Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Demystifying Public Speaking

Public Speaking Training from ImpactFactory.com...

Public Speaking

Public Speaking For many people Public Speaking can be so daunting that they will do almost anything to avoid it. Yet once we have a taste for it and discover the real rewards that can result from giving a good speech, many of us wonder what all the fuss was about.

Given some encouragement and some good training almost anyone can develop the ability to deliver a good speech in public.

There is no magic wand. We can't transform you instantly into someone with no fear of the auditorium.

What we can do however is demystify the process for you. We can give you enough insight and understanding about the dynamic between you and your audience that you will start to feel in control of the event rather than run by it.

This is a turning point for most people. They get to the point where they feel they know what they are doing, at which point what they have previously experienced as anxiety they now start to feel as exhilaration.

Confidence is a key factor to developing as a public speaker, therefore all our programmes concentrate on what already works for a delegate. No point in trying to get a serious person to tell jokes. It's hard work and they're not likely to be very funny.

However someone with a tendency to ramble may easily turn their hand to stories and anecdotes. Our public speaking training is always tailored to the specific group or person attending. And can be delivered for individuals, small group workshops or in a seminar format.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Nice Power Point Tips

Love ot or loathe it, Power Point is for many of us an essential tool of the trade. When it's used effectively it can certainly be an awesome asset to enhance your public speaking presentation.

Two Essential PowerPoint Slideshow Tips

January 14th, 2007 at 8:55 am (Effective Communication)

‘B’ for Blank Screen, ‘W’ for White Screen
During a presentation, when you are running a slideshow in PowerPoint, you may want to divert the attention of your audience away from the contents of your PowerPoint slide. When you are answering a question on a topic unrelated to a current slide, you may not want the audience to focus on the illustrations or graphs on your slide. Instead, you may want to be the focus of their attention.

*If you press the ‘B’ key or the ‘.’ key during your PowerPoint slideshow, the screen will go blank. This will enable you to redirect your audience’s attention to yourself and your talk. When you are ready to continue, press the ‘B’ key or the ‘.’ key to resume the slideshow.
*Alternately, press the ‘W’ key or the ‘,’ key to display a white screen. Press the ‘W’ key or the ‘,’ key a second time to resume the slideshow.

In general, it is always a good idea to have a blank screen to help get your audience to focus on you when beginning or concluding your presentation, introducing yourself or answering questions. The later versions of Microsoft PowerPoint end with a blank “End of slideshow, click to exit” screen by default.

[Number] + Enter to Transit to a Particular Slide

As with all communication processes, your PowerPoint slides and verbal presentation should consist of a logical flow of ideas and supporting material. Unfortunately, presenters often overlook this necessity.

Presenters habitually transit to a prior slide to show a graph or some data— “As I said in slide four…let me go to slide number four…here it is… .” Alternately, they sometimes transit to a further slide or to a slide in the appendix— “Edward, I am glad you brought that up…in fact, I included a chart in the last slide…let me show it to you now… .”

Moving to a prior slide or a further slide (by using the ‘Page Up’ or ‘Page Down’ keys) can distract the audience. If you must transit to a particular slide, hit the slide number and press ‘Enter.’ Note down the current slide number to use when you want to resume the slideshow. Refer to your handouts or a printout of your slideshow for slide numbers.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Leadership And Public Speaking

Saturday, January 13, 2007 9:48 AM Will
The Leadership Power of Great Public Speaking
This week, Steve Jobs did his MacWorld song and dance. While he delivers his message to an eager and receptive audience, there's no question that his mastery of public speaking helps promote his message and causes even those who aren't Apple zealots to take notice. I'd hazard a guess that this skill is also a huge arrow in his leadership quiver inside of Apple Computer.
It's rare to find great leaders that can't speak to a crowd and get them to follow or at least riled up about what they are promoting. I'm sure there are cases where introverted, soft-spoken leaders have been successful, but most often, the ability to speak well to an audience is a required skill in successfully leading groups larger than a few dozen people. Unabashedly promoting one's organization and, often, oneself, is just a fundamental skill that anyone who is now a leader or wishes to be one must learn. The good news is that it can be learned.
At this week's Needham Growth Conference, I attended roughly 25 presentations by companies - both private and public. There were some poor speakers, some mediocre and a few really good ones. As you might expect, the quality of each presentation had little to do with its content. There were great presentations by CEOs of companies dealing with a boat load of stock option issues, their stock in the toilet, and there were crappy presentations from squeaky clean companies growing 300% year-over-year.

Generally speaking, the boring speakers lost their audiences, physically or mentally, by the time they reached the halfway point of their speech. The great speakers held their audience and were surrounded by people that wanted private time with them after their presentation. Good speakers walked away with dozens of business cards from potential investors and poor ones ate lunch by themselves. See a pattern here?

I've said before, that I believe that leadership and management are separate disciplines. If being or becoming a good leader is the goal you seek, practice being a good speaker (yes, it requires practice), prepare (a lot) before you speak, have something meaningful to say and ban timidity (but not humility) from your presentations. Use the force, Luke.

Being softly spoken has no bearing on the ability to be a great or even good public speaker. I think the author is mistaking being introverted for a lack of chrisma. A great point here is how a great presentation can lead to many networking opportunities.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Public Speaking Tips For A Better Presentation

Life Coach, Beth Tabak talks about facing the fear of public speaking head on based on her own experiences:

Face Your Fear of Public Speaking- Pave the Way from Paralyzed to Powerful
January 12th, 2007 Category: Self Help

Are you allowing your fear of public speaking to hold you back from what you really want? Don’t allow fear to control you. Learn from my experience of facing fear head on.

In 2002 I made the decision to overcome my fear of public speaking. As an adventurous person, I was sick and tired of this one fear holding me back. I could go caving…crawling into dark trenches, parasail in the Bahamas, sail around and explore uninhabited islands, or ski at great speed down a mountain. But the thought of standing in front of a group and having to speak with all attention on me was petrifying. If you would have told me a few years ago that I would be speaking in public in the near future, I would have told you there was no way and that you have lost your mind.

However, the day came when I could see that fear was holding me back from what I really wanted in my life and it was time to take it on. I realized that fear is really in the future. You see fear is about what might happen, and usually doesn?t. I realized that fear was controlling me, and I was ready to take back control. If you are ready to take on your fear of public speaking dig
down, grab some courage, and read the following tips.

1- Make the decision to face your fear head on with courage and grace. Taking on your fear by itself is beautiful, admirable, and will make you feel good about you.

2- Set a time period to focus on this challenge. This is not a one time try it and see if you like it. It is a process. I chose one year. Is my fear gone? Not completely, and I made so much progress that I am excited about where this will lead. Setting the time period will focus you on the process and not one particular event. During the process you will gain experience, knowledge, and confidence.

3- Get support. Join a group such as Toastmasters (www.toastmasters.com) or develop your own support group of friends, associates, and family to back you. Set it up the way it makes you feel comfortable. Some may want a group of friends at an event to support them. I preferred just having one. You may want to practice on someone. These people will support you to help you gain confidence.

4- Go into it with no expectations. Simply having the guts to try is an honor in itself. When there are no expectations you are setting the stage for success. You have nothing to worry about. You do not have to be brilliant. For the first year my goal for each talk was to have one person walk away with something that would add value to their life. This year it will be two…even though the feedback shows I have reached many more than that. No expectations reduces your stress level.

5- Keep it simple. Choose a topic that you are very comfortable with. Keeping the amount of time in mind choose only one to three key points that you believe will add value to your audience. The audience will consist of people who have different learning styles…visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. It is helpful to keep all three in mind while preparing. A handout or vivid story may benefit the visual learner while an interactive exercise may intrigue the kinesthetic learner. Using stories and interactive exercises gets the audience involved and keeps it easy on you. They are not looking for or expecting perfection. They simply want something of value to take home with them…a good feeling, a helpful tip, the inspiration to do something new, or just to be able to say they had a great evening out.

6- Prepare, prepare, prepare. When I really looked into my fear I found that in the past I had never taken the time to be well prepared. I do not mean memorize. Prepare to a point where you feel ready.

7- Choose a montra such as ?I will grow from this experience and love myself no matter what.? Just a reminder that no event can be so big as to destroy you. If you mess up…big deal! What if a toddler after his first fall said ?that?s it…I?m never going to walk.? What do we tell frustrated kids when they are learning to read and say ?I?ll never be able to read!?? We tell them ?Yes you will…keep practicing…you?ll get it.? They do. We can learn a lot from watching kids face their fears one after another and succeed.

8- Maintain a positive attitude and stifle your inner critic. When you notice your inner critic taking over shift your attitude to something positive. Visualize yourself succeeding. Confidently tell yourself you can do it…even if you have doubt. Focus on how awesome you will feel when it is over and you have faced your fear. If you are a spiritual person prayer works wonders. Do whatever it takes to encourage and coach yourself to success.

9- Meet the audience. They really want to support you. Plan to get to the event a little bit early (not too early) in order to get a feel for where you will be and the events leading up to your talk. I like to go around and meet the audience. You quickly realize that they are not big ogres… just real people.

10- Breathe. Whenever the butterflies are getting the best of you remember to breathe. Take slow deep breathes in through the nose from the diaphragm and out through your mouth. Relax into it.

11- Use your nervous energy. When you are introduced use your nervous energy to get you started. Walk up with excitement, stand tall, and speak out with confidence.

12- Be yourself. Don?t try to mimic someone else. Be human. For those of you who remember Johnny Carson?s monologues, he was the best at using a bad joke to his advantage. Many of the comedians today follow his lead. Oprah?s tremendous success has been in part to her ability to relate to the audience by showing her humanness and putting her own challenges and struggles out there. How many people would feel comfortable having a multi-millionaire as influential as Oprah come to their home? Yet I get the impression that most of Oprah?s audience would feel right at home having Oprah over for tea.

13- Focus on the task at hand and not the reaction of the audience. Follow your plan. Do it your way and not as a reaction to others. As you gain experience you can become more flexible. In the beginning, stick to your plan and learn from the experience. Keep in mind that the one person that you think dislikes you the most may be the one listening most intensely and gaining the most from your talk.

14- Distribute comment cards and collect them right away. Ask for honest feedback on the comment cards and accept them with an open mind. This is a great way to have people sign up for your newsletter or to receive more information from you. When you make it a safe place for them to share their information you will receive more cards. You can have a drawing for a free gift to encourage more to participate. In any event, the comment cards are a wonderful tool for you and the positive comments increase your confidence.

15- Celebrate! Celebrate that you faced your fear with grace and courage. Honor yourself for that.

If you have read this far than you are ready to face your fear, otherwise I am lucky and totally grateful to have held your attention this long. Get out of paralysis by taking the first step. As you gain experience you will improve and gain confidence. You can do it! Pave your way one step at a time and you will gain the power to take back control of your life and to achieve all that you want to be.

Please send your comments and tell me what you want to read. l would love to hear from you! Copyright 2003, Beth A. Tabak, All rights reserved.

About the Author

Beth Tabak is a Professional Life Coach and owner of Starting Now. She coaches business professionals and those who want to make big changes to upgrade their business while upgrading their life. Prioritize, systemize, stay focused, and take action. Working with a coach adds support and accountability for greater success. E-mail to set up a free ?Try It Out? session and have your questions answered. To learn more visit www.cvreferral.com/2/101475.html or e-mail startingnow@houston.rr.com.

This is certainly sound advice for those who are ready to take these steps and if followed they'll certainly help you become more adept at public speaking. Those who are phobic may need more than advice to get to this point though.

Public Speaking For Marketing

There are some great points here -

How To Promote Your Business By Speaking in Public

Posted in Uncategorized by admin on the January 12th, 2007

As an entrepreneur, public speaking has to be one of the most effective ways of marketing yourself. There are countless opportunities out there for you to get yourself in front of your target market. There is no better way to have a captive audience full of prospects. It is the fastest way of establishing yourself as an expert.

You don’t have to be a professional speaker to speak in public. Just doing a reasonable job is better than not doing anything at all.

Prospects are much more likely to engage your services if they’ve seen you speak. Let’s look at the following example. Say you were looking for an accountant. Would you be more inclined to trust someone you had found in the Yellow Pages, or someone you had heard speak knowledgeably at the local Chamber of Commerce?

Look into opportunities in your local area where you can offer to speak for free. Professional associations, networking groups, Chambers of Commerce, educational bodies and Rotary Clubs are all potential public speaking venues. They often look out for speakers for their events, meetings and workshops.

Also research the audience that is going to be at your talk. For example, what industries are they likely to represent? Are they from large or small companies? What would interest them? What angle should your presentation take?
When it comes to finalizing your speech topic, be sure to make it sound enticing and interesting. People often decide whether to attend a talk based on just the title so put some serious thought into this.

Practice is key to coming across in a professional manner and reducing nerves. Write your speech out in full, but never read it verbatim. Have an outline prepared and available for you to refer to.

Check with the event organizer how long you have for your talk. Include timing in your practice runs. There is nothing worse than having a speaker run over time.
Get the most mileage out of your presentation by having some promotional material at the back of the room, for example some business cards, flyers or brochures that people can take with them if they wish.

You can be even more proactive and set up a newsletter before starting to give speeches. At the end of your presentation you can encourage your audience to sign up for your newsletter in exchange for a promotional gift or free e-book. That way you have also added valuable contacts to your database.

Many entrepreneurs swear by public speaking as a way of building and maintaining a steady stream of clients for their businesses.

Getting in front of people is the most effective way of building rapport - and as people tend to do business with people they like, it's gotta make sense! From a marketing perspective it is a low cost (or many times no cost) marketing opportunity.

Just make sure if you are a entrepreneur, when you do speak to groups you MUST get contact info for attendees and then use them.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Macworld Speech Canned!

Scathing attack on Stan Sigman's public speaking performance at Macworld totally justified!

Oh come on!

I finally watched Steve Jobs' Apple keynote from the Macworld Expo last night to see for myself all the bruhaha about the iPhone. Cingular CEO Stan Sigman got up towards the end to contribute his $0.02 regarding the arrangements with Apple and what it would mean to Cingular.

And he was just dreadful! As Jobs said, this is not just about simple partnering; these guys are seriously innovating - the visual voicemail for a start. Stan started off fine, a bit tight in his breathing, but speaking well and with obvious sincerity. He then went off on a riff (with 4X6 cue cards) about the AT&T partnership, stodgily reiterated points about iPhone that Steve had already made very well, and read out what felt like extracts from Cingular's latest sales brochure.

Maybe he was going to use AutoCue and it broke. Maybe he was really sick and running a high fever and couldn't rely on his memory. Maybe a close family member had just died or he had received really bad personal news. But anything short of those three things does not excuse his appalling talk. He spoke for just under 6 minutes and it felt like an eternity. 6 minutes times 100 words per minute - a lousy 600 words - and he couldn't be bothered to learn it off by heart? Oh come on!

Apart from the first few moments, without the cards, he spoke in a too-slow, zero-enthusiasm, zero-sincerity, zero-energy monotone. If ever a presentation required energy, this was it. He didn't have to do a Steve Ballmer on it, but ... come on! [Incidentally, if any of the three reasons above were the cause of Stan's woeful performance, he should have stepped back and let one of his senior officers do the bit for him.]

Contrast that with when something went badly wrong for Steve, just after Stan left the stage. His clicker stopped working and (nightmare of nightmares!) the backup clicker didn't work either. He immediately went into a brief, relevant, and very funny improv about himself and Woz inventing a TV Jammer to mess up people's TV signal when they were back in high school and then segued smoothly back into his points about unit sales of Mobile phones when he got the nod from one of his technical team.

Seth wasn't too impressed (When you should stop improving) and neither was Rex ("worst canned speech of all time"). Macteens magazine live blog from the event "notes a lack of enthusiasm on the part of Mr. Sigman."I have always recommended watching speakers, both good and bad, as a learning exercise for anyone who wants to get serious about their public speaking and presentation skills and I have a library of examples. Stan's piece will be going straight into the "Godawful" folder.

Can't help but think about all the kudos that Singular gained from the exclusive link up with Apple just got a great big dent in it by the pitiful attempt at public speaking.

Critique Of Steve Jobs Keynote Presentation

Here's a nice take on Steve Jobs keynote speech (public speaking) at Macworld during the announcement of the new iPhone...

Dissecting Steve Jobs' reality distortion field

[Steve Jobs presenting the iPhone at MacWorld 2007]

As of this instant, Google News is showing 2,152 stories today about the iPhone. Any way you slice it, that is serious buzz about a product that isn't even shipping yet. And since Blackfriars' brief is to examine how companies communicate their own value and that of their products, those numbers are pretty interesting.

One of the benefits of being at MacWorld this year was that it gave me the chance to dissect Steve Jobs' presentation style in person (you can stream it yourself from Apple's Web site). And while I was madly blogging on my cell phone while the keynote was going on, I did jot some notes about just how he sets up what is fondly referred to as his reality distortion field. My conclusion: there's no magic here. He simply does all the things that a great communicator is supposed to, including many techniques that we teach. Jobs is so persuasive because he:

*Rehearses -- a lot. Jobs is extremely comfortable on stage. You can see in his eyes that he knows his content cold before he even starts. He isn't trapped behind a podium. He knows when to get excited and when he needs to pull back. All of these things aren't hard -- provided you have the entire story you want to tell in your head. Jobs does -- and that only happens if you have done the story over and over again in rehearsal.

*Is himself. Jobs doesn't try to imitate other people or be something he isn't. He's not afraid to get excited and emotional over what he is talking about. As an example, when he thanks the families of Apple employees at the end, you can hear him getting choked up about the commitment and dedication they had. The audience can feel the emotion behind his words, and that adds impact to anything Jobs says.

*Uses visuals effectively. Jobs doesn't clutter up his presentation visuals with a lot of words. In fact, the slide shown above probably had the most words of any slide he used. Most of his slides have such illuminating reading as 2.0B (the number of iTunes songs sold to date), or "Ads". Without a lot of reading to do, the audience listens to Jobs more, giving the words he says more impact. Jobs also uses demos effectively; all of them use very simple examples rather than complicated ones. Why simplicity? Because simple ideas are easier to convey and easier for the audience to absorb.

*Focuses on the problem he's solving in detail. Watch Jobs' first 7 or 8 minutes of the iPhone introduction (starting about 26 minutes in and running until 33 minutes). All of that time he spends setting up why smartphones are dumb and clunky. He doesn't even talk about his solution to the problem until he's told the audience no fewer than three times what criteria a successful product in this market must have. And amazingly, the product he introduces has exactly those criteria. It's not only an effective marketing technique, but it creates drama and tension where there would be none otherwise.

*Says everything three times. Jobs always introduces new ideas first as a list, then he talks about each member of the list individually, and then he summarizes the list later. And, he always uses exactly the same words each time. A great example is the three functions that the iPhone has: an iPod, a phone, and a revolutionary Internet communicator. Every aspect had its own section of the keynote, and its own icon that kept being repeated. He even got the audience to chant the three items sequentially with him over and over. The result: even listeners who aren't paying attention get the message.

*Tells stories. At one point late in the presentation, Jobs' slide advancing clicker failed. He switched to the backup, and it wasn't working either. So what did he do? He told a story about how he and Steve Wozniak build a TV jammer and used it in college TV rooms to stealthily mess up TV signals. The story had nothing to do with the presentation, but it kept the audience laughing and amused while the backstage crew fixed the problem. Yet, the story fit beautifully into the larger iPhone story overall.

*Isn't afraid of the dramatic pause. When Jobs switches topics or is about to say something important, he doesn't rush into it. Often, he will go to the side of the stage and grab a drink of water. Or, he'll just stand to the side of the stage and say something like, "Isn't that amazing?" and just wait. The pauses both keep the audience from getting tired out and allows them to absorb what he has said. And more importantly, they create drama and anticipation for what is to come.

*Uses comparisons to demonstrate features. When Jobs has a feature he really wants people to remember, he always compares it to something else. In the iPhone introduction, he compared the iPhone with other smartphones. When he introduced the iPod nano, he compared it with other flash players. Comparisons allow him to emphasize the unique selling propositions of his products and paint the competitive landscape on his terms. This one feature of Jobs' presentations puts his presentations head and shoulders above others.

If anyone needs more convincing of how much of a difference presentation technique makes, just contrast Cingular CEO Stan Sigman's presentation beginning at 1:34:50 in with Jobs'. Despite his professionally written content, his presentation just falls flat on too many words and not enough life. The audience starts clapping at once point just to try to convince him to cut it short. Ouch.

Apple has built its reputation by sweating the details for its customers. Jobs does the same for his audiences. Few companies will effectively compete against Apple until they start doing the same. Until then, Jobs' reality distortion field will be as powerful as ever.