March, 2010

Three ideas from improv to improve your speaking

Speaking about Presenting

I’ve just finished a four day improvisational comedy course for speakers. In New Zealand we don’t have much improv, and so I first came across improv as a tool for improving public speaking skills when I took part in PresentationCampLA last year.

Ideas 260

Directing the message - Tiger finally speaks

Dahle Communication

In my previous posts regarding Tiger Woods , I discussed how his NOT talking was hurting him. He was being quiet while the rest of the world was talking - and what the rest of the world was talking about was not good.

Direct 186

Help Wanted: Speech Coaches for Congress

Matt Eventoff

“He was my model. I learned from him how to hold thousands in thrall.&# – Sir Winston Churchill. So who was “he&# ? He was W. Bourke Cockran , a Congressman from New York City in the early 1900s who was described in his day as the greatest orator in the land. He also served as a role model to Churchill. Congressman Cockran was noted for his ability to move colleagues and constituents to support causes or even change positions due his magnificent oratory.

Coach 164

Timeline 3D: A Review

Thoughts On Presenting And Design

If you’re a Mac user like me, you might be aware of those software bundle deals like Mac Heist and MacUpdate Promo. I bought the promo bundle last year, which gave me $500 of legit, full-featured (not demo) software for $50. It’s hard to beat that.

2010 163

Presentation Barriers: Physical

Professionally Speaking...

Barriers are helpful between skin and sun or between deer and freshly planted flowers. Barriers are a hindrance between speaker and audience. We have enough challenges in engaging an audience without imposing a physical element that our message needs to travel through.

2010 152

Lessons from Seinfeld

Speak Schmeak

In the documentary, "Comedian," Jerry Seinfeld has decided to scrap all his previous material from decades of success as a standup comedian and TV star, and start over with a new standup act.

2010 196

The one thing the best presenters at SXSW 2010 have in common

Speaking about Presenting

SXSW is a mega conference/festival for geeks in Austin, Texas, United States. Mega means over 10,000 attendees. I came here to see what’s happening at the geek edge of presenting. To observe the interface between presenting and technology.

2010 202

More Trending

Fear of Public Speaking, Pt. III

Matt Eventoff

Fear doesn’t just exist for the days and hours prior to an event. In Pt. III of this series, I am going to address tips and tactics when the nerves kick in within minutes of your presentation actually beginning (although every one of these tactics also work hours and days before as well).

My Lunch

Thoughts On Presenting And Design

Posted via web from Mike Pulsifer’s posterous.

2010 141

Public Speaking Irish Style

Professionally Speaking...

As public speakers, we all have our own " voice " -- a style, a persona that is uniquely our own. Conscious focus on developing that voice serves to enhance our credibility and help us establish rapport with our audiences.

89% of employers want colleges to place more emphasis on communication

PowerPoint Tips

In a survey of over 300 businesses, 89% of employers stated that they want colleges to place more emphasis on oral and written communication. That was a higher percentage than any other skill, knowledge, or ability. This comes from the Association of American Colleges & Universities ‘ LEAP initiative. You can find the PDF of the results here. Why are oral and written communication so important? By comparison, why would only 81% mention critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills?

2010 133

Ten Surefire Ways to Destroy Your Voice

Kate's Voice

Not too long ago, someone called me asking for help with his voice. He wanted to sound like Rod Stewart. Without batting an eye, I said, “You don’t need a lesson. Just yell a lot, smoke a couple packs a day and don’t get any sleep.” He thanked me and hung up. How about that? [.]. vocal delivery vocal health voice lessons laryngitis tired voice voice problems

2010 189

100 Posts! What's our focus been?

Dahle Communication

I sometimes wish that I was as prolific as some other people when it comes to blogging.

2010 155

Bourke Cockran – Speech Lessons from Winston Churchill’s Role Model

Matt Eventoff

“He was my model. I learned from him how to hold thousands in thrall.” ” – Sir Winston Churchill. So who was “he”? He was W. Bourke Cockran , a Congressman from New York City in the early 1900s who was described in his day as the greatest orator in the land. He also served as a role model to Churchill.

2010 155

My favorite compliment ever

Speak Schmeak

Over the weekend, I gave a half-day training to a local organization on promoting your business without sounding like a commercial. Here's the short version of this training in an upcoming webinar.)

2010 172

Strengthen Your Presentation with Word Pictures

Professionally Speaking...

As presenters, we should always be searching for ways to make our presentations more memorable, more impactful, more sticky. Word pictures are an excellent way to accomplish this. The term 'word picture' sounds like a dichotomy or a contradiction. Is it a word? Or is it a picture? .

2010 151

Transparency gradients-an update

PowerPoint Tips

I’m working on my upcoming webinar, High-Impact Slide Design for Non-Designers, and one technique that I’m covering is transparency gradients. I’m explaining how to use them for a simple bottom bar on a slide and also how to create belly bands. What, you don’t know what belly bands are?). I realized that my tip on transparency gradients was never updated for PowerPoint 2007, so I thought I’d make this technique available to everyone.

2010 125

The secret to great work is great play

Presentation Zen

We were born to play. Play is how we learn and develop our minds and our bodies, and it's also how we express ourselves. Play comes naturally to us. I was reminded of this while listening to a cool little jazz gig near the beach in Maui a couple of months ago.

2010 113

Logorama - an experiment in Brand Recognition

Dahle Communication

If you were watching the Oscars last night or the coverage of them on a variety of shows throughout the past month, you've probably at least seen or heard of the animated short film 'Logorama. ' ' If you haven't, don't worry, you'll want to follow along.

2010 139

Speech Coaching for Startups and Senators, Pt I

Matt Eventoff

I spent an interesting(and frustrating) two days last week- the first watching a number of legislative hearings, and the second watching a number of presentations/pitches before venture capitalists and private equity groups. The similarity was striking, and there are.

Coach 126

Don't forget your pre-flight check

Speak Schmeak

Download audio here. We attended a wedding last weekend at a cute little outdoor wedding chapel. The setting was sweet, but the sound was weak. Part of the reason it was hard to hear the ceremony was that there was a bubbling fountain on my side of the patio.

2010 164

Presentation Barriers: The Speaker's Mindset

Professionally Speaking...

Last week I wrote about physical barriers to a presentation -- actual objects that get in between the speaker and the audience and block connection. But there are other barriers that, although invisible, are just as damaging. I'm speaking of attitudes, beliefs and perceptions inside the speaker's mind. ARROGANCE Arrogance in a speaker generally manifests itself as superiority; thinking you're smarter, more competent, more skilled than the audience.

2010 117

Why do 60% of students find their lectures boring?

PowerPoint Tips

I just found a great article by Sandi Mann in The Guardian, called, “ Why do 60% of students find their lectures boring? (Dr. Sandi Mann is senior lecturer in occupational psychology at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK.) You can probably guess what’s coming. “One of the main contributors to student boredom is the use of PowerPoint.

2010 122

40 Fatal Public Speaking Mistakes

Successful Speeches Blog

It’s that time of year again! What time? you ask. It’s the time of year I celebrate my birthday by doing the same number of push ups that equal the year I’m celebrating. It seemed like a good idea when I turned 30, but I’m guessing I’m going to have to look for a new [.].

Two Views on Public Speaking Training: Skills and Technique vs. Personal Style

DeFinis Communications

I had lunch with a colleague last week and we had a rousing discussion about two different approaches to teaching public speaking and presentation skills. . My company, DeFinis Communications , approaches the training process from a skills perspective. We teach the techniques, behaviors and skills that are associated with powerful and effective public speaking —and we do it with a proprietary coaching approach that gets great results.

The Academy Awards and the Art of Public Speaking

Matt Eventoff

Last year Megan Mylan set the bar with her Oscar acceptance speech. This year, unfortunately, no winner quite met the bar that Megan had set, although some certainly took it in a much different direction. The lack of great acceptance speeches at the Academy Awards is nothing new — Joseph Lindsay has posted an excellent article on that here.

2010 116

Don't overwork your presentation

Speak Schmeak

Download audio here. If you've never made a pie, you might not know this, but overworking the dough for the crust makes a tough chewy texture rather than the light flaky texture we all prefer. If you overmix the dough when you're making, say, scones, the same thing happens.

2010 153

The Sales Presentation

Professionally Speaking...

Volumes have been written about the skills needed for successful sales presentations. Advice abounds about how to present benefits, not features; how to conduct product demos; how to use influencing techniques; how to establish rapport; how to close; and more. Top sales performers embrace not only these sales skills but, most importantly, this fundamental of effective presenting: focus on the audience. They are clear that a sales presentation should be a dialogue between salesperson and audience.

Sales 110

A Death by PowerPoint story from Karen Carleton

PowerPoint Tips

Story from Karen Carleton, MEd, MS. link]. I was with a consulting company and some hunting outfitters were giving presentations to natural resources board to back up their claims disputing government research that animal populations were dwindling, to maintain their businesses and livelihood (or delay closure of their businesses).

2010 109

40 Fatal Public Speaking Mistakes

Successful Speeches Blog

It’s that time of year again! What time? you ask. It’s the time of year I celebrate my birthday by doing the same number of push ups that equal the year I’m celebrating. It seemed like a good idea when I turned 30, but I’m guessing I’m going to have to look for a new [.].

Intention: Are you selling or being sold?

Kate's Voice

A good friend of mine says, “You’re either selling or being sold.” Sometimes, we think we are selling when we are really being sold, and vice versa. However, if we look at our communication from the perspective of intention, things become more clear. Consider your own experience: Think of a recent presentation or conversation where [.]. communication intention vocal impact

The Impact of Public Speaking on Top Sales Performance

DeFinis Communications

Over the last few weeks I’ve been engaged in discussions with a number of talented and experienced sales professionals. Our conversations have focused on various aspects of the sales process including: establishing credibility, understanding customer needs, reviewing various options and recommending a solution. Everyone was in agreement about one thing. No matter where you are in the sales process, strong communication skills including exceptional presentation skills are critical for success.

Sales 152

Making a bad space better

Speak Schmeak

Over this past weekend I shared a booth at the Women's Festival at Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara. The main exhibit hall at the showgrounds is a large, circular building with concrete floors (originally designed to resemble a giant daisy with a 43' domed ceiling at the center).

2010 151

Speech Coaching for Startups and Senators, Pt I

Matt Eventoff

I spent an interesting(and frustrating) two days last week- the first watching a number of legislative hearings, and the second watching a number of presentations/pitches before venture capitalists and private equity groups. The similarity was striking, and there are.

Coach 100

New webinar coming up; previous one available as a recording

PowerPoint Tips

The next webinar is Slide Design for Non-Designers. I love this topic, because it’s close to my heart—I’m definitely not a designer. Yet I can create stunning slides (or so people tell me). My story is that my slides used to look awful. After some painful feedback, I read books and studied slides that I thought looked great, noting the techniques and layouts they used. I’ve learned from some of the top designers in the country at the PowerPoint Live conference.

How to Make Your Speech Sound Like Music to Their Ears: Chapter 2

Successful Speeches Blog

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been sitting on this book for two years, but my post from 2008 confirms it. Even with guidance on how to write my book in 60 days, I still managed to let the manuscript collect dust. Some of you have written and encouraged me to keep going. I appreciate [.]. Music to their ears Presentation Skills Public Speaking Repetition in speeches Rhetorical Devices Scripted Speeches Successful Speeches Theme for your speech

2010 100

“Feed Your Voice!” A Voice User’s Guide to Diet, Part One

Kate's Voice

What should you eat before a presentation or performance? Should you ask for lunch before or after that talk at the conference ? Recently, I posed this kind of question on Twitter. The answers I received were somewhat varied, but also fairly consistent with what I’ve believed over the years. SierraRein said: Not eating spicy [.]. singing Speaking vocal health public speaking tips

2010 140