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Phoenix Public Speaking coaching and workshops

Archive for public speaking tips – Page 13

Quotable Quotes

Facts alone won’t cut it. Emotion, image, logic, and promise are the things of which compelling communications are made. This is true in all forms of communication including writing and speechmaking.

Tip #12: Speak with a Microphone, Practice with a Microphone

Some people practice for an upcoming speech by reciting the speech over and over while pacing about a private room in private. They get the content down well using this method. But then they get up to do the speech and discover they have to use a  handheld microphone with a long cable coming out of it. This can throw some speechmakers off their game. Some find themselves awkwardly bumping the microphone against their bodies making loud thumping sounds that annoy the audience. Others want to use notes and suddenly find themselves with paper in one hand and a microphone in the other. This makes gesturing extremely difficult.

If you’re going to make a wedding toast, a business presentation, or a public speech of any kind, find out ahead of time if you will be using a microphone. If so, practice with a microphone, or at least some object in your hand so that you get used to holding it while talking and gesturing. Arrive at your speech early and do a sound check. Get as familiar with the microphone as you can before your presentation begins.

The time you invest in practicing with a microphone will pay off in a big way once you are on stage.

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

 

 

TED Talks Parody

I love TED Talks but this is a hysterically funny must-see parody for anyone who does public speaking or business presentations.

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.

Quotable Quotes

“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” ~ Dale Carnegie

Quotable Quotes

“The best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you’re talking about.” ~ Michael H. Mescon