Are You Looking for a Secret Pill?

Are you looking for a secret pill to help deal with your speaking anxiety?

Many individuals are looking for a quick fix to their speaking anxiety. The reality is that there is no quick fix. It took us years to learn our public speaking anxiety. The good news is that we can ‘unlearn’ it. It will require patience, commitment and participation. It will take time.

You do not mange your anxiety by focusing on ‘tricks’ such as imaging your audience in their underwear. I had a hard enough time when they were fully dressed. Another trick that doesn’t work is to find a spot on the back wall and look at it while you speak. One of the core skills of public speaking and all types of oral communication is to engage your audience. The best way to do that is through eye contact. So staring at a spot on the wall won’t work.  

There are more practical ways to manage your speaking anxiety. The most important one is preparation. If you are not prepared you have set yourself up for failure. You have to know your content well and be clear on the most effective way to deliver it. Preparation includes rehearsal. 

Preparation gives you a solid foundation to work with. My next post will show you how to build on that foundation and how that will lead to you managing your speaking anxiety.
 
Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!




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What Are They Saying About You?

In an earlier blog post I spoke about the importance of reflecting on what virtues we want to be known for when we speak. This post is somewhat related and takes a more holistic approach to it.

It is about letting our positive aspects shine through. Each of us have unique things that make up our personalities and we are all different. Most of them can be described with a single word; authentic, passionate, knowledgeable, sincere, etc. I could easily list another dozen or more.

When we speak or present we want to bring all of our positive traits to the forefront. We want to ensure that we are displaying the best version of ourselves. We owe it to our audience and ourselves.

If you wan them to say positive things you have to strive to deliver your best every time.

Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!




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A Smile Costs Nothing But Gives Much

A Smile Costs Nothing But gives Much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give.

Never underestimate the power of a smile. It only takes a moment yet it has the power to change someones day in a positive way.

Most people would rather be around a pleasant person. It just feels good. Also, it is good exercise for your face. It has been proven that it takes more muscles to smile than it does to frown. So exercise your face, give someone you know, or better yet, a stranger, one of your smiles. It will enrich, both, your day and their’s.

Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!




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They Will Remember How You Made Them Feel

We use words to communicate with our audience, but it is how we package those words that will determine what is actually communicated. How we deliver our message and engage our audience plays a big role in how they interpret what we are saying.

The reality is that they will forget the actual words quite quickly. However they will remember how we made them feel a lot longer.

The more adept we are at making those feelings as strong as possible the more memorable we will be as speakers.

Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!




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Ink It When You Think It

A few years ago I attended a speakers convention in Toronto and had the privilege to take in a workshop delivered by Sam Horn. Sam shared several things and one really resonated with me. It was the concept of “Ink when you think it.”

In the past I had experienced many times where I had a great idea, someone recommended a book, or I needed to capture some piece of information for future reference. I didn’t have anyway to immediately record it so I had to wait until I got to my desk to write it down. By that time I had usually forgotten what it was and I was unable to get back to the same mindset to retrieve it. So it was lost.

Sam suggested we have a piece of paper or a journal nearby to capture the information. This wasn’t a practical option for me.

A few months after Sam’s workshop I attended another session by David Gouthro. David gave each attendee a small pocket notebook to jot down key thoughts. I finally had a way to ‘ink it when I think it’ no matter where I was. I have completed close to a dozen of these books and have built an inventory of thoughts and ideas that I refer to daily.

Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!


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I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave me a comment or suggest a topic for a future blog.

3 More Ps for Public Speaking

I recently heard 3 more Ps that apply to public speaking. They are different from ones I posted in earlier blogs. They resonated with me and I decided to share them in this post.

The 3 Ps are Preparation, Practice and Performance.

The first one is preparation. You need to be properly prepared. You need to be clear on your message. You need to layout your material and get your facts in order. You need to have appropriate supporting material to justify your points. Do you know who your audience will be? Are they knowledgeable on the subject that you will be speaking about? How many will be attending? What is the venue? Preparation is so important. If you are not prepared you setup yourself up for failure. You won’t come across as confident. You won’t be convincing and you certainly will not be comfortable with the delivery.

The second P is practice. Practice will help you get comfortable with the delivery of your message. What tools will you use? Will there be visual aids to support your message? Use video to allow you to refine your delivery.

The third P is Performance. This is where the rubber hits the road. This is where you pull it all together. In order to be successful you need all three Ps. You need to be properly prepared so that you know your message. You need to practice so that you are comfortable with the delivery of the message. Lastly you need to perform with confidence. You can only do that if you have given consideration to all 3 Ps.

Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!


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I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave me a comment or suggest a topic for a future blog.

The 3 Bones of Public Speaking

A colleague of mine uses this analogy quite regularly. The message associated with it is similar to other blog posts I have made. However it offers a unique perspective on what is required to be an effective speaker.

The first bone you need to consider is the Wish Bone. You have to have the desire to speak. The desire to become a better speaker.

The second bone is the Jaw Bone. You use the jaw bone to actually speak, both when you are rehearsing your speech/presentation and when you actually deliver it for real.

The third bone is the Back Bone. You have to have the courage to get up and speak in front of a group of people. You have to have the courage to do it even if every fibre of your being is screaming out that grave things could happen to you.

In order to be an effective speaker you need all three bones. The Wish Bone gives you the desire to speak. The Jaw Bone gives you the ability to speak and the Back Bone gives you the courage to speak

Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!


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I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave me a comment or suggest a topic for a future blog.

Are You Connecting with Your Audience?

If you are connecting with your audience then there is a very good chance that you are also engaging them. If you want to an effective speaker you need to engage your audience. There are several ways to do this. Here are a couple.

Utilize eye contact. When you make eye contact with an audience member you create a powerful bond that can serve you well during your speech or presentation. You let them know that you are speaking to them. That they are important. Eye contact can help you pull the audience back into your conversation.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind. Don’t linger too long on any one individual. It could make them feel awkward and other audience members may feel left out. It is important that your eye contact is balanced and smooth. If you are speaking to a large audience it will be impossible to make actual eye contact with every individual. In these situations you want to create the perception of eye contact. You can do that by using a pattern looking at your audience, slowly, from left to right then front to rear or some other combination as long as it is not too robotic.

Another subtle way to engage your audience is to bring them into your story or speech. It can be something as simple as “I want to imagine yourself in this situation ….”. Before you even begin to tell your story you have them as part of it.

Look for your own creative ways to connect and engage with your audience.

Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!


Learn the 5 Tools (you already have) to become a confident, engaging and effective speaker.

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I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Leave me a comment or suggest a topic for a future blog.

Knowledge Has No Value Without Good Communication

Knowledge by itself has little value. It gains value and importance the more it is communicated effectively. Some people are comfortable communicating one on one or in small groups. Others are not comfortable in these settings and still others lack the communication skills to do it effectively.

Many are intimidated communicating in group settings of 10, 20 or more people. This can negatively impact an organization. Knowledge doesn’t have value or impact until it is shared with others who can use that knowledge effectively.

Knowledge and good communication skills are a powerful combination and is beneficial to the individual, their organization and the people they interact with.

Are you communicating your knowledge effectively?

Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!

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Be True to Who You Are

If you want to be perceived as a convincing speaker it is important to be true to yourself. Be yourself. Don’t mimic someone else’s style or technique. Yes, you can learn from other speakers and you may even incorporate some techniques that you observed. They should be minimal and not an attempt to copy.

Trying to be someone your not takes work. It is easier and more relaxing if you can be yourself. You have friends, family and colleagues who think highly of you, who want to be in your company. There is a reason for that. You have unique qualities.

We become better speakers and presenters when we let our unique qualities flow through our speaking.

Are you reflecting the real you when you speak?

Now go out and Make Your Voice Heard!

Want to learn the 5 Tools (you already have) to become a confident, engaging and effective speaker?


Enter your first name and email to receive access to my free video
The Speaker’s Tool Box

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave me a comment or suggest a topic for a future blog.