What Presenters Can Learn from the SuperBowl (and Madonna)

More than Madonna’s half-time performance during the SuperBowl this Sunday (which was awesome by the way!), it is the game of football that grabs our attention and make us watch it season after season. This is because teams play for the crowd and play hard to please them; you never know who will really win until the game is over; and no matter how hard each team prepares for the big day, there are just so many other extraneous variables they have to consider like the weather, the reaction of the crowd, the skills of their opponents and all of us get to watch it all very closely.

So as presenters and speakers, how can we learn from all of this?

1.  Speak for the audience, not for yourself or your company. I’ve mentioned this again and again that presentations and speeches are all about your audience, not about you. Give the audience what they need. Is it suspense? Excitement? Motivation? Inspiration? Information? Give it to them and your presentation or speech will be a success.

2.    Be unpredictable.  If your audiences already know what you have to say, then they won’t have to listen to you anymore, do they? Tell a story but tell it in a way that they don’t expect; don’t use slides if they expect you to; ask them questions; make them think and get them excited.

3)    Be so well-prepared that you can immerse yourself in the environment, the audience, the atmosphere. This means be passionate about what you are presenting. Your sincerity and passion will rub off on them and the audience will love you for it. Don’t overdo it tho. Just be real.

P.S. On a related note, Madonna also did all these things during her 12-minute half-time presentation. She gave what the audience wanted (superb performance); she was unpredictable (no one guessed what the list of songs would be); she was very prepared. I had goosebumps watching her half-time show and I loved her for it! 

For more insight on this matter, please head to:

Why Speeches Should Be Like Football Games

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3 Tips to Articulate Your Speech

We all tend to mumble our words from time to time. This happens when we either speak too fast or with too little volume. Maybe we’re shy or excited and that’s okay. But if this happens when you are making a speech in front of an audience, then that’s a definite no-no and you have to be able to catch yourself and correct it. Here are three quick ways on how you can better articulate your speech next time:

1. Speak slowly. I do not mean though that you speak as if you’re talking to a baby or an uneducated person. What I mean is, if you know you are the type who speaks way too fast for a normal listener to comprehend you fully, then try to slow down a bit. Practice with a colleague. Converse with an office mate and ask him/her if you are speaking too fast, too slow, or just right. Then practice delivering your speech with  a tempo that is just right, with proper pauses at sections that emphasize your key points. When you are up there on stage, time yourself and see how your audience reacts to what you are saying. If you’re audience is nodding then it means that they understand what you’re saying. But if you’re starting to see too many foreheads creasing, then it’s time to slow down and enunciate your words properly.

2. Speak in a consistent tone but I don’t mean in monotone. What I mean is talk in a consistent volume. Project your voice such that it reaches the last person at the back of the conference room. However, do not shout and don’t whisper. Talk with just the right amount of volume for everyone to hear. For you to know if you’re consistent with your tone or not, record your speech and from there, notice the variations in your tone and volume so you may correct it in the future.

3. Practice the tricky sounds.  If there’s a word that tends to be hard for you to pronounce, (e.g. “pamphlet” or “philanthropy”) just practice saying it and you should be fine. Take out some time everyday saying a word that is difficult for you to pronounce. Say it in the shower, while driving, while getting coffee. This way, by the time you give your speech and you’re about to say the difficult word, your tongue has already been practiced enough that it will deliver the word just right.

So do these three tricks to better articulate your speech. For more info on the matter, please head to:

Three Quick Ways to Improve Your Speech Articulation

 

Three Kinds of Presenters

In the world of presenting and public speaking, there are three general kinds of presenters:

1. Too Hot – This kind of presenter is almost like a theater actor. He or she tends to wear colorful ensemble, bold makeup (for ladies), is so animated and bold in his/her actions that he/she might come off as a fake. Instead of having the audience connect with this kind of presenter, audiences might find him/her too loud, too obnoxious, too out there.

2. Too Cold – This one is the serious type. He/she has all the data and information needed to present his case but he/she fails to show even just a little bit of personality. The whole presentation therefore ends up to be a big bore and audience can’t wait to leave.

3. Just Right – This one is the perfect kind. He/She is presentable enough in his/her appearance, does not need to be so animated because he is already exuding with passion from deep within that he does not need to act it out. He/she uses just the right amount of varied data to back his agenda and to keep the level of interest going. He/she engages the audience  in an interactive manner. He/she is just right.

Looking back at all the presentations and speeches you’ve done in the past, which type of presenter do you think  are you?

This blog post is inspired by this post:  Too hot, too cold, or just right?

 

5 tips we can learn from 2012 SOTU

By this time, we can mostly certainly say that President Obama is a very gifted public speaker. And once again, he didn’t disappoint during his recent State of the Union . Here are five things public speakers can learn from Pres. Obama:

1. Speak from personal experience. When you do so, you make yourself step out of that pedestal and be one with your audience. You become more accessible, more reachable. You become more like your audience and you give them good reason to listen and relate to you.

2. Tell stories. People are natural storytellers. Since the beginning of time, our ancestors communicated their history and life through stories told to their children and grandchildren. By telling stories, you pull your audience to the heart of the matter and make them understand better, enough for them to be compelled to action.

3. Be funny. Regardless of whether your topic may or may not be as serious as Obama’s State of the Union, it still helps to inject a little humor in there. It breaks the ice of seriousness (or boredom among your audience) and brings them right back to the heart of the speech/presentation.

4. Use repetition. Repetition is the simple key to emphasizing a point and making people remember it. Repeat anything three times in different ways and you are likely to remember it. Use the same words at the beginning of each  phrase and it will have more impact.  It’s simple. It’s powerful. It’s effective.

5. End strongly. Make your audience remember you and your speech. Leave something that creates an impact. It may be a story, a quote, an incredible fact, etc. End on a high note and leave them wanting more.

For more insights on this matter, please head to: 5 Tips from the 2012 State of the Union