fbpx
Phoenix Public Speaking coaching and workshops

Archive for business communication – Page 13

Tip #14: Shake and Make a Great Impression

Handshakes have been in the news a lot lately as President Trump meets with world leaders. In these interactions, there has been lots of talk about who was dominant, who was awkward, and who got it right.

Handshakes do make a difference. They set a tone for a conversation and how you do your handshake can say a lot about you. A handshake can make or break the first impression someone has of you. Because handshakes are a conscious exertion of body language and how we present ourselves, they are an important part of public speaking. And in today’s fiercely competitive business climate, how well you present yourself can make the difference in getting ahead or going home. So to succeed, it’s important that we do this basic business interaction correctly.

In the video clip below, Paul Barton shows how to do a handshake that exudes confidence and a willingness to partner with someone. Both of those qualities are crucial in most interpersonal and business settings. A proper handshake helps you send the messages you’re intending to send and it helps you to stand out in the minds of your customers, clients and business partners. So go on — shake it up!

 

Tip #13: Using Your Body Language to ‘Influence and Include’

Body language is crucial to effective public speaking. It communicates more than our words. Some experts say as much as 80% of what we communicate is done through our body language. So, it’s important that we are using our body language to communicate what we are intending to say.

When you are making a business presentation, is your body language sending signals of “command and control” or are you trying to “influence and include?” You will have more success at persuading audiences to your way of thinking if you adopt a strategy of influence and include.

In this video clip from our “Speak Up and Stand Out” workshop, Paul Barton presents some tips on using body language to help you be more a more inclusive public speaker and presenter.

By using your body language to say what we are intending to say, you can become a more powerful communicator.

Tip No. 11: Speaking Without Fear

What happens if you get nervous or slip up in the middle of your speech? In previous posts, we’ve presented tips to help calm nerves before you begin speaking, but what about while you are speaking.

Here are some tips to help deal with public speaking fear while speaking:

  • As you begin to speak, look for friendly faces in the audience first. Feed off their positive energy.
  • Remember: You mind affects your body language, but the opposite is true as well — your body language affects how you feel. Plant your feet and stand confidently. Hold your head up. You will begin to act more confidently.
  • Don’t apologize, don’t make excuses, and don’t say you’re nervous.
  • Be authentic; not perfect. Audiences are very forgiving of sincere speakers.
  • Laugh off mistakes, regain your footing and continue.
  • If you forget something, just move on. You’re probably the only one who knows you forgot.
  • Don’t forget to breathe, and do so from the diaphragm.
  • Be yourself and have fun!

By being your authentic self, your presentation will gain the most important element of a speech — credibility.

Related Posts

No. 1 Fear: Public Speaking

Tip No. 8: Preparation Helps Reduce Fear

Tip No. 9: Be the Host, Not the Guest

Tip No. 10: Getting Rid of Fear Moments Before You Speak

 

Tip No. 10: Getting Rid of Fear Moments Before You Speak

It’s natural to be a little nervous just before you begin to perform any sort of public speaking. Even if you’re not particularly scared to speak, adrenaline may increase in the excitement of the moment. We often times can control our upper bodies by focusing but the nervous energy then goes to our feet and causes us to sway, pace or move our feet around a lot.

Here are two techniques to use to deal with nervous energy:

  1. Burn off nervous energy. Nervous energy is natural. Some speakers are able to convert this nervous energy into presentation energy. Another strategy is to burn off some of that energy. You could d0 jumping jacks but that might look a little weird. Instead, try this “stealth” method to burn off energy that I learned from my mentor, Pam Chambers: Grip the side on your chair with your dominant hand and pull as hard as you can from the elbow up for 30 seconds. If you pull from the elbow, and not the shoulder, no one can tell you’re doing it!
  2. Breathe Deeply. Your body needs oxygen but often your body goes into shallow breathing when you are nervous. Breathe from your diaphragm. There’s science behind how this helps. But now, let’s take a psychological approach. Moments before you go up to speak, draw a deep breath. As you do so, imagine you are sucking up all the negative energy inside your body — all the self-doubts, the fears, the nervousness. Now, blow out your breath and imagine all the negative energy is leaving your body in the form of bubbles. Imagine those bubbles are popping as they come out and y0ur fears are disappearing into thin air. This exercise is only as good as you make it.

I have clients and former students who swear the chair grip is the greatest thing ever and they thank me months after learning it. Others love the imaginary bubbles. Some love both and others find no value in either one. The trick is to find what works for you. When you do, you will deliver a more relaxed and more confident speech or business presentation.

Related Posts

No. 1 Fear: Public Speaking

Tip No. 8: Preparation Helps Reduce Fear

Tip No. 9: Be the Host, Not the Guest

Tip No. 9: Be the Host, Not the Guest

Much of the fear of public speaking is about how you feel. Put yourself in this mindset: you are the host, not a guest. You will be less anxious if you are the host.

Here are some tips to put yourself in a host mindset:

  • Arrive early before a business presentation or speaking engagement. Get the lay of the land. Check out the room from all angles.
  • Do a sound check, if there’s a microphone.
  • As the host, you own the room. Move the furniture and adjust the lighting to suit your needs.
  • When your audience begins to arrive, greet them at the door as their host. Talk to a few people as they arrive to warm up your voice and your gestures. Make eye contact. Smile.

When you assume the role of the host, at least in your mind, you’ll deliver a more confident and relaxed speech.

Related Posts

No. 1 Fear: Public Speaking

Tip No. 8: Preparation Helps Reduce Fear

Tip No. 8: Preparation Helps Reduce Fear

In my 20-year career working at six major corporations, I witnessed many people who were passed over for promotions. Many found their ideas were not taken seriously. They just didn’t seem like “management material.” Most of them had the knowledge they needed to do the job. So why didn’t they advance in their careers? Answer: the fear of public speaking. They lacked the confidence to speak up and the communication skills to stand out, and it cost them.

Conversely, I’ve seen people who were very good talkers but didn’t necessarily have as much knowledge as others on their work teams. They often times were taken more seriously and got promotions they perhaps didn’t deserve. Ideally, those who advance in life should be good communicators and know what the heck they are talking about.

Don’t let fear paralyze your career. Before you can gain the confidence to speak and learn the skills to stand out in this highly competitive world, you have to first put fear in your rear view mirror.

You can begin to eliminate your fears of public speaking long before you step to the front of the room to deliver your business presentation or speech. You can take steps in the preparation phase that will reduce stress, anxiety and your fears of failure.

Preparing for Your Presentation

A speech or presentation begins as soon as you accept the assignment. That’s when you begin to do your audience analysis, content development and rehearsals.

  1. Practice, practice, practice! There is no substitute. Practice aloud. Practice in front of a mirror. Practice in front of your friends or family. Record yourself. Have someone else read your speech to you.
  2. Memorize your outline, not your speech. This will allow you to speak more authentically and appear to be more credible.
  3. Believe at least one thing in your speech will be meaningful to at least one person in the audience. That’s not a high hurdle. But if you do not believe that with all your heart then you have two choices: rewrite your speech until you do believe it or stay home.
  4. Make a packing list so you don’t forget handouts, visual aids, etc.
  5. If you have presentation materials, scripts, or any technology, have a backup plan. Technology can and will fail.
  6. Come prepared with a small bottle of room temperature water and throat drops. Keep them handy while you’re speaking. A coughing fit can ruin a presentation.
  7. Remove coins, keys, etc. from your pockets. If you fidget with a ring or watch when you’re nervous, remove the distraction.

The more prepared you are, the less fearful you will be. We will look at additional steps to overcome public speaking fears future posts. So, don’t be afraid to check back frequently!

Related Post: No. 1 Fear: Public Speaking

 

 

Tip #7: Develop a Thesis Statement

“If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.” ~ Dianna Booher

When you are preparing a speech or business presentation, take the time to develop a well-crafted thesis statement that explains what you want your audience to understand, believe or do when you have finished speaking. This one sentence statement will serve as the fountainhead for the rest of your speech and it’s worth taking the time to think it through and get it just right.

If you can’t figure out what you’re trying to say, your audience never will. But when you craft a great thesis statement, a speech can sometimes almost write itself.

Tip #6: Remove Distractions

“The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.” ~ Lilly Walters

Nervous ticks make you look less confident and make your message seem less credible. If you fiddle with a ring or watch while speaking, simply remove the objects. Likewise, empty change from your pockets. You could try to remember not to fidget with these objects, but you have enough to remember when you are presenting. Remove the distractions, remove the worry.

Tip #5: The Best Speeches are Stories

“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.” ~ John Ford

The best speeches are stories. And the best stories are from your heart. The good news for public speakers is these stories don’t have to be memorized because they are your stories.

So, how do you tell a good story that stays on point? Try this storytelling formula:

  • Introduction (set the scene)
  • Problem or Conflict
  • Solution
  • The Outcome or Results (this is the point of the whole thing)

Storytelling is perhaps the most powerful form of communication. So, go on. Speak up and speak from your heart. Talk about what you know about. Talk about what you care about. Talk about your passions. And as always, be yourself and have fun!

 

Tip #4: When Does a Speech Begin?

“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” ~ Somers White

When does a speech begin? Answer: The moment you get the assignment. That’s when you begin the research and the planning for what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. Great public speaking doesn’t just happen. A great presentation starts with a solid thesis statement and a well-thought-out outline. Investing the time upfront to develop a thesis and an outline will pay big dividends when you step to the microphone for your presentation.