How To Keep Your Audience Connected To Your Message

He had a lot of energy and he was interesting.  There were even a few moments during the 7 minute speech where he had the audience laughing.  I could hear them on the video.  Honestly, it was a good speech.

But, there was one thing I noticed.  He kept pacing back and forth the entire time.  This stood out to me because I noticed how much the camera operator had to move the camera during the video.  My screen just kept moving left to right, right to left, left to right, right to…the entire time.

If the camera person kept having to do this with his camera, what was it like for the audience?  Did they get dizzy?

The man on the stage giving the speech was me.  I was watching myself give a talk to some high-school students.  A friend of mine sat in the audience with my phone, recording the talk for me.

I was shocked at the amount of movement, not because I wasn’t supposed to move.  It was just quick, abrupt and a LOT. ...

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21 Questions You Can Ask To Improve Your Speech Opening

“Good morning everybody. I’m so glad to be here with you today.”

I wanted to yell, “BOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

It was a huge conference and he was the keynote speaker. But when he came up, he started with the same, tired line. I’d heard enough. We’d been through at least 3 gazillion speakers already and I wanted to hear something a bit different. I wanted the speaker to grab my attention and engage. But, these speakers looked like they were just trying to get it over with. I wanted them to communicate with ME and only with me.

How could they have done this? There are many techniques but one of the easiest ways is to ask a question. Why? Questions naturally cause the listener to begin the mental process of formulating an answer. While I don’t recommend this question, even a simple, “How is everybody doing?” causes the listener to mentally question, “Wait a minute, how AM I doing?”

I don’t recommend the “how are...

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10 Steps To Increase Your Confidence & Mental Toughness

I’m sure you’ve seen the kid in your class or the colleague in your workplace who just seems to have it all together. When they enter a room, they do so with a certain swag and panache.

It seems like their lives are easy and if you didn’t know better, you’d swear they had a secret no one else knew. But, you know it’s not a secret because you recognize what they have…CONFIDENCE. Everybody wants it. Not everyone knows how to get it and keep it. It’s easier to acquire than we want to admit. But, most want to walk into a store where they can grab it from the shelf.

What is confidence and why do we want it? It’s easy to confuse confidence with cockiness. The cocky person is a self-promoter who is always seen. They make sure you know they exist. Some people are easily drawn to them and others are easily repelled by them. Confidence, on the other hand, isn’t always loud. It isn’t always seen but when you see it,...

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3 Terrible Ways To Open A Speech Or Presentation

You’ve got 5 seconds…maybe 6. You need to grab their attention immediately and then hold it for some time after that. Public speaking or giving presentations at work can be some of the most terrifying moments you may ever experience. It’s weird because you’re not in any physical danger, yet your heart pounds like it’s actively attempting to escape from your chest.

This doesn’t happen at this level for everyone. Some will look very comfortable and at ease. According to Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain,

“There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars.”

If you are like me and have experienced speaking or presenting more than once, the feeling usually doesn’t stay the entire time. It’s those moments before and the first few seconds in. This is the critical time of judgment. This is when your audience decides if they are interested or not. If you lose them in the beginning, can you get...

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5 Reasons Organizations Must ABSOLUTELY Get Presentation Training

It was an important roll-out.  The team had spent weeks putting together the timelines, the assets, and answering all the questions they could think of.  Now, the only thing left was presenting it to senior management.  The team chose Sarah, the person who knew the most about the proposed system, to present the idea.

There was one problem, however.  Sarah was scared out of her mind.  And when she went into the room to present, it showed.  She fumbled with her clicker and her papers.  Her sentences rambled.  The red showed clearly on her face.
When she left the room, she broke down in tears because she had blown it.

Maybe every presentation isn’t high stakes or this dramatically terrible.  But, this is a true scenario more often than most companies would admit.  Whether it’s a high stakes sales presentation, new business pitch, or laying out a new strategy, the success of the business is dependent upon influence.  This...

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2 Phrases That Eliminate Your Authority & Influence

Your words are powerful. They mean what they mean but they also mean what you may not think. OK. That was a little confusing. Do you see what I mean?

Have you ever had a conversation where you thought you said something and the listener received it very differently than you intended? The words were the same, but in the transmission process, something got added.

The good news is you can temper this with a bit of awareness. You can add clarity and confidence to your speaking by eliminating certain phrases which tend to diminish your message.

There are many examples. However, I want to focus on two.

In my opinion…how many times have you heard this added to the beginning or the end of an argument? I was in a meeting where a discussion was taking place. One of the participants had been sitting and observing for some time. Now, he felt compelled to add something to the discussion. He opened his mouth and delivered a poignant, wise and well-thought argument. But, then he paused and...

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