s speech, she changes tempo several times. She talks about the Hollywood Press Association, which has a lot of work to do these days: To reveal the absolute truth, to expose corruption and illegality. Her gestures support what she says:”What I know for sure is that truth is the strongest tool we have,” she emphasizes. She says she has great respect for the women who have gone public with their stories. “This year we have become history,” she says. She repeats the word “history” three times. She tries to keep eye contact with the audience – but sometimes it gets lost because of the wide-brimmed glasses.

#metoo

Oprah continues with the #metoo campaign by telling the story of the raped Recy Taylor and Rosa Parks, the woman who took care of the case. She brings her strong message with an anaphora:”Your time is up!” Their time is up! She repeats this sentence three times, while the people in the audience are torn from their seats and give resounding applause.

Come full circle

She comes full circle by returning to the little girls. With that she addresses all the girls who are watching to give them hope:”A new day is coming”. “And this day will be wonderful, especially because of the wonderful women and some phenomenal men who will make sure that no one ever has to say,” Me too!”

Conclusion

What can you learn for your own presentations from Oprah Winfrey?

  • Tell personal stories
  • Make references to events, history, people and facts.

Click here for the video.

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Bernd Baumann Nazi Card

A Nazi analogy made by the AfD

Bernd Baumann Nazi CardAfD politician Bernd Baumann makes a Nazi analogy – at the first speech in the German Bundestag. Doing so he surely convinced his followers. In his speech, Baumann criticized the decision made at the end of the previous legislative period to appoint the senior president according to years of service rather than years of life. With the aim of not allowing an AfD deputy to open the first session of the Bundestag.

“Only in 1933 did Hermann Goering break the rule because he wanted to ostracize his political opponent. Do they want to go down such a slippery slope? Come back to the line of the German democrats,” Baumann stressed. A rhetorically really well prepared speech, in which Baumann is supported by the regular applause of his party members. Even more: in his speech, the politician also addresses the press reports according to which this decision “does not cast a good light on the parliamentary culture in Germany” (Focus). And this despite the fact that the press “is not in the majority favorable to the AfD,” according to Baumann.

He cleverly takes elements from German history and tradition as supporting arguments for his point of view.

Repetitions and conclusion

“How big? How great must the fear of the AfD be?” Baumann repeats. The icing on the cake is the conclusion of the speech: In just one sentence, Baumann lists all the issues that are important to his party. “From this hour on, issues will be renegotiated here. … In future also about the euro, gigantic borrowing, gigantic immigration figures, open borders and increasingly brutal criminality on our streets, ladies and gentlemen,” Baumann says.

What can you take away from this for your own presentations?

  1. Use analogies, including those from your country’s history.
  2. Do verbal judo and take an accusation you are often given and turn it around.
  3. Make sure you have people in the audience to support you.
  4. Summarize everything again in one last sentence.

Click here for the video in which Bernd Baumann, AfD, pulls the Nazi card.

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Christian Lindner Fdp 2012

Rage speech by Christian Lindner

Christian Lindner Rage SpeechPresent convincingly and engage the audience: Not everyone can do that. Leaders, in particular, should have the communication skills to captivate audiences and, most importantly, convince them of their own words. In the following recording, the German FDP party leader Christian Lindner proves how to make use of rhetorical elements.

Visibly irritated by the interjection of a colleague from the SPD, Lindner reacts energetically. He takes up the words of the heckler again, addresses him, but also his party colleague, the prime minister, directly, repeats many statements, leaves nothing unheard, switches on pauses so that the listeners can digest what has been said. His arguments are particularly convincing when he supplements them with gestures. From minute 1:40, for example, he incessantly raises his right arm and gives the beat with his arm. A fascinating reinforcement of his point.

“There you have one.” and “I’ll tell you one more thing”: phrases he repeats three times, just to score one more point at the end. Definitely word requests to learn from.

You too can use the techniques described. Why not do it at your next presentation?

  1. Speak forcefully.
  2. Repeat sentences that threaten to be lost in the applause or noise or that are particularly important to you. This can also be a useful technique at the beginning of a presentation when some participants in the audience are still talking to each other.
  3. Refer to content that has been mentioned before.
  4. Give the beat with your arm on important statements.

Click here for the video of Christian Lindner. The video lasts only 2:45 minutes. Look at it. It’s worth it.

Barack Obama

The analogy: a powerful rhetorical device

An analogy is a particularly powerful rhetorical device. It often allows to present an issue much more clearly than if one did it directly. It sometimes takes a little effort to find a good analogy. But those who take the time are at an advantage. Here’s an example.

“Imagine: You go to the doctor, no, better, you go to 100 doctors and 99 of them diagnose “diabetes”. So 99 doctors are telling you that you are diabetic and therefore you should stop eating bacon and donuts. Then what do you say? You say, “It’s a conspiracy! 99 doctors sat down with Obama and want to stop me from eating bacon and donuts!” [Pause] You would never say that! That’s exactly how it is with climate change …”

The words come from the ex-president of the United States, Barack Obama, who in his speech criticized the position of some Republicans on climate change and the Paris treaty. The analogy is convincing and delivered with humor. You have to see and listen to it in the original.

See the video here. (It takes less than 2 minutes).

Or right here:

As always, practice makes perfect. Only if you make the effort to implement the tips, will you have a chance to give a good speech.

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The British Exit - and the European Future

John Major on The Brexit

John Major on The British Exit – and the European Future; University of Zurich, KOH-B-10, October 17, 2016, 18:40 – 19:26 h. Organised by the Schweizerisches InstitutJohn Major on the Brexit - and the European Future für Auslandforschung SIAF.

It was an honor and a privilege to have the former British prime minister visit the University of Zurich.  It was great to be able to experience the Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH at first hand. The presentation was even more relevant because of the recent vote of the UK to exit the European Union. Therefore it was no wonder that the lecture hall was filled to almost the last seat available, i.e. about 440 attendees.

Former prime minister John Major argued that the exit came as a surprise to many. According to him there were going to be many negative consequences. Subsequently he praised the overall achievements of the European Union, acknowledging some difficulties. In particular the key achievement being peace in Europe after the first and second world war. On the other hand, one of the mistakes the EU in his opinion did, was to let too many countries  adopt the Euro too early. As a result, Sir John argued that the vote in favor of the Brexit had to do with the fact, that many British citizens hadn’t seen a raise in their living standard for the past 10 years.

Now to the topic of this blog: How good a public speaker is John Major?

On the positive side:

  • Use of humor: He opened and ended his speech with a joke. First with a joke about Gorbachev, then with one about Jelzin. John Major also deflected some potentially difficult questions with humor during the Q&A session.
  • Declaring his standpoint: He clearly said what his personal opinion was about the Brexit: He thinks it was a mistake. Comment: This puts things into perspective and let’s the audience understand more easily that he leans to one or the other side of the argument.
  • Relate to the audience: Sir John related to a large part of the audience when he (sarcastically) asked the students in the audience: “Are 65 million British citizens going to get the same deal as 500 million citizens of the EU? Discuss!” He earned a big laugh from that (, assuming that that will not be the case).

Areas for improvement:

  • Voice: John Major’s voice was not constantly audible. His voice tended to soften at the end of sentences to the point that he could no longer be understood. Suggestion: Articulate clearly and loudly until the end of every sentence.
  • One sided: Many arguments were unbalanced. E.g. NATO is good, Russia is bad. (No mention of the promise that NATO gave to Russia: We will not expand NATO if you let us reunite Germany.) Suggestion: When preaching to the converted that works fine, probably less so when speaking to a large number of (most likely) critical university students.

Conclusion:

Most noteworthy is Sir John Major’s humor. Unfortunately he could not always be acoustically well understood. In addition, in a school paper (and, in my humble opinion, hopefully by the press) he would have been asked to give a more balanced view.

This was a worthwhile event to go to, if only to experience first hand how a former and current leader speaks.

On a scale of 1 (stay home) to 10 (world champion): 7