Do you Struggle with Too Much Content?

Do you struggle with too much content when you present? A presentation (a talk or speech also apply here) isn’t the best way to deliver a lot of content, it’s actually very inefficient. The brain isn't designed to take in a whole of information coming at it rapidly, as we know. Particularly nowadays! A good or great presentation or talk is about communicating something where you add value by showing up. You're enhancing and interpreting the information in your own voice and delivery style...and the audience needs you as interpreter. Otherwise why be there? Your audience needs space This is especially important...

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...

Adding Silence When you Speak – Don’t Stuff Your Audience

How well do you get on with adding silence when you speak to groups? It's not always easy to do, and something I've had to learn and still occasionally remind myself about. I used to cram my talks full of content and worry about running out of time. If you can separate your presentation or talk from you and see it as a living, external entity - it needs space to breathe. So do you. (Especially if you're nervous; even though it's counter-intuitive and all you want to do is get the whole thing over with.) And so does your audience. Let's talk specific timeframes If...

To influence have an opinion, virtual speaking engagement, and how to feel more confident

I. Influencing others when you speak To be influential when you communicate or present you need opinions, and you need to share them. (Tone and context are hugely important too of course - and for today's tip, I'm assuming they're appropriately in place!) Too often in my work, I see people with great knowledge and credibility who still prefer to deliver only information and hide their opinion or recommendation. This is a completely understandable – it's a lot safer to fly under the radar than voice ideas out loud to people who matter, or who have power over us – we're afraid...

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...

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...

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...

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...