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Public Speaking Fear Roadblocks and How to Get Past Them

Public Speaking Fear Roadblocks and How to Get Past Them Do you put up public speaking fear roadblocks? Do they stop you from achieving your goals…or one goal in particular? Are you just over it? In today’s post I’ll discuss some common types of fear, and three ways to get past  your own fear roadblock and improve your public speaking. Public Speaking Fear Roadblocks and How to Get Past Them Comfort Zones. Fear shrinks the boundaries of our comfort zone, as we try to control our environment and keep ourself safe. Comfort zones are designed to be temporary, and their boundaries flexible….when we...

How to Use Few or No Notes when Presenting

Clients often tell me that one of their main goals is to learn how to use few or no notes when presenting. And it can be important for many people, particularly in certain industries, to show their expertise in this way. I do, however, sometimes point out that there is no bravery award given out just because you went out there juggling on a tight-rope, noteless, without a safety net! How to use Few or No Notes when Presenting I personally see notes, whether they are a few bullet points jotted on a cue card or one A4 sheet of paper,...

Two Great Ways to Use a Presentation Slide Title Box

Have you ever thought about how you could leverage the presentation slide title box at the top of each slide? (If you use it, of course. You may prefer to start with a blank master slide, which is what I do - although I often use titles that I add to the blank slide myself.) It's the first thing your audience sees on each slide - and probably the first thing you type onto the slide as you create it. But it's often generic, redundant or plain dull (for example, "2019 Sales Budget"). Two ways to use a presentation slide title...

How Many Slides Should I Use?

I was working with a new executive client yesterday who had a list of questions for me including a burning one "how many slides should I use? I've got 62 at this point." He has an hour-long 5 year business plan presentation to give to his entire company in a couple of weeks. I'm often asked this question and obviously clients would love a definitive answer… however the true answer is "it depends". (But probably not 62!) How Many Slides Should I Use? A big point to remember around this whole 'slide' topic: you are the presentation, not your slides! Firstly: do you need...

How Low Confidence Can Help You

How Low Confidence Can Help You Become a Better Speaker You've probably heard the idea that if you believe in yourself, you can do anything. Confidence is the key to success. But what if this isn't true? Or vital to get ahead in life? So much research nowadays points to the fact that low confidence isn’t a bad thing. In fact, having low confidence can help you in a business environment - and can actually increase your chances of success. And high confidence isn't always all it's cracked up to be. Think about someone you know who’s very confident  - is there...

Persuading Through Data And Stories – What We Can Learn From Nonprofits

Persuading Through Data And Stories Updated 2019 When your goal is to persuade your audience about an idea or argument, how much do you use stories? And by story, I just mean a human example - nothing long or elaborate needed. You've probably heard about storytelling in presentations, and there are many different resources to help you use them effectively. Persuading Through Data and Stories But in my work with clients I still often see reluctance to go beyond the data - and don't get me wrong: facts, logic, data, they're all crucial. But...numbers don't engage your audience unless they understand where the numbers...

Three key factors which reduce speaking stress

Studying 'stress hardiness' research is part of what I do to help clients become more resilient presenters; and there's been a lot of interesting work done in this area over the past nearly 40 years by two psychologists, Salvatore Maddi and Suzanne Kobasa. They've worked with 1000's of  Control, commitment and challenge - key factors which reduce speaking stress professionals and have found three critical factors in resilient people. Resilience shows up when people go through life stressors and come out the other side showing the ability to grow and thrive. (Whereas non-resilient people suffer physical and/or mental ill-health.) These three critical...

Are your Public Speaking Expectations Helping or Hindering You?

I've always had high expectations of myself - and my family environment growing up was a big part of that. (A very high-achieving Cambridge-educated half brother and sister 11 and 13 years older than me set the bar high!). And part of this background has meant that I've always strived for future goals - and not always celebrated successes along the way. Always pushing and working towards something just out of reach - and when it was reached, moving right on to the next thing with barely any acknowledgement. This is a stressful way to live! As you'll know if you...

Bad Presentations – What’s the Biggest Problem?

Bad presentations: I've been reminded recently of a observation by Scott Berkun, a writer and speaker who's spoken at conferences all over the world. Scott's also written a great book 'Confessions of a Public Speaker'. One of the ideas in his book is something I totally agree with. Burkun says:  "The problem with most bad presentations I see is not the speaking, the slides, the visuals, or any of the things people obsess about.  Instead, it's the lack of thinking." You'd probably agree that this is true. No amount of being polished and eloquent with beautiful slides will save you if...

Nervous Speaker? Where Does your Focus Naturally Go?

So you're a nervous speaker: where does your focus naturally go? Updated 2019 Today's video post is around a link to some interesting research on where your eyes and attention go if you're an anxious presenter. This is assuming you're able to look up and 'take in' your audience - and if you're nervous, that's not a given! (I put myself in that category: my eyes used to dart around the room when I was afraid of speaking. Eye contact was way too difficult!) Nervous Speaker - Where Does your Focus Naturally Go? So if you're a nervous speaker, where does your focus...