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Could everyone just be quiet while we are speaking?

Image Credit: Kyle LeBoeuf

It’s tough work giving a speech. The one thing that we really don’t want to have happen when we are delivering our speech is to be interrupted. However, when we are giving a speech in a small setting or perhaps when we are giving an informal speech, there is the very real possibility that we are going to encounter a serial yakker who doesn’t understand the importance of public speaking and who just can’t shut up. How should a speaker handle a situation like this?

Don’t Allow Yourself To Be Dominated

If you think about it, the person who is trying to interrupt you is trying very hard to get you to be quiet so that they can do the talking. What you are going to want to make sure that does not happen is that you allow someone who is interrupting you to take over your speech. You need to realize that they probably have their own agenda. What they want to talk about may not be what you want to talk about. If you aren’t careful, they’ll be able to steer the conversation away from what you had intended to cover.

When you are faced with a person who wants to interrupt your speech, you’ve got a lot of different options on how you can handle the situation. Although I would suspect that most of us would like to tell the person to shut up and sit down, that is probably not going to be the best course of action. Instead, what we can do is appeal to the person who set the meeting up in the first place and who asked us to speak. They need to step in and get the person to leave you alone. If for whatever reason that does not seem to work, keep in mind that you still have another option – you can always leave.

How To Get The Questioner To Be Quiet

Most of the speeches that we give will come with a Q&A period at the end. This can be fertile territory for someone who wants to interrupt us. They will lie in wait until the questions start and then they will pounce. What they’ll do is get the floor and then they will start to ask you a never ending stream of questions.

As a speaker, you need to ready to deal with this situation. As in all such cases there are many different ways that you can handle this kind of interruption. One of the most effective is to tell the person who is hogging all of your question time that you simply don’t have an answer for the most recent question that they’ve asked you; however, you’d be more than willing to meet with them after you are done. The good news here is that most of the time they’ll never come to meet with you.

Be Confident And Decisive

What we need to do is to take the time to understand why someone is trying to interrupt us when we are trying to speak. What is going on is that they are trying to dominate us. We need to gage the degree to which someone is trying to interrupt us and if they are being too aggressive, then we may have to handle the situation both immediately and decisively.

How can you prevent this problem from showing up in the first place? There are many different things that you can do. One such thing is to speak with confidence. Your confidence will shut down anyone who is thinking about interrupting you. Sometimes people will interrupt you because they view you as being long winded – they want you to get to the point. Keep your thoughts short and you’ll prevent this from happening. Finally, make sure that you don’t talk too fast. Sometimes when we are fast talkers, we’ll invite interruptions simply because people in our audience want us to slow down so that they can understand what we are saying.

What All Of This Means For You

Both you and I know that getting up the courage to stand in front of an audience that you may not know very well takes a lot of courage. When we find ourselves in this situation we want everything to go well so that we can share the benefits of public speaking. However, sometimes there is that one person in the audience who just won’t shut up and keeps talking even as we are speaking. What’s a speaker to do?

The first thing that you need to understand is that the person who is speaking at the same time as you is trying to dominate you. They want to change the agenda to be their agenda. You need to prevent this from happening by appealing to the person who set up the meeting to take control. If the person doing the interrupting is trying to take over your Q&A session, then you need to tell them that you don’t know the answer to their question in order to get them to stop asking questions. When you are speaking, in order to avoid getting interrupted in the first place, speak with confidence and don’t speak so fast that people will want to interrupt you to slow you down.

We can control a number of different things during our next speech. However, we can’t anticipate that someone in our audience will try to take over our speaking time. If this happens to you, you need to make sure that they are not successful. Take the time to make sure that you have a defensive technique to make sure that you can push back anyone to tries to take over your speech. It’s your time and you should be allowed to talk!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: Do you think that you should talk with the meeting organizer before you start to speak in order to prepare them if someone tries to interrupt you?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Congratulations! You understand the importance of public speaking and so you’ve been asked to give a speech. Oh, wait. Just exactly what are you going to be talking about? Who will you be talking to? Where is all of this going to be taking place? Clearly there are a number of different questions that you need to be asking before you show up to give your next presentation. Do you know what you don’t know?

The post How A Speaker Can Stop Interruptions While They Are Speaking appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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We want every presentation that we give to be a winner
Image Credit: Danny Munnerley

Every time that we deliver a presentation, because we understand the importance of public speaking, we want it to go well. We do our best to get ready, to deliver the speech, and then we sit back with our fingers crossed hoping that we were able to connect with our audience. The good news is that sometimes we are successful. The bad news is that sometimes we are not. What we really need is some sort of system that will allow us to create and deliver presentations that always win.

It’s All In The Delivery

Creating and delivering a speech involves you as a speaker planning, organizing, supporting, and staging your speech. However, once you have all of that taken care of, it’s time for the big show. It’s time for you to deliver your presentation. You are now officially on the hook to produce the speech that you were requested to deliver.

Unlike when you were at home practicing your speech, now you will be giving your speech to real people. These people will listen to you, take notes, potentially asking questions when you are done and if you are not careful they may even fall asleep during your presentation. During your presentation you need to make sure that you speak with both conviction and power so that you can be sure that you connect with your audience.

You Need To Interact With Your Audience

All too often, speakers who are just starting out think that a speech is a one way communication. They couldn’t be further from the truth. What you need to realize as a speaker is that you will almost never have a passive audience. That’s why when you have finished with your delivery, your audience will have questions that they will want to ask you.

As a speaker, you need to be ready for the question and answer session that your audience is going to want to participate in at the end of your speech. It is very important that you not be afraid of this part of your speech. You need to view your audience as being a critical part of your speech. The questions that they will be asking you will either support or challenge what you have told them. How you handle their questions will go a long way in determining what your audience thinks about your speech when they are walking away.

It’s Not Over Until You Follow Up

Once again, speakers who are just starting out think that when they get done speaking, it’s over and that’s when they can kick back and let their hair down. The bad news is that this is not actually the case. Once your presentation is complete, your work is actually just beginning.

Each presentation that we give is a practice for the next presentation that we will be giving. In each presentation that we give, there are specific things that we want to work on. This means that when the presentation is over and done with, we need to tally up how well we did on the things that we wanted to work on. If there are any loose ends (like questions that we didn’t have answers to) we need to get them taken care of. Finally, we need to take what we’ve learned from making this presentation and prepare to use this new knowledge when we make our next presentation.

What All Of This Means For You

If we ran the world, then every presentation that we gave would be prefect. We, of course, do not live in such a world and so some of our presentations work while other fall flat. In order to boost the probability of delivering a successful presentation and delivering the benefits of public speaking, we need to take the time to do all of the right steps that will make our next presentation a winning presentation.

A winning presentation starts with a solid delivery. We want to capture and hold our audience’s attention. We will be presenting to real people who will be making notes and coming up with questions that they want to ask us. We need to make sure that we deliver with conviction and power. When you complete your presentation your audience will have questions that they want to ask you. Make sure to allow for a question and answer period at the end of your speech. How you handle this part of the speech may determine your audience’s impression of your speech. Once you are done speaking, your work is really just beginning. You need to determine how well you did on the things that you wanted to practice and you need to use what you’ve learned to do a better job the next time you are called on to make a presentation.

The good news is that it is possible to boost the odds that the next presentation that you’ll be giving will be a winning presentation. However, in order to make this happen you need to make sure that you do a good job with the actual delivery, handle any questions, and use what you learn to prepare for your next speech. Use these tips to make your next speech one that your audience will remember for a long time!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: How long do you think that a question and answer session after a speech should be?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

It’s tough work giving a speech. The one thing that we really don’t want to have happen when we are delivering our speech is to be interrupted. However, when we are giving a speech in a small setting or perhaps when we are giving an informal speech, there is the very real possibility that we are going to encounter a serial yakker who doesn’t understand the importance of public speaking and who just can’t shut up. How should a speaker handle a situation like this?

The post 3 Tips For Delivering A Winning Presentation appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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Speakers can control the success of their next speech
Image Credit: ImagineCup Follow

Every time that we agree to give a speech, we really want it to go well because we understand the importance of public speaking. However, this does not always happen. What this means for us as speakers is that we should all be searching for a way to make this business of giving speeches run more like clockwork. What can we do to boost our odds of giving a successful speech? It turns that there is something that we can do. What we can do is to employ a systems approach to giving speeches and this will allow us to make sure that everything that has to be done will get done. It all starts with us planning and organizing our speech. However, after that, we still have work to do.

Getting The Support Your Speech Needs

When you organize the speech that you’ll be giving what you end up doing is creating a framework for the speech. This will form a so-called skeleton for the speech that you’ll be giving. What you’ll do is to identify the key ideas that you’ll want to cover in the speech and then arrange them in a clear and concise manner.

The framework for your speech is a good start to the speech, but it’s not going to be enough to allow you to convince your audience. As a speaker you have the job of presenting your audience with information and then motivating them in some way: to take action or to change the way that they think. Once you have created the framework, your next step is going to be to start to add meat to the organizational skeleton in order to boost your positions.

At this stage of the speech creation process, what you are going to want to do is to add valuable material to your speech. Your goal needs to be to provide information that will illustrate your points, backup your ideas, and clarify both the positions and the claims that you are making. This is the part of the speech creation process that you’ll want to spend time creating the visuals that you’ll be using. The visuals that you make need to be effective ways to get your point across.

Staging A Successful Speech

The fear of public speaking is something that a lot of us have to deal with. The causes of this fear are many and varied; however, one big source of this kind of feeling is a fear that something might go wrong during our presentation. The list of things that could go wrong is very long: projectors stop working, the lights go out, a microphone fails, etc.

Although we can’t prevent everything that might happen from happening, there are steps that we can take before we start to give a speech. This part of the systems approach is called staging. The goal of the staging part of the speech creating process is simply to try to anticipate all of the highly probable things that could possibly go wrong during your presentation. What this means for you is that you’ll have to take the time to identify all of the equipment, facilities, and schedules that your presentation will require. Before you begin your speech, make sure that you test everything!

What All Of This Means For You

The goal of every speech that we give is for us to be able to make a connection with our audience and share with them the benefits of public speaking. By delivering a flawless speech, we hope to be able to cause our audience to either agree to take action or to change the way that they view some particular topic. However, in order to make this happen we need to be able to create and deliver a powerful and effective speech. To make such a speech, we need to use a systems approach to make sure that we don’t overlook any of the important steps.

An effective systems approach starts with planning and organizing. The next step is to provide support for your speech. What this means is that you have to take the framework for the speech that you have already created and start to add meat to it. The material that you add is designed to support the points that you’ve made in your speech. After this, we move to the staging step. In this step you take action in order to ensure that nothing will happen during your speech that could take away from the message that you are trying to deliver to your audience. All that you have to do in this step is to spend some time thinking about what could go wrong during your speech. Once you know this, you can take steps on the day of your speech to double check and make sure that everything is going to work correctly.

The process of creating and delivering a speech successfully can be a complex undertaking. A large number of different things all have to work together correctly. As a speaker you can use a systems approach to attempt to make sure that you follow a process in order to make sure that you don’t forget any of the required steps. Follow these instructions and you’ll feel much more confident going into your next speech.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: How will you be able to tell when you have added enough detail to your speech to make it convincing to your audience?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Every time that we deliver a presentation, because we understand the importance of public speaking, we want it to go well. We do our best to get ready, to deliver the speech, and then we sit back with our fingers crossed hoping that we were able to connect with our audience. The good news is that sometimes we are successful. The bad news is that sometimes we are not. What we really need is some sort of system that will allow us to create and deliver presentations that always win.

The post Secrets To Successful Presentations appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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Use a process to create better presentations
Image Credit: Alden Jewell

So just exactly how do you go about creating a presentation when you’ve been asked to give a speech? All too often we forget about the importance of public speaking and go about creating presentations in a haphazard manner that is more hit-or-miss than planned. The results generally show that this is what we did. During the development of our presentation, we can find ourselves going down the wrong path. Even worse, changes to what we are going to be talking about can happen late in the speech development process and this can end up being very expensive in terms of time and effort. There has to be a better way!

The Systems Approach To Creating Presentations

If we forget about the process that we go through when we are creating a speech and instead spend some time thinking about how other things in the world get created, we’d realize that when a new product is being created the people doing the work will generally follow a progression of steps that will lead them from the planning phase through the completion of the project. If we apply this systems approach to creating a speech then we can end up with a much better and more efficiently developed presentation.

When we are creating our next speech we want to make sure that we know what we are doing and we want to know why and how we are going to go about doing it. We can make this happen by applying proven techniques to the creation of our speech. What we need to know is exactly where we are going to need to start when it comes time for us to create a speech. We also have to have an understanding of what will be required for us to do in order to get the result that we desire.

One of the biggest problems that we all face is that although we may know how new products are produced, we seem to forget all about this when it comes time to create a speech. Instead of using a careful proven methodology, we instead throw our hand up, dive in, and start to throw some material together. We will often start things out by using an old presentation, we’ll then create more slides to add to the old presentation, and then we hope that the whole thing will somehow communicate our message to our audience. In the end, it doesn’t and you end up with egg on your face.

Three Steps To Creating A Presentation

If you want to be able to create great presentations each and every time, then you need to create a process by which you create speeches. The same technique that is used to solve virtually any project can be applied to the process by which you create a speech. Using a methodological step-by-step approach will allow you to create better presentations and do so more efficiently.

The first step in this process is to, before you do anything else, sit down and take the time to plan what you are trying to accomplish. Ask yourself “what do you want to get out of giving this presentation?” This part of the process will involve having you understand who will be in your audience and what their interests will be. You are going to want to use this information to create both themes and strategies for your speech.

The next step in your process will be to organize what you are going to want to tell your audience. In order to do this you will create a framework on which you’ll be able to create your speech. The goal here is to create a skeleton for your speech that contains all of the important parts. This will require you to identify the key ideas that you’ll want to include in your speech, Once you know what you want to cover, you’ll then have to organize them into a clear, concise, and convincing flow that you can use to build your speech with.

What All Of This Means For You

Creating a speech can be a challenging task. All too often when we go about creating a speech we don’t do it in an organized manner. Instead, we just end up throwing the things that we think should be in the speech together. The speech that we end up creating looks like this was the way that we made it and it doesn’t convey the benefits of public speaking. A much better way to create a speech is to use a process.

When things besides speeches are being created, we often use a methodological process to put them together. These processes have a clear start, middle, and finish. These processes start out with a planning phase that allows us to understand who we will be talking to. We need to take the time to understand what our audience will want from our speech. Next, we need to organize our speech. This involves creating a framework for the speech that is made up of the most important points that we want to share with our audience.

The importance of creating effective presentations cannot be overstated. We need to stop trying to throw together presentations and instead apply a proven methodology to create high-quality presentations every time. Take the time to plan and organize your next speech and you’ll be pleased with the results that you are able to get.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: What do you think would be the best way to find out what the interests of your next audience are?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Every time that we agree to give a speech, we really want it to go well because we understand the importance of public speaking. However, this does not always happen. What this means for us as speakers is that we should all be searching for a way to make this business of giving speeches run more like clockwork. What can we do to boost our odds of giving a successful speech? It turns that there is something that we can do. What we can do is to employ a systems approach to giving speeches and this will allow us to make sure that everything that has to be done will get done. It all starts with us planning and organizing our speech. However, after that, we still have work to do.

The post Using A Systems Approach To Create Presentations appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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If you can make an impact with your speech, then you’ll change your audience
Image Credit:
NASA on The Commons

Every speech that we give comes with its own set of goals. Sometimes we’re trying to convince an audience of something, sometimes we want to make them laugh, perhaps we just want to tell a great story and have them share it with us. No matter what your specific goal for a speech is, every speech shares a common purpose: we want to use the importance of public speaking to make an impact on our audience. We want their lives to have been changed in some way by having attended our speech. This is a noble goal to have, now just exactly how do we go about accomplishing it?

It’s All About The Mechanics

I’m pretty sure that we are all familiar with Mr. Murphy and his law: “what can go wrong will go wrong”. As presenters, we live in a world where there are a lot of different things that can go wrong if we are not careful. We set ourselves up to get into the most trouble if we make the mistake of thinking that we can just “wing it”. Showing up to give a speech and hoping to be able to make it up on the fly never seems to work out well.

Instead, what we need to do is to realize that Mr. Murphy is always at work. Although we can’t necessarily stop him, we can perhaps head him off at the pass. One of the best ways to go about doing this is to make sure that when you are going to be giving a speech that you always show up early. By doing this you can catch and fix things like microphones that don’t work, lights that don’t turn on, and projectors that are broken before you take the stage.

Test Before Delivering

After you’ve been giving speeches for a while, something dangerous can start to happen to you. You can start to think that all you have to do is to write your speech out and then you can stand up and deliver it because you know it. The answer is, of course, that this is not the case. Even the best of us need to practice what we are going to say before we say it.

Let us agree on one thing: we can’t become good at giving a speech unless we practice that speech. We need to go through a series of dry runs before we can feel confident that we’re going to be able to deliver a good speech. The more that you practice, the better you will become.

Welcome To My Show

A question that you have to ask yourself before every presentation that you make is “why is this audience there?” They have shown up for a specific reason. They believe that by investing their precious time in listening to your speech they will somehow benefit. Your job is to make this belief come true.

What we all need to understand is that every time that we are making a presentation, we are really putting on a show. Your speech has to be both interesting and exciting. If you don’t make this happen, then all too soon your audience is going to grow tired of hearing you speak. The more entertaining you are, the better the chances are that your audience will actually listen to what you are telling them.

What All Of This Means For You

When we go to the effort of giving a speech, we want to be able to use the benefits of public speaking to connect with our audience. We have goals for what we want to be able to accomplish with our speech. Although our specific goals may change for each speech, we always want to make an impact on our audience. The trick is in knowing how to go about doing this.

We need to understand that we live in a complicated world where there are a lot of different things that can go wrong on us. Mr. Murphy is always out there just waiting for us to give our next speech. We need to take steps to prevent bad things from happening to our speeches. One way to go about doing this is to simply show up early. This gives us time to solve issues before they become problems. None of us can just write a speech and then stand up and deliver it. Instead, we all have to take the time to practice it because that’s how we become better. Our audience has shown up with expectations about what they will be hearing. When we present to them, we need to be sure to put on a show. Only by doing this can we hold their attention and get our message across.

Making an impact on our next audience is what giving a speech is all about. Taking the time to create, practice, and then deliver a speech requires a lot of effort on our part. If we follow these simple tips, then our chances of changing our audience will increase and the effort that we’ve gone through to make the presentation will have all been worth it.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: How many times do you think that you have to practice a speech before you really “have it”?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The ability to look into the future, even if it was only for a few minutes, sure would be a nice talent to have. Unfortunately, I can’t do it and I’d be willing to bet that you can’t do it either. What this means for both of us is that when we are preparing to deliver a speech we are going to have to take steps in order to be ready to deal with just about anything that can happen up there – because there is a good chance that something will happen!

So just exactly how do you go about creating a presentation when you’ve been asked to give a speech? All too often we forget about the importance of public speaking and go about creating presentations in a haphazard manner that is more hit-or-miss than planned. The results generally show that this is what we did. During the development of our presentation, we can find ourselves going down the wrong path. Even worse, changes to what we are going to be talking about can happen late in the speech development process and this can end up being very expensive in terms of time and effort. There has to be a better way!

The post Tips For Making An Impact With Your Next Speech appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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To fight our fears, we must first face them
Image Credit: João Trindade Follow

If you want to really know what fear is, then agree to give a speech! For some reason, the thought of standing in front of a group of people that we probably don’t know and sharing with them some information that we have can cause even the most courageous of us to feel weak in the knees despite the importance of public speaking. However, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be like this. There are things that we can do that will boost our courage so that the next time that we stand in front of an audience all they will be able to see will be our eagerness to speak to them.

Know Where You’ll Be Speaking

I personally believe that a lot of the reason that we can become so nervous about giving a speech is because there are a lot of different things all going on at the same time. One of the biggest unknowns that we’ll be facing is the location that we’ll be speaking at. We may have never been there before and so when we show up on the day of the speech, it’s all going to be new to us.

This newness just compounds the anxiety that we are already feeling because of the fact that we’re going to be addressing people that we may not know. There’s not too much that we can do about getting over our “new place” jitters. However, if you can visit the site before the big day, that can go a long way towards turning an unknown into a known. If this is not possible, then perhaps you can either find some pictures of the location or have someone go there and snap a few photos with their mobile phone. This will simply give you a chance to become familiar with what the stage looks like. That way when you finally see it, it won’t be for the first time.

Visualize

Will the speech that you give be a success or a failure? It can go either way, but you have a great deal of control over how it all turns out. If you assume that your speech is going to be a success, then you will have started to establish a mindset that can lead to success. You really can’t do a good job if you don’t first believe that you can do a good job.

One great way to boost your chances of giving a successful speech is to take the time to mentally visualize yourself giving the speech. Watch from the audience as you take the stage, start your speech, finish your speech, and then leave the stage. By doing this you will be able to create a positive effect on your ability to deliver a great speech.

Make Friends

I think that we can all agree that standing in front of a room of strangers and trying to give a speech can be nerve wracking. You feel all of those eyes on you and since you don’t know them, you have no idea what might be running through their heads. We try to maintain eye contact with our audience, but no matter where you look you just see strangers.

There actually is a fairly simple way to deal with this problem. Show up early before your speech starts. Use this time to mix and mingle with the people who will be in your audience. Find out some names, some backgrounds, and why they have decided to be here today. This way when you start your speech and you look out into the audience, they will no longer be a room full of strangers. Instead, you’ll see faces that you recognize and you’ll realize that they are smiling because they feel that they already know you.

What All Of This Means For You

Fear is a part of everyone’s life. We need to understand this and learn to live with it. However, the fear of public speaking, although real, is something that we can deal with. If we take the right steps, then we can find ways to conquer our fears of speaking and allow ourselves to focus on delivering the best speech that we can and sharing the benefits of public speaking.

Getting over your fear of public speaking starts with knowing where you will be speaking. Showing up to give a speech at a strange location can be overwhelming. Instead, visit the site before your speech or at least get pictures of it in order to make the new more familiar. In order to make your next speech a success, take some time to visualize yourself doing a good job of delivering your speech. Simply by seeing this in your mind, you’ll be able to translate it into an excellent performance. Finally, because speaking to a room of complete strangers can be so intimidating, show up early and meet some of the people who will be in your audience. That way when you are giving your speech you’ll be able to pick their faces out of the crowd and it won’t be a room full of strangers that you’ll be addressing.

The good thing about your fear of public speaking is that it is something that you can deal with. By taking the steps that we’ve described, you can transform your fears into simple excitement about your next speech. No, being nervous about giving your next speech will never go away, but you can push it to the background an focus on what’s really important – giving a great speech!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: If you can’t visit or get pictures of where you’ll be speaking, is there anything else that you can do to become familiar with the location?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The post Conquering Your Fear Of Public Speaking appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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Our fear of speaking in public can be overcome
Image Credit: Jody Sticca

Let’s face it, there are an awful lot of things that we’d all rather be doing than standing up in front of a group of people trying to give a speech. Just thinking about the importance of public speaking and doing this can cause our mouths to go dry, our hand to become clammy, and our knees to start to buckle. None of this is good news when we find ourselves called on to give a speech. However, there is some good news here. This fear of public speaking thing can be overcome and I’m going to tell you how to do it.

Start Small

This fear of speaking thing has a lot to do with the audience that you’ll be addressing. If your boss and his or her boss are sitting out there then you’ve got a good reason to be nervous. That’s probably not the first speech that you’ll want to be giving. Instead, what you are going to want to do is to craft a plan to deal with your fear of public speaking.

Part of this plan has to deal with when and where you’ll be giving speeches. What you are going to want to do is to start out small. This means give speeches that are not really all that important and you’ll want to deliver them to smaller audiences. Yes, you’ll still feel that creep of public speaking fear, but the good news is that you should be able to control it better because you’ve made the stakes smaller.

Add To Your Speech Progressively

I’m pretty sure that we’d all like to be able to write one of those “I’ve got a dream” speeches right off the bat. However, let’s face it – it’s not going to happen. Instead, what we need to understand about the speeches that we write is that we can write a good speech, it’s just that it’s going to take us some time to get things right.

A great way to go about writing a good speech is to build it progressively. What this means is the first thing that you do is you lay out the most important points that you want to make to your audience. Keep it simple and keep it brief. Now you’ll discover that you need more speech to fill your time. Start to add examples, stories, analogies, etc. Before long you’ll have a complete speech that has your most important points at its core.

Make It Important

We often find ourselves giving speeches that we may not really care all that much about. The reason that we are willing to stand in front of a group of people and deliver this speech is because we are either helping somebody that we know out or we somehow got forced into giving the speech No matter, our heart is not really in this topic. The problem with this is that your audience will pick up on this, become restless, and that’s going to boost your fear as you deliver the speech.

When you find yourself in a situation like this, you need to take action. What you are going to have to do is to take a long hard look at the speech that you will be giving. You need to find some part of this speech that you really do care about. You might be talking about a 12-step process and only one of the steps really matters to you. That’s fine. What you need to do is to create your speech around the part(s) that matter to you. When you do this, the fact that you care about what you’re talking about will come across to your audience. This will cause them to sit up and listen to you and that will help to reduce your fear of public speaking.

What All Of This Means For You

Speaking in public is scary stuff. Nobody ever seems to really look forward to doing it and if we’re not careful we can start to feel physical effects from just thinking about doing it despite all of the benefits of public speaking. The good news is that all of our fears about public speaking can be overcome.

In order to start to master our fears of public speaking, we need to understand that we can start small. This means that our first few speeches should be given to small audiences and we should be talking about topics that are not all that important. This will provide us with an opportunity to build up some courage for the bigger speeches that will come later on. Writing a good speech can be difficult and good speeches generally don’t just flow out of us. What we need to do is to start out with an outline of what we really want to say and then add on to it. If you give a speech about something that you really don’t care about, your audience will be able to detect this and will grow restless. This is going to make you even more nervous. Find something that you care about in what you’ll be talking about and focus on that.

There are some people who say that if we weren’t nervous when we are speaking, then we wouldn’t be alive. The good news is that I believe that we can all confirm that we are very much alive! The nerves that we feel when we are speaking are very normal and the good news is that with a bit of practice they can be overcome.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: What should you do if there is nothing in a speech that you’ll be giving that you really care about?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Apprehension is a big word that we use when we are trying to communicate the fact that we are scared to do something. Public speaking is not something that comes naturally to most of us and so to say that we feel some level of apprehension when it comes time to stand in front of a group of strangers and deliver a speech is putting it rather lightly. We’d all like to find some magic way to make this feeling go away so that we could focus on delivering the best speech possible because we understand the importance of public speaking. However, we just don’t know how to make that happen. Perhaps what we really should be looking for is a way to get our apprehension under control.

The post How To Break The Grip Of The Fear Of Public Speaking appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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Stage fright is real and we need to learn how to deal with it
Image Credit:
Andrew E. Larsen

When somebody has been speaking for a while and has mastered the importance of public speaking, it can be hard for them to remember what it was like when they were first starting out. The early days had a lot of challenges in them and one of the biggest was stage fright. The fear of speaking before groups of people is something that comes up every time the experts go out and do a survey of what makes people afraid. As speakers, we need to acknowledge that we do have a sense of dread when we think about speaking in public and then we need to do something about this.

Good Speakers Are Born That Way

Whenever we have a chance to hear a really good speaker, I think that we all probably have the same thought: wow, they must have been born with that skill! As we listen to them, we generally spend at least part of the time thinking to ourselves that if only we too had been born with their skills we could be a great pubic speaker.

The reality of how these people came to be up in front of you is often a lot different than you might think. Many of today’s best speakers were not born that way. In fact, a lot of them either had a speech problem such as stuttering or they had a deep set fear of talking to a group of people. What happened is that they found a way to deal with their problem. They had the willpower to overcome what was holding them back. Clearly they were successful in doing this. The good news for you is that if they can do it, then so can you.

Public Speaking Is Easy For Other People

When we watch others give a speech, one of the things that may stand out to us is just how at ease they may appear to us. Their words just seem to flow, they may even laugh at times. It sure seems like speaking comes easy to these people. If we are dealing with stage fright, then we certainly don’t feel the same way about giving speeches.

It turns out that it may appear to be easy for others to give speeches, the reality is often quite different. If you were to talk with some of the accomplished speakers who you have had an opportunity to view you would find that they don’t find it easy. Before they take the stage, they have to deal with butterflies in their stomach. What happens is that once they are on the stage, they settle into the role that they are playing and become more at ease. However, the stress never completely goes away.

Speakers With Experience Don’t Get Nervous Any More

If you have had an opportunity to give some speeches, you know what it’s like to become nervous. When you watch other speakers who you know have given many speeches, you might think that they no longer become nervous. Their style sure seems to indicate that they are very confident on stage.

What might surprise you is that even for these experienced speakers, stage fright is still an issue. They may not experience it every time, but it has a habit of coming and going. When it shows up, what they do is to take a deep breath and slow things down. They may also start to focus on one or two people in their audience in order to shut out the room full of people who are watching them.

What All Of This Means For You

Anyone who has ever given a speech can tell you that stage fright is a real thing. As speakers, we often look at other people who are giving speeches to show off the benefits of public speaking and wish that we could be more like them. They appear to be able to deliver a speech with such grace and ease that we can only imagine what it must be like to be them.

It turns out that things are generally a bit different than we might imagine them to be. We often think that the good speakers that we listen to have been born that way. It turns out that most of them have had to work very hard to become as good as they are. We may think that public speaking comes easy to others. They probably still don’t find it easy. We also like to think that the good speakers that we see probably don’t get nervous any more. The reality is that stage fright comes and goes for these speakers and they have to learn how to deal with it.

Stage fright is a real thing. We all feel it and in all honesty, for as long as we are giving speeches we will probably always have to deal with it. However, the good news is that if we can understand that others have been able to overcome their stage fright then we can find ways to deal with our own. It turns out that stage fright is just a part of life – get over it!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: If you have stage fright just before you go on, what do you think the best way to deal with it is?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Let’s face it, there are an awful lot of things that we’d all rather be doing than standing up in front of a group of people trying to give a speech. Just thinking about the importance of public speaking and doing this can cause our mouths to go dry, our hand to become clammy, and our knees to start to buckle. None of this is good news when we find ourselves called on to give a speech. However, there is some good news here. This fear of public speaking thing can be overcome and I’m going to tell you how to do it.

The post Reasons That Speakers Have Stage Fright appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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We can all become better public speakers with just a bit of practice
Image Credit:
Bart Everson

Congratulations on realizing the importance of public speaking and being a public speaker. No matter if you’ve only ever spoken in public once or if you’ve done it a 100 times, we can all become better. Every time that we give a speech, right after we are done we realize that there were things that we could have done differently that would have helped us to do a better job of connecting with our audience. In order to become better public speakers there are things that we need to do, but what are they?

Join Toastmasters

In all honesty, this one should be a no brainer. Just in case there is anyone out there who does not know what Toastmasters is (the name can be a bit confusing), it’s an organization dedicated to helping people become better pubic speakers. If you want to become a better public speaker it sure seems like this is an organization that you should join.

Toastmasters is organized into local clubs. You join a club and then one a week or so you get together with other club members. At the meetings there are opportunities to give formal, practiced speeches and impromptu speeches. All of this is done in a supportive club environment so that when you make a mistake, your fellow club members are there to support you. Toastmasters has been around for a long time so you really should check it out!

Take On A Leadership Role

Outside of work we all belong to a number of different organizations. These can range from professional associations, some sort of personal interest club, or even a management club. These types of groups are always looking for their next set of leaders. When the opportunity comes around next time, you need to raise your hand.

The benefits of taking on a leadership role in one of these organizations can be significant. As a leader, you’ll be tasked with doing such things as running meetings, introducing speakers, and delivering reports. Each one of these activities will provide you with yet another chance to improve your public speaking skills.

Look For Workplace Speaking Roles

The funny thing about public speaking in the workplace is that more often than not everyone desperately wants to avoid doing it. What this means for you is that if you are willing to do the speaking then you’ll be helping someone out and they will then owe you. This is always a good position to be in.

The workplace speaking opportunities can include making a status report at an internal meeting, delivering a paper at an industry conference, or perhaps conducting a “brown bag” lunch time seminar on some topic of interest. The most important thing is that you find the chances to get up in front of yet another audience and practice the art of speaking in public.

Watch Other Speakers

In order to become better public speakers, not only can we give more speeches, but we can also learn from others who are speaking in public. Every time we watch someone give a speech, we have a chance to compare how they speak with the way that we speak. Simply by watching them we can improve our ability to speak in public.

Where things tend to get interesting is when we realize that we will be watching both good speakers and not-so good speakers. Not only can we learn what to do while speaking from the good speakers, but at the same time we can learn what not to do from the bad speakers. Together, all of the speakers that we watch have something important to teach us.

What All Of This Means For You

As good of a public speaker as you are right now, we all know that we can become better. There are always skills and techniques that we can learn that will allow us to do a better job of sharing the benefits of public speaking and connecting with our audience the next time that we give a speech. The challenge that faces us is to find out just exactly how we can go about becoming better.

One of the simplest ways for us to improve our public speaking skills is to seek out and join our local chapter of the Toastmasters organization. This is a club that is dedicated to helping its members become better public speakers. We are all members of different clubs and organizations. These clubs and organizations are always looking for members to step up and take on leadership roles. If we do this it will provide us with an opportunity to do more public speaking at club events. Our workplace is often full of opportunities for us to give speeches. Realizing that nobody else wants to speak up at work may provide you with many opportunities to practice your speaking there. Learning to speak in public can be accomplished by taking the time to watch other speakers. We can learn from both the good speakers and the not-so-good speakers.

The nice thing about public speaking is that it is a skill. This means that if we are willing to work at it, we can become better at doing it. By using the techniques that we’ve discussed, you can improve your ability to speak in public and the next time that you stand up to give a speech, you’ll feel even more confident.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: Toastmasters speeches are generally short (5-7 minutes), do you think that this would be long enough to allow you to improve your speaking?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When somebody has been speaking for a while and has mastered the importance of public speaking, it can be hard for them to remember what it was like when they were first starting out. The early days had a lot of challenges in them and one of the biggest was stage fright. The fear of speaking before groups of people is something that comes up every time the experts go out and do a survey of what makes people afraid. As speakers, we need to acknowledge that we do have a sense of dread when we think about speaking in public and then we need to do something about this.

The post So How Can You Become A Better Public Speaker? appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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Including some personal information is good, but can you include too much?
Image Credit: Raul Pacheco-Vega

When we give a speech, one of our main goals is to find a way to use the importance of public speaking to connect with our audience. We want to open ourselves up to them and let them know that we are just like them. One way that speakers go about doing this is to include personal information in our speech. However, is it possible to include too much personal information?

It’s All About Sharing

When we want to connect with our audience, we look for ways to show that we both share the same things. We can be talking about an outlook on life, personal experiences, or perhaps what we are hoping will happen in the future. The way that we build these types of connections is by sharing our personal experiences with our audience in the hopes that they’ll connect with us. However, this carries with it some risk.

The challenge that we face when we decide to include some self-disclosure in a speech is that we may end up going too far. We can use self-disclosure to make a point with our audience; however, we can also quickly venture into uncharted territory. The question that we need to be asking ourselves is will including this level of personal details make the speech that we are telling better? It all comes down to content. Just exactly how much detail do we want to include in what we tell our audience. Is there a point where it becomes too much?

What we are trying to avoid here is what is referred to as “oversharing”. When this occurs, you’ve provided your audience with just a bit too much information about your personal story. Now instead of bonding with you, they are starting to squirm in their seats because they are feeling uncomfortable. Stories that contain medical details or conflicts with other people can cause this type of reaction. Likewise anything that you are sharing with your audience that will cause them to view you negatively after your speech is done would also fall into this category.

The Best Way To Self-Disclose

If we can all agree that there are dangers involved in disclosing too much to an audience, then we clearly need some guidance here. What is the best way to use our most personal of stories? One thing that we need to keep in mind when we are creating our speech is to make sure that the self-disclosure is placed in the right spot on our speech. You are going to want to find just the right spot where your audience will be ready to get this type of information.

One of the biggest problems that we can run in to is that we have a personal story that we want to share with our audience, but it doesn’t really relate to what we are talking about. If we’re not careful, we’ll try to find a way to shoehorn this story into our speech. You always want to make sure that your personal story is going to be relevant to the audience within the scope of your speech.

The style that you use to deliver your self-disclosure is going to be important also. You are going to want the style that you reveal yourself to your audience to match the style of your speech at the time that you choose to do so. Examples of this would be if your speech had hit a sad spot, then you would want to be appropriately sad while telling your story. Likewise, if you were happy at the time that you started to tell your story, then you’d want to be happy as you told your story.

What All Of This Means For You

Every time that we deliver a speech we want to make it the best speech possible. What this means is that we want to find a way to connect with our audience so that we’ll be able to share the benefits of public speaking and get our message across to them. One way to go about making this happen is to share a personal story with the audience. This is both powerful and fraught with risk.

The use of self-disclosure is designed to allow us to connect with our audience. Where we run into challenges is that we can sometimes go too far and share too much information with our audience. When we do this, we can make our audience become uncomfortable with what they are learning about us. The best way to go about sharing personal information with an audience is to make sure that we’ve placed the information in the right spot in our speech. We also want to make sure that the story will be relevant to our audience. When we share the information, we need to make sure that it is delivered in a style that will match what we are currently talking about.

Connecting with your audience is what every speaker wants to do. Using your personal stories to make this happen is something that only you can do – it will make your speech uniquely yours. However, we need to understand that there are limits to everything and so when you are in the process of sharing, you need to be careful to make sure that you don’t make a mistake and end up oversharing with your audience.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills

Question For You: When you are creating a speech, how can you determine if you are starting to share too much with your audience?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Congratulations on realizing the importance of public speaking and being a public speaker. No matter if you’ve only ever spoken in public once or if you’ve done it a 100 times, we can all become better. Every time that we give a speech, right after we are done we realize that there were things that we could have done differently that would have helped us to do a better job of connecting with our audience. In order to become better public speakers there are things that we need to do, but what are they?

The post How Much Of You Is Too Much? appeared first on The Accidental Communicator.

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