Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Blog

Resources to improve your public speaking and presentation skills.

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...

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...

How to Improve your Talk in 10 Minutes

Want immediate, clear feedback on ways to improve your talk in 10 minutes? I have a suggestion for you. My only proviso is, don't do this if you're an anxious speaker or highly self-conscious, or you may end up feeling worse and it could really set you back. Video yourself Get your phone or camcorder ready to go Set yourself up in the space with your notes, or slides if you're using them Start filming, and deliver your talk for a few minutes: say up to 5 as a general rule Five minutes is a good length of time to settle into your content...

Do you Struggle with Public Speaking?

Do you struggle with public speaking? Do you struggle with public speaking? Does the battle with fear or dislike of presenting exhaust you, or stop you from achieving your career goals? In this article I’ll discuss four lenses through which to look at your challenge. My hope is that it will help you with a different perspective and some fresh ideas - or to see old ideas in a fresh way! First, a quick back-story on my own experience and struggle with public speaking. I used to be one of those incoherent, incapable "I'm only pretending to be here, don't look...

How to Show Warmth to Any Audience

How can we deliberately show warmth to any audience? Or to a person we're about to communicate with 1:1? No matter what sort of a mood we're in before we speak, or how we feel about that audience? And fast? I've been working with a client this week on exactly this concept. I asked him how he believed he came across in meetings with his team when he opened the conversation - was there any specific process that he followed at the start? His reply was basically "No process...and how do I come across? It depends on how I'm feeling". This is...