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...

Introvert? 4 Ways to Blast Through your Resistance to Presenting in Public

If you're an introvert, you may struggle to speak in public and plan to avoid it whenever you can; getting up in front of a group can seem like an insurmountable hurdle if you tend to avoid the spotlight. Yet you may need or want to present well; you have ideas to share, and it really bothers you that you don't feel competent at presenting. If you want to be able to get up and speak but feel as though you're fighting yourself as it's happening, it's worth knowing this (I discovered this concept through Susan Cain's writing; her book...

Is Presenting a Conversation or a Performance?

Dialogue Bubble - digitalart What's your take on presenting: conversation or performance? Let me tell you about an experience I had recently. I went to a networking breakfast in the city, on a dark, wintry Monday morning: it was hard to get out of bed, but I was looking forward to the event because I enjoy meeting new people, and the guest speaker sounded good. He was someone who'd pushed himself to the limits in adventure travel, even seen death. A man whose tales of leadership would surely be inspiring and interesting. Yet from the moment he came onto the stage and began...

Practising Your Speech – how much is enough?

mtsofan via Flickr Working with a client this week during an individual coaching session, we were putting the finishing touches on a 5 minute speech he was preparing for a formal family celebration dinner. Ed had written a script which we first edited to create a logical flow; we then worked on humour, pacing and engaging delivery methods. I ended the session by suggesting that he practise the speech at least 5 times before the big night, just over a week away. Ed was astonished. He had never considered practising his speech - let alone my suggestion of a minimum of 5...

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...

Respect, And How to Stay Calm When Challenged

We've come to the 7th and final skill in my C.R.I.S.P.E.R formula for good speaking (see 7 skills of every good speaker for an overview). Today's skill is Respect, which we show in different ways when we're in charge of a group: by respecting  others' opinions and time, and ensuring we've done enough preparation. In fact respect is my number one attitudinal goal when dealing with audiences; and it's especially important to focus on if you're challenged by an audience member. I always aim to respond respectfully to comments and to remember  - not always easy in the heat of the moment -...

Low-Energy Speaker? 3 Simple Ways to Rev Yourself Up

Smithsonian via Flickr We've come to the 6th of 7 essential skills of a good speaker in my C.R.I.S.P.E.R formula (see here for the overview article). The 6th skill is energy. When we speak in front of others, we need energy. Not bouncing off the walls, but enough the audience doesn't 'tune out' in front of us, but instead get carried along with our energy. Enough that they can get our message not only through our words, but through how our body and face communicate with them. An audience takes their cue from us. "Life begets life, energy begets energy. It is by spending oneself...

Practising Your Presentation: Why Don’t You Do It Properly?

Practising your presentation I've learned over my years of experience both as a speaker and a Classical pianist, that fear about an upcoming talk - or concert - is simply telling me to prepare: to get ready for the event. To give you an example:  when I was much younger and more foolish, I was booked to give a presentation on the 'art of performing in business' to a management team. I was using PowerPoint for the first time, and turned up to try a foreign laptop  in the hour before the actual presentation... I wasn't even familiar with using a laptop! I became more and...

3 Great Reasons From Neuroscience To Practise Your Presentation

Neurons in the brain: Dr Jonathan Clarke Today's post covers 3 great reasons to practise your presentation, taken from neuro-scientific research. Practice is No. 5 in my C.R.I.S.P.E.R series of good speaking skills (these skills are: being Clear, Relevant, Insightful, Succinct, Practised, Energetic and Respectful - the overview article is here).   Reason No. 1: thicker neural pathways create precision and certainty Every time you practise your presentation (indeed, anything: it could be your golf swing, or a piece of music), you're creating a thicker, stronger neural pathway for the subject in your brain, as the bundles of fibres become more dense - they end...