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,...

7 Ways NOT to Open your Presentation

The opening of your talk is crucial: your main goal is to capture your audience's attention and show them why they should listen to you. It also sets the tone and direction of your presentation. This is often the time where you're most edgy, and the audience is most focused on you, so you don't want to get it wrong! So with that mind, here are some suggestions for what NOT to do at the opening of your speech. With these tips, I'm assuming that you're speaking to a group for the first time, or one which you don't know...

Should you Move About When you Present, or Not?

Should you move around when presenting? As presenters, people tend to fall into two opposing ‘choreography’ camps when they’re in front of a group - you may recognise yourself here: You stand stock-still (often hiding behind – even hanging onto – the lectern), barely twitching except to advance a slide Advantage: you feel better because you’re in a safe space (or safer – of course it’s all relative!) Disadvantage: it’s a boring, un-engaging look for your audience, and using so little physical energy  is unhelpful for you too - if you're nervous, that adrenalin and cortisol will 'bank up' in your system and perpetuate any...

Why and Where to use Silence during your presentations

Presentation Delivery is like Waves on the Sea This topic is deceptively simple, but it’s such a crucial aid to your speaking success that it's worth revisiting. After all, we’ve heard the basics before - but we don't always remember to do them, right? Pauses Few presentations have enough of them – how do yours rate? Imagine that your presentation is like the ocean, each main point a wave rolling towards your audience who are standing on the shore. When you pause, it's like giving your audience "signposts in the sea" of waves about what's important in your presentation. Without these signposts, your waves of...

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...

Energy – Are you Missing this Vital Element for Speaking Success?

Your energy as a sparkler Having enough energy when presenting to carry your audience along with you - and get your message across - is a vital part of being a good presenter. I believe this is one reason why people are so often afraid of public speaking: because they know, even subconsciously, that they're ultimately responsible for the energy in the room and they have to lead it - and that's a real challenge if you're not comfortable with speaking to groups. The audience takes their cue from you: why should they respond and care about your presentation if you don't seem...

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...

What Does Glucose Have to Do with Public Speaking?

So - what does glucose have to do with public speaking? And have you ever thought about what your brain needs, to be able to think clearly under pressure? Clients often talk about being unable to stay focused or coherent when faced with people looking at them. They struggle to string thoughts together, and sometimes go completely blank. If this has ever happened to you, you know how awful it feels...and you probably live in fear of it happening again. What does Glucose have to do with Public Speaking? Being unable to think clearly while speaking in public is very common, and...

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...

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...