Archive for January, 2008

How to protect your voice

January 25, 2008

If you are speaking on a regular basis, taking care of your voice will be a high priority. Today I thought I would share a couple of tips to help protect your voice.

1. Drink plenty of water – this will rehydrate your vocal chords

2. Warm up your voice before speaking – this can be done by humming or singing

3. Pause regularly during your speech

4. Breathe from the diaphragm

5. Maintain your posture

6. If speaking to a large group, use a microphone

7. Don’t clear your throat, instead take a sip of water or swallow

8. Rest your voice as much as possible.

These tips will help you to protect your voice, remember you don’t want an aching, scratchy throat when you have to make a presentation.

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What next?

January 21, 2008

Have you ever wondered what next? If you have given a couple of speeches/presentations for your work or community group or if you have made regular presentations you may want to know what you can do next to improve your skills.

Toastmasters: www.toastmasters.org.au Toastmasters has clubs all around the world and is a great environment to improve your speaking skills. Once you have completed the basic manual, you can then progress to the advanced manuals and cover areas like: technical presentations, speaking to inform and story telling. Each new manual will set you a new challenge for you to work towards.

National Speakers Association of Australia: www.nationalspeakers.asn.au This organisation will help you to transition into the paid professional arena. They have monthly meetings, conventions and workshops to assist you to build your business and network with like minded people.

There is always an opportunity out there just waiting for you to get started!

Public speaking and the mobile phone

January 14, 2008

The other day I had to catch a train, not something I do normally, and was amazed at the number of people talking on their mobile phones. If I had asked any of them if they could speak in public the answer would probably have been NO.

So why is it that if you put a mobile phone in someone’s hand they are only too happy to share their lives with 80+ passengers on the train without thinking twice about it, yet if they stand up in front of the same 80+ people they can’t speak.

What is the magic that the mobile phone holds? 

Public speaking comes in many forms and having a phone conversation on a crowded train is one of these.  Speaking in public is all about talking to a group as if they were your friends, exactly the same as when you are speaking to your friends on your mobile phone.

“Public speaking is easy. You already know how to do it. Talking to your best friend on the phone is public speaking; talking to your neighbor over your picket fence is public speaking. All we do in professional speaking is add excitement and an audience.” -Bill Gove, 1912-2001 The Father of Professional Speaking

The next time you have to speak to a group just image that you are speaking to your best friend, you’ll relax a lot more and enjoy yourself heaps more.

Knowing your audience is important

January 10, 2008

Have you ever noticed that when someone wants to invest their money they will do a lot of research? If they are buying real estate they will look at what properties are available, what the prices are and will look at interest rates. If they are buying stocks and shares, things like company announcements, share prices and how the company is performing suddenly become very important.

Why is it then, that when people are asked to give a presentation to an audience they don’t do the same type of research?

Knowing your audience is vitally important. You need to know why you have been asked to speak, who will be attending, why they are attending, what do they know already, what do they expect from you…….and the list goes on.

By understanding and knowing your audience you will be able to tailor your message to meet their needs and expectations. Wouldn’t it be great to give your audience what they want or need, and have them think you were the best speaker ever?

Spend some time getting to know your audience and you will be a winner!