Posts Tagged ‘speaking tips’

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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A lesson from Barack Obama

January 24, 2009

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Many of you would have watched as Barack Obama was sworn in as the President of the United States this week.

Many of you would have seen this eloquent man, who has given numerous speeches in the past, stumble and forget the words presented to him. But did you notice how he handled the situation?

Barack stood there confident and poised and waited for his line to be presented to him again.

Even the most confident of speakers can have a moment or two where their mind goes blank. How you deal with this when it happens will make all the difference.

The secret is to be confident in your self.

If you need to look at your notes then go ahead, you may also want to pause slightly longer than normal to gather your thoughts together. (see last weeks blog on pausing). Think about what you’ve been talking about and what you’d like to say next, have a sip of water if you need to extend the time slightly and then continue on.  

Watching other speakers, such as Obama, can help with those vital lessons on how to become a better speaker.

Keep speaking – Carrol

Silence is Golden

January 17, 2009

shhhhhMany people under estimate the power of the pause, but a well timed pause is a powerful speaking technique and can add impact to your words.

 

That’s right folks, sometimes saying nothing is better than saying something.

So when should you use the pause?

  • You can use the pause to allow your audience  time to catch up with what you’ve been talking about and it allows you, the presenter, time to breathe.
  • The pause can be used for punctuation to let your audience know that you’ve finished a thought or sentence.
  • You can use the pause to attract attention, especially if you see that your audience has become distracted. If you pause the audience will look up to see what you’re doing.
  • Use a longer pause to emphasize your main point or just before your big statement. This tells your audience that you’re going to say something significant and they should listen.

When it comes to the length of a pause this is what I use:

For a short pause I count to 3 in my head, for a longer pause I count to 5 in my head.

When you practice this it feels really strange, but once you get use to it you’ll find it one of the most valuable tools around.

Keep speaking – Carrol

Opportunities Galore

December 7, 2007

When it comes to public speaking, practice makes perfect and this time of year is perfect for practicing. With Christmas and New Year there are many opportunities to stand up and say a few words or propose a toast. You don’t have to speak for a long time, 2 – 3 minutes is all you need but it gives you another chance to hone your skills, work on those nerves or try something new. 

In January people start to look for a new job – New Year/New Career. Volunteer to say a few words about the person leaving, it could be something sensible or you can roast the person (wit, humor and satire are used to convey the message), just ensure that the jokes and anecdotes are good natured and not mean spirited. If you do this often enough people will start to approach you to say something when the next person leaves. 

There are opportunities galore to practice speaking in public this time of year, remember, more opportunities means more experience.