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How to write a speech for any occasion

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There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank screen, and wondering how you’ll begin to write a speech. Oh wait, there is something worse: Staring at a blank screen, and wondering how to start your speech — while your deadline is hanging over your head. Add some pressure to a confused mind and a dreaded task and, well, you’re likely to throw something together, throw up your hands, or throw in the towel.

But don’t get mad — get strategic. In my work coaching busy people (from powerful Hollywood movie moguls to nervous maids of honor) to make speeches, I have found that following these three simple steps can quickly take you from ideation to oration.

Step 1: Prepare

While it is deeply satisfying to start putting words on a page, it’s more important to spend a few minutes thinking about what you want this speech or presentation to accomplish. After all, as Yankee great Yogi Berra once remarked, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

So, spend a few minutes reflecting on the following:

  • What kind of speech is this? Common types include informational (aimed at instructing or teaching), persuasive (targeted to change people’s beliefs and behaviors), and evocative (focused on generating an emotional response).
  • Who is your audience? What do they already know about this topic? What do they believe that may or may not be true? What do they want? What do they hope for? What do they fear?
  • What do you want your audience to feel? What do you want them to do? What one to three things do you want them to know (based on what they already know or believe, hope for, want or fear, and what you want them to understand) that will drive them to do the thing you want them to do? Stick to three main points wherever possible. Two sets up an “either-or,” where four tends to overwhelm.
  • What’s your overarching point of view on the topic?** A neutral speech is a boring speech!

Step 2: Organize

Studies about consumer psychology show that when you offer people too many choices and too much information, they tune out and ultimately buy nothing. As you are asking your audience to buy (or at least buy into) what you’re talking about, you want to keep your ideas as simple and streamlined as possible. Here’s a simple outline to follow that will keep you and your audience focused:

  • An attention-getting introduction: Use a quotation, a story, a question, or a statistic — something to get the audience paying attention to you as quickly as possible. “Hello, good morning, and thank you for having me” does not count as a captivating opening. Remember, this is your one opportunity to let your listeners know that you’re worth listening to.
  • A preview: Let your listeners know what’s coming by saying “Today, we’re going to cover…” That old saying “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them” is absolutely right. (For a bonus, tell your listeners what benefits they’ll get from your presentation. It will inspire them to pay attention!)
  • Points 1 through 3: Make your case. These main points should be based on what you prepared earlier (what you want your audience to know or understand). To make your points resonate, include stories, statistics, examples from the news and popular culture, expert citations, and personal experiences. But don’t use all of these for each point. Pick one or two ways to bring each point to life and then move on.
  • A recap: Tell them what you just told them. (Seriously — our memories are short and our attention spans even shorter.)
  • A Q&A: You might think that you should leave the questions until the end. Think again. When you leave the questions until the end, you let the audience decide the topic and tone you end on. You’ve worked too hard for that! Hold Q&A before you wrap up so that you can deal with anything that comes up from your audience and still plan to conclude on your own terms.
  • The closer: It’s almost over — but not quite. The law of recency tells us that the audience will remember most what they heard last. Wrap up any loose items, draw a final inspiring conclusion that will compel people to think and act differently, and then close with a stirring statement that’s memorable. For extra credit, have your closing mirror your opening so that your speech feels like a complete package.

Step 3: Present with passion

Maya Angelou once remarked, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to
thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Let it be your mission not just to survive your speech, but to deliver it with some compassion, some humor, and some style.

Make eye contact to connect with your listeners, use your arms to generate energy, move around the room (OK, not too much), and have your voice and face come alive to show that you care about your topic and your audience.

Don’t just stand up there — do something. Shift your presentation from “Woe is me” to “Wow!” and from “I can’t believe I have to write a speech” to “I rocked it. Next!”

 

source:http://mashable.com/2015/02/28/writing-speech/?utm_cid=mash-com-li-main-link

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AMAZON ERROR ALLOWED ALEXA USER TO EAVESDROP ON ANOTHER HOME

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A user of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant in Germany got access to more than a thousand recordings from another user because of “a human error” by the company.

The customer had asked to listen back to recordings of his own activities made by Alexa but he was also able to access 1,700 audio files from a stranger when Amazon sent him a link, German trade publication c’t reported.

“This unfortunate case was the result of a human error and an isolated single case,” an Amazon spokesman said.

The first customer had initially got no reply when he told Amazon about the access to the other recordings, the report said. The files were then deleted from the link provided by Amazon but he had already downloaded them on to his computer, added the report from c’t, part of German tech publisher Heise.

 

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CRYPTOCURRENCY INDUSTRY FACES INSURANCE HURDLE TO MAINSTREAM AMBITIONS

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Cryptocurrency exchanges and traders in Asia are struggling to insure themselves against the risk of hacks and theft, a factor they claim is deterring large fund managers from investing in a nascent market yet to be embraced by regulators.

Getting the buy-in from insurers would mark an important step in crypto industry efforts to show that it has solved the problem of storing digital assets safely following the reputational damage of a series of thefts, and allow it to attract investment from mainstream asset managers.

“Most institutionally minded crypto firms want to buy proper insurance, and in many cases, getting adequate insurance coverage is a regulatory or legal requirement,” said Henri Arslanian, PwC fintech and crypto leader for Asia.

“However, getting such coverage is almost impossible despite their best efforts.”

Many asset managers are interested in digital assets. A Greenwich Associates survey, published in September, said 72% of institutional investors who responded to the research firm believe crypto has a place in the future.

Last month, Mohamed El-Erian, Allianz’s chief economic adviser said that cryptocurrencies would gain wider acceptance as institutions began to invest in the space.

Most have held off investing so far however, citing regulatory uncertainty and a lack of faith in existing market infrastructure for storing and trading digital assets following a series of hacks, as well the plunge in prices.

The total market capitalisation of crypto currencies is currently estimated at approximately US$120bil (RM502bil) compared to over US$800bil (RM3.3tril) at its peak in January.

“Institutional investors who are interested in investing in crypto will have various requirements, including reliable custody and risk management arrangements,” said Hoi Tak Leung, a senior lawyer in Ashurst’s digital economy practice.

“Insufficient insurance coverage, particularly in a volatile industry such as crypto, will be a significant impediment to greater ‘institutionalisation’ of crypto investments.”

Regulatory uncertainty is another problem for large asset managers. While crypto currencies raise a number of concerns for regulators, including money laundering risks, few have set out clear frameworks for how cryptocurrencies should be traded, and by whom.

Insurance might allay some of the regulators’ concerns around cyber security. Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission recently said it was exploring regulating crypto exchanges, and signalled that the vast majority of the virtual assets held by a regulated exchange would need insurance cover.

Custody challenge

Keeping crypto assets secure involves storing a 64 character alphanumeric private key. If the key is lost, the assets are effectively lost too.

Assets can be stored online, in so-called hot wallets, which are convenient to trade though vulnerable to being hacked, or in ‘cold’ offline storage solutions, safe from hacks, but often inconvenient to access frequently.

Over US$800mil worth of crypto currencies were stolen in the first half of this year according to data from Autonomous NEXT, a financial research firm.

Some institutions have started working to solve this problem, and may provide fierce competition to the incumbent players.

This year, Fidelity, and a group including Japanese investment bank Nomura have launched platforms that will offer custody services for digital assets.

Despite the industry’s complaints, insurers say that they do offer cover. Risk advisor Aon, received some two dozen inquiries this year from exchanges and crypto vaults seeking insurance, according to Thomas Cain, regional director, commercial risk solutions, at Aon’s Asian financial services and professions group.

“It is not difficult to insure companies that hold large amounts of crypto assets, but given the newness of the asset class and the publicity some of the crypto breaches have received, applicants need to make an effort to distinguish themselves,” Cain said.

The industry also says it is getting closer to solving the custody problem.

“This year there have been a number of developments, and some providers have developed custody solutions suitable for institutional clients’ needs,” said Tony Gravanis, managing director investments at blockchain investment firm Kenetic Capital.

“Players at the top end of the market have also been able to get insurance,” he said.

But this is not the case for all.

One cryptocurrency broker, declining to be named because of the subject’s sensitivity, said insurers struggled to understand the new technology and its implications, and that even those who were prepared to provide insurance would only offer limited cover. “We’ve not yet found an insurer who will offer coverage of a meaningful enough size to make it worthwhile,” he said. – Reuters

 

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CTECH’S THURSDAY ROUNDUP OF ISRAELI TECH NEWS

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WeWork strikes a delicate religious balance with Jerusalem site. Shared real estate company WeWork launched its first Jerusalem location just two weeks ago and had already managed to dodge a bullet in the form of wide-ranging protests from the city’s large community of ultra-Orthodox Jews.Read more

WeWork in Jerusalem. Photo: Eyal Marilus
WeWork in Jerusalem. Photo: Eyal Marilus
How the U.S. embassy attempts to boost Arab tech entrepreneurship in Israel. While Israeli Arabs make up roughly 21% of Israel’s population, they only hold 3% of the country’s tech jobs. Read more

Scrapped London Skyscraper set to dominate Tel Aviv skyline. A tower ditched mid-construction in London due to the economic downturn of 2008 is now being resurrected in Tel Aviv in the midst of the city’s unprecedented tech boom. Watch the video

Acquisition by Medtronic complete, Mazor delists. Medtronic paid $1.3 billion in cash for the Israeli surgical robotics company. Including Medtronic’s existing stake, the deal is valued at $1.7 billion. Read more

Israelis receive 8.5 spam calls a month, according to Truecaller. The country ranked last among the top 20 countries affected by spam calls in 2018, according to a new report released by the company. Read more

Innoviz expands globally, sets up a commercial manufacturing line in China.The Israel-based LiDAR maker has doubled its employee count in the past year and intends to recruit additional personnel for research and development, business and sales. Read more

Particle analyzer company PML sold following liquidation. The company developed electro-optical systems for monitoring and measuring fluid particle sizes and concentration.

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