Speaking: Don’t leave your introduction to chance!

magician's tools

Aaaaaaaaaagh! This is a big one. Really big!

Never, ever, no not ever, allow anyone to introduce you as a speaker using their own words, no, no, no!

In my early years I had all sorts of introductions , and never once did they lift my heart or my audiences! And thats what a good introduction should do, make your audience keen to hear your messages, and you the speaker even more keen to share them.

Your introduction should make you bounce onto the stage!

So, write it yourself and if you get stuck give me a call. There is a secret formula. I will give it to you. No charge.

I promise you it will set you apart as a speaker and get you connecting with your audience well before you’ve even opened your mouth ….and thats magic!

Bring on your witnesses!

Old Bailey (Scales of Justice)

“A witness is someone who has, who claims to have, or is thought, by someone with authority to compel testimony, to have knowledge relevant to an event or other matter of interest. In law a witness is someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion, provides testimonial evidence, either oral or written, of what he or she knows or claims to know about the matter before some official authorized to take such testimony.”

Its not just in courts of law that you need witnesses to support your case. Every presenter needs to bring on their witnesses also. Audiences need evidence before they make their minds up.

Give them facts, statistics, anecdotes, images, photos and quotations.

Win your case!

Service was not included, OK!

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A bill for a restaurant meal (the name of the eatery is hidden)!

It might be me. It probably is. But, I found the sizeable handwritten note on the bill offensive.

It did not endear me to the waitress or the establishment.

I still tipped well, but will I go again?

The lesson for us all? You can seemingly get everything right in your business  and then at the last minute….!

 

Changing things is not easy!

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Smoking kills you. It killed my dad. It will kill you.

The message couldn’t be clearer or more evident. And even smokers themselves agree!

And yet they don’t stop.

Never, ever, ever, underestimate how challenging it is to implement change even when the evidence in favour of that change is overwhelming.

Existing habits take some shifting!

P.S. Nagging doesn’t work. I spent the last 15 years of my Dads life nagging him every morning to stop smoking as his bronchitis worsened daily. He didn’t stop.

Image attribution: CC image courtesy of Brutha Nick on Flickr

 

Seven steps to speaker heaven!

Business team of two men and one woman

 If you are looking to really connect with your next audience, take these seven simple steps and you will be well on your way!

1. Define your purpose. A short simple statement that points the way for you in your preparation, and your audience in your delivery.

2. Profile your audience. Its all about connnecting with them. How can you do that if you know nothing about them? Do some factfinding to help you prepare .

3.Map your structure. Don’t just go on a walkabout. There are loads of templates you can use to give your presentation shape and direction.

4. Add drama and impact. No-one wants black and white anymore. Give your presentation colour, e.g. humour, examples, stories, and vivid language.

5. Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse. Don’t be a dummy and practice in the final. And don’t believe any good speaker who tells you he/she doesn’t rehearse. It’s just not true.

6. Deliver with style. Be confident.You’ve done steps one to five, thats better than most speakers already, dress well, look the part and give them both barrels.

7. Review and revise. Seek feedback. What went well?, not so well?, learning for next time etc. Make a note and improve.

Thats all it takes! Honest.

Where do you want to go with your next presentation?

satellite navigation device

Going on a long journey? What’s the first thing most of us do when we get in the car?

We put our destination in the Sat Nav!

Its the same with designing powerful presentations,  we must start by putting our destination down on the paper. Where do we want to go with our messages?

As someone once said,”If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there!”. Many car drivers and speakers get lost as a result of not knowing where they are going.

Start with your destination. A very good place to start. Ironically!

Junk the junk when speaking!

waste disposal site

Looks a bit of a mess, doesn’t it!

Imagine speaking in front of that lot. You might have trouble holding your audiences attention, even using some of your best lines!

Well,  some speakers find themselves surrounded by rubbish regularly. And, they put up with it. And, its their own fault!

You wouldn’t  speak in a rubbish tip so don’t have rubbish surrounding you when you take the stage.

Get rid of all the clutter…spare equipment, coffee cups, cables, briefcases, chairs and yes, even the committee! ( “I hope you don’t mind but for my presentation, can I ask you to sit in the body of the kirk where I can see you , its also less distracting for the audience”…in 40 years of speaking no-one has ever said, no I am staying right here!…and if they did…!).

Get rid of all the distractions. Give yourself a chance of holding the audience’s attention. Just get rid of it all!

And no, I don’t feel strongly about this…I wish! What do you think?