It’s our favourite time of year again and as the CS team wrap things up for Christmas (both literally and figuratively speaking:) we’d like to take a moment to say to all of our clients, Thank You For Choosing Us And Making Us Part Of Your Journey!
We feel privileged to work with people, every day, who make our job so interesting; and who make what we do so very worthwhile!
So whether you’ve worked with us in the past, are considering working with us in the future, or are just shooting the breeze browsing our blog; we would like to wish you all a Wonderful Christmas And A Peaceful New Year 2020!
Ps In keeping with CS tradition, here is one of our favourite Irish Christmas adverts. Check out the vocal delivery!
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Christmas.png476850Ariadne Laurennshttps://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngAriadne Laurenns2019-12-20 10:00:322019-12-20 11:35:58A Christmas Message From The ConfidentSpeak Crew!
Mark Twain once said ‘There are two kinds of speakers in the world: Those who get nervous and those who are liars..’ And he wouldn’t be far off. Everyone gets a dose of presentation nerves, some just hide it better than others! Even the greatest orator in history Marcus Tullius Cicero once ran from the forum where he was set to speak because he was terrified with nerves.
TED coaches, CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, even presidents get nervous. But the trick is to look and sound cool, calm, and collected even when you’re not feeling the love.
Cicero knew that you have to “fake it ‘till you make it”, but it’s actually more than that; it’s fake it until you become it. Unless you’re soaked in sweat and physically unable to speak, audiences don’t know what you don’t tell them.
The ancient Romans and Greeks invented this kind of thinking; they called the art of oratory actio as in ‘acting’. A speaker is an actor, and the best actors are the ones who are most truthful, convincing, and authentic on stage.
These ancient orators also knew about nerves and that they can be an important part of pumping up your energy before you go on, and, if managed properly, you can channel that energy to give your performance passion, charisma, and memorability.
People won’t be able to take their eyes off you and they may not even know why. Here’s Cicero’s 5 Cannons and how they can help you knock it out of the park even when you’re feeling like you can’t even suit up to bat.
The 5 Canons
Cicero, that great orator, came up with five aspects of giving a great speech or ‘Canons’. There’s no substitute to combat presentation nerves than being well prepared and he was the king of relentless preparation and practice, as he was taught by his Greek tutors.
Cicero’s canons are thus:
Invention, Style, Memory, Arrangement, Delivery.
1. Invention: The Hook
This is the nugget of what you want to say. It’s the distilled essence of what your speech or presentation is all about and why people should listen.
It’s usually around 40 words or less and about 12 seconds, roughly the length of a human breath, and it is one sentence. But that’s it!
Brevity is beauty. Keep it simple and keep it short and audiences will love you for it.
2. Arrangement: Road Map The Journey Of A Presentation
Before you open PowerPoint, sit down and map out your story. Every speech or presentation is a story that has a beginning, middle, and end, and once you’ve got that clear, it’s time to open PowerPoint and see what you need to support and illustrate your message that will add colour, texture, and memorability.
Story first, PowerPoint after. This will ensure you are clear in your journey and will help you avoid using PowerPoint as a report or crutch.
3. Style: Channel Your Inner Obama
Everybody has their own style and in order to develop that style, watch as many people as you can give presentations and speeches. What are they doing well? Using pace, pause, pitch, volume?
Observe what they’re doing that works and, equally importantly, what doesn’t. Steal from the best and leave the rest. As you practice and video yourself, you’ll begin to discover and develop your own style.
No two speakers are the same so don’t worry about being like someone else. Remember, it’s about being the best YOU, not becoming someone else.
Great sources are Youtube, TEDtalks, and people at your own company or place of work.
4. Memory: Build Your Palace! It Helps Reduce Presentation Nerves
Presentation nerves are often brought on by that fear of forgetting. Mnemonics is the learning of techniques to aid in human memory. A mnemonic device could be an acronym or image that helps you to associate information and recall it more efficiently.
The Roman orators often used the image of a palace or great house with many rooms where they attributed sections of their speeches to different rooms in order to remember the information better.
5. Delivery: Bring It On, Superman
After you do your warm up (and everybody does something), the last thing you do is stand with your feet wide apart and hands on hips a la Superman/Wonder Woman and smile (master of all your survey)
It will help banish those presentation nerves and give you a sense of expansion, positivity, and being grounded.
Then, picture your audience and send out a thought of generosity, ‘I love you guys!’ and make it all about them, not you.
So take it from the guys who started it all and use the five canons and take heed of Cicero;
‘Whatever you do, do it with all your might.’
It’s all there for the taking so practice, practice, practice and give it your best shot. The worst thing that can happen is you try and fail, so try and fail again, and then try again.
“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 programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.”
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/5-canons.jpg7681024adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152019-03-25 15:58:362019-03-25 15:58:36Cicero' s 5 Canons Of A Great Speech Still Relevant? Try Them To Help Banish Presentation Nerves
We’ve all been there. You’re sitting in the conference room for a business presentation and you start to nod off. You zone out, you’ve stopped listening to the person up at the top of the room giving the presentation. Here are five key business presentation skills you can learn so that you can captivate your audience of staff or potential clients when it’s your turn to give one.
By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak
You know what a boring business presentation is like to sit through.
When the speaker’s voice has become so dull and annoying that it starts to sound like a mosquito buzzing in your ear.
But are you aware of the pitfalls so that you can avoid them next them you stand up to deliver a presentation?
Follow these five steps to avoid the Death by Monotony presentation.
First: How to Know What Makes a Boring Business Presentation
So what’s happening?
Most of the time this unfortunate situation arises because the presenter has fallen into the Monotony Trap.
They speak from one place in their voice in one rhythm and don’t vary either one at all, and this happens without them even knowing it.
Now, this could be someone your know. It could—let’s face it—even be you and you don’t even know it.
A monotone vocal delivery is one of the worst sins and most common mistakes you can make when it comes to public speaking. Luckily, there are lots of skills and voice coaching techniques you can implement to prevent it.
Here are just a few tips you can use to stay out of the monotony trap and keep your audience interested and engaged.
The Five Key Business Presentation Skills, 1: Vary Your Pitch
Here’s one basic fact of physiology.
The ear needs to be entertained and kept interested
So first off, vary your pitch.
Pitch is your vocal range, it’s the movement in tone between the top of your vocal range and the bottom and everywhere in between. (We’ve written a whole article on pitch range and its importance here.)
As children, we naturally have a varied vocal range. As we learn to speak we explore the range of sound our voices can make.
Then as we grow older, something happens. We start to have opinions and start editing ourselves. We start to become self-conscious.
One big mistake we make is thinking that a deep, weighty, monotonous tone for credibility, maturity and gravity.
In short, we stop using the full range of our voices.
Experiment with your vocal range—it’s there for a reason. Remember that the ear needs to be entertained and kept interested so change it up, vary your tone, and use the full range of your vocal pitches.
Here’s a great example:
The Five Key Business Presentation Skills, 2: Do Not Underestimate the Power Of Articulation & Pace
Next, make sure you’re articulating and speaking clearly and slowly.
It may seem obvious but do not underestimate the power of clarity.
We may have heard our message a hundred times but we forget our audience is hearing it for the first time. Everyone can afford to slow down their delivery.
We often rush and end up mumbling our words together because we want to get through the material as quickly as possible or are afraid of forgetting what we have to say next.
Think into your consonants, breathe, and you will slow down. This eliminates rushing and your audience will thank you for it.
The Five Key Business Presentation Skills, 3: Use of Pause
Pause is perhaps the most effective and underused of voice coaching techniques.
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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.
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!
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.
For your next presentation, accept the silence.
Try this useful Tempo Technique to engage your audience
Speed up the tempo before you make that important point
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.
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
What are power words, and
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
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.
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
ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.
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https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/christmas-2892235_1920-Custom.png450800adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152017-12-22 09:21:302019-02-21 11:43:48As 2017 Comes To A Close We Have A Little Christmas Message To Share With You
Brene Brown is an Internet phenomenon. Her speeches have been viewed tens of millions of times on YouTube, TED and elsewhere online. But just what is it about Brene Brown that makes her talks so compelling? I want to share with you what can be learnt from her presenting style that will help you also become a confident presenter and perhaps transform how you approach your next presentation. Here we break down the key things to take away from Brene Brown’s confidence, to help you become a better speaker, presenter and communicator.
By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak
Firstly, who is Brene Brown?
Brene Brown is a researcher of shame, vulnerability, courage and empathy.
Like, there’s not many of those people around, right?!
She is also the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers.
But the real reason I’ve put this blog together is because Brown is a stunningly powerful presenter. Brene Brown’s confidence on stage is a sight to behold. Here we analyse why.
Brene Brown’s Confidence is Based on Wholehearted Living and Wholehearted Presenting
One important thing to know about Brown’s teachings is that she speaks about wholehearted living.
This roughly translates to:
By accepting vulnerability in our lives we can live more meaningful, more connected, successful lives.
Her research is based on following 10 guideposts which she urges us to practice daily.
But does she practice these guideposts when she speaks to her audiences?
In short, is Brene Brown a wholehearted presenter?
The answer is “Hell Yes!”
And you can learn so much from her if you want to connect in an authentic way with your audience.
Let’s discuss a number of her 10 guideposts in the context of her presentation approach, so that you too can bring Brene Brown’s confidence into your own presentations.
Guidepost 1: Cultivating Authenticity– Letting go of what people think
‘‘To be willing to let go of who you think you should be, to be able to connect” Brene Brown
Brown communicates with her audience as if she’s having a chat over coffee.
She talks in an authentic, conversational easy way. She has the courage to be herself (in true Texan fashion), to “show up authentically”, no pretense, no facade.
To adopt Brene Brown’s confidence and become a more powerful, impactful, confident presenter, we need to let go of what others might think of us—our colleagues or managers.
You need to have the courage to show up for your presentation as your true self, not trying to be something you are not—this honesty connects powerfully with any audience.
Guideposts 2 & 3:Cultivating Self-Compassion– Letting go of perfectionism, and Cultivating A Resilient Spirit– Letting go of numbing and powerlessness
Brown’s TEDx talk—“The Power of Vulnerability”—was originally going to be named something like “Variables Mitigating Self Actualising”.
Which begs the question: why the change?
Well, how often do we intellectualise our language? Speaking in conceptual language stifles audiences.
Why do we do it?
In truth, we do it to protect ourselves, to appear like we are worthy and perfect. We put “armour” on—complex language, or a data dump on a PowerPoint slide—to protect ourselves from being vulnerable.
We strip the humanness from our presentations, and this results in numbing and stifling both presenter and audience.
By allowing self-compassion (as Brene does in her talks) we allow ourselves the permission to be imperfect in our presenting. This allows us to show vulnerability, to show emotion when we speak, whether that’s fear, anger or asking for help if we need it.
By allowing this self-compassion, a presenter becomes more resilient as a result. And ultimately creates a more honest, authentic, stronger relationship with the audience.
Guideposts 4 & 5: Cultivating Gratitude and Joy—Letting go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark, and Cultivating Meaningful Work—Letting go of Self-Doubt
Brown refers to scarcity as a mindset of “never enough, never perfect enough, never relevant enough…”
Many presenters live in constant scarcity, or what some people might recognise as “imposter syndrome”.
Brown admits to working daily to overcome her scarcity self-talk and to conquer her “imposter syndrome”.
Moving from “I am not worthy” to I am worthy and enough. In the context of becoming a confident presenter, we need to let go of our scarcity self-talk. This is a huge factor to overcoming fear/lack of confidence when presenting.
Guidepost 6: Cultivating Creativity – “Stories are just data with a soul”
One of the most striking things about Brown is the skill with which she weaves years of research with her personal, vulnerable, honest stories—both funny and painful.
I just love the quote: “Stories are just data with a soul.”
The vulnerability in her stories, metaphors and analogies resonate very strongly with her audience.
Stories help audiences to remember important points and they also build that important empathy with listeners.
In order to connect with audiences, there needs to be a balance of Evidence-Based-Content (Head content) mixed with emotive content (Heart content). Brown achieves this balance perfectly. This results in a fully engaged audience when presenting.
Throwing data coldly at audiences will numb them, and yet we see this all the time.
So I strongly encourage you on your journey be becoming a confident presenter that you close your laptop, get pen and paper out or go for a walk.
Get creative, brave, and playful with your presentation content. This is powerful and I would say mandatory to fully engage your audiences.
Guidepost 8: Cultivating Calm and Stillness
This one is, I believe, absolutely essential to becoming a confident presenter.
Listen to Brene Brown speak (I’ve included the videos at the bottom).
There is no rush, no anxiety, no sense of urgency. She pauses, to think and reflect.
Now this is confident presenting.
She’s not distracted with whatever content is coming next. She’s not worried about “getting through” her content. She remains present with what she is speaking about.
Of course she has researched and prepared her talk.
But she is also a big believer in the power of meditation and the importance of breathing, and we experience this as she speaks. Working to understand the role breath plays is vital to help connect with both our content and our audience.
Guidepost 10: Cultivating Laughter, Play, Intuition, Trust – Letting go Being Cool and “Always in Control”
Brown has fun in her presentations, and as a result the audience has fun.
She laughs at her stories, she laughs at herself!
Whilst her content is grounded in strong evidence, she allows herself not to take herself too seriously.
She doesn’t rely heavily on a script or slides, and she reacts to her audience’s reactions throughout. She “lets go of total control and certainty” – not totally but just enough!
Conclusion: How to Gain Confidence from Wholehearted Presenting
Implementing all of this in your own talks, speeches and presentations is easier said than done, of course, but as we’ve seen from Brown, weaving personal stories through your talks certainly makes it easier.
To reach the level of confidence embodied by Brene Brown requires preparation, practice and BRAVERY, but when achieved it will totally captivate an audience.
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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
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.)
Why not take a moment to listen to Bertie himself in action.
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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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Confident or arrogant? Charismatic or vulgar? Inspirational or embarrassing? Whatever your feelings about Conor McGregor, the Irish combat fighter is without doubt a top-class communicator. But what makes him so? With millions of fans hanging on his every word, it has to be worth exploring further. Here are six things Conor McGregor does right when he gets in front of an audience.
By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak
I was in my hairdressers a few years ago, having the “holiday conversation”.
You know the one? Where did you go, where did she go, etc.
So she told me she was just back from Vegas, where she was supporting her friend Conor McGregor at a boxing event. Back then I had no idea who he was, so she explained.
A few years later, and Conor McGregor is probably Ireland’s biggest export! He has made world success, riches, fame and power (and one hell of a swagger).
There is no question he is hugely successful at what he does for a living – although I’m still not sure exactly what that is. Something in a cage with very few rules, which all looks a bit nasty!
In 2017 McGregor got into a Las Vegas ring to fight the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather. Even making that fight was an incredible achievement in itself, given that the American was seen as an all-time great, unbeaten after 49 fights, and McGregor had never fought a professional boxing match before and was moving across from the world of Mixed Martial Arts for the occasion.
Three press conferences with 50,000 people in attendance – it’s impressive!
When was the last time three press conferences had an attendance of close to 50,000 people, with millions more tuning in online? Not ever, I expect.
I happened to be passing a television during the live London “McGregor v Mayweather” press conference and got lured in. (McGregor gets the microphone at around 16 minutes…)
So, from this press conference, what is it about Conor McGregor from a communication perspective that seems to engage and capture people? Let’s take this press conference and try and break it down.
You might even pick up a trick or two. You may not like him, but hold the thought.
1. Conor McGregor Shows up Authentically
Conor McGregor is truly and unapologetically himself, unfiltered. Whether or not you are a fan of him, the reality is that any audience will connect and engage with people who are truly themselves.
Yes, there is certainly showmanship, but there is no denying that what you see is what you get. When you deliver a business presentation, how authentic are you with your audience? Or do you drop into “presenter mode”?
Because, from my experience, so many do.
2. Conor McGregor Oozes Vocal Confidence
If you place your personal opinion of his “message to the world” aside for a moment, you cannot avoid the fact that he is incredibly focused on what he is saying.
It is delivered with absolute confidence and conviction. There is more often than not composure to his delivery. And dare I say it, with the exception a few questionable consonant misplacements, there is clarity in his delivery!
He has great use of pause, pace, vocal range. Whatever the result of their actual bout in the ring a few weeks later, here on the stage he simply outshines his “co-performer” Mr Mayweather. He “owns his space” vocally. I’m not saying shouting and aggression makes a great communicator, but I believe there are strong qualities to his delivery that are worth being aware of.
As people presenting in a business context know, vocal confidence is key. How often do you sit through presentations listening to a presenter delivering a monotonous, lifeless presentation and wishing you were somewhere else? Vocal confidence is not only key it is essential to succeed in business communication.
3. The McGregor Speaking Equation: Energy + Performance = Excitement
McGregor simply has bucket loads of energy and excitement – both physically and vocally. He understands that for public speaking engagements – he needs to raise his game in terms of energy. Yes, lots of shouting (which I’m not advocating), but he’s speaking to his audience, and the audience in his case are not complaining.
What can I say, he’s a performer and his has a captive audience. As a communicator, he elicits a state of energy within his audience.
And you know what?
Energy is contagious. Watch how he can lift his audience into a state of excitement, watch how he can equally enrage them seemingly so easily. He understands that he has the ability (and responsibility) to instil emotion or energy in the audience.
An audience wants to be entertained, and part of the entertainment comes from a presenter’s ability to evoke emotional states within the audience.
There is no denying McGregor can achieve this.
All too often presenters give little consideration to emotion in their presentation, in other words how you want your audience to feel within business presentations is ignored.
4. He Encourages Audience Participation
Watch how the audience follow his commands.
These commands are delivered very clearly, simply and with passion. If an audience is ♦following commands from a speaker, it means they are listening, it means they are following a presenter, it means the presenter has strong rapport with his audience. McGregor, is in control, he is leading his audience.
As he gives commands to his audience, he builds strong rapport. It would be interesting to study his language further, from a NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) perspective.
5. He *Loves* His Audience (Almost As Much As He Loves Himself!)
Conor McGregor’s messaging is tailored precisely for his audience. He speaks to his audience in their language.
He wants them to be part of the show. He includes them. His audience is at the heart of his messaging all the time and they love it.
Let me ask you this.
How tailored is your message for your audience?
Do you keep your audience at the heart of everything you say?
If you are appalled by Conor McGregor’s message and language and style, guess what?
You are not his chosen audience!
6. He Is Clearly Massively Prepared
I suspect that Conor McGregor practices, rehearses and hones everything he does until he feels confident.
He focuses this mind on a successful outcome and eliminates any self-limiting beliefs.
I have no doubt he prepares for success when he’s communicating too. That is evidenced by everything about his performance above.
When you are preparing for an important sales pitch or upcoming presentation, what is your preparation strategy for success?
Do you have one?
I would urge you to look at Conor McGregor at little closer.
If you don’t like him, that’s ok. Lots of people don’t!
But you can still learn from him and study what he is doing.
Maybe don’t replicate exactly everything about his delivery—I probably don’t need to say that!—but do create your own unique style by doing the following.
Present with Authenticity
Build Your Vocal Confidence
Bring Energy to Your Performance
Encourage Some Audience Interactivity
Know (and Love!) Your Audience
Prepare for Success
Conor McGregor is captivating millions of people the world over, so he is worthy of studying from a communication perspective.
And have fun doing it!
ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Boxing-Gloves.jpg32643921adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152017-08-15 12:00:012018-07-31 09:43:27Be a Master Communicator Like Conor McGregor, In Six Easy Steps
We’ve been talking about the link between breathing and the ability to speak with power and confidence since the very first day we started ConfidentSpeak. A recent article from Harvard Business Review backs up everything we’ve been saying.
2. How performance is performance (whether it’s singing or speaking)
As a former opera singer, I know how much breathing affects how a voice sounds. Singers must use deep breathing in order to project a strong voice across a crowded auditorium to reach every single person in the audience. I never thought that this skill would help me once I left the field of opera — until I had to give my first speech. Then, I realized how much my operatic training made me a powerful public speaker.
4. How often you should breath in order to learn to speak with power
How often should you breathe? At the very least, at the end of every sentence! If you are prone to rushing through your speech or presentation, then practice breathing at every punctuation mark — it will force you to slow down.
5. Why it’s about optimising your voice, not changing it
It’s not about trying to sound like someone else; it’s about giving your voice the richness and fullness it deserves every single time you speak in public, so that the power of your voice matches the power of your words. If you do that, people will listen.
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/cassandra-hamer-470060-unsplash-w600.jpg902600adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152015-07-24 10:16:262018-08-08 15:45:38How to Use Breathing to Speak with Power and Confidence