As a presenter, should you be interesting, or interested?

Be an interested presenter, not interesting When I was younger I used to worry that I was never interesting enough as a person; I was quite shy, and never one of the cool girls...and I used to fret that I had nothing special or exciting to say socially. Well one of the great things I've found about getting older is that I've become pretty comfortable with who I am - and I no longer worry when presenting to groups that I'm not an interesting or dynamic enough speaker. I know that my content is solid, and that the right audience...

My CRISPER Formula for Good Public Speaking

CRISPER Formula for Good Public Speakers People often ask me "what makes a good public speaker?" And on my journey from dreadful to competent presenter, I've done a lot of thinking about this - as well as working with all my clients. A couple of years ago I had fun (yes, I'm quirky like that!) creating an acronym for good presenters which I still like: the CRISPER formula. I would be fairly certain that even if you think you’re not a good speaker, when you read the list below you’ll find that you already exhibit one or more of these 7 skills when you...

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...

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...

6 ways you can short-change yourself when you speak in public

Ways You Can Short-change Yourself When Speaking In Public In my work I frequently see clients unintentionally diminish and short-change themselves as they communicate. I’ve also done some of these things myself! Because our listeners take their cue from us as we speak, it’s vital not to let unhelpful habits cloud our message. So, what can go wrong, and how can you fix it? Here are some pitfalls and solutions: 1. Not trusting your ideas fully enough. Not trusting in the power of your ideas to make a difference in the world is often the biggest internal block to overcome. Believe that you have...

Creating a New Speech: 7 Tips To Get You Started

Do you have to write your own speeches or talks? Ever struggled to get going? I used to spend far too long getting a first draft out of my head (weeks, months anyone?) until I learned these tips: Mind mapping is a great way to begin generating content; it's a method which uses the brain’s natural tendency to create patterns and connections, and frees you up to just get your initial ideas down on paper/screen.  I use it all the time now. Here's how to do it: start with a large sheet of paper (if you're using paper); as large as you can handle...

Want Greater Charisma When You Speak? Have Certainty

  When we speak in front of others, our goal is usually to get them to take action or think differently. We're offering them something -  ourselves and our message; an actual product or service. The audience will take their cue from us, and we need to be certain and congruent in our words, our body language and our energy to convince them. And the more we can do this, the more charismatic we'll be. Today we're going to look at using words to be more charismatic: if you're uncertain about your message, or lack confidence, you'll retreat to the perceived safety of...

How to Practise Your Presentation: Practical Tips (And What Not To Do)

Group of Practice Golf Balls - vorakorn There are many different ways to prepare: today I'm going to talk about practising your talk in the outer world, but working with your inner world  - using mental rehearsal and relaxation techniques - are also important if you're nervous. Practising can help in showing you: what you need to fix in order to make your talk flow logically what you need to edit for clarity the possibilities for connection with your audience when you know your material so well that you get out of your own head how to feel more confident and comfortable (see my previous article on the neuroscience...