Have you always wanted vocal presence and the ability to really engage and influence your audience?
Well, where ever you are in the world and from the comfort of you own home you can learn how now!
Join a small online community of 6 to 8 people in a series of intensive sessions designed to instantly improve your face to face and virtual communications.
Consciously using your voice & body as effective communication tools will help you to achieve vocal presence. It is a skill and like all skills it can be taught, learned and practised to become so much better!
By simply controlling your voice and physical presence deliberately you can have greater influence over your audience and engage them more effectively
If you could achieve vocal presence and engage and influence people more effectively, what would that mean for you personally? What would it mean for your career?
The course is divided into 3 short intensive virtual group sessions followed by 2 individual and bespoke 121’s
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/image-from-rawpixel-id-2310783-jpeg-scaled.jpg17072560Ariadne Laurennshttps://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngAriadne Laurenns2020-06-04 16:20:412020-06-05 10:01:52Learn How To Own Your Vocal Stage Even In A Virtual Setting : Register Here
I’m a voice coach so normally I would talk about physical and vocal skills when it comes to sensational presenting. How you look and how you sound are always at the top of my list of important skills.
But today I’d like to give you a few tips I was given recently that spoke to me on another level.
The 3 tips I’m giving you here are not so much about the mechanics of delivering your words as they are about being human.
Sensational presenting really starts to sing when you remember that a presentation is so much more than just words and information.
Sensational Presenting: The Head, The Heart, and The Hand
A veteran presenter once told me before a speech, ‘Lead them by the head, the heart, and the hand.’.
Think of your presentation as being more than just words and information. It will help any stiff formality or obstacles between you and the audience fall away.
How can you connect with your audience as a human being in a room full of human beings?
People want to be touched emotionally. When you reach out to your audience on an emotional level, they will trust more readily. And trust is what you want from your audience.
First, you have to assure the audience that you’re worth listening to. After all, they’ve taken time out to be there and want to know their time is being well spent.
You need to establish your credibility with the audience. Sensational presenting shows the audience you know your subject. That you are an expert in your field. What’s your pedigree, track record for success?
Second, you need to let them know you’re on their side. Sensational presenting involves your audience liking you or at least knowing that you know their pain.
Let your audience know that you are aware of their challenges and that you have answers to help them with those challenges.
The audience is always asking themselves one question as they sit there spending their precious time with you: Why should I care about this?
Sensational presenting answers this burning question for the audience. Your audience will care if you show that you care. Perhaps share a story from your own journey that illustrates how you overcame obstacles or challenges of your own.
When they hear you’ve overcome difficulties yourself, they know you empathize with them.
Lastly, the hand metaphor refers to what they take away from your presentation. Sensational presenting leads the audience towards some kind of practical, concrete steps or knowledge they can take home and put into practice.
The audience comes in with questions and wants to leave with answers. Put into their hands something they can use, a tool that will help them with their challenges.
This reminds me of Chris Anderson’s definition of persuasion as ‘the act of replacing someone’s world view with something better’. The audience wants to leave feeling different than when they came in.
The 30, 20, 10 Rule in Sensational Presenting
This is a tried and tested rule that all sensational presenting incorporates to some degree. It’s a great example of ‘a little knowledge goes a long way’.
Simply stated, 30 is the minimum font size to use on slides, 20 is the maximum length of a presentation in minutes, and 10 is the maximum number of slides to use.
The 30, 20, 10 rule will help you avoid Death By Powerpoint and avoid losing your audience. Here’s how it works.
Font Size Matters For Sensational Presenting – 30 points
Here’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to your slides: 30 point font is the minimum size to be visible from the audience.
One of the easiest mistakes to make on your slides is trying to cram in as much information as possible by using smaller font. Sensational presenting takes into account the tried and tested rule ‘More Is Not Necessarily Better’.
If you try to squash in loads of words on the screen, your audience will end up not reading any of it. And worse, they’ll be so distracted by the fact that they can’t read what they’re supposed to be able to read that they’ll stop listening to you.
Your audience would much rather listen to you speak than be reading off the screen in a read-along with you.
Keep Them Wanting More – 20 minutes
20 minutes is enough time to say what you need to say about pretty much anything. Every audience will thank you for keeping it short. Sensational presenting means having the ability to cut and crop your content for the sake of your audience.
If you have 20 minutes allocated to you for a presentation, plan a 10 minutes presentation. You will probably speak for twice your rehearsed time when the adrenaline starts kicking in so leave yourself some wiggle room.
Sensational presenting always follows this rule of thumb: Brevity Is Beauty.
Less Is More In Amazing Presentations – 10 slides
Ultimately, your slides are there only to help you tell your story better. They are not there to be a crutch for you if you’re not prepared or don’t know your content. 10 slides or less is adequate to support any story.
Slides are never the story in sensational presenting. You are the story. The slides are only there to serve you and the story. If your tech goes down you still have to give the presentation, without your slides, so be prepared.
You actually don’t needs slides for the majority of sensational presenting. Only use them to add colour and texture to your story. Slides are only there to help the audience to see what you see.
Knowledge Can Be A Dangerous Thing
Sensational presenting involves weeding out what the audience doesn’t need to know and what they do. There’s a great book called ‘Made To Stick’ by Chip and Dan Heath which warns that a lot of knowledge can become a bad thing if left unchecked.
When you’re an expert in your field it can be easy to speak in acronyms, use phrases the audience doesn’t know, or use ‘in jokes’ that leaves 90% of the audience completely lost.
Make your presentation easy for the audience to understand and follow and use simple language. It’s not a matter of dumbing down; it’s a matter of simplicity.
Sensational Presenting And Generosity
Essentially, you want to keep your audience with you, not running to catch up with you or left behind. So keep it simple, remember less is more, and keep your audience in the spotlight. Think of what you can do to make their life easier today and you have a much better chance of delivering a sensational presentation.
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/clapping-630.jpg6301500Maria Teccehttps://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngMaria Tecce2020-05-28 15:34:152020-05-28 15:50:513 Top Tips For Sensational Presenting
Everyone in business uses verbal communication on a regular basis for meetings, negotiations, and presentations.
Yet not every business person is a confident speaker.
Knowledge is power and there are a few tips and tricks you can use to feel more confident, credible, and engaged in your business communications.
Craft A Clear Story
If you want to feel and look like a confident speaker, you’ve got to prepare and do your homework.
This means crafting a clear story that will engage people.
We are hard-wired to love hearing and telling stories so make sure your story is something your audience can relate to.
People who are perceived as being confident speakers are the best storytellers because they gain the trust of their audience.
This doesn’t mean you’re perfect.
It means that you are connected with your story in an emotional way.
And if you are emotionally connected to your story – there’s a better chance that your audience will be too.
Know your audience
You must know who you’re talking to before you craft your story. Take into account who your audience is and what their challenges might be.
If you don’t, you may as well be writing a love letter to ‘To Whom It May Concern’.
You will come across as a more confident speaker if you do your homework and know as much about your audience as possible.
If you’re a key note speaker, your basic story content may stay the same each time you deliver it.
But customize it for each audience by beginning it with something specific to that group of people. It will help you come across as a more empathetic, prepared, and confident speaker.
Breathing Is Key
Breath is the cornerstone for all great communication.
A confident speaker knows that not all breath is created equal. Shallow breathing is far less useful to you than a deep, centered breath.
When you center your breath in your lower belly you also bring your focus and attention there. This is a place of power, strength, and balance.
When you breathe from the lower belly, you are more inclined to connect with calm, grounded feelings.
When you breathe into the upper chest and shoulder area, you are more likely to feel anxiety or panic.
How you breathe effects your physiology.
Breath Is Fuel For A Confident Speaker
Your body breathes without your help to keep all your necessary functions ticking over.
But you can choose what kind of breath will fuel your communications. Speaking with a strong, supported voice will help you look and feel like a confident speaker.
The quality of the breath and fuel you give your thoughts, voice, and choices will depend on where and how you breathe.
Rehearse That Story!
Practice Out Loud
Performers have a saying: ‘Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. And then rehearse some more.’ The words you write on the page are always going to be slightly different to the words you end up speaking out loud. It’s the nature of transferring written word to spoken word.
Once you’ve mapped out your story, stand it up and start speaking it out loud. Every confident speaker knows that speaking your words aloud help you get the feel of the structure of your story and memorize the words. As Bob Dylan says, “I’ll know my song well before I start singing.”.
In order to become a more confident speaker, you have to get feedback on how you look and how you sound.
Your phone, tablet, or laptop are readily available sources of non-judgmental feedback. Film yourself for 2-3 minutes, watch it back, tweak, and go again.
A good tip is to be specific about what it is you’re practicing each time you film yourself.
Am I focusing on my vocal delivery? My physical presence? Am I looking at the rhythm of my language? The structure of the story?
The more specific you are, the more value you’ll get out of your practice time.
Take It Live
Find one or two people you trust and get in front of them. To become a more confident speaker, treat this practice run as you would the real thing.
Begin your story as you would in front of the real audience and invest the same amount of passion and urgency into your performance as you would for a live audience.
Make the stakes high. The more real you make the trial run, the better prepared you’ll be for the real thing.
Becoming a more confident speaker means preparing yourself as much as possible for real-time stress.
Hard Work + Action = A Confident Speaker
Becoming a more confident speaker is a process. Confidence is a combination of hard work, repetition, and having a clear plan of action.
As with any other endeavour, change happens step by step, a little at a time.
The trick is to create good habits and consistently make new choices that support your story, your voice, and your physical presence.
Know your story, breathe, and practice, practice, practice.
Your hard work will pay off and who knows… you may even start to enjoy it! Imagine that.
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/confident-speaker.jpeg334500Maria Teccehttps://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngMaria Tecce2020-05-13 13:32:152020-05-14 10:18:37Boost Your Business: Become A Confident Speaker
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/unnamed.jpg355497Roisin Fhttps://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngRoisin F2020-04-21 14:27:042020-04-21 15:09:04With Great Posture Comes Great Presentation!
Did you know that one of the least used, but most effective, strategies when it comes to negotiations of any kind … is silence. Why you might ask, well because silence gives you a number of advantages.
1. Learn From The Experts
What do the best negotiators generally have in common? They will always make their opponents wait for an answer.
When we are nervous or eager we have a tendency to jump in right after the other person has spoken. And the result? It looks like we’re nervous, insecure, or even worse, that we haven’t been listening.
2. A Well-Placed Silence Can Build Relationships
If you’re silent and wait, it conveys the impression that you are listening and thinking about what the other person has said. And, of course, it also sends a signal that you are weighing your answer carefully.
3. Silence Buys You Time
Silence buys you the time to prepare a response. The appearance of thinking, also buys you a few seconds to think.
Being chatty in negotiating is not very powerful, and it usually doesn’t achieve the desired result but the art of creative silence takes practice. Sometimes it takes concentration to simply do nothing.
Try practicing getting used to silence when you’re not under pressure.
These three reasons are why silence is one of the best negotiating tactics you can learn.
What do you think are great negotiation tactics?
Leave a comment below!
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:
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/ocean-biggshott-97W2bKSvyAw-unsplash-1.jpg20003008adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152019-10-25 13:04:502020-02-11 16:11:293 Reasons Why Silence Is A Powerful Weapon
Have you ever overslept, and rushed into a meeting or a webinar, or maybe it was a last minute conference call; or phone call from your boss ? Even if you are lucky enough to be one of those people who snap into alert mode as soon you wake up – I wish I was one of those people!! – we’ve all had moments where our voice seems to fail to catch up with our brain. It’s sometimes referred to as our ‘Bed Voice’
You know what I mean, that flat, heavy, sluggish voice we have first thing!
A client I worked with, on one of our 121 programmes, had to speak regularly on early morning radio. I always remember her being very conscious of her “bed voice”, and was keen to know how to shake it off.
So, in a nutshell, here is how you do it;
Step 1 – Quench that thirst!
One of the primary reasons for this “bed voice” is simply down to the fact that you (and your voice) are dehydrated after sleep – hence muscles work a little slower and a little more sluggishly. Drink a glass of water, drinking coffee (although it may be more tempting) will do little to help your voice.
Step 2 – Good Vibrations
Place your hands on your head – and hum a gentle ‘mmmm’ sound. Put the focus of the hum into the top of your head until you feel vibrations in your head. Repeat a few times.
Step 3 – Get humming
Gently hum up and down your pitch range. So just like the scales on a piano, start on your lowest note and gently and slowly hum/glide your way up to the highest note you can go (without pushing or forcing) Repeat a few times.
Step 4 – Luscious Lips
Place your finger tips on your lips (palm faced in) and again gently hum a ‘mmmm’ sound. Feel vibrations, or a tingly sensation on your lips and the surrounding area. Repeat a few times, and feel your bed voice start to disappear.
Step 5 – Massage
Give your entire face a massage – your cheeks, lips, forehead, nasal area. In other words awaken your face, stretch your mouth and have a good yawn!
Check out this great talk from Julian Treasure on how to warm up your voice
So remember these five tips next time you need to get rid of your bed voice and enjoy the work out!
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:
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/image-from-rawpixel-id-427737-jpeg.jpg8011200adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152019-10-11 11:47:032019-10-11 12:14:445 Steps To Get Rid Of That Dreaded "Bed Voice"
It can be difficult to keep your audience engaged during business presentations. How do comedians keep their audiences engaged? Some of us are naturally funny. Others think that being funny is a gift from birth that only the chosen few are blessed with, and that the rest of us should stay far, far away from trying to make people laugh. The fact is, being funny is a skill like anything else, like driving a car, learning a new language, or learning presentation techniques.
Comedians spend years crafting and honing their content and delivery, making them one of the few public speakers that clock upMalcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours that he says make a master.
Performers learn a lot the hard way. there’s just no other way to do it. You can practice, practice, and practice until the cows come home but at the end of the day you have to get up in front of a real audience to test it out.
Here are a few interesting presentation techniques from the world of comedy to help speakers in the business world master the art of keeping audiences engaged.
Rock It From The Start
Everyone knows that getting off to a good start sets the tone for the rest of your journey. When you’re practicing your speech or presentation, the first 30 seconds will make or break you.
A killer start to your presentation will set the tone for the rest of your talk and keep your audience engaged. So practice this, hone it, and know it until you can do it in your sleep.
Know Your Timing
When you’re practicing, breakdown the sections of your content.
First 30 seconds
Numbers of key areas
Time yourself so you know how long each takes and how much time the whole presentation will be and when in doubt, keep it short. you will keep your audience engaged, and they will thank you for it.
Don’t Wait To Work The Room – keep you audience engaged from the get go!
Comedians are clever at working the room. They ‘cast’ someone in the audience so they have instant familiarity with the room. Introduce yourself to people as they come into the room; don’t wait to find common ground with your audience until you start your talk.
Break the ice with them from the outset, greet them as they come in, have a bit of banter with them. You’ll automatically have back story with them when you start your presentation.
Warm Up First
All performers warm up and do something to get them in the ‘zone’ as TEDTalk presenter Julien Treasure talks about here. Stretch your arms up over your head before you step onto the stage, take some deep breaths, loosen up your muscles or do some articulation exercises. Whatever you do, do something. This will help calm any nerves and also get your body and mind focused on the task at hand.
Whenever you get the chance to present or speak in front of an audience, always film or video yourself. Always. It’s so easy now to do it now with phones and tablets. Get a friend or someone you know will be there to video you so you can watch it back and see exactly what you’re doing and sounding like. Performers and comedians love this because it gives them instant feedback on everything they’re doing and how they are keeping audiences engaged.
No one feels comfortable around people who seem like they’re perfect all the time. We connect with people we trust, who feel familiar to us. Really funny material comes from comedians who know it’s not necessarily about making people laugh; it’s about making people think, it’s about showing them that you know what it’s like to be human. The audience finds something in you that resonates with them. Comedian and writer Ricky Gervais talks brilliantly about this here.
As a public speaker, take heed of some of these techniques from comedians and see if they help in your performance. Comedians face the toughest audiences in the world so they know what they’re talking about.
Remember, good preparation and practice will pay off in dividends when it comes to getting up in front of an audience and delivering the goods.
Great communicating is learned; no one is born a great speaker.
Remember that you’re a human being in a room full of human beings and every audience loves to see people succeed.
They want you to be great! It makes their job of listening so much easier.
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Laughter.jpg57314506adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152019-05-21 13:05:032019-05-23 10:32:096 Presentation Techniques You Can Learn From Comedians To Keep Your Audience Engaged
Through out the years, we have supported many individuals across the corporate and private sector from all over Europe. We’ve trained C-Suite Personnel, Business Executives, Sales Professionals, Scientist, Engineers, Legal and Medical Professionals, and one topic that comes up over and over again is ‘Executive Presence’ and how to achieve it.
Let me share with you an insight I had some time ago, which might help you to understand and build on your own Presence
I try to go for run most days and one of the routes I have enjoyed most over the years, is the lovely Phoenix Park here in Dublin. One day, along my route, I came face to face with a large herd of deer. They were all standing very still, regarding my presence with quiet curiosity.
What struck me most at the time, was their immense stillness. The deer possessed such calmness and a phenomenal sense of ease and yet, they were also completely alert, ready to flee at any sign of danger.
I stood looking at them for what seemed like an age, transfixed and drawn by something – their amazing ‘Presence’
An audience is always connected to a speaker who communicates in a relaxed and calm way, but just like a wild deer, a speaker always needs be alert to the audience. So if building your executive presence is something on your mind, try this simple technique – stop moving, stay grounded and still!
The Art of Stillness Builds Executive Presence
Moving around may help you to calm nerves or to feel at ease but it can be very distracting for your audience. Instead, try to find an ease within yourself to simply stand still and be present. By just following this technique, not only will you build your presence in front of your audience, you will also connect in a stronger and more authentic way
“Stillness is a simple, yet powerful technique to build presence”
Remember this; as a speaker, you have the ability to instil any emotion in your audience.
If you are agitated or stressed then your audience will also be agitated and stressed. If you are at ease and physically relaxed and grounded, then your listeners will also be at ease and guess what…they will also be more open to listening, and building that all important connection with you. You will have achieved ‘presence’!
Sometimes we just need to demystify things and go back to basics when it comes to communication! So next time you are rehearsing your presentation, try this technique to achieve Executive Presence.
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Stillness-Presence-Of-Deer.jpg25772215adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152019-05-02 12:37:192019-05-02 12:41:15Could The Simple Act Of 'Stillness' Be The Key To Achieving Executive Presence?
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Audience-engagment.jpg32214731adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152018-09-12 14:51:122019-01-10 15:16:44First Impressions: 5 Ways To Grab Your Audience Before You Say A Word
We’ve all felt that surge of panic or anxiety when standing up in front of a group of people, about to talk. Your body is smart, it reacts to stress, panic, or fear and tells you that something is way out of your normal, daily realm of existence. So how do we turn this around so that what the audience see is a composed presenter oozing physical presence;
‘Yikes, I am not in Kansas anymore’
Public speaking – like physical training and sport – requires training and practice; You need to put in the time if you want to take advantage of those speaking opportunities when they come up and really knock it out of the park so you get the result you want.
So where to start? The answer lies in our Physical Presence
Our physical presence is one big piece of the presentation skills puzzle. Combined with vocal presence, it helps establish an emotional connection with the audience along with the words we say. In this, our first of two Amy Cuddy TED Talks, Amy speaks about the impact our body language has on our chances for success.
Listen To Your Gut
We’ve all been guided by our ‘gut instinct’ at some point and with good reason. Our bodies are intricately and acutely sensitive to how we react to the outside world. The brain and gut are connected by an extensive network of Neurons and a highway of chemicals and hormones that constantly provide feedback.
Most of the time we make decisions from our brain, our intellect, and forget about what the ‘other brain’- our gut, is telling us. Have you ever felt ‘butterflies’ in your stomach? The ones you might feel when you’re in the first stages of love or attraction? We feel the same butterflies when we’re nervous of a talk we’re about to give. So the next time you’re stuck when you’re preparing a presentation, ask yourself, ‘What do I really want to talk about? What is my gut saying?’.
What Do You Want Them To Feel?
The impact of non-verbal messages are much stronger than words because the audience remembers them more and for longer. So, ask yourself what you’ve seen recently that made a speaker memorable? Was it the words they said or how they made you feel? Remember, what you feel up there as a presenter is what the audience gets. It’s like a mirror: What you feel, they feel. If you want the audience to feel excited, then find a way to manifest that in your own body. If it’s happy, then embody happiness.
Fake It Till You Become It
We’ve all heard the old adage ‘Fake it till you make it’, but it’s actually ‘Fake it till you become it’. Amy Cuddy did another TED Talk about physical indicators and gives scientific evidence supporting the theory that what we do physically effects how we feel. For example, smiling instantly makes us feel better. Even if it’s a fake smile manufactured by holding a pen between our teeth, we still get a release of positive energy. On the other side, slouching can make us feel defeated or depressed. Standing in a grounded, aligned posture with shoulders relaxed, feet hip width apart, and chest open elicits feelings of confidence and positivity and you will immediately exude physical presence
See It And Feel It
Michael Phelps won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics because he was able to complete his heat without being able to see. His goggles filled up with water and he couldn’t see where he was going but because he had visualised that race over and over beforehand, he knew every stroke before he even got into the pool. This helped him be prepared for anything and when he couldn’t see, he didn’t panic.
In your preparation for a speech or presentation, sit down and breathe, close your eyes and see yourself giving your presentation See the room, feel where you’re going to move and when. See yourself smiling, see the audience. Go through every move so that when you actually present or go into the meeting, the situation is already familiar.
Prepare For Your Worst Case Scenario
This is a great one for dealing with nerves as well. Think of your worst case scenario, ie. losing your place or not remembering what comes next. Imagine it happening, and list the things you can do to deal with that situation. This way, if you feel prepared and can deal with the worst thing that could happen, then you be ready to handle anything else that comes along as well. Remember, it’s okay to make a mistake! It won’t effect your physical presence, in fact audiences are known to respond well to vulnerability. It makes you seem more human and helps them to connect with you.
Don’t wait until you step into the room for that high stakes meeting to prepare and put skills and techniques into place. Implement small changes beforehand and as you practice and prepare and you’ll reap the benefits tenfold. You’ll establish physical presence from the offset, be more able to connect with your audience, share your ideas, and get the results you want.
“ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We have worked with leading Irish and international companies and executives. Contact us for details on our range of corporate/private voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.”
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