The people listening to your speech are not critics. Most of them are just amazed that you are up there (and glad that they're not!) To them, you're like the host of a big party. They came hoping to have a good time. So give them one by taking care of them.Read More
A speaker on stage at a seminar just blew your socks off. She projected confidence and grace, her movements helping to make her points clearer. What was she doing that made her so good? A lot of things, probably, but let's start with the feet.
Instead of thinking of your adult audience members in your presentation as “students”, you should think of them as “participants”. Instead of thinking of yourself as a “teacher”, think of yourself as a “facilitator”. Your job is to draw out your participants' expertise and interest by establishing an environment that invites their ideas, opinions, and experiences.Read More
We all have habits we bring to the table when we start to explore public speaking. Some are great, some are....very not great. Those not great habits are understandable enough: we do things without thinking, or because we're nervous about being vulnerable in front of our audiences. But if we're not careful, those habits can become ingrained and then they'll be harder to break. This article by Hilary Davis on "upspeak", "vocal fry", and authenticity in public speaking has some good strategies you can incorporate into your public speaking practice to avoid bad habits and better connect with your audience.
Playing to scale simply means making sure that the size of your physical and vocal expression matches the size of your room. In larger rooms, you have to make sure that the back rows are getting a life-size version of your speech. To do that, you're going to have to be a bit bigger than life-size.Read More
The mismatch between the room I mentally prepared my self to speak in and the one I'm actually going to speak in is throwing me off a bit. I feel my blood pressure start to rise. Some doubts start creeping in. “Can I do this? Did I adequately prepare? What if I forget what's on my slides? What if my zipper's down and I only realize it at the end my presentation?!!”Read More
A speaker begins a presentation. He doesn't do a great job on the introduction, so you don't get his name, but whutevs. This meeting is supposed to be about new timekeeping rules, right? Now, there's a slide of a dog on the screen. Now he's telling some story about his grandfather in the Army. What was the topic? What are we doing here?Read More