Archive for the ‘communication’ Category

A small task

February 28, 2009

jukebox on whiteThis week I have a small task for you. I would like you to choose one of the three options below to complete.

Option 1

Find your favorite piece of music and listen to the piece, write down why you like it. Do you like the tempo, the highs and lows is it the chords that are used or the words? Think about what attracts you to this particular song.

Option 2

Watch your favorite movie and as above, write down what you like about the story, is it the characters, is it the drama or excitement, how does the story start and end.

Option 3

Read your favorite book, poem or story and as with the film look at where the story starts, how are the characters described? what words are used and how does the story end.

You may be wondering why I’ve set you this task but over the next few weeks all will be revealed. We’ll be looking at why particular pieces attract us and how we can use similar principles and styles in our public speaking.

Keep speaking – Carrol

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Just Relax

February 20, 2009

pier1This morning I woke up to see a huge spider sitting just near the bedroom door.

My heart started pounding, I was getting anxious, I wanted to run from the room screaming as spiders are not my favorite things to see at the best of times, much less first thing in the morning, but it was blocking the doorway and I had no way out.

Panic was starting to take hold. I realise I had to stop it before it got out of control.

As I reflect on this incident, these symptoms reminded me of the way some of my students have said they felt about public speaking: Heart racing, panic, unable to think logically.

What do I tell my students when they feel like this “just relax”.

Believe it or not this can be achieved.

1. Breathe – if you’re starting to panic, taking a couple of deep breathes will really help. Breathe deeply into the abdomen as this will help to relax the diaphragm and provide the brain with more oxygen allowing you to think more logically. 

2. Relax the shoulders and neck – roll the shoulders forwards and backwards, lift one shoulder up toward the ear and then the other. Carefully roll the head in a full circle and then back the other way.

3. Self talk – keep self talk positive “I will give an incredible presentation” Every time you start to think negative, give yourself a pinch on the arm to remind yourself to replace the negative thought.

4. Visualise – The mind can’t tell the difference between a real event and a visualised event. Visualise yourself giving your speech, picture yourself being the star of the show and revel in how great it feels.

Now repeat after me: “If I can see it, I can be it.”

As I stood there looking at the spider, I realised that I had blown the incident out of proportion.

The spider, while big, was tiny compared to myself. I took a couple of deep breathes, told myself the spider wasn’t going to hurt me. I visualised it sitting there looking at me worrying about what I was going to do and could it run away before I noticed it.

Once I had relaxed I was able to walk calmly out the bedroom door.

I feel I’ve now conquered my fear of spiders, so I know you can conquer your fear of public speaking.

Just Relax

Keep speaking – Carrol

Need a life buoy for job interviews?

January 31, 2009

lifebouy

 

Yesterday I read an interesting article on the Toastmaster website. See link below.

http://www.toastmasters.org/MainMenuCategories/WhyJoin/SuccessStories/Hope-in-the-Hard-Times.aspx

It was talking about how Toastmasters and public speaking skills had helped people with being more confident when it came to job interviews.

With so many people around the world loosing their jobs and perhaps having to attend an interview for the first time in 10 or 20 years, I truly believe that anything you can use to your advantage to help you find a new job in the shortest possible time, is well worth investing in.

Being able to answer questions during an interview can sometime make or break whether you get the job or not. Many questions are structured around the “tell us a time when,” where you have to let the interviewer know when you were in a similar situation and how you handled it.

Imagine if you had your own secret life buoy, skills that would help you with the interview and handle those questions.

If you can enter the interview with confidence, speak easily, make good eye contact and provide an answer with a beginning, middle and end you will be well on your way to finding a new job.

Public speaking can help in so many ways, even more so during these hard economic times, when how you present in an interview is vitally important.

Keep speaking – Carrol

Walk the Talk

September 26, 2008

 

I just watched a beautiful and powerful presentation that really touched me and I wanted to share it with you. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the breathtaking images and the inspiring message.

You can check it out here: http://www.simpletruths.com/a.aspx?mo=wktk&t=2

Enjoy your day and keep speaking – Carrol

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”

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

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

Introductions using a song title

June 29, 2008

Imagine if you had to introduce yourself or your business only using a song title, no speaking, no introductions, no self promotion, nothing….. just a song title

What a brilliant challenge.

Last week we looked at the 30 second elevator speech where the challenge was to introduce your self or your business concisely and succinctly in only a few sentences. Imagine if you were set a challenge to introduce yourself or your business via a song title, what song would you choose?

I found this a very difficult challenge, mainly because I can never remember the title of any song and I drive shop assistants mad as I try to sing them my version of the song that I would like to purchase.

So, I spent a couple of days looking at song titles that I thought would best represent my business – Public Speaking – and finally came up with “More than words” by Extreme.

So why did I choose this song title? I believe that public speaking is more than the words you use in your presentation. It’s about the way you present yourself, the body language you use and the vocal variety that you incorporate into your presentation, it’s about confidence, knowing your audience and knowing your topic.

The reason I started down this path of thinking about a song title that introduced either my business or myself was an interesting blog post that I read, see below.

What song would you choose to introduce your business or who you are?

http://www.chiefstoryteller.com/chief_storytellers_blog/2008/06/describe-your-c.html

Keep speaking – Carrol

The 30 Second Elevator Speech

June 22, 2008

Can you talk about your product or service for 30 minutes, 3 minutes or 30 seconds?

When you meet someone in an elevator or on a business trip and they ask you what you do, can you give them a quick response?

 

Being able to give quick, succinct presentations when requested can help you to win new business or build contacts for you.

 

There are a number or places that you can use the elevator speech.

 

Meeting new people

Networking

Sales Calls

Interviewing

 

The quickest and easiest way to give the elevator speech is to mention the following

 

Who you are

What do you do?

Why you’re the best at what you do?

Your call to action

 

Here is an example of an elevator speech.

 

Carrol Jones. I’m a consultant who empowers people to speak in public. I provide people with the skills required to conquer nerves, use vocal variety and body language so they can make concise and confident presentations to clients, colleagues and friends. I understand the fear that presenters go through and can help them overcome this. If you would like to become a more confident speaker, then I am the person you need to speak to.

 

Once you have your elevator speech, remember to practice it so that it rolls of the tongue easily and professionally.

 

Keep Speaking – Carrol

 

 

Useful Transition Tools

June 11, 2008

What is a transition?

 

A transition is a bridge from one thought or idea to another. Having good transitions from one point to the next will help your audience to follow the flow of your presentation and build your argument for you.

 

 

 

 

 

There are many transitional tools, some lead an audience to the next point, some make the audience compare two ideas or draw conclusions.

 

Below are a couple of transition tools.

To Add:

And

Again

Also

Besides

Next

For example

For instance

In addition

 

To Compare:

Whereas

But

On the other hand

However

Yet

Where

Even though

In contrast

 

To Prove:

For

Because 
 

Remember to use a transition from one point to the next, from your introduction to your first point and from your last point into your conclusion.

 

 

Keep speaking – Carrol