May 28 2015

Lose the Grocery List

Published by under Content,Public Speaking

dreamstime_m_28443056Have you ever noticed that many people treat the first part of their presentation as if it’s merely a list of what you need on a camping trip? …and every statement is spoken with “up-speak?” This approach is attributed to Aristotle, minus the up-speak, who said, “Tell them what you will tell them, tell them, and tell them what you told them.” However, he didn’t say “bore them, and bore them again, and again.”

An opening such as the one I describe is a lost opportunity and a crowd loser. People want to be drawn into your talk; they want something to look forward to. Here are three ways to capture the opening moments in front of an audience and keep them listening.

  • Intrigue. Tell them what you will tell them, but don’t tell them everything. Tell them the topic or the problem, or even the answer, but give them just a hint of your thoughts on the subject; use captivating language as carrots for what’s coming. Make them wait to hear your brilliant ideas.
  • Stay strong. Make the opening as definitive and strong as the rest. Practice closing at least every third sentence with “down-speak,” and resist the urge to follow a closed cadence with “and” or “so.”
  • Tell them a good story. Stories engage us because they remind us of our own stories (and everyone likes to talk and think about himself or herself!) Stories also create pictures in our minds, visuals that make everything more memorable.

Once you’ve got it created, practice the opening aloud several times. You play like you practice. Your brain and ear work together to create the talk you want, and they can’t do the work if you don’t practice aloud.

If you’d like to know more about giving a great talk, please see my post “What you have in common with Tina Fey,” or see my guest post on the Prezi blog, 3 Steps to a Delivery as Awesome as Your Prezi.

© Ryanking999 | Dreamstime.comBusiness Woman Filling Check List Photo

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May 21 2015

Vocal Impact Tip: How to make them choose you over email

Published by under Miscellaneous

iStock_000014368343XSmallIt’s tough to be heard on conference calls especially when so many people are doing other things besides paying attention to your brilliant ideas. Check this out:

82% of people are likely to do something unrelated while on a conference call such as email or even chasing their dog down the street. Women are 3x more likely to mute a call to shop online while men are more likely to use the restroom.

Research has shown that people are not engaged because the emotional elements and stimuli are removed from most conference calls. When people are on mute, their immediate response to humor is gone. When people are not on the screen, you can’t see their facial expressions. And when you only see slides, you don’t get the same sense of connection with other humans. Therefore, if you want to participate successfully, try taking some steps to enhance the human side of meetings, add what’s missing to your voice, and encourage others to do the same.

* First, set yourself up to be accountable to participate. Get away from the computer and other distractions unless you are looking at slides or showing up on video.

* Allow 5 minutes at the beginning of the meeting for everyone to say a few words about what’s going on in their lives.

* Turn on your video and use a good headset and mic for good sound quality.

* Chime in at least every 10-15 minutes to let others know you are there, and participate if there is an interactive moment.

* Use expressive language when sharing ideas. i.e. I am delighted with the terrific results, or, conversely, we have a critical issue that requires our undivided attention.

For more on how to add pizazz to your presence, please see my post 9 Ways to Make Your Topic Sound Exciting Even When It’s Not







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