Ever Been Told That You Speak Too Fast?

Speak Too Fast

Have you ever worried that you speak too fast?

Check out this guy, John Moschitta Jr. He is an American actor who is famous for his ability to speak fast and has appeared in countless American commercials as well as movies and Tv shows.

Moschitta has appeared in The Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Fastest Talker and has the ability to articulate 586 words per minute!

John’s ability to speak at a very fast pace but annunciate at the same time, is a gift. Something very difficult to do but not something you need in to be able to do in your every day life.

We come across a lot of people who feel they speak too fast and unless you have John’s gift, this can risk the clarity of your words. You also risk the audience “tuning out” as they simply cannot keep up with you.

•Pace is the speed at which we speak. It can be expressed in Words Per Minute

•Conversational speech can take place as quickly as 180 – 200 wpm

 •200 wpm is too fast for presenting information

•You should aim to speak at 120 – 150 wpm

•To avoid monotony is it important to vary your pace (this is known as rate)

Focus on the clarity of your words to stop speaking too fast. Allow yourself, to take the time you need to breathe you will automatically slowdown. So it is vital to slow down and allow yourself to pause and breathe!

You also need to be mindful that you need to vary pace – a good rule to consider is to slow down for the important information and speed up for background information – classic tension/release at work.

Here’s are some useful tips on pace

A good speech is one that is memorable. A good speech is usually not too long. One of the greatest virtues a speaker can possess is brevity. This begs the question, how does one go about constructing and delivering an address to an audience?

There are some basic principles that should be observed.

  1. Never speak on a subject about which you know nothing or are in anyway unsure.
  2. Do not be tempted to give an impromptu speech until you are very experienced.
  3. Try not to make too many points.
  4. Remember rehearsal is also extremely important.

Many top speakers spend hours practicing their delivery and this is time well spent. Paying particular attention to the voice is good advice because if you are not used to speaking in public, then you will need to establish how to project and produce your voice effectively.

Here’s another example of John at his, err… “Prime”, excuse the pun 🙂

For more useful tips and ideas check out our other blogs here or contact us to see how we can help you to transform your voice and your communications.

Whilst you are here you might enjoy some of these:

Vocal delivery techniques from Oprah

Five Vocal Delivery Techniques You Can Learn from Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes Speech

Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes was powerful and inspiring. But let’s take a look at the vocal delivery techniques she used to ensure her message was received loud and clear.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

Naturally much will be discussed over the coming weeks about Oprah Winfrey’s speech at this year’s Golden Globes.

Her message to her audience was powerful, emotive, thought-provoking and inspiring.

But as a voice, communications and executive presence coach, I feel compelled to examine the importance of “how” she delivered her empowering message as much as the content of that message.

I’ve written before about Oprah’s exceptional speaking skills, in my blog “The Oprah Communications Manual in 8 Easy Steps“.

But specifically on her phenomenal Golden Globes performance, allow me to break down and analyse the vocal delivery techniques Oprah used to ensure her message was loud and clear.

These are delivery techniques that you too can take into your speeches and presentations.

1. Showing up Authentically is a Key Vocal Delivery Technique

There is no question with this speech, Oprah delivered her message with authenticity and honesty.

The reality is that any audience will connect and engage with people who are truly themselves. Yes, the content is emotive, but you really get a sense that she truly believes her message.

Once there is authenticity in your message, then strong vocal techniques will be easier to access.

When you deliver a business presentation, how authentic are you with your audience? Or do you drop into presenter mode? Because, so many do.

Your Task

Ahead of your next presentation, consider these two questions carefully:

  • What do you feel about your message to the audience?
  • What do you want your audience to feel about your message?

“Feel?” I hear you ask!

Yes, FEEL!

Not what you want them to know and understand, but what you want them to FEEL.

Do you want them to feel excited, curious, frustrated, sad? Whatever that feeling is, you need to think carefully about it, as it needs to be conveyed in your vocal delivery.

2. Great use of timing. She combines pause and pace brilliantly.

The space between your thoughts can be as powerful as the thoughts themselves. She makes great use of pause throughout her speech.

With such strong words she understands her audience needs this time to process her message. Pause is used to strong dramatic effect also.

We can implement pauses to gain different effects.

When we pause before a word or phrase, it creates the classic tension/release.

If we pause after, it allows the audience a moment for the information to sink in.

As opposed to highlighting specific examples in this speech I would simply urge you to listen to the full ten minutes for her use of pause.

It requires bravery for any presenter to accept that silence. If we trust the pause we will hold a listener’s attention.

There is no question about this. It’s so compelling.

When we use pauses, we can also vary the pace of our delivery and the two go hand in hand.

Varying our pace and using the power of pause keeps the rhythm of our vocal delivery varied and keeps the ear from falling asleep.

You can hear throughout this speech she varies pace – for important statements, you’ll hear she slows right down to emphasise the importance of her words.  You’ll hear increases the pace to create energy.

Your Task

For your next presentation, accept the silence.

Try this useful Tempo Technique to engage your audience

  1.  Speed up the tempo before you make that important point
  2.  Pause
  3.  Then slow down to deliver it

It carries your listeners forward and then make them wait.  It’s a classic tension/release at work.  It takes practice, but it’s a very clever device, and it’s powerful.

(Example: Listen to 5.00-5.16 minutes in Oprah’s speech)

3. The Power of Your Consonants in Vocal Delivery

This is where the voice geek in me comes out!

They don’t get much airtime, but consonants can really work for us when we speak and they are used well in Oprah’s speech.

They can grab our listeners’ attention and hold onto it. I believe they give speech emphasis and intent. People often think that they need to speak louder to make their messages stand out, but this is not the case.

I think by Oprah focusing on her consonants she really drives home her message throughout. Any time you want to drive home a point, implant a thought, do it by giving more thought to the consonants in your words. They will make what you say more effective and dynamic.

Your Task

Try this useful Consonant Technique to drive your message home.

Lengthen the consonants in the word or syllable you want to emphasise.

This creates the illusion of being louder by bringing everything to a halt while we wait for that word.

4. The Importance of Power words: What They Are, and How to Make Them Powerful

All words are not created equally.

When we speak we do not pronounce each and every word and syllable with the same importance.

It is so evident in Oprah’s speech.

If you want your audience to listen and engage then you need to understand

  1. What are power words, and
  2. How to give these power words the power!

Power words are the 1-3 words in each phase or sentence that absolutely reduce it down to its basic meaning.

They communicate the essence of what we are saying.

These words require more time more emphasis, more vocal importance, if they are to resonate with the audience.

But how does Oprah do this? And how do we do it?

First things first: like Oprah does, you need to be authentically communicating your message. To be really connected to and truly believe your message.

  • Change of volume: Listen how Oprah either increases or decreases volume on specific power words
  • Pitch variation: She changes the pitch on certain power words to highlight and bring importance to them—she makes them stand out
  • Articulation: She will overly articulate certain consonants in the power words to bring the word out further—lest the audience forget!
  • Change of pace: She tends to speed up and then slows down on her power words/phrases.
  • Pause: She will pause before or after key power words

Your Task

Try combinations of any of the above.

They are vital to a strong vocal delivery – that will be listened to and understood by your audience.

You can hear examples of Oprah using power words effectively throughout her speech, but skip to 8.00 mins and onwards for a series of great examples, such as:

  • “ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning
  • “even during our darkest nights
  • “when that new day finally dawns”
  • “the time when nobody has to say me too again”

5. Mastering the Skill of the “Clap Trap” is One of the Best Vocal Delivery Techniques

She doesn’t wait for the applause and she doesn’t wait for clapping to stop before she continues.  Pausing and waiting for the audience to clap is a faux pas, it removes the sense of spontaneity.  Carrying on with her message and refusing the applause implies that she is not expecting a clap, she is more focused on her message than herself.   A speaker always needs to be more committed to the message than to accepting praise. This she does very well throughout her speech

Skip to minutes 2:22, 3:22 and 7:02 to see Oprah do this.

Conclusion

Be under no illusions, Oprah would most certainly have practiced and rehearsed this speech many times to refine her vocal delivery techniques.

It would have been a shame to have a great message delivered poorly.  My message to you is that it’s not enough to have a strong message—your vocal delivery needs to support that importance of your message.

So, finally, record yourself when you’re preparing and practicing your words.

It is the only way you can hear exactly what you sound like and then you can make changes accordingly.

  • Are your showing up authentically in your speech?
  • Are you using pause and pace combined to engage your audience?
  • How are you making your power words standout and be POWERFUL?
  • Are you giving Consonants the importance they deserve?
  • Finally, don’t fall into claptrap mistakes!

Here’s Oprah’s Full Speech

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

Like this? Here’s More from the ConfidentSpeak Blog

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Vocal warm up before presenting

Why You Should Do a Vocal Warm-Up Before Speaking

Joe Duffy, the presenter of Ireland’s most popular radio talk show, does a daily vocal warm-up before he goes on air. You might not be speaking to hundreds of thousands of people, but if you’re talking or presenting in any way, you should do a vocal warm-up too. Here’s why.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

Joe Duffy does a vocal warm-up before going on air

In an article in the Irish Times newspaper recently, Joe Duffy, presenter of Liveline, Ireland’s most listened to radio programme, mentioned that he does daily vocal warm-up exercises before every show.

(Not only that, but he admitted that he goes into the bathroom to do so!)

Why does he need a vocal warm-up, you might ask?

To prepare himself both vocally and mentally for the show ahead.

Every day he has a ritual, he says. “I go into the loo at 1.30pm to wash my face, do a few vocal exercises and say two words to myself: ‘libel’ and ‘entertainment’.

(“Entertainment” is obvious enough. “Libel” because Liveline is a live phone-in talk-show where anything can happen, and often does!)

Why does a vocal warm-up matter ahead of presenting?

When you decide to exercise, whether  a jog, or playing any sport, a warm up is always done.

It’s a good way to prepare, to improve performance, and prevent injury to yourself.   Funnily enough, the same applies when you use your voice.   We don’t think about our voice as a muscle – but it is.  We don’t think of presenting as a dynamic activity that uses many muscles – but it very much is, and these muscles need a vocal warm-up for peak performance.

A short vocal/voice warmup improves the quality of the sounds you make and helps prevent vocal injury, keeping you in good voice and making your voice production feel better.  It will also bring you right up to your best speaking voice and will energise your speaking voice

I was listening to a key note speaker recently who was opening a conference and started with a dry, croaky, crackly voice – he could have been so much better if he had done a short vocal warmup pre-presenting.

​Here is a 10-minute vocal warm-up you can incorporate into your pre-presentation preparation

 

1. Wake Up the Body

  • Shake your shoulders and release the tension.
  • Stretch out your body, pat your face, open up the chest area.
  •  Massage the Face – Jaw, shoulders, and neck.
  • Stretch out the neck, roll shoulders

2. Connect to the Breath

  • Hand on lower belly, Sigh out on breath on a ‘fffffff’ sound.
  • Allow the belly to relax and the breath to become centred.
  • Speak a sentence with the focus on your breath

3. Resonators/Articulation

  • Soft Palate stretch (breathe in & out on a ‘ka’)
  • Tongue Stretches (keep the tip of the tongue behind the bottom teeth and then stretch out your body of the tongue!)
  • Articulation on ‘puh-tuh-kuh-tah’ and ‘guh-duh-buh-duh’
  • Tongue twisters:  ‘Peter Piper’, ‘Mother Pheasant Plucker’

4. Short Sharp Sniffs

Breath up one nostril and breath out the other.  Repeat 3 times.

5. Try some gentle humming and intoning

A little like this.

6. Do a Superwoman/Superman stance for 2 minutes!

Breathe deep into your belly – have a listen to this video for guidance on superhero pose.

Conclusion

If the man with arguably Ireland’s most recognised voice practises vocal warm-up exercises, then so can you!

Our Mantra is always “It’s not about you!”

It’s about the AUDIENCE and what you can give to them today.

You’re bringing your best to this presentation so give your best.

So try out these vocal warm-up exercises for yourself and see how you get on.

Contact us (details below!) if you need any more details on any of the above.

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

The Real King's Speech Techniques for Breathing and Speaking

The Real King’s Speech Techniques: What You Can Learn About Breath and Speaking

The movie The King’s Speech won so many awards and so many admirers when it arrived in cinemas. But what can you learn about speaking from the real King’s Speech techniques? Read on for more.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

The Real King's Speech techniques for breathing and speaking

A few years back I watched a documentary, which looked at the true story behind one of my favourite movies, The King’s Speech.

Winner of a host of awards, the critically acclaimed The King’s Speech highlights the inspiring story of Prince Albert (later to become King George VI) struggle to overcome his crippling stammer.

Prince Albert suffered with a nervous stammer from childhood and prior to his succession to the throne, his wife Elizabeth, sought the help of Lionel Logue, an Australian Speech Therapist practicing in London.

Albert was at first rather reluctant, but he began seeing Logue and partaking in his then perceived, unorthodox training, and his speech, gradually, improved.

Logue and the Prince (and later King) maintained a strong bond and Logue was present in the room to provide support for the King’s important wartime address to the British people in September 1939.

 

I remember that it stuck me at the time (and this was very evident from the documentary I watched) how vital was the importance of correct breathing in helping “Bertie” to overcome his stammer.

When he had control of his stammer he was described as having gravitas, with a slow paced, clear and articulate style.

As a voice coach, the importance of breathing is a constant focus of my training in helping to establish composure and confidence.

Five Important Points About Breath from the Real King’s Speech Techniques:

1. Awareness: Breath = Voice, so make sure that you are aware of your breathing.

2. Support: Breath is your key support for the voice.

3. Warm up: Always warm up first and make sure you are breathing deeply to support the sound. (Read this article on warming up your voice for every talk, speech or presentation.)

4. Breathe correctly: Breathe properly and into the centre of your body, and not your chest. (Read here for more on breathing properly)

5. Take a moment: Take the time to relax the body, and to concentrate on breathing.

Read More About the Importance of Breathing for Great Communications

Read our in-depth blog on the importance of breathing correctly for great public speaking here.

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

King George’s speech from September 3rd 1939

Why not take a moment to listen to Bertie himself in action.

Desert Island Discs

Six Reasons Desert Island Discs Is A Masterclass In Great Communication

Communication masterclassWant to be educated, inspired, humbled and entertained—all while listening to great music? The BBC radio series Desert Island Discs is simply great listening. It is also fruitful learning ground for anyone keen in the art and science of exceptional communication.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

 

I tend to be in my car a lot.

When I am, there is nothing, in my opinion, better than downloading a few podcasts of Desert Island Discs to engage me for an hour. (I have to confess, recently it’s even replacing my bed time reading!)

What makes Desert Island Discs so good?

Below are three reasons I think it’s a perfect place to study perfect communication skills—and be entertained while you’re doing so!—and three examples of phenomenal Desert Island Discs interviews.

Three Reasons Desert Island Discs is Such a Good Study Guide for Top-Class Communication

 

1. The Quality of the Presentation and Communication

I’m in the communications business, and Desert Island Discs stands out because it boasts both a great presenter (currently Kirsty Young) and many, many fantastic guests who virtually always prove themselves to be exceptional communicators.

I’ve just listened to the interview with Dame Judi Dench—I’ve laughed, cried and been awestruck all in 35 minutes!

2. Desert Island Discs is a Wonderful Escape

The premise of the programme is a well known person is “cast away to desert island”.  They are required to choose eight discs to bring with them (they also bring with them the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare, but that’s another story).

It’s been airing for over 75 years (they even referred to gramophones in the early days of broadcast) and we hear from a diverse spectrum of “castaways”—actors, musicians, artists, politicians, sports people,  business people and everyone in between.

3. It is a Masterclass in Interviewing Skills

Kirsty Young is the current presenter of the show and she’s a great communicator in her own right.

She gives a masterclass in interviewing—excellent listening skills, empathy and interest.

Her vocal delivery is just wonderful, so pure, and for this alone it’s worth listening to the show. Her clarity, calm and resonant quality, all whilst retaining her Scottish accent.  She is Britain’s favourite female radio voice, after all.

Young is genuinely interested in every “castaway” and she wants to get the very best from the interview.

She is also brave,  in that she delves into peoples lives to ask the often difficult questions.

Three of the Best Desert Island Discs Interviews

1. Stephen Fry

2. Ed Sheeran

3. John Cleese

Still Want More Desert Island Discs?

Here is the link to the celebration of 75 years of Desert Island Discs.

It takes us through 75 years of history, politics, business, showbiz and sport. It’s wonderful to hear the different accents, the voices, music.

Now sit back, have a listen, and enjoy. (And also learn and put what you into practice, because as we like to say, presentation skills are a muscle that benefit from constant work.)

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

Julian Treasure's TED talk

Four Powerful Words for Powerful Public Speaking from Julian Treasure’s TED Talk

HAIL. The short acronym and four words from Julian Treasure’s TED talk that the inspiring speaker put forward as the four cornerstones of powerful presentation and public speaking.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

Julian Treasure's TED talk

The human voice: It’s the instrument we all play. It’s the most powerful sound in the world, probably. It’s the only one that can start a war or say “I love you.” And yet many people have the experience that when they speak, people don’t listen to them. And why is that?

Thus begins Julian Treasure’s inspiring “How to speak so that people want to listen” talk for TED.

Treasure elaborates on what he believes are the four “cornerstones” of powerful speaking.

The four words form an acronym for the word HAIL.

The Four Cornerstones from Julian Treasure’s TED talk are:

  • H – Honesty. Being true in what you say, being straight and clear
  • A – Authenticity. Just being yourself, “standing in your own truth”
  • I  – Integrity. Being your word, doing what you say and being somebody people can trust
  • L – Love. If you’re really wishing somebody well, it’s very hard to judge them at the same time.

Later, Treasure adds:

You have an amazing toolbox. This instrument is incredible, and yet this is a toolbox that very few people have ever opened, I’d like to have a little rummage in there with you now and just pull a few tools out that you might like to take away and play with, which will increase the power of your speaking.

Check out Julian Treasure’s TED talk for yourself here … and prepare to be inspired!

 

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

confidence

The Psychology of Confidence: Power Equals Confidence (And Vice Versa!)

Psychology of ConfidenceAre you interested in the psychology of confidence?

We long suspected that being powerful makes someone more confident, right?

How about the other way around? Yes – being confident does make you more powerful!

So power means confidence, and vice-versa.

A fascinating new report into recent psychological research studies show that when people are in positions of power, they feel more positive and speak more confidently.

These scientific trials, led by a social pyschology researchers at San Diego State University, have documented a shift in vocal quality as people move from positions of lower status to positions of higher status in their field.

So when we find way to feel more secure and self-assured, it affects how we sound.

The Psychology of Confidence Research

More from the researchers themselves:

Sei Jin Ko, a social psychology researcher at San Diego State University, explains that over a hundred college students came in to their lab to have themselves recorded, starting with a recording of their everyday voices. Then they were asked to imagine a scenario involving the purchase of a new car.

Some people were told they were in a position of high power — they had inside information or lots of other offers to choose from. Meanwhile, others were told they had very little power.

Both groups were then recorded reading the same text out loud. “It was something to the effect of, ‘I’m glad we’re meeting today to discuss this, we have a few differences that we’ll need to iron out before we come to an agreement,’ something like that,” Ko explains.

Researchers took the recordings and looked for differences between the two groups by analyzing acoustical features, such as pitch, resonance and intensity.

It turned out that feelings of power are reflected in people’s voices, says Ko. “When you put them in the situation, their voices change,” says Ko. “I think that’s very, very exciting and quite powerful, shall we say — no pun intended.”

Head on over here to read the full article or listen to the NPR piece from Nell Greenfieldboyce.

 

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

Main Photo Credit: Brunel Johnson / Unsplash

eye contact

The Power of Eye Contact: New Research and Proven Advice

Eye contact: is it good or bad when you’re communicating? New research suggests that forcing eye contact could have a negative effect, but in the right manner eye contact can be very powerful.

By Ariadne Laurenns, ConfidentSpeak

eye contactWe have all said it—especially if like me, you’re a parent.

Look at me while I am speaking to you.

Contrary to popular belief, though, uttering those words may result in far from the desired outcome.

New research has found convincing evidence that attempting to force eye contact when trying to change someone’s mind or persuade them of something may actually cause the listener to become less receptive.

During this research, subjects who were asked to hold eye contact with a speaker were less open-minded and more likely to hold on to their original opinion than those who were allowed to look elsewhere.

According to one of the study’s authors, social psychologist Julia A. Minson:

Eye contact is a very intimate thing,  so when you’re in a situation that feels confrontational, I think it’s more likely to put people off … Dogs aren’t going to look each other in the eye unless they’re about to fight.

Frances S. Chen, the other study author and a social psychologist, added:

It’s already a tense situation. That’s a very primal way that eye contact is used.

Prior to taking part in the experiment the subjects were asked for their opinions on various topics.

The researchers, using eye-tracking technology, then asked them to watch recorded speeches which supported the opposing viewpoint. The subjects were then asked whether their attitude had changed. Those who focused on the speakers’ gaze were less likely to have changed their opinion than those who looked at other parts of the speaker’s face.

Ms Chen said:

People were less open-minded and receptive the more they look at the eyes.

Throughout this research both spontaneous and forced eye contact were tested. In the first experiment an area of gaze focus was not specified whereas in the second, experiment, Subjects were told to stare at either the speaker’s eyes or mouth.

The results?

Maintained eye contact was less likely to lead to opinion change.

Eye contact is still an important and powerful social skill

We must not forget, however, just how powerful eye contact can be.

Here are some tips to help you use it effectively in both one to one situations and more formally in a speech or presentation.

How Eye Contact can be Powerful in Face-to-Face Communications

Eye contact helps to create  moments where you are able to tangibly feel what someone else is feeling. It creates empathy and an intimate bond…

  • Lean back as you increase the amount of eye contact – This will make the receiver more comfortable and avoid crowding them
  • Focus on one eye at a time and switch slowly and smoothly between them – This avoids a laser-like gaze with can be off putting
  • Try the ‘Triangle Method” (this really works!) – Focus on one of the persons eyes for a second, then move your gaze to the other, then to their mouth and back to the first eye using a natural flow.

How Eye Contact can be Powerful in a Speech or Presentation

This is made much easier and used to more effect the more you have rehearsed your talk and the less you have to refer to your notes.

  • Open your talk with eye contact – take a few moments to look around, smile and name eye contact with your audience before you start
  • Through out your speech make eye contact with individuals in your audience – this will help to create a sense of intimacy.
  • Make a particular effort to make eye contact at the end of your speech – This is when you will leave a lasting impression and drive home your message
  • Try meeting the eyes of a stranger on the street – (although this should be used with caution for obvious reasons) It’s a great way to build eye-contact-confidence – just keep your expression neutral and your gaze soft and brief.

You can read more on the research by Minson, Chen and their research teams at the Psychological Science Journal website.

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

Main picture via Amanda Dalbjörn / Unsplash

speech maker

Master Your Dialogue: How to Learn From the World’s Best Speakers

WRiters of dialogue always listen to how people speak. It’s the same with speaking. To be the best, you must study the world’s best speakers.

By Ariadne Laurenns, ConfidentSpeak

How to Learn from the World's Best SpeakersSeveral years after the sad passing of Maeve Binchy, the much loved Irish author is still sorely missed.

Whether an ardent fan of Maeve’s literature or not, one simply cannot ignore her innate ability to weave a good yarn and to write great dialogue.

The latter is, I think, an essential skill in novel writing which is all to often overlooked and underrated.

In a blog post by Derbhile Dromey, Derbhile discusses Binchy’s ability to “capture the natural rhythms of people’s speech”.

She goes on to say:

Dialogue brings a story to life. Without it, books would just be big wodges of text … The best way to create dialogue is to listen to people speaking. You’ll naturally absorb their speech patterns into your writing.

How to Learn from the World’s Best Speakers

In much the same way, a good way to improve your own speech writing and delivery is to listen to experienced speakers.

The more you listen to experienced speakers, the more you will absorb their techniques into your own talks.

You can learn a lot by paying close attention to how they construct their talk and to the pace at which they deliver it.

TED Talks are, of course, a great source of talks from which to draw.

Everywhere from YouTube to Ted.com, the world’s best speakers are just a few clicks away.

Anyone who needs to speak publicly with any amount of regularity—or, indeed, if public speaking is something you would like to do more of—you should make a recurring calendar appointment with yourself to dip into a selection of TED talks.

Below, to get you started, one of our all-time favourites: a great talk from Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire.

Enjoy.

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