A Key Audience Engagement Piece

Want to engage your audiences more effectively?

Remember this key point: the audience nearly always takes their cue from us. If we want them to be more than just informed by our presentation - and we usually do - we need to enable them to follow our lead easily. To motivate, lift, persuade or inspire...all of these need us as the speaker to model that behaviour. I'm not talking about being over the top - unless that's your style. Often quite subtle tweaks make all the difference. Here's how to think of it: An example from music I once worked with a conductor (in my...

Smile Styles Send Signals When Communicating

Smiling when we communicate. Seems simple, doesn’t it? I used to think so! Yet our 'smile styles' send signals when communicating.

And while I don't want to over-complicate things, there are definitely some signals that you want to be aware of, if you're not already. These can apply whether you're communicating to a group, or 1:1.

Smile Styles We don’t just smile to convey happiness or warmth of course...we do polite, nervous, embarrassed, ingratiating or submissive smiles too (and more).

Some consequences and pitfalls of our different ‘smile styles’:

Smiling too little or not at all. 

We may forget to smile when it would be a very...

Unconscious Speaking Habits May Be Holding You Back

Are you aware of what you do with your hands, or if you use many filler words (like, um, you know) when communicating? And that these unconscious speaking habits may be holding you back?

Most people aren't that aware - and this is often a good thing! We have enough to do to get through each day without finding something else to work on, let's face it. And a few filler works like 'um' aren't an issue. (The problem comes when they multiply and become a barrier for the listener.) Likewise with gesturing. We gesture to help us think, and it's important not...

Communication Challenge: Not Fully Trusting Your Own Ideas

Do you ever diminish yourself or your abilities? A real communication challenge comes from not fully trusting your own ideas.

There are many ways we can short-change ourselves when we communicate our ideas - whether that's to one person or a big audience. Today I'm talking about a common issue, with more to come in future posts.

Not trusting our ideas fully enough.

This one's particularly for you if you're in the business of creating change, influencing or persuading others. Not trusting in the power of our ideas to make a difference in the world is often the biggest internal block we have to...

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 remind...

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...

Public Speaking Body Language Loop

Public Speaking Body Language Loop

In this video, I discuss the public speaking body language loop and how yours can help you, as well as signal competence to your audience.

So many speaking coaches talk about public speaking body language, and there's a lot of advice out there. Here's a small part on video about how positive body language at the start of your presentation can become self-reinforcing and help you to move confidently into the rest of your talk . Transcript: Hello! So today I would like to talk to you about body language - obviously a huge topic, and there are plenty...

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.)


How To Get Into A Strong, Energetic State Before A Presentation

How to Get into a Strong, Energetic State Before a Presentation

How do you come across to others when you present? And how do other people judge our energy levels? You might think this is an obvious question, but I bet there will be things you're missing - we can't always tell what's really going on, and even less so how we come across to other people, because we have so many mind filters in place and miss or delete information as we process it. So today's exercise is a way for you to find out personally how other people see...

What’s the Right Level of Presenting Energy for You?

Clients often ask me about the right level of presenting energy for them - what's effective and appropriate? My answer is that there are a few variables, so let me give you some pointers to start the discussion in today's post. Firstly, how do people judge our energy levels? It can be boiled down to a few factors: What's the right energy level for you as a presenter? 1. The over-arching factor: enthusiasm level; how engaged do we appear to be? How interested in our topic, and enthusistic about being in front of the room as the presenter? Remember that if...