Author - Sarah Denholm

Good Public Speaking – Let Your Points Land

Our ideas are only as good as our audience's ability to consume and digest them. Whether that audience is 1 or 10,000. Let that really sink in for a moment. If that statement is true - and I believe it is - then our ability to communicate so that the audience hears us and "gets it" is even more important than we might realise. Great communication is about creating shared understanding. Would you agree? Good Public Speaking - Let your Points Land I often say that good public speaking – for example - is not about us, it's about our audience. And that our...

Is Self-Belief Essential At The Start?

When I decided to start my own business in 2009 I didn’t have any real belief that it would succeed. I started anyway, basically because I didn’t want to look back in 30 years and regret never having a go. So here’s my premise: you don’t have to believe in yourself when you start something new. Is Self-belief Essential at the Start? You just have to take action, and self-belief will follow. I often talk to my clients too about holding belief for them until they’ve built some for themselves. It's perfectly possible to outsource your belief at the start...and often a very...

Powerfully Persuasive Word According to Research

Today I'd like to give you a powerfully persuasive word which can help when your goal is to influence somebody. We all know that words influence us. There's plenty of research showing that our minds are easily 'primed' to move in a negative or positive direction. Even briefly seeing words about power - or lack of it -  make a measurable difference in our minds and emotions. Words can be powerfully persuasive - even when they seem innocuous or gentle. So we can use this to our advantage. Here’s one to try when wanting to persuade someone, particularly if they’re resistant to...

My Embarrassing Webinar Fail

At the end of a year where most of us have moved online (and lucky if we were even able to do that), I thought I'd go more light-hearted today and tell you about my first webinar attempt and how it went wrong. Hopefully you haven't experienced a bad event as the event organiser yourself - but I'm sure we've all seen enough awkward online moments to be able to relate! My embarrassing webinar fail: When I ran my first webinar years ago - probably 2013 - on a software platform which used Google Hangouts for delivery, I sensibly decided to do...

What flavour qualities make a great communicator?

Whether we’re talking to a large audience, boardroom table or individual, these are specific flavour qualities which I believe are essential to truly stand out when we communicate. And these aren’t “presentation skills” per se, they’re attitudes we bring to the interaction. They also apply to conversations at work, home or socially. What flavour qualities make a good communicator? The base ‘cone’ ingredient is made of “aim to make it more about them, not you” (definitely adhere to this ingredient if you're giving a presentation!) and the three flavour scoops are: Respect Empathy Non-judgement These connection ingredients may seem obvious, but bear with me here. They're...

Keep To Time in your Presentation

As a presenter, how do you keep to time in your presentation? In a recent high-level meeting of the UN about the global nuclear threat - in which Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the world lives “in the shadow of nuclear catastrophe” - a newspaper report in the Age Melbourne (Oct. 4th 2020) tells us: “103 of the 193 UN member nations were scheduled to speak for two minutes but many spoke longer, meaning only 79 delivered addresses.” Keep to Time in your Presentation This is a common issue for speakers - and in going over time, other speakers may be pushed off...

Intimidated by People with Power over You at Work?

It's so easy for this to happen. Whether you’re giving a presentation or having a conversation, feeling intimidated by people with power over you at work - either higher up the food chain, or with some other power over you - it can be a real challenge. Intimidated by People with Power over You at Work? My experience I vividly recall working with my first CEO client, years ago now. We’d spoken on the phone, and I turned up for our first coaching session. I remember getting into the lift of this expansive, echoing marble foyer, heart pounding, as I tried desperately to...

9 Things I Wish I’d Known about Confidence When I was Younger and Struggling

I’ve struggled a lot with low self confidence at certain times in my life. Particularly when I suffered from the skin condition eczema as a student and then again in my 30s. Here are some things I wish I’d known about confidence when I was younger, as I battled myself and my misery. Nearly all of these 9 elements can apply to you if mindset and low confidence are getting in your way when you speak in public. So I thought it might be helpful to share my thoughts with you on how I built my own levels. Self-talk. My endless...

FAQs about Public Speaking and Presentations

There are some questions which I'm often asked - FAQ's - about public speaking and presentations. So here’s a list of 5 of the most common ones – see if any of them are ones you'd be asking yourself. FAQ's About Public Speaking and Presentations Q1. What's one of the most common public speaking mistakes? A. Too much content. I used to have this problem all the time, and it came from a combination of enthusiasm about the topic, wanting to give a huge amount of value, and fear that I would run out of content and be left with nothing else...

How to Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others as a Speaker

How do you avoid comparing yourself to others as a speaker...and maintain your confidence? How do you stop comparing yourself to other people and thinking that they look like they're doing fine — just great in fact — when you’re feeling vulnerable, and not confident at all? The most common triggers are often our work colleagues, peers or our competition. Firstly, some thoughts on comparison: Avoid Comparing Yourself as a Speaker 1. We’re wired to compare ourselves to others We’re wired for comparison: particularly when we’re feeling insecure, which just makes it harder to deal with. In general, we compare for two main reasons: one positive, the other less so. We’re...