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Easy Persuasion Technique to Try

Want to increase your persuasiveness? A recent large review* of 42 studies involving 22,000 people worldwide showed that when you use the technique I'm about to give you, it doubles the chances of someone saying yes to your request. I thought it could be highly applicable to some public speaking scenarios. The easy persuasion technique is: telling your listener that they're free to choose: they can accept or refuse your request or idea. It's known as BYAF - But You Are Free. Easy persuasion technique Why do you reckon this works? I think this succeeds in persuading others because when you say it,...

Practising your Speech: your Most FAQ

Practising - your FAQ As a professionally trained pianist, practice has been part of my life since I was 6 years old. Time-consuming and often tedious, it's the focused, detailed work which makes going out on stage possible - a Classical musician wouldn't even contemplate walking out in front of a group without practising beforehand. Yet speakers frequently neglect this vital part of building confidence and professionalism, and a big part of the reason why seems to be lack of knowledge about what works around practice and what doesn't. So here's my FAQ list for you: What should be my practice goals? To...

What Does Glucose Have to Do with Public Speaking?

So - what does glucose have to do with public speaking? And have you ever thought about what your brain needs, to be able to think clearly under pressure? Clients often talk about being unable to stay focused or coherent when faced with people looking at them. They struggle to string thoughts together, and sometimes go completely blank. If this has ever happened to you, you know how awful it feels...and you probably live in fear of it happening again. What does Glucose have to do with Public Speaking? Being unable to think clearly while speaking in public is very common, and...

How Good Speakers Always Get Their Point Across Effectively – And You Can Too

Use a simple speech structure Have you ever been asked to present something at short notice and not really known where to start? Or walked out of a meeting after addressing your team and gone "oh #%^*, I forgot to point out what I'm expecting from them regarding __"? At these two pivotal points - when you have to prepare a talk quickly and don't know where to start, or during your actual address -  it's very easy in the stress or distraction of the moment to get confused or lost in your topic. So how do you get your point across in the...

How to Open a Business Presentation Strongly

Business presentations need a strong opening, without being dramatic or hyped-up. When a more punchy, 'wow' opening is required for a group, there are various ways to do it: you could ask a powerful question, give a startling statistic, or tell a short anecdote, to name just a few. But if you're giving a quarterly update to your team, or presenting to senior management, for example, these openings are not appropriate. In this case, you need to deliver a solid, clear, concise position statement that connects your content to your audience: why you're all there in the room or virtual space. The opening sets the...

How Mastering Discomfort Can Set You Free to Speak in Public

Mastering discomfort can set you free Speaking in public is confronting for most people. It can bring up all sorts of uncomfortable emotions and physical symptoms, which of course you'd rather avoid. But if what you want to achieve is outside your comfort zone, then inevitably there will be discomfort - or outright fear -  in getting there: "Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you're doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they're hiding out in the comfort zone." - Seth Godin And if you're someone who's struggled through times in your life where you were really uncomfortable or afraid,...

5 Excuses Which Stop you Getting Help to Improve your Speaking Skills

Excuses which stop you from getting help to improve your speaking skills [Updated 2020] Are you letting your fears about speaking in public stop you from getting the help you need to improve your speaking skills? Change is hard, as we all know. We're designed to avoid doing anything which frightens us, hard-wired this way to ensure our survival. You can overcome speaking fear...the hardest part is just starting. My mother-in-law was dying (she was 97) when I originally wrote this post in 2013 - and seven years later, I believe that the ideas in it still resonate. It was such a privilege to...

How to Build Confidence When Public Speaking and Presenting

Confidence Building What do you believe about building confidence around your speaking skills? Here is what I've found to be true: confidence is simply the expectation of a positive outcome. There are all sorts of possible definitions of confidence, but I like this one; it's clear, and boiled down to its essence. So how, you may be asking, do you build that expectation of a positive outcome?  In 2 ways: 1. You take action in the outside world 2. You take care with your self-talk in the inner world Let's have a look at these 2 elements - which may be simple, but they aren't...

Mind-trick That Can Help With Public Speaking Fear

Here's a mind-trick for public speaking fear that many of my clients have found very useful. Imagine that you've just given a talk and it's gone well. You're now successfully on the other side of it, and have just been congratulated by your boss...or you phone your friend and tell them that it went well. This mind-trick - imagining that you've already successfully presented your talk - can work really well to counteract the negative, pessimistic thoughts or images which will inevitably surface at some point before you get up to speak (unless you're a supremely confident speaker, in which...