Posts Tagged ‘communication’

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

Need a life buoy for job interviews?

January 31, 2009



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

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

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.


  • 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

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


Sales Calls



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



How does your audience listen?

May 2, 2008

 Yesterday I found myself on a teleconference call for over an hour. I’m not really an auditory person, I’m more visual and so my mind kept wandering. This got me to thinking about our audience and whether they’re paying attention to what we’re saying.

If the person speaking on the teleconference call had used words that I could relate to, I would have found it easier to listen to the conversation.

How does your audience listen?

There are three main ways that people process information: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. We tend to lean to one style more than the others, eg highly visual or highly kinesthetic. When we’re listening to someone speak, if they use words that relate to the way we process information, we’re more likely to stay engaged with that speaker.

As speakers, we need to incorporate all of these styles in our presentations to ensure that we’re reaching everyone in our audience.

Visual People: They usually have to see something to understand what is being said. For visual people you need to incorporate details so they can see the whole picture. Words they like to hear include: look, see, watch, imagine, focus.

Examples: Picture this, Look it over, Take a peek, See for yourself.

Auditory People: They like to hear how something is done or achieved. They respond to the tone of your voice, words or music. Words they like to hear include: listen, hear, sounds, tune in.

Examples: Rings true, Hear me out, Clear as a bell, Falls on deaf ears.

Kinesthetic People: They learn and memorise by doing, they like to touch and feel. Words they like to hear include: feel, grasp, touch, solid.

Examples: Gut feeling, Keep in touch, Have a feeling, On the other hand.

Think about the vocabulary that you’re using in your presentations, do you have visual, auditory and kinesthetic words to keep your audience listening?

Keep speaking – Carrol

Building Rapport – Match and Mirror

April 2, 2008

Today I am going to deviate slightly from the public speaking arena and venture straight into everyday communication.

Let me start by asking you a question.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you could feel there was a real connection between the two of you?

You may have felt like the person you were talking to was so familiar and yet you may not have met them before.

You may be matching and mirroring each other subconsciously!

What is matching and mirroring? This is a way of building rapport with someone without them even being aware of it and is a technique often used by salespeople.

Matching: Is doing something the other person is doing, but you are doing it in the reverse image. They move their right hand, you move your right hand.

Mirroring: Is being the mirror image of someone. So if they move their right hand, you mirror them and move your left hand.

Matching is a very subtle form of rapport and mirroring creates a deeper, unconscious level of rapport.

As presenters we need to be able to build rapport quickly with our audience so that we can take them on our journey. Your audience will be more open to listening if they feel that special connection with you.


March 17, 2008

We all know that first impressions are important, if you are the speaker, being introduced properly is vitally important.

The introduction that the emcee gives about you  can create a great first impression or leave people wondering why they are sitting there.

Ensure that you have your introduction prepared in advance so that the emcee doesn’t have to wing it on the day.

A proper introduction should be less than a minute and include the following:

  • Topic – What the speech is about – grab the audiences attention.
  • Importance – Why this topic is important to the audience and how they will benefit by listening – peak their interest.
  • Speaker – Who you are and why you are qualified to speak on this subject – have something personal about yourself as well, this helps the audience to connect with you as the speaker.

Having a well written introduction will make you look like a professional speaker and will go a long way to making that great first impression.

Metaphor Magic

March 10, 2008

 Metaphors in speeches are said to be Magical.

Using metaphors in your speech can help to lead your audience to an idea or conclusion they may not have thought about before.

Metaphors can be used to:

  1. Offer a broader perspective on a situation
  2. Lead your audience to a solution for a problem
  3. Leave them with a lesson

Metaphors allow you to compare two seemingly unrelated objects to get your message across. If you as the speaker just told your audience how to solve their problems, you could come across some resistance or road blocks, using the magical metaphor allows for that “aha” moment without the resistance.

Gary Bencivenga’s has some great examples on metaphors

Barriers to communication

February 28, 2008

There are many barriers to communication which will stop people from understanding and relating to your presentation, below I have listed just a few of the main ones.

  1. Boring presentation – Your presentation may bore your audience if you haven’t taken the time to understood your audiences needs and expectations.
  2. Using Long Words – Dont use long words, people will switch off if they find the language you are using difficult to understand.
  3. Jargon – If you are going to use jargon make sure you explain the meaning so that everyone understands what you are talking about and they don’t feel left out.
  4. How you express yourself – be careful how you say things as this can affect the meaning and understanding of what you are saying
  5. Agenda – Make sure everyone understands what the presentation is about, you can do this in your introduction.

Think about what barriers you may be putting up in your presentations.