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 speak...

Easy Persuasion Technique to Try

Want to increase your persuasiveness? A large 2012 review* of 42 studies involving 22,000 people worldwide showed that when you use the easy persuasion technique I'm about to give you, it doubles the chances of someone saying yes to your request. Doubles! And I believe it can also apply to some public speaking scenarios, as well as support your influencing goals. The easy persuasion technique: Tell 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 think this works? For me, its success at persuading...

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 speak...

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 most...

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 tone...

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 is...

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 wishy-washy...

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 of...

Be Succinct: Public Speaking without the Clutter

public speaking: be succinct Is your talk too ‘cluttered’ for your audience to act on? These structure tips will help. A few years ago I was looking at houses to buy, and visited properties that were ‘open for inspection’. At one house, the outside looked very appealing, well cared for and with a great garden. The real estate agent greeted me at the front door, saying “letting you know that tenants are still living here”. The front door swung open to reveal the most cluttered home that I have ever seen -  there was stuff everywhere! Not mess, just an overwhelming amount of furniture…...

Pitching your Idea: Clarity and Inspiration from Starbucks CEO

How's this for clarity of words and vision when doing a sales pitch? When CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz was pitching to investors in the late 80's the idea of setting up coffee shops in the U.S. he didn't focus on the coffee. He said this instead: "we're going to build a 3rd place between work and home." Now that's an inspiring, big-picture concept. If you pitch ideas or products for a living, can you come up with your own big-picture concept that gets you inspired? Because if you're not excited, it's hard for your prospects to get revved up about what...