The Best Tool to Engage an Audience?

The best tool to engage an audience Updated 2019 What's our best tool to engage an audience? Assuming that our goal when presenting is to communicate well enough that our audience understands our message and can act on it. For this to happen of course, we need initially to get their attention. And this audience interest needs to happen almost straight away, or they'll drift, and we may not get them back again. (Smartphones are always beckoning!) So how do we get their attention? One great way is to: Create curiosity. Hopefully I did that with the title of this blog post! If you're reading...

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...

5 Public Speaking Skills Donald Trump Gets Right

5 Public Speaking Skills Donald Trump Gets Right Whatever you think of Donald Trump - and he certainly provokes strong opinions - he has his own style, and breaks plenty of rules. As a public speaking coach, I find watching him strangely compelling - in small doses! Here are 5 public speaking skills I believe Trump gets right when he's speaking to audiences: 5 Public Speaking Skills Donald Trump Gets Right 1. He has strong, open body language. When you watch Trump speaking, he is usually behind a lectern; but although this can be a barrier between speaker and audience, he compensates as much...

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 we're bored...

Vocal Presence – Using your Voice to Own the Space

Vocal Presence - Using your Voice to Own the Space Creating vocal presence Our delivery style is crucial to getting a message across effectively to our audience, and one of the key factors in delivery is using our voice to create power, warmth and persuasiveness. Our voice gives our audience clear messages about our confidence, energy and vitality. When we contract and mentally “turn away” from the audience, our voice follows; we swallow our words, mumble and rush, or become monotonous or ‘lifeless’ in our tone. Of course, one thing which will always affect vocal presence is how much we trust ourselves and...

Audience Brains Need Structure When You Speak In Public

Audience brains need structure when you speak in public Audiences Need a Speech Structure What's one thing that your audience really needs from you when you speak in public? A structure. It's so important to give them a clear order for your content. Our brains are pattern-making machines. We're constantly scanning new information for patterns which we can relate to our current knowledge base; we subconsciously try to create a logic by comparing and sorting information. If there's no logic, we'll be unhappy, even though we may not consciously know why. (Of course, if the presentation we've just sat through was obviously...

9 Mistakes Presenters Make

9 Mistakes Presenters Make Mistakes Presenters Make Do you want to be a more dynamic presenter? You will be if you avoid these frequent mistakes. I've discussed all of these ideas in previous articles, but thought it was worth clustering them together for a 'common mistakes' overview.  1. Forgetting the WIIFM filter  One of the most common mistakes that presenters make is forgetting to run their whole presentation through their audience’s No.1 filter – and that is always WIIFM (what’s in it for me?)  From the moment you open your mouth, to the summing-up, you’re being judged through this filter, and in...

Public Speaking Fear: How Breathing will Help

Public Speaking Fear: How Breathing Will Help Think about public speaking fear and breathing: this may be a topic you resist. You may think you’ve heard it all before, or you've Public speaking fear: how breathing will help tried working with your breath and didn't find it helpful. That certainly used to be my experience, and I've had a client recently who told me it didn't work, because he could only do a breath or two before his negative thoughts started up again. I told him it's inevitable that our thoughts are always there, just keep coming back to the breath; and that...

What to do When your Negative Voice Gatecrashes your Presentation

Negative inner voice during presentation - typical audience listening face Have you ever had the experience while presenting of looking out at the audience and seeing only a sea of blank faces? You look at them and immediately get discouraged; the negative self-talk kicks in: "John looks bored, this must be really bad" or "that woman's just looked at her watch again...I'd better speed up!" (which is usually a bad move, as we tend to accelerate when nervous anyway). I Hearing my negative inner critic voice during my presentation used to be an issue for me, especially when I was a...

Which Music Can Make you Feel More Powerful Before you Present?

What Music Makes You Feel More Powerful? Updated October 2019 We all know that music can have a strong effect on our emotions (I've only ever met one person who claimed that music didn't affect her at all). And there was a study done back in 2014 about which types of music make you feel more powerful, and lead to "higher perceived control over social events". The study, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, was inspired by the pre-game routines of athletes (Hsu et al., 2014). The authors explored 31 pieces from different genres of music (sports music, heavy metal, punk, reggae,...