Tag: Win Your Brand

 
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Why It’s Worth Fighting Your Dragons And Start Public Speaking!

This article talks about why you should learn and improve your speaking in public skills and tells of a personal journey and how that journey has benefited the author and changed, not only his life, but also that of many people he has coached.

Everyone hears about being nervous when speaking, and when you overcome it, you
become confident and very successful.

What you don’t hear from successful speakers is about the journey itself.

For example, when I started in the field of speaking, I was a corporate employee.

As a project engineer, I had to develop concepts and designs to solve problems within the plant.

I was good at this and yet my career progress was slow because I simply couldn’t speak well,
and I needed to present my proposals to obtain funding.

I would become nervous, tongue tied and confused.

So when I started my public speaking career I was so scared and terrified, that even the
thought of being in front of a group of people, made me feel physically sick, and would
make my heart race so much, I thought I was having a heart attack.

Clearly, I didn’t want to go through my life like that so I did some training and got ready
for my Maiden speech.

With this speech I was competing for a prestigious Silver Cup and I was excited because
I thought I was going to win it.

I walked out onto the stage in front of 200 people and arrived at the podium.
Suddenly my legs started to shake so much I thought I was going to fall down.
So I grabbed the lectern, which also began to shake, and then, at that moment, the butterflies
in my stomach turned into dive-bombers and I started to feel sick.

While shaking the lectern so much, I watched with horror, as my notes slid onto the floor.

In total confusion now, I decide to start my speech without picking up the notes.

My voice quavered as I stated my name, and then my mind went completely blank.

After what seemed an eternity, I grabbed my notes from the floor and fled the stage.

All I achieved that day was to let people know who I was and that I was one pathetic speaker.

Needless to say , I didn’t get the prize or even a polite or sympathetic applause from the audience.

It was such a horrifying experience that I had to make a decision to quit or do something about it.
(I was unable to get into the witness protection program to lose my identity!)

Well I studied, practised and used everything that I write about in my book and then some
12 months later, I had to give a speech on behalf of my company.
Now this was a seriously major important speech for the company and me.

If I didn’t do a brilliant job, my career would finish, the company would suffer and I reckon
I would have been out of a job.

That would mean, a massive change in lifestyle for my family, changing schools, changing
houses and even putting my food supply at risk..

So as I walked to the Podium this time I could feel this huge pressure bearing down on me.

And do you know?

I was confident, created humour and had them laughing, created pathos so they could feel
sad, lifted them with excitement, spoke a very clear message, had them in the palm of my hand
and when I finished ,they stood up to applaud.

Pretty good eh?

Oh yes, I got promoted and realised that day, that being a great public speaker helps you make
more money, no matter what your job is.

So what made the difference?

What transformed me from bumbling idiot to charismatic speaker?

And could anybody do the same?

Clearly, the answer is yes, if they went through all the stuff they I had.

Why am I qualified to say this?

Because it is based upon my learnings, my studies, my experiments, good and bad, and
most importantly, on my real life, in the fire, under the hammer, experience.

And then I even wrote my own book on how to overcome the Fear of Public Speaking!

As Chairman of the Public Speaking Group at the Australian Institute of Management I have
coached and helped many people who at the beginning of the year , could not even say their
name, and by the end of the year, had become articulate and confident speakers.

So overcoming the fear and building the skills, step by step, not only transforms your
presentation skills, it builds your confidence in all parts of your life.

And isn’t that a good enough reason to start!

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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You’re Always Public Speaking So Be Prepared

The funny thing about presenting and public speaking is that the majority of people will tell you they don’t enjoy it and/or aren’t very good at it. And yet regardless of who they are and what they do, most of the speaking they do on a day-to-day basis IS public speaking.

You see, mostly when we talk to ourselves we keep it as an internal dialogue that nobody else can hear. But whenever we open our mouths and actually make a noise in front of another person we’re speaking in public hence “public speaking”. So why do so many people find it so scary?

I think it’s the eyes. All those sets of eyes fixed on you….. BORING into you. It’s unsettling. So would it be any easier if your audience was ignoring you and all looking the other way? What if they all dozed off so it WAS as if you were talking to yourself? (Have you ever been a Rotary after-dinner speaker?)

Whatever the reason, the fact is that before getting up to speak, even the most seasoned professional will have some butterflies, whether they choose to call the feeling nervousness or excitement doesn’t really matter. Rest assured, we all experience it to some degree.

If I had one tip to pass on, if I was asked to tell you the most important lesson I’ve learnt over the years I’ve been presenting, it would have to be to stress the absolute necessity of being totally prepared.

Now this may sound obvious and I’m sure you’ve heard this before, possibly many times, and like a lot of important messages it tends to become diluted the more we hear it “Oh yes, I knew that, now what else?”.

And yet, knowing this, some people will be outside in the car park seconds before they have to deliver their sales pitch scribbling it out on the back of a business card. I know, I’ve been there.

When I talk about being prepared, I mean you should know your talk off by heart. You should be able to give it verbatim, standing on your head, without even having to think about what comes next.

Now some of you may be thinking “Yes, but I don’t work like that. I like to keep the spontaneityî or ìYes, but I want to tailor my talk to the occasionî or ìYes, but that would be boring because I’d just be on auto pilot.î

But actually, that’s not what happens. In effect, the opposite is true. When you know your talk by rote, it gives you the freedom to change it around, to add, to subtract without losing your direction. It’s like driving from A to B. If your route is set from the outset and you know it well, you can safely veer off and browse in a few antique shops and have a pub lunch in a picturesque village off the beaten track and still get back to where you were to complete your journey. But, if you’d just set off in the general direction with no main route to which to return, you’d soon get lost if you were to be diverted and you’d have difficulty picking up that thread again.

You see, there are so many things out there that can throw the speaker, and lots of unexpected things can occur when you’re dealing with the public. No matter how good you are, you will become distracted, so knowing your material to the nth degree is absolutely crucial.

If something happens that needs your attention, you’ll have to stop and deal with it, but you can return to your talk with barely a glitch and appear calm, collected and hence the ultimate professional.

You see we all get nervous. We all stick our feet in our mouths sometimes. We don’t ever operate in a hermetically sealed environment, especially when exposed to other humans. But prepare, prepare and over-prepare and not only will you enjoy the confidence of knowing that nothing can phase you because you know your material, but if you’re forced off your chosen route for any reason you can return smoothly and appear to be the consummate professional speaker.

And after all, if you can’t or won’t speak about your business, who will?

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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What Makes a Good Speaker?

When people hear that I owned a national, professional speakers bureau for 13 years, they often ask me, who are the best speakers and why? What follows are some of the characteristics of a very successful speaker who is often a highly paid speaker.

ëTell’ em what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell’ em what you told them.î

1.They arrive early and check out the sound system and introduce themselves to audience members during the networking time.

2.They speak on a subject that their audience needs to hear. And they use words and body language that shows their passion and authenticity.

3.They connect with their audience in the first few minutes with a riveting story, a funny incident, a startling statement or perhaps a poem. They know how to make their opening remarks relate to the material that follows.

4. They have no fear. They don’t only say what the audience wants to hear, but what they NEED to hear. In other words, their remarks may raise some eyebrows. They give their audiences some fresh ideas.

5.They never make more than 3-4 points in their speech. They don’t feel the need to tell an audience everything they know. No one can retain it all. For each major point they tell an illustrative story. A good story evokes emotion and offers a lesson. The audience members are then only a step away from their own story.

6. They make great eye contact and make each person feel attended to. This makes them appear to be more heartfelt and really present for their audience.

7. Before closing, they summarize and reiterate their major points. They end with an inspiring story and a call to action. They hold the audience accountable ñ to take some action in the next few days, weeks.

8.They don’t talk too long. They know how much time they have been assigned and they don’t exceed it.

9.They rehearse their speech a few times but never sound canned. They NEVER read their speech verbatim.

10. All successful speakers market themselves. They all promote themselves. And they all Network. They are a model of excellence. And you can be too!

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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How To Communicate In His Love Language

Are you wondering how to communicate with that new man in your life? Or maybe you are just wondering about the next man in your life? New or old, it’s never too late to learn how to communicate in the language of love.

Maybe you’ve seen the tomboyish girl that somehow has men flocking around her. If you stopped turning green with envy for a moment, you’d notice why she was a man magnet. She just sort of fit herself into him, like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle that he didn’t even know was missing.

Instead of rolling your eyes at that dazed and happy-in-love look he has on his face, why not look into how she did it? Learn these tips on how to communicate in a whole new way by getting to know his love language and speaking it fluently!

We all know that love is built on the solid foundation of communication. When we are in love we are on the same page as our lover. It’s a special level of communication that people in love have.

Some call it chemistry, but really, in order to even get to the chemistry stage you need to know his love language. For a clue as to what that might be, we need to understand how he relates to the world around him.

Everyone perceives their world with three senses – sight, sound and feelings. Psychologists have discovered that even though we use all three senses, one of these senses is always more pronounced. It doesn’t mean that it replaces the others, but if you pay attention, the more dominant one will reveal itself to you.

Asking questions is the easiest and fastest way to learn his language and since asking questions is the most common way to get to know someone or start a conversation, he’ll never suspect.

He’s just returned from a business trip. You ask about his trip. Pay attention to his answer:

1. If he’s visual he might say: the weather was terrible. I didn’t get to see the sun once!

2. An auditory guy will talk about sounds: we got the account, which was good. But the hotel I stayed at was too noisy.

3. He is a feeler if he answers something like: I have to admit; I’m not much into traveling alone. I get lonely when I visit new places.

Knowing a man’s love language is the key in how to communicate with him in a way that will make him feel that you are the missing piece to his puzzle. You’ll just fit. Of course, one question isn’t going to tell you. You’ll have to watch for a pattern to emerge.

Once you do find the prominent sense, you’ll want to speak his language. Talking with your visual man will be all about what you saw on the way over, while the auditory fellow will want to know about the new CD you just bought.

It doesn’t matter what your love language is. As long as you know how to communicate to him in his Love Language you’ll soon be the envy of all the other girls. That is, unless you tell them your secret.

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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Better Public Speaking

Presentations and public speaking, although daunting, can be a very enjoyable, rewarding experience, once adequate time is taken to prepare and rehearse them. An enthusiastic speaker who is confident with their material will make a lasting memorable impression on their audience.

Think of the last really memorable talk or presentation that you attended. Now, was that easy to do, or did you really have to rack your brains to remember one? Sadly, too many presentations are easy to forget. And that’s a big problem because the only reason the presenter gave the talk was to communicate something to you.

However, there are four basic things that you can do to ensure that your verbal messages are understood – and remembered – time and time again.

Although somewhat obvious and deceptively simple, these are:

Understand the purpose of the presentation
Keep the message clear and concise
Be prepared
Be vivid when delivering the message

Understand what you want to achieve:

Before you start working on your talk or presentation, it’s essential that you really understand what you want to say, who you want to tell and why they might want to listen. To do this, ask yourself: Who? What? How? When? Where? Why?

Who are you speaking to? What are their interests, beliefs and values? What do they share in common with others; how are they unique?

What message do you wish to convey? One way of answering this question is to ask yourself about the ësuccess criteria’. How do you know if and when you have successfully communicated what you have in mind?

How can you best put across your message? Language is most important here, as are non verbal cues such as body language and expressions. Choose your words and non verbal cues while keeping your audience in mind. Plan a beginning, middle and end. If time and place allow, consider and prepare audio-visual aids.

When? Timing is important here. Develop a sense of timing, so that your contributions are seen and heard as relevant to the issue or matter at hand. There is a time to speak and a time to be silent.

Where? What is the physical context of the communication in mind? You may have time to visit the venue, for example, and rearrange the furniture. Check for availability and visibility if you are using audio or visual aids.

Why? In order to convert hearers into listeners, you need to know why they should listen to you ñ and tell them if necessary.

The Importance of Simplicity:

When it comes to wording your message, less is more. You’re giving your audience headlines, too much information will overload and bore your listeners.. They are not expecting to become experts on the subject as a result of hearing your presentation, therefore simplicity is best.

If you’re using slides, limit the content of each one to a few bullet points, a single statement or a very simple diagram.

Preparation:

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. In fact, it is the most important factor in determining your communication successes. When possible, set meeting times and speaking and presentation times well in advance, thus allowing yourself the time you need to prepare your communications. Each minute of a presentation deserves thirty minutes preparation.

Of course, not all communications can be scheduled. In this case, preparation may mean having a good, thorough understanding of the office goings-on, enabling you to communicate with the knowledge you need to be effective, both through verbal and written communications

Successful Delivery:

The manner in which you deliver your speech or presentation has a lasting impact on your audience. Again, preparation is paramount here, in order to hold the listeners attention. Some useful tips for keeping your presentation vivid include:

Use examples to bring your points to life
Keep your body language up-beat – don’t stay stuck behind a rostrum
Don’t talk to fast. Less is more here too. Pauses are effective.
Use a variety of tones of voice
Use visual aids.

Presentations and public speaking, although daunting, can be a very enjoyable, rewarding experience, once adequate time is taken to prepare and rehearse them. An enthusiastic speaker who is confident with their material will make a lasting memorable impression on their audience.

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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Bring Your Presentations To Life and Get A Standing Ovation

Giving a successful presentation depends on more than just writing down your words and delivering them. In this article you’ll learn 7 important techniques that will raise your delivery well above the ordinary.

Presentation techniques are the tools that help us to bring a page of written text to spoken life. They are the means by which we animate words, inject interest and build audience rapport. Learn the following 7 techniques and you’ll have your audience clinging to every word you say.

<b>1. Speak To Their Ears. </b>Remember that your audience receives your words through their ears. They aren’t reading it. That’s why you should continually ask yourself, ‘how will this sound to my audience?î. In particular, you should check forÖ
– the use of jargon, technical and bureaucratic language, long phrases and gobbledeegook. Avoid them.
– specific meanings: “next Friday” is better than “soon”.
– concrete words rather than abstract words: “microphone” is better than “sound amplification facilities”.
– Anglo-Saxon rather than Latinised words: “talk” is better than “communicate”.

<b>2. Use Conversational English. </b>Speakers who lack the confidence to speak directly to their audience tend to lean heavily on their prepared texts. This creates the risk of speaking the written word which can sound artificial and stilted. Conversational English on the other hand is natural and flowing. By creating the feeling of a personal chat, the conversational style helps to build audience rapport.

Idiomatic, conversational English is distinctly different from written English. It allows for occasional ungrammatical and incorrect use of words and sentences, as long as the meaning is clear and sounds right. You would not, for example, say the grammatically-correct “For whom is it?” in place of the colloquial “Who’s it for?”

<b>3. Make Everything Make Sense. </b>One of the most important points to remember about a presentation is that written English does not always make the same sense to a listener as spoken English. When we read written English we go at our speed and can pause, go back or jump ahead. When we are listening, we rely on the speaker to make sense for us. Notice the difference between these two ways of expressing the same sentence.

Not: “The user will no doubt be familiar with the consequences of a machine failure at difficult moments.”

But: “I expect you know the sort of thing I mean. You’re right in the middle of something worth saving when, Phut!, the whole damn thing goes up in smoke. Before your very eyes…”

<b>4. Signpost Where You Are Going. </b>The technique of Signposting, or Labelling, can be used throughout a presentation. Signposting, like the signs on a street, is a way of letting the audience know in advance what is coming next in your talk. It is used to tell the audience what you want them to understand from it.

– we can signpost the whole talk when we start: “I’d like to do three things this morning. First, I’d like to look at our current position; then our plans and finally, the costs.”
– we can signpost a sub-point: “My second area is to look at plans. First, this year’s; then next year’s…”
– we can signpost any issue: “Let me give you an example of what I mean…”
– we can signpost the end: “Just one more point before I finish…”

Audiences appreciate signposting because it helps them know where they are.

<b>5. Use Jokes To Build Rapport. </b>Jokes are a way of amusing an audience while at the same time sharing something with them. The point of contact is the shared laughter. If a joke works it brings you together; conversely, if the joke doesn’t work, it pushes you apart. Jokes need to be appropriate, well-presented and, of course, funny. A blue joke from the Rugby club dinner speech probably won’t work well at the annual conference of the Women’s Institute. Equally a joke told badly where you miss your timing, tell it too quickly or forget the punchline is worse than no joke at all.

This joke told by Patrick Forsyth seems to catch the mood of a farewell speech:
“I remember the day after Nigel joined us and overhearing the impression he’d made on two young ladies from Accounts.
“Doesn’t that Mr Green dress well,” said one.
“Yes,” replied the other. “And so quickly.”

<b>6. Pause For Maximum Effect. </b>Some of the best moments in a speech are, surprisingly, those moments when you stop. Knowing when to stop is the art of the creative pause. It can work for you in a number of ways:

– to tease the audience, perhaps after a provocative question: “I bet you’d like to know how you could make a million…”
– to pause before the punchline of a joke
– to wait for an audience to settle after laughter or a general discussion
– to give the audience time to think (for example, when looking at a new overhead)
– to show you’re in total control by holding the pause just slightly longer than you need to.

<b>7. Show Don’t Just Tell. </b>Turning a simple presentation point into a narrative or story can entertain and involve the audience on a different level. It is a way of showing them not just telling them.

Not: “Our personal computer has three kinds of memory storage: the random access memory, the hard drive and the floppy drive.”

But: “Designing the storage memory for this particular computer was always going to be a tricky problem. The first team to look at it was Rob James and Ellen Smith. After several experiments they discovered that they could build in a huge RAM but their problem was what to do with the hard drive. This was new territory. Neither of them had worked on anything like that before. First, they tried a separate box. No good. Then a new casing. Still no good. They were about to give up when news came from Japan about an amazing new microchip…”

Master these simple techniques and you’ll raise your presentation expertise to heights you will only just dreamed of before!

Please fill in the The Complete Speaking Business Assessment for free assessment

More info’s and free registrations (restricted to pros), please join our live seminar

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