Archive for July, 2008

Corporate Talker on Alltop

July 31, 2008

Alltop, an aggregator site – or “digital magazine rack” as they like to call themselves, have added Corporate Talker to their website.

Not only will you be able to see our contributions on the site but you can access dozens of other sites with speaking hints and tips.

This is a great resource for anyone interested in public speaking and I’m excited that we’ve been included.

http://speaking.alltop.com/

Keep speaking – Carrol

“Someone’s sleeping in my presentation” – part 2

July 24, 2008

Last week we looked at the signs your audience may be giving you if they’ve disconnected from you and your presentation.

Today we’ll look at how you can re-connect and get back on track.

Keeping your finger on the pulse of your audience is very important so that you don’t loose that vital connection with them.

* Understand what your audience wants from your presentation – Many presenters are only interested in making themselves look important or intelligent, reporting on everything they know without showing how their information can assist the audience or how it is relevant to their lives – remember, your audience will be asking “what’s in it for me”.

* Ask “you” focused questions throughout your presentation – Questions such as: Have you ever – Can you think of a time – Do you know. These types of question allow the audience to think about what you have been talking about and relate it to their own world.

* Use different formats for your presentation – use visual ways of displaying information (charts, pictures, short video clips). If people have something to look at this will help them to stay connected.

* Have discussions – can you have an audience discussion or break them up into small groups to discuss what you’ve been presenting.

* Maintain eye contact with your audience – If your audience members feel that you are talking to them personally it will be harder for them to disengage from you.

Keeping the attention of your audience is vitally important because no one wants to send their audience members to sleep; ensure you’re connecting with your audience to keep them engaged.

Keep speaking – Carrol

“Someone’s sleeping in my presentation”

July 17, 2008

Do you remember the story of Goldilocks?

Baby Bear discovered that someone was sleeping in his bed; “Someone’s sleeping in my bed, and she’s still there.”

Could you be putting your audience to sleep in your presentation?

You start off with a bang, but somewhere in the middle you start to see the signals:

  • *People have a glazed look on their face
  • *Something, anything is more interesting to your audience members
  • *People are yawning
  • *Your audience is fidgeting
  • *Participants are laid back with their eyes closed

Oh no, someone’s sleeping in your presentation! What do you do?

Don’t panic, next week we’ll have a look at how to get back on track and re-connect with your audience.

Keep speaking – Carrol

Should you use a microphone?

July 12, 2008

During the week I had the opportunity to see a speaker that was almost yelling at the audience because they either didn’t know how to use a microphone or there wasn’t one available.

So when should you use a microphone?

My recommendation is to use a microphone whenever you have to speak to 30 or more people.

A microphone is a tool to amplify your voice, and its use will help you to project your voice while allowing you to use a wide range of vocal techniques.

There are some things you need to consider when using a microphone:

  1. Know how to turn the microphone on and off
  2. Know how to raise and lower the microphone
  3. Do a sound check before you actually stand up to speak
  4. Have someone evaluate the sound and quality around the room
  5. Practice moving around with the microphone
  6. Avoid pointing the microphone at the speaker to limit feedback
  7. Incorrect use of the microphone can spoil your performance

Remember a microphone is easier on your voice and its a great tool to use with audiences of over 30 people and will mean that you won’t have to yell your presentation.

Keep speaking – Carrol

The benefits of having a speaking coach

July 4, 2008

Have you ever noticed that professional sports people have coaches to help them improve? 

Everyone seems to have a coach, sports teams have coaches, businesses have coaches so should speakers have a coach?

My answer to this question is a resounding YES!

A coach will take your speaking to the next level. Your speaking coach will have new ideas and suggestions for you and this will foster your own ideas to help you improve. When you find a coach it’s important to listen to what they have to say, some students want validation not education. You may not always agree with your coach, but if you have an open mind and are willing to try something new you will succeed.

Practice what you have learnt and then go back at a later date and have another coaching session: Success breeds success.

Benefits:

  • Assess your current skills and receive suggestions for improvements
  • Learn something new
  • Gain a plan of action
  • A coach can help you to achieve your goals
  • Quicker results in less time
  • Perfect your skills and abilities
  • Avoid common mistakes

A speaking coach can teach you simple techniques to help you reach that next level, for me, this is a great incentive.

Keep speaking – Carrol