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:
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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:
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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?
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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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There’s a lot to be learned from studying the presentations and public speaking techniques of some of the world’s great leaders. Here we take a look at an Elon Musk presentation, and ask: Despite a number of obvious flaws in his technique, what makes his presentations so popular?
By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak
So, a few things about Elon Musk straight off the bat.
Musk is rich, he’s passionate about his projects and he’s most probably a genius!
And yet when he gets in front of an audience he can turn into a public speaking car crash.
He gave a presentation earlier this year outlining his very ambitious plans for rocket company SpaceX.
SpaceX plans to land an unmanned spaceship on Mars in 2022. (It will then start preparing for human visitors to arrive two years later!)
That presentation garnered him a lot of social media attention, but for the wrong reasons: there was his stammering, and his style of delivery, which was clunky and awkward.
And yet that long speech was watched over 400,000 times online less than 24 hours after it was posted.
So the question is.
Why are we still interested in watching an Elon Musk presentation when so much of his delivery is soooooo bad?
Well, here are a few insights that might make sense of this bizarre dichotomy of brilliance and bumbling.
1. He Gives You The Why Before the What
Elon Musk does big plans big style – humans on Mars in just a few years!
He tells you WHY his projects are important right off the bat.
When he outlined the SpaceX plan to go to Mars, he tells you ‘why’ it’s important before he tells you the ‘what’.
In this case, that SpaceX will ensure the survival of humans as a species and to inspire the belief that the future will be better than the past. He always gives his audience a reason to listen and engage with him.
2. Master the Art of Imperfection to Master the Art of Authentic Presenting
Musk is very good at making his audience feel like he’s just like them, that we’re all in it together, so his stammering and stumbling actually doesn’t bother us so much.
Many great speakers, like Steve Jobs, were great at Public Speaking. They talked as if they’re on a higher plane and that they’ve got everything perfectly down pat and present you with a finished product. That’s great and we buy into it.
But Musk does the opposite. He tells you that he and his employees have been figuring things out. He shares with you how a product crashed and burned and landed in the ocean. Musk lets us know that he has failed more than he’s succeeded.
That shows us Elon Musk’s humanity, and we love people who are human. Perfection is overrated, this is authentic presenting.
Musk and other imperfect speakers may not have the best delivery on the planet but they can make up for it with vulnerability,honesty, and passion for their subject. You can teach techniques for great delivery, but it’s mighty hard to manufacture real, honest feeling.
TAKEAWAY: Next time you present, be sincere and your audience will follow you anywhere, regardless of how much you stumble or stammer.
3. Elon Musk is the Definition of an Authentic Presenter: What You See is What You Get
True to one’s own personality, spirit, or character. Not false or imitation.
Musk gets down to brass tacks, lets the audience know that he’s down-to-earth and vulnerable, and lets his feelings show about what inspires him.
The idea of living out amongst the stars excites him and he tells the audience exactly that. He is telling us his dream—and audiences love people who follow their dreams.
Especially when it led them to become billionaire entrepreneurs.
There’s a lot to be said for credibility when presenting. Sometimes we gain credibility because of our position or from the amount of money we have or how many accolades we’ve collected. All these factors do carry a certain weight and give the speaker gravitas, ensuring they have a better chance to get the audience on-side before they’ve even stepped on stage.
Yet when it comes down to it, two things will always sway an audience.
Great delivery, and humanity.
TAKEAWAY: Next time you get up in front of an audience, give them a clear, confident, credible delivery and you’re on your way to a winner. Give them humanity, vulnerability, and passion in addition to that and you’re on your way to home-run World Series victory.
Here’s the full Elon Musk presentation from SpaceX. Watch for yourself
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For over a decade in this business I have seen and heard so many sales presentations. I’ve seen good sales presentations, I’ve seen bad sales presentations. And yes, I’ve seen downright ugly sales presentations. So what are good sales presentation techniques? The kind of sales presentation techniques that can win that six-figure contract? Here are eight sales presentation habits to identify and avoid—at all costs!
By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak
In the years since I founded ConfidentSpeak, I’ve worked with so many sales executives on their presentations, vocal skills and executive presence. I’ve seen at first hand what makes for a successful sales presentation—and I want to share with you today some of the presenting habits which can seriously impact your confidence, the success of your sales presentations, and ultimately the bottom line in your businesses.
If you are a CEO, a sales director or a sales manager with responsibility for a team, I hope that the eight sales presentation techniques below will help you to identify whether these habits are commonplace within your teams.
Because if your team has any or all of these bad habits, they are most certainly having a detrimental effect on sales figures.
1. Stop Thinking About Yourself
I’ve seen this happen so many times. So often, in fact, that it deserves to be Number 1 in this list.
Many executives might say they are “focused on their customer”, but what happens in reality?
In reality, they might know their customer’s name and job title, but have not given a single thought to them apart that. And this is recipe for a certain letdown.
Without careful and strategic consideration for your audience and without tailoring your message to their requirements—remember here, your audience is your prospective decision maker—you are losing so much credibility.
And because of that, you are almost certain to lose out to your competitor for that prized contract.
Your audience is more than just a title, you need to understand them deeply.
You must keep your audience in mind all the time. You must tailor your message to meet their requirements, not yours.
Every audience you present to has different wants, wishes and challenges – it’s your job to find out as much as you can about your audience and tailor your message to meet their world.
Yes, it takes time but will be worthwhile when your audience feels valued and understood. Then they will feel positive towards listening—and ultimately opening the “chequebook”.
Three-Word Takeaway: Get Outside Yourself
2. Winging It
Following on from the point above, so often I hear sales executives saying they have no time to prepare for sales presentations or meetings, or that they feel they don’t need to prepare.
They say they have their “tried and tested” presentation. So they’ll just “wing it”.
It makes me tear my hair out! Even if you are an experienced presenter, this is not setting you up for success.
You need to remember that ultimately, you do not decide how good your sales presentation actually is or how good you are as a presenter; your audience (not you) is always the decision maker.
Even more importantly, they also get decide how they spend their money.
You need to get out of the habit of believing that “winging it” is enough.
If you want a greater level of success you need to realise that planning is vital. Yes, this requires thought and time, no question about that and this needs to be factored into your day/week.
How often do you start your presentation with some variation of this.
“Here’s our company, here’s our employee numbers, here are our services. Oh, here are our clients too. And here’s blah blah, blah…”
If you do just one thing today, make a commitment to yourself to notice when you’re being self-centred and to STOP right now!
Think about the last time you met someone out socially and they “rattled on and on” about their holiday, their family, their car or their job, and never once stopped to ask your opinion or about your life.
How did that make you feel?
Not great I’m guessing? You might even go so far as avoiding that person now.
Now think of that in a business context. If you want to build a relationship with a prospective client, do your research and find out about them before you launch into your message.
Then bring their world into your message.
Starting getting curious about your audience to understand their needs.
Three-Word Takeaway: Don’t Do Boring
4. Delivering 30-Minute Sales Presentations
Think about this for a moment.
What is your attention span when you sit in an audience?
How quickly do you get distracted? Of course it depends on the situation, but even if you’re being regaled with a Verdi operetta, it’s not uncommon that in any given moment of downtime you’ll feel a little twitchy and do something like checking your watch or your phone, right?
I have news for you.
Your audience is no different.
Equally they have a short attention span, so make sure you respect their time. To put it a different way, respect their attention span.
If you cannot communicate your sales presentation in 10 minutes (or under) in a concise, audience-focused and memorable way, then you probably are going to struggle getting your audience to make that decision you so badly require.
So share your short presentation and then open the meeting to a focussed discussion.
Three-Word Takeaway: Ten Minutes (Tops!)
5. Unleashing the Jargon
Tell me when you start groaning.
“It is what it is.”
“Do more with less.”
“Take it to the next level.”
“Let’s circle back.”
“Think outside the box.”
There are lots more where they came from. If you’re being really uncharitable, you could try a game of Cliché Bingo next time you hear a sales pitch.
I hear it so often—generic, clichéd, jargon-filled content that is simply meaningless to the audience.
There is absolutely nothing more exhausting for any audience. Yes, you might feel comfortable with this language and it can be your “go-to content” when you’re under pressure, but unfortunately for your business it is much more than likely to be raising the hackles of the audience.
So bear this four-step process in mind.
Make life as easy as possible for the audience
Strip back all banal clichés or complex corporate lingo
Speak in simple short sentences
Use real examples and stories to illustrate your points
Another four-step checklist. This time, four questions you should always ask yourself before any presentation:
Is this content meaningful and understandable to the audience?
Is this content relevant to the audience?
Is this content helping the audience make a decision?
Is this content relevant in helping me achieve my goal?
If you answer “No” to any of those four, you have to be ruthless. Delete!
Three-Word Takeaway: Watch Your Language
6. Sitting Down (Also Known As: Taking the Easy Option)
I am often told by sales executives I work with that they tend to sit down, open the laptop and “talk through the slides”.
Two things about this approach.
It is the safe and easy option
It is totally forgettable
Even that phrase—”Talk through the slides”—gives me the shivers.
I say, set yourself up for success.
Plan to stand up and fully own and inhabit your presentation.
If there are more than 3-4 people in your audience you will have a much greater impact in a room.
Yes, it’s true that sometimes you will be on a client’s site and there may be physical limitations. But be brave and take control.
Do whatever you need to investigate the room setup and technology in advance. It requires a quick call ahead of time, but it will send a clear message to your prospective client that you are focused on their meeting and giving them your full commitment.
Standing up does not mean you are formal. If you maintain a conversational style, you will be more memorable and professional.
Three-Word Takeaway: Stand and Deliver
7. Thinking Rehearsal is for Rookies
When we explain to our sales clients the importance of rehearsal, they look at us like we are crazy. Often they say “you don’t understand how busy we are” ! Wrong, we understand very well, we work with hundred of sales executives yearly. We also know how decisions are made by your clients and we know what a polished, confident presenter can achieve. So, imagine taking 30 minutes over the course of a few days, practicing your message aloud (not in your head pressing the slideshow button). This rehearsal will ensure you are confident, concise and polished – now that is priceless.
“Rehearse your message aloud at least three times – even if it’s in the car on the way to the meeting”
Three-Word Takeaway: Practice Makes Perfect
8. Playing the Blame Game
When we don’t secure the contract or business after a meeting or sales presentation, there are of course many reasons, but don’t jump to conclusions and blame (1) a biased member in the audience, (2) a product, (3) competitor advantage, (4) some other external factor. You must always ask yourself what you could have done differently, it is vital to do a debrief and self reflect:
Did you consider the client’s needs/challenges and create a compelling message for them?
Did you prepare relevant, tailored and memorable content for your audience?
Did you plan effectively and rehearse ahead of the meeting?
Did you have slides that were relevant to your client?
If you are answering “no” to any of these, then you need to re-assess, get feedback from the client or your colleagues and take ownership of your sales presentations. If you do you will have a much greater chance of securing that 6 figure contract.
Three-Word Takeaway: No More Blame
There you have it.
Eight things to bring into your sales presentation techniques to bring you so much closer to six-figure contracts.
Here’s a quick recap.
Get Outside Yourself
No Winging It
Don’t Do Boring
Ten Minutes (Tops!)
Watch Your Language
Stand and Deliver
Practice Makes Perfect
No More Blame
Finally, remember this.
Presentation skills are a muscle.
It responds to constant work. So NEVER stop developing your presentation muscle.
If you are an experienced sales presenter and have had great success, well done to you!
If, on the other hand, you want to stand out among today’s busy decision makers by presenting effectively to secure that contract, know that this is a skill that can be learned and practised.
At ConfidentSpeak we teach you how to use these skills and techniques to get the results you want, and we have designed a dedicated “Sales Communication Bootcamp” especially for Sales Executives.
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Would you like to be able to communicate with credibility and confidence? Imagine instantly improving any presentation or speech. Our Vocal Presence Programme is designed to help you do just that. Read on for more.
By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak
Imagine yourself instantly improving any presentation or speech, simply by you controlling your voice deliberately and then imagine consciously using your voice as an effective communication tool is a skill.
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Want 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.
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