Speak to Your Audience Needs & Grow your Business

Date posted: July 8, 2013 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Planning

by Allan Kaufman

Kathie is a financial planner. She consulted with me on how she could stand out from all other financial planners. I suggested that she follow one of our No Sweat Speaking™ strategies. Identify a niche audience. Then, customize her subject matter into a presentation that would meet the needs of this niche market. In other words, speak to what her audience needs. She chose speaking and consulting to women as her niche.

Why is this strategy a good idea for Kathie?

It separates her from others in her field. It also establishes her as the expert in her field when delivering presentations to women’s groups.

So if you want to be unique and to grow your business, consider customizing your presentation to satisfy what your audience needs.

Follow this three-step approach.

Step 1 — Analyze your audience.

Step 2 — Identify what your audience needs.

Step 3 — Adapt your subject to satisfy the specific needs of your audience.

Getting back to Kathie, her subject is financial planning. She could give the same canned presentation to every audience. Many financial planners do. But to stand out, she is creating subset presentations geared specifically for different audiences.

Here’s how she could customize her talk to better meet the needs of all-women audiences:

Step 1 — Analyze Her Audience.

First, she knows that the audience consists of women. What ages of women are expected to be there? Younger women have different needs than older women.

What is the income level of the expected audience? Women with greater incomes and assets have different needs than women with lower incomes.

What is the average educational level of the audience? Kathie can ask the group president or program chairperson for answers to these questions.

Step 2 — Identify What Her Audience Needs.

Now that she has analyzed her audience, she can better identify their needs.

For example, older women may be newly divorced or widowed. They may have depended on their husbands to handle all or most of the financial aspects of their lives such as investments, insurance, wills, etc. These women will greatly appreciate the advice of a friendly, supportive and informative financial advisor.

Single women in their twenties may be on their own with their own incomes. They may need assistance on how to invest for the future, how to save to buy a house, the importance of having a will, etc.

Some married women may want to learn how to be more informed and educated about financial matters so that they are not dependent on their husbands.

Another way for Kathie to identify what her audience needs is to prepare a short questionnaire. Next, she would get a list of all or a sample of some of the expected audience members. Then, she would survey them to find out what their needs are.

Step 3 — Adapt Her Subject to Satisfy the Specific Needs of Her Audience.

Finally, Kathie can pick and choose those subtopics of her expertise to meet the specific needs of her audience. When speaking to older women, Kathie might focus on how to budget, and how to determine cash flow. She also might highlight how to make investments for now and the future, and the need for different types of insurance. If these women have children, then some discussion about college costs may be appropriate.

In summary, Kathie will be speaking to what her audience needs. She will analyze her audience, identify their needs and adapt her expertise to meet these needs. By doing so, she will have a presentation that will be much more meaningful and valuable.

Kathie will establish herself as an expert in the field of financial matters. Once she demonstrates to her audience the importance of having a financial planner in their corner, she will pick up a lot more clients every time she delivers her presentation.

You can do the same thing that Kathie is doing. First, analyze your audience. Second, identify what your audience needs. And third, adapt your subject to meet the specific needs of your audience. Take these three steps, and watch your business grow.

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NSS Roasting and Toasting eBook CoverEvery presenter should have this insanely affordable resource in his and her public speaking personal library, Allan Kaufman’s new eBook on Amazon: No Sweat Speaking’s Guide to Roasting & Toasting—How to Roast and Toast Your Business/Work Associate, Best Friend, Aunt, Nephew, Sister, Brother-in-Law or Dad on his/her Birthday, Retirement, Anniversary or Promotion.

In No Sweat Speaking’s Guide to Roasting & Toasting, you will discover roasting points, toasting tips and sample roasts. All you have to do is follow the guidelines, take some of the jokes and stories, modify them for your honoree, add personal stories that you research from close friends and relatives and/or make up and let it rip. Just follow Allan’s formula and you can be the roast and toast person in your family and network of friends and business associates.

If you are serious about being a presenter, you need to hone your toasting and roasting skills. You need to add No Sweat Speaking’s Guide to Roasting & Toasting to your personal public speaking library. So click on over to Amazon and grab a copy of No Sweat Speaking’s Guide to Roasting & Toasting.

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How to Use Presentation Notes Effectively

Date posted: June 10, 2013 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Presentation Delivery

by Allan Kaufman and Allan Misch

Did you ever see presenters who write a presentation in long hand, single-spaced, double-sided, with all the pages stapled together? During the presentation, they stop because they can’t read their handwriting, or they lose their place. Throughout the presentation, you see their presentation notes as they turn the pages. This is surely the sign of unskilled speakers.

Most presenters don’t know how to use presentation notes properly. Here are recommendations for using presentation notes that don’t detract from your presentation.

Using Presentation Notes on 8-1/2″ x 11″ Paper

Type your presentation notes on one side of the page. Use at least a 14-point font. Double-space or triple-space your lines. Put only one thought in each paragraph. Underline in red the key phrase in each paragraph. Put a page number in the upper right corner of each page. Do not staple your presentation notes together; use a paper clip.

At the lectern, place page 1 on the left and pages 2, 3, 4, etc. on the right with page 2 on top. Begin your presentation with pages 1 and 2 in front of you. As you finish page 1, look at page 2.

Begin page 2. Then, slide it to the left onto page 1. Now you have pages 2 and 3 in front of you. When you finish page 2, look at page 3 and slide it onto page 2, revealing page 4. Continue this process until you finish. When you use this system, your audience will not see your presentation notes throughout the presentation.

Using Presentation Notes on Index Cards

Use index cards instead of 8-1/2″ x 11″ paper, when you give a short presentation or one with which you are very familiar. Put key words and phrases on the index cards.

Put one key word or phrase in large type on each card. Number the cards on the top, right corner.

Another option is to create a short keyword outline on one index card in portrait mode. Use a font between 10 to 14 points for the text.

Using a Lectern or Portfolio

If a lectern is unavailable, use a portfolio. Put your notes in the portfolio until you are ready to speak. Use the same process for moving the pages as described above. Your gestures may be inhibited, but if you need your notes, you must make do with what you have.

Consider investing in a portable lectern to keep in your vehicle’s trunk. You can purchase one for around $50. You can buy a nice portfolio for about $15.

Using presentation notes is appropriate. When you do use them, follow our system. Your audience will not be distracted by your presentation notes. You will be more comfortable and confident using your notes. And you will appear to be a polished and skilled presenter.

If you have additional strategies and techniques for using presentation notes effectively, please share them in the comments section.

———-

Every presenter should have this insanely affordable resource in his and her public speaking personal library, Allan Kaufman’s new eBook on Amazon: No Sweat Speaking’s Guide to Roasting & Toasting—How to Roast and Toast Your Business/Work Associate, Best Friend, Aunt, Nephew, Sister, Brother-in-Law or Dad on his/her Birthday, Retirement, Anniversary or Promotion.

In No Sweat Speaking’s Guide to Roasting & Toasting, you will discover roasting points, toasting tips and sample roasts. All you have to do is follow the guidelines, take some of the jokes and stories, modify them for your honoree, add personal stories that you research from close friends and relatives and/or make up and let it rip. Just follow Allan’s formula and you can be the roast and toast person in your family and network of friends and business associates.

If you are serious about being a presenter, you need to hone your toasting and roasting skills. You need to add No Sweat Speaking’s Guide to Roasting & Toasting to your personal public speaking library. So click on over to Amazon and grab a copy of No Sweat Speaking’s Guide to Roasting & Toasting.

Here’s the link –> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D7H342O/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_ask_Gn7gF.0DT1TZX

How to Bring Out Your Hidden Presentation Skills

Date posted: May 15, 2013 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Presentation Delivery

Most of us have the presentation skills that we need to present effectively. Unfortunately, they are hidden and lie dormant in our subconscious. The important task, then, is to bring them into our conscious awareness and use them.

Most people do not know how to do this. Instead, they reinforce the inaccurate belief that they cannot be animated, gesture effectively, vocalize with variety, be funny, move purposefully and vary their facial expressions.

Fake It ‘Till You Make It and Reveal Your Hidden Presentation Skills

A powerful strategy that reveals your hidden presentation skills is “Fake It ‘Till You Make It.” Here’s how Allan Kaufman recently demonstrated this technique.

He called up several people from the audience, one at a time, to speak impromptu for 1 to 2-1/2 minutes. He gave each a topic that was not difficult to talk about.

Learning how to give impromptu presentations effectively is one of the important presentation skills to master. It is very useful if you are being interviewed for a job or your boss suddenly asks you to speak at a meeting.

Allan first asked each speaker to identify two of his or her weakest presentation skills such as vocal variety, eye contact, use of gestures, being enthusiastic, giving an organized presentation, getting the audience involved, etc.

Then he asked each to identify two presenters who s/he believed were strong in the areas in which s/he was weak. The two presenters could be part of a group known to the audience or public personalities.

He had each concentrate on his and her weak public speaking skill areas and emulate one of the two strong speakers each had listed. He said to each participant, “Address the topic as if you are the speaker you named answering it.”

The first impromptu speaker said that she was weak in the use of vocal variety and demonstrating enthusiasm. The person who she thought was strong in those areas was Bob Harris, a member of the audience. So Allan said, “Bob is strong in vocal variety and enthusiasm. So for the next two minutes, pretend you are Bob doing this impromptu topic.”

After each participant spoke, Allan asked for feedback from the audience on how well that speaker did. Did s/he demonstrate effective use of the public speaking skill s/he was weak in? How so? What could s/he have done better? Everyone got involved and it was an eye-opening learning session.

The Amazing Hidden Presentation Skills Discovery

The results were astounding. Participants who usually spoke quietly and with very little enthusiasm spoke up and were excited. They could do this because they presented as if they were someone else. Each participant’s weak areas improved.

The exercise demonstrated that the speakers really had the presentation skills within them. They just were not aware they had them. During the impromptu talks, the participants discovered the presentation skills that they had hidden.

Allan said to the audience, “Now you know you can speak with enthusiasm, with vocal variety, with gestures. You just demonstrated it. Now do it as you. Fake it until it becomes the natural thing for you to do. If you must, pretend you are someone else when you are speaking. Model his or her behavior until it becomes yours.”

So if you want to discover the hidden qualities that outstanding presenters have, identify your weak areas and model someone who is strong in those areas. Soon, you will exhibit the modeled speaking behavior, the public speaking skill,  in your own style. In other words…

Fake it ’til you make it!

If you have discovered other ways to unleash your hidden presentation skills, please share them in the comments.

———-

Authors: Allan Kaufman and Allan Misch
©Allan Kaufman and Allan Misch, 2013. All rights reserved.

———-

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Public Speaking Tip: The Three “B’s” to Present Effectively

Date posted: April 25, 2013 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Preparation

by Allan Misch

“I have to give a presentation on my division’s new problem tracking system to the executive staff next week. I don’t know what I can say. I’m fairly new to the division and just learning about the system. My boss thought it would be a good opportunity for me to get some visibility and learn about the system. They’ll think I’m incompetent. I hate giving any presentation. It turns my stomach into knots.”

That’s part of what a coaching client, Dennis, said to me, and it got me thinking. Dennis lacked the Three “B’s.” If a speaker wants to present effectively, s/he must apply the Three “B’s.” — Be Fearless, Be Enthusiastic and Be Prepared.

Be Fearless

Public speaking fear prevents skill development. It’s difficult to learn and apply basic, intermediate and advanced presentation skills when you’re mostly concerned about “getting through” the presentation without stammering uncontrollably, going completely blank or panicking.

Consider how a child develops its ability to run. First, it masters getting up on all “fours.” Then it learns to crawl. Feeling more confident, it stands up holding on to something. Next, it eventually lets go and teeters on both legs. Soon, it takes its first few steps. Then, it begins to walk. Finally, it picks up the pace and runs… and doesn’t stop running.

So you have to be able to crawl before you can run. In presenting, you have to be confident before your brain will let you concentrate fully on learning presentation skills such as how to use vocal variety, move with purpose and handle a microphone.

Public speaking fear also leaves a negative perception in the minds of your audience. This could be more devastating to your career then a lack of skill. A bad impression affects your credibility and ability to establish rapport. It puts you on the outside looking in, a place you don’t want to be at.

If you dread public speaking, discover what is causing your public speaking fear. Usually, it is caused by:

Then, find a public speaking coach or other professional with a method or process, such as the No Sweat Speaking™ System, that can help you alleviate your presentation anxiety.

Be Enthusiastic

The author James Baldwin said, “Fires can’t be made with dead embers.” You cannot convince or persuade anyone if your message lacks conviction and your presentation lacks enthusiasm.

My county council was holding hearings on rezoning farm land for residential development. An attorney for the developers testified. He was well organized and presented his clients’ case logically. But he delivered his presentation in a matter-of-fact tone. It lacked excitement and conviction.

Next, a farmer testified. He was nervous and not well organized. But he spoke with strong conviction, sincerity, passion and enthusiasm, urging the council not to rezone the land.

In the end, the council voted not to rezone. I’m sure his enthusiastic testimony had a positive effect on the outcome.

So if you don’t feel enthusiastic about your presentation, find some part of it that you can get excited about. Feel that excitement and let it permeate the rest of your presentation.

Be Prepared

Speech preparation involves developing presentation skills. That’s your long term preparation goal. But speech preparation also involves learning your subject, gathering strategic information about your audience and their needs, organizing your briefing and practicing it.

Once you’ve replaced public speaking fear with confidence, excitement and enthusiasm about your presentation, speech preparation accounts for about 80 percent of your presentation. Delivery accounts for the rest.

Dennis lacked the Three “B’s.” He suffered from fears and anxieties that manifested as public speaking fear. He wasn’t enthusiastic about his upcoming speaking opportunity to leave a positive impression with his executive staff. And he was unprepared to give the briefing.

He convinced his boss to postpone the briefing. With focused coaching, he was able to conquer his public speaking fear and reduce his stress. He became enthusiastic about the opportunity his boss gave him, and prepared appropriately. His briefing was a success and led to greater confidence and skill as a presenter and leader.

So if you want to present effectively, apply the Three “B’s.” Be Fearless. Be Enthusiastic. And Be Prepared.

Public Speaking Tip: Two Easy Ways to Use Humor in Your Presentations

Date posted: April 25, 2013 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Humor

by Allan Misch

The Best Humor for Business Presentations

Most business presentations are designed to inform and/or to persuade. They tend to be serious. Yet to be successful, a presentation should engage its listeners in varying intensity.

That’s where well-placed, light humor comes in. Here’s where a personal anecdote can be your friend. Relate a short, lightly humorous, personal experience to illustrate your point.

For example, in a program for managers, I make the point that it’s important to maintain a humorous perspective. I tell them about the time my then five-year-old daughter and I went to the Washington Zoo. At a lemonade stand, I ordered a large lemonade.

My daughter said, “Daddy, I shouldn’t get a large lemonade.”

I said, “Why not?”

She said, “Because I’ll get a lemon ache!”

She put two concepts together (lemonade and stomach ache) to come up with a combined funny concept, lemon ache. She was able to do this because I fostered in her a humor consciousness.

Make use of the best humor for business presentations, personal anecdotes. Keep them short, and relate them to your points.

A Laugh that’s So Easy to Get Even Your Boss Can Do It

Here’s a sure-fire way to punch up your presentation. And it’s so easy to do a knucklehead can do it—even your boss. Use another’s humorous words, but do it without plagiarizing. Here’s how . . . . Quote them!

For example, if you were giving a talk on the subject of death and dying, you could begin this way. “Woody Allen said, ‘I do not believe in a life after death, although I am bringing a change of underwear.’ We all need to prepare for the eventual . . . .”

Or if you’re giving a program on leadership, you can begin or end by saying, “As Lewis Grizzard said, ‘Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes.'”

So use humorous quotes in your presentation. Just make sure you attribute the quote. You’ll get laughs, you won’t have to work hard for them, and it’s so easy to do even your boss can do it.

Get Public Speaking Insurance

Date posted: August 20, 2012 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Planning

by Allan Kaufman, DTM, MBA

“Learning to communicate is like taking out an insurance policy. You never know when you’ll need it, but it’s too late to take it out after you need it.”
(Allan Kaufman as quoted in Baltimore Magazine)

Years ago, I received a phone call from Baltimore Magazine. Someone gave them my name as an expert in the art of public speaking and they wanted to interview me. The above quote came from that interview.

Do you own insurance? Most of us do in some form or another.

We own car insurance. In most states in the USA, it is mandatory if we want to own and register a car. Even if insurance were not required, it is the prudent thing to do. Why take the chance of being wiped out financially to save some premium dollars?

Many of us own life insurance. We do this to protect our families in case we die. We want them to be able to maintain some semblance of their lifestyle.

We pay premiums for health insurance. You just never know when you may get sick or may be in an accident. In the USA, it is expensive to be treated in hospitals, see doctors, and have medical tests if you don’t have health insurance.

What about disability insurance, homeowners insurance, flood insurance, etc?

How many of you have taken out public speaking insurance? Yes, Public Speaking Insurance! You know, just in case your boss walks into your office tomorrow and says s/he wants you to make a presentation next week on a certain project. Or…

Someone you know calls you up and says there is a well-paid position with a great opportunity for advancement for someone who can present effectively and regularly.

Could you do it? Are you ready and willing?

Public Speaking Insurance is not like any other policy. You don’t make annual premiums. What you do is take some time now to overcome any public speaking fear, performance anxiety, or stage fright you have and develop your presentation skills now so that when you need to or when the opportunities arise, you will be the first one to stand up and say, “I’ll do it!”

What Presentation Skills Do You Need to Develop?

We’ve covered a lot of them in our No Sweat Speaking™ Newsletter. Use them to your advantage at no cost to you except for your time investment.

Here is a list of some of them.

  • Be prepared.
  • Use visual aids.
  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Stay within time.
  • Use notes effectively.
  • Use great body language.
  • Use effective eye contact.
  • Make a good first impression.
  • Give an organized presentation.
  • Add humor to your presentation.
  • Engage your audience and keep them involved.
  • Vary your voice volume, rate of speaking, and pitch.

How Do You Get Public Speaking Insurance?

You can enroll in a public speaking workshop. In a workshop, you learn and practice basic presentation skills.

You can join a Toastmasters International club where you work or live. In a Toastmasters club you learn and practice basic and advanced presentation skills at your own pace.

You can engage a public speaking coach. Your coach will assess your needs and help you develop those presentation skills that meet your specific needs.

So take out your Public Speaking Insurance policy now. Get rid of your public speaking fears and develop your presentation skills. Then enjoy the fruits of your labor with confidence and skill for the rest of your life.

—————

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Unleash the Public Speaking Skills that You Have Hidden–Fake It ‘Till You Make It

Date posted: July 30, 2012 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Presentation Delivery

by Allan Kaufman and Allan Misch

Most of us have the public speaking skills that we need to present effectively. Unfortunately, they are hidden and lie dormant in our subconscious. The important task, then, is to bring them into your conscious awareness and use them.

Most people do not know how to do this. Instead, they reinforce the inaccurate belief that they cannot be animated, gesture effectively, vocalize with variety, be funny, move purposefully, and vary their facial expressions.

A powerful public speaking process that you can use to reveal your hidden public speaking skills is “Fake It ‘Till You Make It.” Here’s how Allan Kaufman demonstrated this technique.

He called up several people from the audience, one at a time, to speak impromptu for 1 to 2-1/2 minutes. He gave each a topic that was not difficult to talk about.

In general, learning how to give impromptu presentations effectively is a great skill to master. It is very useful if you are being interviewed for a job or your boss suddenly asks you to speak at a meeting.

Identify Weak Presentation Skills

Allan first asked each speaker to identify two of his or her weakest presentation skills such as using vocal variety, making eye contact, using gestures, being enthusiastic, giving an organized presentation, getting the audience involved, etc.

Identify Someone Skilled in Those Weak Areas

Then he asked each to identify two presenters who s/he believed were strong in the areas in which s/he was weak. The two presenters could be part of a group known to the audience or public personalities.

Model the Skilled Speaker

He had each concentrate on his and her weak skill areas and emulate one of the two strong speakers each had listed. He said to each participant, “Address the topic as if you are the speaker you named answering it.”

The first impromptu speaker said that she was weak in the use of vocal variety and demonstrating enthusiasm. The person who she thought was strong in those areas was Bob Harris, a member of the audience. So Allan said, “Bob is strong in vocal variety and enthusiasm. So for the next two minutes, pretend you are Bob doing this impromptu topic.”

After each participant spoke, Allan asked for feedback from the audience on how well that speaker did. Did s/he demonstrate effective use of the skill s/he was weak in? How so? What could s/he have done better? Everyone got involved and it was an eye-opening learning session.

The results were astounding. Participants who usually spoke quietly and with very little enthusiasm spoke up and were excited. They could do this because they presented as if they were someone else. Each participant’s weak areas improved.

The exercise demonstrated that the speakers really had the public speaking skills within them, but did not know it. During the impromptu talks, the participants discovered the presentation skills that they had hidden.

So Allan said to the audience, “Now you know you can speak with enthusiasm, with vocal variety, with gestures — you just demonstrated it. Now do it as you. Fake it until it becomes the natural thing for you to do. If you must, pretend you are someone else when you are speaking. Model his/her behavior until it becomes yours.”

The Public Speaking Process

So if you want to discover the hidden qualities that outstanding presenters have…

    1. Identify your weak public speaking skills.
    2. Identify someone who is strong in those presentation skills.
    3. Model the strong speaker.

Soon, you will exhibit the modeled speaking behavior in your own style. In other words…

Fake it ’til you make it!

———-

Get a boatload of public speaking tips in Allan and Allan’s book and two-CD set, Presentation Truths Revealed–101 Universal Principles to Propel Your Speaking Success. Special for readers of the No Sweat Speaking™ Blog: Enter the coupon code “BLOG” (without the quotation marks) in the shopping cart and save 20%.

Public Speaking Humor Do’s and Don’ts

Date posted: July 10, 2012 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Humor

by Allan Misch

An aspiring presenter once asked a professional speaker, “Do I have to use humor in my presentations?”

The speaker responded, “Only if you want to get paid.”

In other words, effective presentations contain humor. Most successful presentations have a mix of important ideas, drama, and humor.

But be cautious. To your audience, humor can be a blessing or distressing. So here are some positive No Sweat Speaking™ humor strategies to spice up your presentation and some pitfalls to avoid.

Humor Do’s

  • Do make fun of yourself. The best target for your humor is you. Find something about yourself that you can exaggerate or joke about.
  • Do use personal anecdotes. Preparation takes less time and your stories build rapport.
  • Do personalize humorous stories. Instead of saying, “This guy said to his brother…” say, “My uncle Vito said to his brother Dominick….”
  • Do use dialogue that contains your humor instead of trying to tell jokes.
  • Do create mental pictures for your audience so that they can “see,” “hear,” and even “smell” the funny situations.
  • Do use humorous graphics and visual aids to help make your points.
  • Do practice, practice, practice using your humor pieces before you use them in your presentations.
  • Do have fun when you present. When your audience knows that you’re enjoying yourself, they’ll get on board and enjoy the trip with you.

Humor Don’ts

  • Don’t tell your audience that you’re telling them a humorous story. If the humor bombs, so do you.
  • Don’t use humor involving sex, politics, religion, or “sacred cows.” These make your audience uncomfortable.
  • Don’t use off-color humor. It also makes your audience uncomfortable.
  • Don’t make women, such as wives and mother-in-laws, the butt, or target of your humor.
  • Don’t step on your laugh line. Pause and wait until your audience stops laughing, then continue.

Humor is appropriate for most presentations. I even used humor in my mother and mother-in-law’s eulogies. As journalist Hugh Sidney said, “A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.”

So inject humor in your presentations, and when you do, pay attention to my Public Speaking Humor Do’s and Don’ts.

Public Speaking Tips–Six Questions and Answers

Date posted: June 25, 2012 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Speaking Fear

By Allan Misch and Allan Kaufman

© Allan and Allan, Inc., 2012. All rights reserved. http://www.nosweatspeaking.com

We get a lot of questions from our audiences, coaching clients, and newsletter readers. Here are a sample of six questions and our answers on several public speaking issues.

Question:
I’m a real estate agent and give talks on investment real estate to attract new clients. My associates have told me that I avoid looking at my audiences. I look over their heads or at the ceiling. I guess this is because I’m nervous. I’m not getting many new clients from my talks. What can I do?

Answer:
Because you’re nervous, you avoid looking at individuals in your audiences. This is a common behavior of presenters who are anxious or nervous. Unfortunately, not making eye contact with audience members tends to make a speaker more nervous.

Pick out one person in the audience and talk to him for 5 to 7 seconds. Then make eye contact with another person and talk to her for 5 to 7 seconds. Continue doing this throughout your talk. Now, instead of giving a presentation to a sea of faces, you’re speaking to one person at a time, and your nervousness will diminish. We bet you’ll even get more clients.

Question:
I’m a college student. My goal is to become a broadcaster and to feel comfortable in front of an audience. What suggestions do you have for me?

Answer:
We commend you for planning ahead and suggest that you speak in front of audiences as much as possible. Take public speaking classes. Consider joining a Toastmasters club. Click here and select Toastmasters International.

Learn basic and advanced communications skills. Gain confidence in front of groups. Also take various broadcasting classes. Volunteer at your college radio station and/or a local station.

Question:
I sell audio-visual equipment such as data projectors. Often, I have to demo my products to evaluation teams, who make the buying recommendation to the boss or contracting officer. Sometimes, I’m competing against other vendors. What can I do to improve my chances of closing the sale?

Answer:
There are a number of strategies to be concerned about. Two important ones are do your homework and be over-prepared with your equipment.

Make sure you talk to each member of the evaluation team (or as many as you can) and learn why they need the equipment–the benefits to them. Also find out all of their requirements and criteria for making a buying decision. Then present using only their requirements and criteria. Show them how you and your products will meet their needs.

Make sure you have all the right equipment with you to conduct a flawless demo. Don’t count on their equipment such as laptops, cables, etc. You should bring everything. Most vendors don’t do both–research and double check their equipment for demo presentations. If you do, you’ll rocket your sales!

Question:
What are your thoughts on any effective, safe and mild medications to reduce performance anxiety?

Answer:
We don’t recommend drugs or medications to reduce public speaking fear, performance anxiety, or stage fright. Medication doesn’t reduce or eliminate the problem. It may tranquilize you and reduce your emotional discomfort. The next time you have to perform, guess what you have to take? In our opinion, medications mask the problem and do little for your emotional health, self-confidence, and self-esteem.

If you have to perform just once, a “safe” medication may help you get through it and may be an acceptable strategy. If you have to perform more than once, if you avoid performing opportunities, or if the performance anxiety is affecting the quality of your life, you should look for a way to get rid of your anxiety.

That’s what we do. We help people severely reduce and permanently eliminate public speaking fear, stage fright, and performance anxiety. Our unique No Sweat Speaking™ Process enables us to coach in person, by Skype, or by phone.

Question:
How should I (female) dress when giving a presentation in front of a business audience?

Answer:
It’s important to make a good first impression. Your credibility depends on it. How you look and how you dress are critical to your success.

Be well groomed and neat. Have a neat and appealing hairstyle. Dress as well as your audience or preferably a little better.

When speaking before audiences who are dressed in traditional business attire, wear a blue or gray suit with a white blouse. You may also wear a business dress with a matching jacket. Make sure your dress is not too short and all of your buttons are buttoned. Avoid wearing distracting jewelry.

Read John T. Molloy’s “The Woman’s Dress for Success Book” (in paperback).

Question:
If public speaking is so important in terms of being confident in school, getting a job, getting promotions, and generally being successful in many of life’s activities, then how come kids are not taught to be effective, fearless public speakers at an early age?

Answer:
You raise a great point. If our kids were trained in the art of effective communications, then public speaking probably would not be one of the top fears. We believe that our school systems do not understand the importance of this skill, and do not have instructors who can speak confidently and skillfully.

Learning this skill should be right up there with learning how to read, write, and do math. Unfortunately today, many of our kids are not even learning those skills. That’s why it is important for adults to learn how to be effective communicators and transfer these skills to our kids. Tell your older kids the value of being a good speaker. Here’s a thought… Give them a complimentary subscription to our newsletter!

Let us know your thoughts and questions about any of the answers in the comments below. If you have any other questions, submit them on our Contact form.

 

Two Public Speaking Tips to Keep Your Presentation Out of the Dumpster

Date posted: June 11, 2012 | Author: | 1 Comment »

Categories: Presentation Delivery

by Allan Kaufman and Allan Misch

© Allan and Allan, Inc., 2012. All rights reserved. http://www.nosweatspeaking.com

Be Enthusiastic and Your Presentation Will Be Successful

At a conference Allan Kaufman attended, there were two keynote speakers. One was trained in the art of speaking.

He had a professional appearance, was well organized, used expressive gestures, and did not use filler words such as ah, um, etc. He got his message across, but lacked one important ingredient.

He did not demonstrate enthusiasm for his topic.

The other speaker violated many public speaking principles that most trainers teach. He had his hands in his pockets, and his speech was not well organized.

Yet, he delivered his address with enthusiasm, and this made all the difference.

Allan left the conference thinking that the second speaker was more successful strictly because of his demonstrated enthusiasm.

So show your audience that you are enthusiastic about what you are sharing with them.

Do this by talking with excitement in your voice, using meaningful gestures and direct eye contact, smiling, getting the audience involved, and talking from your heart, not from your notes.

As Mary Kay Ash said, “A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.”

Being enthusiastic is the secret ingredient for keeping your audience interested. It’s an insurance policy that prevents a boring presentation. Another first-aid strategy for your presentations is to . . .

Use Saver Lines as Laugh Insurance

A saver line is a prepared short piece of humor, usually one line that you use following a joke or humorous story that falls flat. The saver line gets the laugh.

Johnny Carson made using savor lines an art form. Sometimes, he would purposely tell a joke that was not funny and follow-up with the laugh-getting real joke, the saver line.

Tom Antion in his book, Wake ‘Em Up!, talks about the value of using saver lines. Here are some of his saver lines.

“Do any of you speak English?”

“I’ve got a good book for sale outside that explains these jokes. You may want to pick up a copy.”

“I know you’re out there, I can hear you breathing.”

When your saver line gets a chuckle, incorporate it into your program at the prescribed moment each time you present.

So have a few saver lines in your speaking toolbox. They are the laugh insurance for when your joke or other humor falls flat.

Let us know in the comments what saver lines have worked for you.

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