12for12 January Challenge: Make eye contact

Speak Schmeak

Today is the day we kick off 12 Speaking Challenges for 2012 ! Now, for our first challenge: Make Eye Contact. I roll my eyes when I read a public speaking article that recommends looking at the back wall instead of your audience, to make it appear as though you are giving eye contact to the whole group. I find that eye contact is more comfortable when I've made friends before the presentation has begun. Greetings and Happy New Year!

12for12 January Challenge: Make eye contact

Speak Schmeak

Today is the day we kick off 12 Speaking Challenges for 2012 ! Now, for our first challenge: Make Eye Contact. I roll my eyes when I read a public speaking article that recommends looking at the back wall instead of your audience, to make it appear as though you are giving eye contact to the whole group. I find that eye contact is more comfortable when I've made friends before the presentation has begun. Greetings and Happy New Year!

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Thinking of doing a Hangout? Read this first!

Speak Schmeak

Place your webcam at or above eye level When you sit at your desk, your screen tends to be a little bit lower than eye level, unless you have a really high desk or a massive monitor. Just because you''re looking at someone''s face on the screen, doesn''t mean you''re making eye contact with your audience. If you want to make eye contact (and your audience wants you to), you must look INTO the webcam lens.

2014 181

Want your presentation to knock 'em dead? Use tips from comedy! Guest post by David Nihill

Speak Schmeak

Use Comedy Writing Techniques Use words like "weird," "amazing," "scary," "hard," "stupid," and "crazy" in the joke/story/topic setup and introduction to grab people’s attention. Use the Bookend Technique: This is where comedians reference their opening joke or story at the conclusion of their show. This can be done at open mics, meetup groups or through public speaking organizations like Toastmasters. Humor Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Speakers

2014 198

Are you a flabby speaker?

Speak Schmeak

It''s the same way with speaking. You''re not starting from scratch, learning the basics of engaging the audience, moving your body effectively, making eye contact, telling stories, and all those things that are complicated and scary for beginners. Analogies Athletes Engaging the Audience Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Quick Fixes Taking Risks The Business of Speaking

2013 175

The power of presence

Speak Schmeak

Specifically, the article is about the power of appropriate and well-practiced eye contact, the use of personal space, and the practice of being present in developing a charismatic and influential personality. In general, your sense of physical proximity with someone increases when they are: - Making direct eye contact with you - Facing you directly (as opposed to standing side-by-side looking into the crowd) - Touching you (i.e.,

Power 160

December 12for12 Challenge: Put it all together

Speak Schmeak

It's December, which means it's the last month of 12 Speaking Challenges for 2012 ! We've been building "confidence muscles" with monthly challenges designed to help you get out of your comfort zone and build confidence in a variety of settings that will prepare you for your upcoming speaking engagements! Waaaaay back in January, we started out with practicing eye contact, and we've attacked every possible confidence challenge along the way.

2012 145

12for12 February Challenge: Be present

Speak Schmeak

Have you joined my 12 Speaking Challenges for 2012 program yet? Build your "confidence muscles" with monthly challenges designed to help you get out of your comfort zone and build confidence in a variety of settings that will prepare you for your upcoming speaking engagements! When you speak, listen to what you're saying and how you're saying it: Are you articulating your thoughts clearly? 12for12 Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies

2012 180

Are you making these rookie mistakes?

Speak Schmeak

Not only does this freeze your movement in place or, if you do move around the stage, force you to return to the keyboard every time you want to advance to the next slide, it restricts your eye contact and inhibits gestures. And they especially don't need to know that you couldn't be bothered to take the time to ready yourself fully to speak to them. You may be traveling from afar and don't get to see the room you're speaking in until a half hour before your presentation.

2011 194

Focusing on the Positive: Guest post by Ryan Rivera

Speak Schmeak

Public speaking anxiety tends to be self-sustaining. For those that want to cure their public speaking anxiety, this is a serious problem. With any luck, your public speaking anxiety will quickly disappear. Ryan Rivera struggled intensely with his public speaking anxiety and tried multiple strategies to help him become a better public speaker. Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Public Speaking Anxiety

2012 145

5 public speaking lessons from a Vitamix demo

Speak Schmeak

I had been eyeing the Vitamix for years, and I knew that Costco regularly held "road shows" for the blender. I was obviously impressed enough with the demo to finally buy my Vitamix; however, from a public speaking perspective, I was also impressed. He flipped switches and turned dials, barely looking at the machine, so he could maintain eye contact with his audience. Speakers Engaging the Audience Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies

2011 210

Public Speaking Tips from my Dog Balou -- Guest post by Joey Asher

Speak Schmeak

Enjoy this post about what a dog can teach you about public speaking! They know that if they connect with the audience with energy, eye contact and stories, all will be forgiven. Balou Makes Great Eye Contact Balou knows that to connect with people, you need great eye contact. Similarly, great speakers understand that eye contact is critical. Tags: Speakers Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Fun Stuff

2010 136

Surviving the mini-presentation: Your self-introduction

Speak Schmeak

He didn't start to comprehend what he had said until I started speaking next. Don't start speaking until you're fully standing. Make eye contact with one or two people. Then start speaking. Finish speaking before you sit down. Quick Fixes Preparation Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Public Speaking Anxiety The Business of Speaking

5 public speaking lessons from a Vitamix demo

Speak Schmeak

I had been eyeing the Vitamix for years, and I knew that Costco regularly held "road shows" for the blender. I was obviously impressed enough with the demo to finally buy my Vitamix; however, from a public speaking perspective, I was also impressed. He flipped switches and turned dials, barely looking at the machine, so he could maintain eye contact with his audience. Speakers Engaging the Audience Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies

2011 197

Get out of the cage and own the stage!

Speak Schmeak

Eye contact with the room 4. Eyes down or looking at a place between speaker and audience 3. Start with your posture , tall, relaxed and open, facing the audience with your feet squared and your eyes forward. Keep your head up and your eyes out. Keep your eyes out and forward. Encompass them with your eyes and movements rather than creating a cage for yourself where you're standing. Embrace them with your eyes, voice and arms.

Stage 170

9 ways to act like a pro, even if you're not

Speak Schmeak

If you want to get speaking engagements to promote your business, for example, you are more likely to be invited if you have a professional presence. Post your photo on your website People who will ask you to speak want to get to know you a little. In order to make your presentation as effective as it can be for you and for the audience, you must speak up and let the organizer know what you need. Make eye contact.

2010 180

Who's in the room?

Speak Schmeak

No eye contact. Sometimes you just can't tell what someone is thinking, even if they're not making eye contact and they appear hostile. Maybe they learn better by listening, and eye contact distracts them. Tags: Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Rhett Laubach posted a nice overview of how to read your audience members and how best to connect with them, based on their motivations for being there.

2007 100

The power of presence

Speak Schmeak

Specifically, the article is about the power of appropriate and well-practiced eye contact, the use of personal space, and the practice of being present in developing a charismatic and influential personality. In general, your sense of physical proximity with someone increases when they are: - Making direct eye contact with you - Facing you directly (as opposed to standing side-by-side looking into the crowd) - Touching you (i.e.,

Power 100

9 ways to act like a pro, even if you're not

Speak Schmeak

If you want to get speaking engagements to promote your business, for example, you are more likely to be invited if you have a professional presence. Post your photo on your website People who will ask you to speak want to get to know you a little. In order to make your presentation as effective as it can be for you and for the audience, you must speak up and let the organizer know what you need. Make eye contact.

2010 160

Focusing on the Positive: Guest post by Ryan Rivera

Speak Schmeak

While I'm at the World Tea Expo this weekend, speaking on business networking, I have a guest post for you from Ryan Rivera, editor of the site Calm Clinic , a site for anxiety and panic sufferers. Public speaking anxiety tends to be self-sustaining. For those that want to cure their public speaking anxiety, this is a serious problem. With any luck, your public speaking anxiety will quickly disappear. Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Public Speaking Anxiety

2012 109

Some lessons from Melinda Camille

Speak Schmeak

She makes eye contact and emotional connection, and brings them into her world. Tags: Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Entertainers Who is Melinda Camille, you ask? She's a contestant on American Idol who made it through the first round of auditions and is "going to Hollywood!" Melinda's audition piece holds some lessons I would consider valuable to any speaker. She's grounded. Look at her stance, her posture, her lack of extraneous movement.

2009 100

12for12 February Challenge: Be present

Speak Schmeak

Have you joined my 12 Speaking Challenges for 2012 program yet? Build your "confidence muscles" with monthly challenges designed to help you get out of your comfort zone and build confidence in a variety of settings that will prepare you for your upcoming speaking engagements! When you speak, listen to what you're saying and how you're saying it: Are you articulating your thoughts clearly? 12for12 Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies

2012 118

Are you making these rookie mistakes?

Speak Schmeak

Not only does this freeze your movement in place or, if you do move around the stage, force you to return to the keyboard every time you want to advance to the next slide, it restricts your eye contact and inhibits gestures. And they especially don't need to know that you couldn't be bothered to take the time to ready yourself fully to speak to them. You may be traveling from afar and don't get to see the room you're speaking in until a half hour before your presentation.

2011 125

Practice like you mean it

Speak Schmeak

Try out your humor; speak with the emotion and passion you will demonstrate "in real life." The coach would stop them to point out body position, angles, footwork or passing techniques. Practice making eye contact. Tags: Preparation Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Athletes While I was working out at the track the other day, football practice was in session on the field.

Are you canned or fresh?

Speak Schmeak

We can talk all day about the fine points of delivery: authenticity, eye contact, crutch phrases, humor, stories and whatnot. Tags: Pet Peeves Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies We can talk all day about logistics, like notes or no notes, lectern or no lectern, PowerPoint or no PowerPoint, props or no props. But if your content is not relevant to your audience, you are wasting their time.

2008 100

Learning to speak is a process

Speak Schmeak

When you're first learning about public speaking, your mind is overwhelmed with new information. When you're just starting out, pick one new skill to practice each time you speak, and focus only on that. If eye contact is difficult for you, work on that for the next few presentations. And, for that matter, even the pros continue to practice their skills and keep working to improve every time they speak.

2009 109

Surviving the mini-presentation: Your self-introduction

Speak Schmeak

He didn't start to comprehend what he had said until I started speaking next. Don't start speaking until you're fully standing. Make eye contact with one or two people. Then start speaking. Finish speaking before you sit down. Quick Fixes Preparation Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Public Speaking Anxiety The Business of Speaking

Fill this.

Speak Schmeak

So the other day, I was reading a public speaking article and the writer suggested that, the next time you attend a presentation, you should keep track of how many times the speaker uses certain filler words. Giving such emphasis to "ums," "uhs" and "likes" makes fillers seem ten times as important as eye contact, voice, movement, content, connection, authenticity, and all the pieces that, together, make a good presentation.

2008 100

Is Your Speaking Art or Appliance?

Speak and Deliver

Artwork by Karen Sloan When we first learn Public Speaking, it can be a lot like art class. We get some feedback and a grade, then start all over again, as we strive to perfect our style and learn new techniques. In Public Speaking, teachers, organizations, and coaches will often teach the basics - vocal variety, gestures, eye-contact, pauses, pace - all the tools and techniques we need to sound good in front of an audience.

2011 65

Get out of the cage and own the stage!

Speak Schmeak

Eye contact with the room 4. Eyes down or looking at a place between speaker and audience 3. Start with your posture , tall, relaxed and open, facing the audience with your feet squared and your eyes forward. Keep your head up and your eyes out. Keep your eyes out and forward. Encompass them with your eyes and movements rather than creating a cage for yourself where you're standing. Embrace them with your eyes, voice and arms.

Stage 100

Is PowerPoint the new black?

Speak Schmeak

This may be the case in the professional speaking/PowerPoint design world, but in the real world, I have yet to see a speaker use an image-based PowerPoint in a presentation. Looking down at the keyboard every couple of minutes inhibits eye contact with the audience, and you're less likely to move around the stage if you have to come back for that key. Tags: Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies PowerPoint

Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges! Guest post by Lee Potts

Speak Schmeak

Having someone to do this sort of stuff made things a lot easier for the speakers and let them focus on speaking, not on the necessary last-second minutiae. Remind yourself to smile and make eye contact. Tags: Quick Fixes Preparation Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Resources

2009 100

See, hear and taste your audience

Speak Schmeak

As I mentioned in this post , there are usually about a million things going on in our heads as we stand up to speak. Make eye contact. And you're more likely to speak slowly and clearly enough that your audience understands and grasps your message. Tags: Preparation Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Public Speaking Anxiety Resources

2008 116

Come early and stay late

Speak Schmeak

Just introducing yourself and chatting with people can go a long way toward increasing your comfort level once you get up to speak. Then, keep your conversations short, remind people you have limited time, use closing statements ('It's been nice talking with you'), make eye contact with the next person, and move on." ~ Gene Swindell "As for those audience members or book buyers who are long-winded, try first to glance repeatedly at the person waiting behind them to talk to you.

2008 100

Step away from the laptop

Speak Schmeak

Like standing behind a lectern, being tied to your computer: freezes you in position inhibits gestures reduces eye contact with your audience (every two minutes you're looking down for that key) and keeps you from moving freely around the stage. The remote allows me to move around the stage or speaking area unhindered by my equipment. Tags: Quick Fixes My Favorite Tools Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Resources PowerPoint

Laptop 100

Do it with the lights on

Speak Schmeak

TED also asks for video or audio of the speaker and for the person nominating the speaker to describe their speaking style. Speakers seem to be chosen as much for their ideas as for their speaking skills. If you do end up speaking in a venue where the screen is portable, I recommend asking the organizers to move the screen into the corner to your left and put you in the center of the stage. There's no eye contact.

2010 109

Good communicators make good speakers

Speak Schmeak

Focus your attention on the other person Make eye contact. Organize your thoughts and speak simply and clearly. Tags: Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Public Speaking Anxiety Communication If you want to be a better speaker, start working on your one-on-one communication skills.

2008 100

PowerPoint in ten minutes or less

Speak Schmeak

I saw myself on video and hated the fact that I lost all that eye contact. But others are four hours long, where we delve deeply into public speaking and talk about the whys and hows of doing what we do, with discussion, activities and practice. Tags: Speakers Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies PowerPoint Seth Godin recently posted his Nine steps to Powerpoint magic. Some of his "steps, not rules" are cheeky, like this one: "4. Pay by the word.

2008 100

Does your face reveal your discomfort?

Speak Schmeak

So instead I have a picture where my eyes and mouth turn down at the corners and I look like one mean mama. The ones who don't handle it well smirk, smile with tight lips, shake their heads, and look down at the lectern instead of maintaining eye contact with the other person. If you look at the other person contemptuously, or roll your eyes, or shake your head, or cross your arms, or huff and puff, or do anything to deride them, the audience will pick up on it.

2008 100

Avoid Energy Zappers

Humor Power

Eye contact. Lack of good eye contact is an energy zapper. Great eye contact gives you a presence and a connection with the audience that is critical to your success. Great eye contact completes the conversation loop. Lack of eye contact drains energy from your presentation. Before you speak, take a brisk walk, or do some jumping jacks! Warm up before you speak…or you’ll warm up as you begin your speech.

Venue 55

Do it with the lights on: TEDxSB Part 1

Speak Schmeak

TED also asks for video or audio of the speaker and for the person nominating the speaker to describe their speaking style. Speakers seem to be chosen as much for their ideas as for their speaking skills. If you do end up speaking in a venue where the screen is portable, I recommend asking the organizers to move the screen into the corner to your left and put you in the center of the stage. There's no eye contact.

2010 100

Public speaking vs. death

Speak Schmeak

I've written before about most of these mistaken beliefs about public speaking, as they are major pet peeves of mine, but please make a special note of the first one in the article. Here's what she told me in an e-mail: "I have a standing offer to all my participants: Bring me a current, scientifically credible study showing that public speaking is the #1 fear and I'll give you $100. Five Tired, Worn Out Speaking Clichés and Why It’s Time to Throw Them Out© ~ by Melissa Lewis 1.

2008 100

Which audience do you like better?

Speak Schmeak

I read comments the other day by a speaker who says he doesn't like speaking to high school groups who are mandated to attend, especially those groups with "slackers" in the audience. A motivational speaker who only likes speaking to groups who are already motivated? I spent many years speaking to groups who were mandated to attend my presentations. Yet, I relished speaking to these groups.

2008 100