Phoenix Public Speaking coaching and workshops

Archive for public speaking training

Public Speaking Tip #57: Better Speaker Introductions

You’ve seen it a million times – someone reads a written introduction about a public speaker or business presenter who is about to take the stage. The introduction is written in the third person but it was obviously written by the speaker. This is how public speaking works, right?

Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. I recently listened to an old podcast interview with public speaking expert Fred Miller who offered a formula for a good introduction. Miller believes your introduction should not be your bio. Instead, he said, every speaker introduction should answer these three questions:

> Why this subject? Explain why it’s relevant to your audience.

> Why this speaker? Outline your credentials.

> Why now? Explain why it’s timely.

I believe this formula will allow you as a speaker to have an introduction that has value and perfectly positions the presentation you’re about to give. Conversely, if you can’t answer these three questions, and do so clearly and concisely, you’re not ready to give your presentation.

A great presentation starts with a great introduction.

 

Public Speaking Tip #56: Use Video to Improve Your Presentation Skills

By Michele Trent
Public Speaking Coach

You’ve finished your presentation and you feel pretty good about how it went. The audience seemed engaged.

“Nothing to work on here,” you tell yourself … on to the next presentation!

Then from out of the blue, someone comments, “great job but the way you kept swaying back and forth nearly made me nauseous.”

What? You sway? You didn’t know that!

It’s often not until something is brought to your attention, that you can then make a change. This is one reason why coaching is valuable. You get an objective view of what you’re doing and the help to make corrections. One of our coaching techniques includes having you video yourself giving a presentation. This recording is not a judgment and it shouldn’t be scary. It’s simply feedback — feedback that will help you grow as a speaker. There is just no denying your idiosyncrasies when they are captured on video. As with any kind of unconscious habit, once you become aware of what you are doing, you can adjust and become better.

Today, it’s easier to record yourself than ever. A powerful video recorder sits in the palm of your hand thanks to advanced cell phone technology.  I bought a very simple iPhone stand from Amazon for less than $20. It even comes with a remote so I can start the recording from the stage and let it run. The sound isn’t great but you can hear it. Remember, this is to get feedback; this method is not for recording and publishing your presentation. For that, you will need to upgrade your equipment.

Whether you record yourself using your phone or the event organizers record you and give you a copy, the real secret here is actually watching the footage! Often, I’ll hear that someone has made a recording but never bothered to watch it. Carve out time to watch the recording shortly after you’ve given the presentation so it’s all still fresh in your mind. Watch it, without judgment, all the way through at normal speed. This is your first pass. This will give you an unbiased view of how you sound and look. This used to be all I did until I heard Toastmaster’s World Champion Speaker Mark Brown.  As part of his speaking discipline, he watches a video not once, but four times and in four different ways.

This is Mark’s recommendation and one I’ve adopted and encourage my clients to use as well. The process looks like this:

> Step 1:  Play the video with your eyes closed and just listen to your remarks.

> Step 2:  Watch with the sound off and focus on your gestures.

> Step 3:  Watch in slow motion and focus on your facial expressions only.

> Step 4:  Watch at normal speed with the volume up.

If you do this, you will uncover any distracting facial tics, gestures, or unnecessary filler words. Even a great presenter (Mark clearly is one!) will get even better by scrutinizing a video of his or her speeches.

Don’t use video as a tool to beat yourself up, use it as a tool to grow! Maybe you’ll find out that you sway from side to side and it’s distracting. That is an easy fix. However, unless you know you’re doing it, you’ll never fix it, and you won’t become the effective speaker you are meant to be.

To take your speaking skills to the next level faster than you thought possible, look into our Personal Coaching Packages.

Telling Your WHY Story

As an entrepreneur, you have a great story. Do you know how to articulate it in a concise and compelling way?

Join the Scottsdale Neighborhood National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) on March 28 when Phoenix Public Speaking Coach Michele Trent shares:

  • Why storytelling is powerful and a ‘must have’ for your marketing strategy
  • The S.T.O.R.Y. Formula – a simple, proven method for constructing your WHY story
  • Tips to engage your audience even when the story is “all about you”

Non-members are welcome.

Bring your own brown bag lunch. Water and iced-tea will be provided.

For more information, contact Amber Ehrlich, amber@thetidybungalow.com or Michele Trent, michele@rememberedwell.com

 

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Webinar Replay: Business Virtual Business Meetings

I recently teamed up with New York City-based social media expert Dhariana Lozano to offer tips on engaging virtual audiences and hosting effective virtual meetings via speakerphone or webinar.

Dhariana and I presented our tips via Facebook Live. In case you missed it, you can hear the replay by clicking on the button below.

And hey, we’d welcome your suggestions for keeping audiences engaged and running effective virtual meetings. Do you have rules that you use to make virtual meetings run as smooth as possible? Do you favor certain technology products that make meetings more effective? Please leave your ideas in the comments section below.

Here’s hoping your next meeting is great!

 

Listen to the Replay

20% Discount on Phoenix Business Journal Workshop

In today’s fiercely competitive business climate, how well you present yourself can make the difference between getting ahead or going home. Business communication experts Paul Barton and Michele Trent will show you how to deliver like a polished professional in this workshop sponsored by the Phoenix Business Journal.

Participants will discover how to:
> Have an executive presence
> Use your body language to influence and include
> Connect with an audience in the crucial first 90 seconds
> Introduce yourself and make a great first impression
> Present your business card so that you are remembered
> Conclude with a sizzle, not a fizzle

The session will be held at the Better Business Bureau, 1010 E Missouri Ave. in Phoenix, on Thursday, May 16. Check-in and deli-style lunch are at 11:30 a.m. The workshop is from noon to 2 p.m.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Use discount code PAUL at checkout and receive 20% off.

These workshops sell out quickly so you best be signing up now!

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Live Webinar: How to Engage a Virtual Audience

These days, business presentations aren’t always made in person. Often, they’re conducted virtually through webinars and speakerphone conference calls. That requires a different approach than face-to-face meetings.

Join me and NYC-based social media expert Dhariana Lozano for a unique and free webinar that will show you how to:

  • Keep an audience engaged and paying attention during a virtual meeting or webinar.
  • How to hold organized and effective meetings via speakerphone.

 

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Public Speaking Tip #54: Site Inspections Key to Success

It’s a good public speaking practice to inspect speaking venues before you deliver your presentation. Where will you stand? Where will your audience be? What AV equipment is available? Where will your laptop go? Do you have the right connections for your laptop? Will you need a microphone?

Checking out the room layout and the AV equipment is important for practical reasons. But there are also psychological reasons to do a site inspection. I like to do my inspections several days in advance so that I can visualize the location and become comfortable with it in my mind.

If you cannot do an inspection days in advance, come to your presentation an hour or so early. That way, you have some time to become comfortable with the room and the available equipment. If something needs to be fixed, moved or changed, you have some time to do that.

Doing a site inspection is a great way to avoid pitfalls and also a good way to see if your site offers any opportunities. Even if you are presenting in your own office building, make sure you are familiar with the room where you will be presenting and make sure you are comfortable operating all the technology.

Fumbling around trying to find out how to adjust the lights or get the sound to play on your video can ruin an otherwise great presentation.

When you take time to do a site inspection, you will be that much closer to having a great presentation. Make it part of your routine and you will present like a polished pro.

Related Posts

Preparation is Key to Public Speaking Success

Preparation Helps Reduce Fear

7 Tips for a Great Holiday Toast

A holiday toast is a great way to add a touch of class to a holiday gathering and leave a favorable impression with attendees. Here are some public spoeaking tips to make sure your toast is delivered well.

  • A toast can be the official beginning of an event. Wait until it appears most guests have arrived and then deliver your toast. Start by welcoming everyone.
  • Introduce yourself. Don’t assume everyone knows who you are. Even those who have met you before may have forgotten. If you’re not the host, consider explaining how you know the host or why you are the one delivering the toast.
  • Meet audience expectations. As in all aspects of public speaking, it’s always about your audience. Be warm and be sincere.
  • Avoid canned humor. Canned jokes are known as groaners for a reason. If a groan is the best you can hope for, is it a good idea? Instea, recognize the potential for spontaneous humor.
  • Be accurate. Make sure you’ve got your information correct. If you’re mentioning names, make sure you’re pronouncing them accurately. Mistakes can kill your credibility.
  • Be brief. Don’t have people waiting with a glass in their hand for too long. If you tell a story, make sure it’s short and that there’s a clear point to it.
  • Make the actual raising of the glass special. Consider asking everyone to stand to ensure you have their attention. Don’t shortchange the toast with a cliché like “down the hatch.” This is an opportunity to make a personal connection. Toasts usually end with a positive look to the future.

Here’s hoping these tips help you put together a great holiday toast!

Put Public Speaking Fear in Your Rearview Mirror in 2019

We’ll be saying goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019 before you know it. If you have a fear of public speaking, 2019 can be the year you put that fear in your rearview mirror. If public speaking is holding you back in any way, why not make improving your presentation skills your New Year’s Resolution? It can certainly help make your 2019 more prosperous.

We’re teaming up with the Phoenix Business Journal to help you get 2019 started off right. We’ll be offering a workshop at the Better Business Bureau from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Exclusive Discount: Use promo code PAUL to get a 20% discount off. Our workshops with the Business Journal always sell out so make your reservation now.

This is the perfect chance to make head into 2019 with the confidence to speak up and the skills to stand out!

 

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How to Make Better Business Presentations

Most business public speaking isn’t done from a podium on a stage. Most business presentations are done in conference rooms, in boardrooms, by speakerphone, or Go to Meeting webinars. Some presentations are done by teams or in panels.

Here are a variety of previous blog tips to help you navigate these real-life business presentation opportunities:

Making Better Speakerphone Presentations and 7 Ways to Engage a Virtual Audience

Perfect Panel Presentations

Terrific Team Presentations and You’re Always On in Team Presentations

Stand Out in Business Meetings and Use the Language of Leadership

Are there business presentation tips you’d like to read? Let us know what they are and we’ll post them.