5 Great Openers to Grab your Audience's Attention from the Get-go!

Uncategorized Jul 04, 2019

Attorney Elliott Abrams once said the following: “First impressions matter. Experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes.” That’s a fairly impactful statement when you’re standing before the podium with all eyes on you. Certainly, there is not much time to engage! Let’s talk about how to get your speech started in a way that is relevant and will hold the attention of your audience.

1. USE HUMOR.

“Good morning. How are you? Hasn’t this event been great? I’ve been blown away by the whole thing. In fact, I’m leaving.”

2. TRY STARTLING STATEMENTS, STATISTICS OR QUOTES.

“Sadly, today, more than 16,000 children will die in the world from hunger-related causes. That’s one child every five seconds.”

3. DO AN INTERESTING SELF-INTRODUCTION, PERSONAL ANECDOTE OR TESTIMONY. “Can I be honest? I feel really awkward standing up here and would feel a lot better if all of you...

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The Power of Pace and Pause

Uncategorized Jun 06, 2019

5 Tips to Help you Pace!

May I share something with you? The unintended delivery wasn’t completely Sam’s fault. He was experiencing a condition common to most humans. We all automatically speed up our speech patterns when we are excited, nervous or passionate about something. So, how do we stop what happens naturally?

Here are a few tips to slow down your pace and add pause:

1. If your rush occurs at the beginning of the speech, immediately ask your audience to perform a task, such as shaking hands with three people, and then BREATHE DEEPLY...

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Everybody Loves a Good Story!

Uncategorized May 08, 2019

5 Ways to include a story in your speech!

 First, name three movies that you’ve seen in the past two years that contained scenes that resonated with you. 

Second, name three speeches/presentations you’ve heard in the same two years that had points that resonated with you. 

If you could complete the second part of the quiz, you’ve heard some pretty good speakers! Almost without a doubt, each of those presenters told stories that caused you to connect with them.

 Here are five basic guidelines for using stories in your presentation:

1. Good stories include a dilemma that must be overcome. The story line is the path to the...

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Laugh It Up!

Uncategorized Apr 04, 2019

4 Ways you can add humor to your speech!

 Humor can be a powerful tool. If you can get your audiences to laugh a little, several things occur simultaneously. First, you have “friended” almost everyone. Second, your corresponding reactions are likely to be letting go of nervousness, anxiety and your secret wish to be perfect. There is no need to set out to be an expert comic, but causing a chuckle or a smile goes a long way.

 Here are a few tips on how to add humor to your presentations.

 1. Notice what makes YOU laugh. Chances are, most people will find those same things humorous. It’s easier to add a funny joke or story into your presentation if they cause you to smile.

 2. Take a good look at your personality. The goal is NOT to present anything that is out of character. Almost everyone has a certain nature that causes them to make people laugh in certain circumstances. Go with it! This is probably the area where you’ll be most...

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B.E.E.F. Up Your Speech

Uncategorized Mar 06, 2019

Ask any professional bodybuilder how he/she approaches a competition and they will all, most likely, answer in the same way. “Ya gotta beef up!” The same is true for speeches. But instead of grabbing the carbohydrates, we need to do the following:

1. BODY LANGUAGE – Body language is a powerful form of nonverbal communication. It’s all about how your body position, movements and facial expressions are perceived. Basically, body language clues others in on what we’re thinking. It’s fairly easy to spot bad body language and avoid it, such as sagging posture, a weak voice and fake smile. BEEF up by leaving all of these behind.

2. EYE CONTACT – Another important way to change the nature of your presentation is with eye contact. When we look a person in the eye, we communicate confidence and belief in our points of view. The bonus, in looking directly at your audience, is that it often makes YOU feel more assertive! 

3. EXPRESSION &...

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Learning from Others!

Uncategorized Feb 05, 2019

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.” Abigail Adams

 

There is very little doubt that everyone wants to succeed in speaking. The biggest challenge we face is, of course, how to do so. While there are differing ways we can become better speakers, one easy way is simply to learn from those who are already deemed competent. We started 2019 with 3 R’s in January, so let’s continue with 3 more.

1. READ

Take advantage of Audible, Amazon, the OverDrive Library App or the good old-fashion public library, to name a few resources, to seek out speakers who have confronted similar issues to the ones you deem necessary to overcome. The proverbial saying, “there is nothing new under the sun,” applies to the roadblocks most of us have with speaking. You may be surprised at how you’re not much different than someone you admire!

2. REACH OUT!

Youtube and Teachable are only two examples, out of...

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HAPPY NEW YOU!

Uncategorized Jan 01, 2019

3 Rs to a Happier New YOU!!

 This year take the time to cultivate and celebrate YOU! The new bold and brave you!

How many times have your New Year resolutions actually come to pass?

According to a recent article in Forbes Magazine, studies have shown that less than 25% of people who make them stay committed to their resolutions for a mere thirty days. Out of the 25%, only 8% actually achieve them. If you’re in the other 75%, don’t lose hope. There just might be another way.

 Perhaps it’s time for a new approach this year. Throw out the concept of resolutions and, instead, replace it with a series of other R’s! Let’s discuss the first three this month:

1. REALIZE

The most important step you can take into the New Year is that of self-awareness. Focus on where your true passions lie. What do you want out of life? Where are you in that journey? What is holding you back? Understanding both your strengths and weaknesses are building blocks...

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When Things Go Wrong….

Uncategorized Dec 05, 2018

 You’ve been preparing diligently for your speech/presentation, done your research and practiced it all for what seems like a hundred times. Then, the moment of truth arrives and everything goes wrong!! How could this happen to you???

The answer might be simpler than you have imagined. Ready?

 Bad Presentations Happen to Good People!

Sometimes, you can do all of the right things and still, somehow, miss the mark. If this experience sounds familiar, your next step is the most important. And it is probably the one you are least likely to want to take. Keep speaking. I know, easier said than done, right? So perhaps a little pep talk is in order. There are a few things to focus on for the next opportunity.

 Everything Didn’t Really Go Wrong

You may still have visions of jammed PowerPoint presentations, omitted paragraphs, or the blank stares in response to your opening joke dancing regularly through your brain. Nevertheless, give yourself credit where it...

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Help! I’m the Shy Guy on the Team!

Uncategorized Nov 06, 2018

Being shy isn’t the end of the world, but it is something that has to be navigated, especially in a team atmosphere where everyone is expected to do his/her part. Let’s start dealing with the topic of shyness by defining it. The dictionary calls shyness the quality of self-consciousness or timidity, but the Encyclopedia of Mental Health takes it a bit further by stating that shyness interferes with one’s interpersonal or professional goals. Some scientists believe people can be genetically predisposed to shyness, while others cite various other reasons such as childhood environment and even technology (the idea that machines prevent us from communicating face-to-face). Whether we blame our mothers or our email accounts, the bottom line is this: on some given day, we are going to have to participate in a team situation. So, why not hold our chins high and do so with our best efforts? Here are three irrefutable concepts to keep you on your game

 Understand...

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I Could NEVER Do That!

Uncategorized Oct 04, 2018

So, you probably think the guy giving the speech at the front of the room has more confidence than you do. Well, you might be dead wrong in your assumption. Speaking in front of others is one of the most challenging things any person can attempt. The guy behind the dais has most likely figured out that conquering the speaking bug is a sure way to move a career forward, but the truth is, he may not have any more confidence than the rest of us. How do we go about gaining enough bravado to join him at the podium? Let’s look at a few tips.

1. Ditch the fear of failure.

Let’s be realistic. You’ll give great speeches someday! But you’ll also give mediocre speeches, and can I say it? Yes, you may give a couple of presentations that you won’t want your mother to know about. If you think about it, though, it’s the way we do most things. Nothing in our lives is done in excellence, one hundred percent of the time! Why not give yourself some room to...

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