How to Keep Those Brain Cobwebs Away – Three Tips

What do you when you feel like you’ve done everything you can to keep those creative juices flowing but to no avail? You’ve been staring at your computer, or laptop, or ipad for half an hour now and you still can’t manage to squeeze some presentation ideas out of that awesome brain of yours.

Below are three simple yet excellent tips you can do to keep those brain cobwebs away and make sure that all the nuts and bolts in your head are turning again:

1. Take a Walk – It can be a walk in the park, or along your office street, or around your neighborhood. The important thing is to get some fresh air to oxygenate your brain, along with stimulating your mind with some visual and auditory cues. Once you feel relaxed and less stressed, your creative ideas will follow. It’s no wonder then why we usually get our best ideas when we’re taking a shower, or doing something mundane and relaxing. The trick is to relax coz that’s when our brain functions the most.

  2. Eavesdrop – Yep, that’s right. Try to listen in to other people’s conversations or listen to the radio, or simply for once just listen and try not to talk. You’ll be amazed at the things you get to find out when you’re not too self-absorbed. Of course do the listening in to other people’s conversations inconspicuously.

3. Visually stimulate your mind – watch a movie, look at photos from flicker or facebook or pinterest. Read a graphics novel. Stimulate your mind with colorful and vibrant visual cues and you’ll be surprised how your mind will take you to places that you’ve never been to before.

For more insight on this topic, please head to: Three Ways to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

How to Market Yourself as a Speaker?

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been doing public speaking for a while now or you’re just starting out. You need to be able to market yourself constantly in order to attract a steady stream of speaking engagements, ergo, income. You have to be able to sell yourself. So how do you do that? Below are four key marketing practices you should try:

  • Film your speech. – Have someone record your speaking engagements so you can later upload it to YouTube and your other social networks. You can also present it to potential clients when you market yourself so they’ll see how good you are and what you can offer to the table.
  • Create your own category. Be your own brand. Know what sets you apart from all the other speakers and leverage on that.
  • Maintain a source for more information. Create your own blog and update it regularly. This way, both current and potential clients will get to know you through the personality you exude on your blog, and hopefully like what they read that they eventually hire you.
  • Be seen and heard. Be active on Facebook and twitter and all the social networking sites. Write-ups in magazines and newspapers will help you a lot too.

I’m pretty sure a lot of you have already been practicing these things so just keep that up. For those of you who haven’t yet, it’s about time that you make an extra effort to put yourself out there. Doing so will spell the different between having a fully booked calendar and an empty schedule.

For more info, please head to: Be seen and heard before you hit the stage

Where do nervous speakers run for comfort?

Oh how easier it is for extroverts to speak in public and enjoy the limelight. In my opinion, they probably rarely feel nervous, and even if they do, it’s just all that pent-up energy raring to go. Once they’re in the limelight, everything becomes as easy as breathing. But how about for introverts out there who do speak or present in public but get extremely nervous every single time? Where can they run for comfort? Introvert speakers, by their very nature, are known to find peace and comfort by spending some alone time before and after their speech. Below are five comfort zones that any speaker (both extroverts and introverts, but I think more so for introverts like myself) can access to help calm your nerves down, regroup, and happily face your audience:

  • The stall or the stairwell: This may sound inelegant but it serves as a practical solution where you can stretch those legs, breathe and meditate before your big speech. Just make sure you’re not on wires yet lest you want your audience to hear you breathing hard or practicing your speech.
  • Your breathing: You can actually do this anywhere. Just breathe slowly, even during your speech when you start getting nervous all over again.
  • Closed eyes: You can do this practically anywhere too as long as you don’t let your audience see you. By obliterating all those visual cues around you, you can focus your energy and help yourself calm down.
  • The lectern: With a lectern, you get to automatically  hide 2/3 of your body; you have a place where you can keep a copy of your speech or a photo that reminds you of happy times; and you feel like you’re actually in control. It definitely is a speaker’s armor so if you have access to it, you might as well use it.
  • A smile: Smiling goes a long, long way. Physiologically, it signals your brain to relax and it actually helps you to feel good too. So smile when you can especially before and after your speech. It helps make the audience feel comfortable too.

For more insight on this matter, please head to:

Comfort zones for the nervous speaker: 5 places to go

Presentation Lessons from Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston died last Saturday at the young age of 48. We are all saddened by this especially her multitude of fans out there. I remember singing to her hit single I Will Always Love You when I was just a young kid and boy did she send goosebumps up and down my spine. Her voice was just so powerful I don’t think anyone today can match that. After all, Whitney remains to be the most awarded female artist of all time, with 415 awards under her belt. And ever after she passed, she will remain to be loved and cherished by her audience.

As a speker / presenter, we all have something to learn from Whitney Houston. What made her so magnetic and effective as a powerful singer? What can we do to achieve that kind of power in our own field?  If you want to stand out as a presenter or speaker, there is something you need to learn from Whitney Houston.

It’s true, she is not the best songwriter out there, nor the biggest superstar of her generation. What she was, was a powerful singer. It’s that voice of her that made her stand out. Even as I write this, I am having goosebumps remembering how she captured her fans just with her voice, with no accompaniment, singing for 45 seconds, those first few words of I Will Always Love You. That was her one biggest asset – her voice. And she played with it very well, until such time that she got involved in drugs and the rest, as they say, is history.

So as a speaker, know what your greatest strength is and play with that. Make that your biggest card in the table and maximize it well. Are you very good at making your audience laugh? Then go ahead and make them laugh with your captivating humor. Are you great with PowerPoint? Then use that in your presentations. Are you a great storyteller? Then by all means, tell a great story to convey your message to your people. Whatever it is, use your greatest asset to bring about the best in your presentation. Use your greatest talent to connect with your audience. After all, by using what you have to give the audience what they need, is considered as the greatest love of all in the world of presenting / public speaking.

This post is inspired by Scott. 🙂

 

Basic Rules of Stage Movement

So you’re up there on stage making your speech or presentation. What kinds of movement should you do to maximize your impact and ensure engagement of the audience?

Here are five basic rules I got from Speak and Deliver that any presenter or speaker should know particularly if you’re the type who likes to move around the stage.

1. Moving forward – this is a strong, and quite intimidating move. When you move forward, you show importance or strength of character which can make some of your audience feel insecure especially if you’re speaking in a small venue. So stay away from moving too close to the audience.

2. Moving backward – on the other hand, moving backward can show weakness. It’s better to move forward a little but never backward, especially when you’re trying t make a point. You can only do so if it’s part of your “theatrical” presentation like when you’re saying “I was blown away by the wind…” or something like that.

3. Right to Left is their Left to Right – always be aware that when you move sideways, do it with your audience’s point of view in mind.

4. Anchoring characters – For every character you talk about, find a particular spot on stage and describe the character there. Don’t talk about different characters on the same spot as it subconsciously diminishes the power of those characters in the mind of your audience.

These are just four basic rules of stage movement which any speaker and presenter can use to leave a better impact to their audience. For more info, please head to:  Speak and Deliver

Five Elements that Make for Great Stories When Presenting

When we present, we actually tell stories. Or at least, we have to if we want to make our speeches or presentations interesting enough for our audience.

But how do we tell the story? For the most part, it should be personal enough that our audience will be able to relate to us. And there’s the perfect tone and pitch like I’ve mentioned before as well as the proper non-verbal cues. Aside from these things, our story needs to have all the right elements to make sure that we are not just telling another story, but a good one at the very least.

What are these elements I’m talking about? There are five elements that will make your stories great:

1. Characters

The characters in your story must be those that your audience can relate to. Be visual in their description so your audience can better see who these characters are.

2. Conflict

Any great story has to have some form of conflict in it. It’s what will hook your audience and make them interested to find out more.

3. Cure

Of course, if there’s a conflict, there should also be a resolution for it or what we call the cure. This should add value to your audience’s corresponding conflicts they may be facing in their current lives.

4. Change

Once the cure is presented and applied, then there has to be positive changes in the characters’ lives.

5. Carry-out message

This is the action plan that you impart to your audience so they not only learn smething valuable but they also take something significant that they can apply to their respective circumstances.

This post is inspired by:

Elements of Great Stories

Excellent Tips on How to Open Your Speech

I’m sure you’ve been to a seminar where the speaker got introduced and the first few words that came out of his/her mouth were either:

  • “Thank you for inviting me here to speak…”
  • “I don’t know why I have been asked…”
  • “I haven’t really prepared anything…”
  • “Today I’m going to talk about…”
  • “A funny thing happened on the way…”

These opening phrases are all very boring and bordering on annoying even. Here are some things you can do to spice it up and make your opening speech a lot better. After all, the opening part is supposed to grab the attention of your audience and not send them to the Zzzz zone.

1. Pose a challenging question – Asking your audience a very interesting question immediately engages their minds and compels them to think and answer the question.

2. Deliver a striking statement – When you deliver a  controversial statement, it will definitely grab the attention of your audience, especially those whose minds are starting to drift somewhere else especially when you’re just one of the speakers they went to see that day.

3. Tell a story – I’ve mentioned this a couple of times here on my blog.  When you tell a story, make it personal, something that the audience can relate to, and just jump right into it … avoid saying “I’m going to tell you a story”.

4. Comment on a preceding speaker – Of course before you do this, make sure that you’ve watched the other speakers as well. It becomes more effective if the preceding speaker happens to be an authority figure. Then you could leverage on his/her credibility.

These are just some ways to help you make your opening speech lively and engaging. For more insight, please head to:

Power Presentations Tip 54: How to Open Your Speech