How Can Introverts Speak Up in Meetings

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I’m an introvert myself and at times it really ius hard to speak up in meetings especially when I know I don’t have anything critical or important too say. However, we introverts should know, that in meetings (or any social gathering for that matter), people who speak up, even if they have nothing important to say, tend to be valued more and regarded more than those who don’t. So we better speak up! If we haven’t yet, now is the time to learn.

Below are some phrases we can use to help us ease into the conversation or at least contribute something to the discussion:

I think Jen makes a great point.

Billy, were you going to say something?

Everybody seems to agree that… [repeat what everyone seems to agree on]

Am I the only one here who’d like more time to think this over?

To build on what Jessie just said… [add support or a new detail]

Don’t they sound simple enough?

To get more insights about why and how to do this, please head to: Public Speaking Tip 61: How to Speak Up More in Meetings, Even If You Say Inconsequential Things

5 Tips to Great Speechwriting

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????How can you write a great speech? What factors should be considered? Below are five basic tips you can follow to write great speeches:

•    Great speeches are primarily emotional, not logical – the more you can evoke the emotions of your audience, the more they’ll get hooked on your speech and make it memorable for them.
•    Small shifts in tone make an enormous difference to the audience, so sweat the details – by varying the tone of your voice at certain points, you emphasize the important and crucial details of your speech.
•    A great speech has a clear voice speaking throughout – make sure that whatever tone and volume you use, your voice should be clear enough to be understood by everyone inside the room.
•    A great speech conveys one idea only, though it can have lots of supporting points – this one idea will tie everything together and make your speech cohesive
•    A great speech answers a great need – after all, it’s always about the audience and not you.

To know more about this, please head to: The Five Basic Secrets of Great Speechwriting

4 Tips to Overcome Fear of Impromptu Speeches

impromptu-team-meeting-1980224Speaking off the cuff is quite scary especially to speakers and presenters who are just starting out and not yet used to this kind of situation. Let’s say you’re asked to give an impromptu speech by your boss about something that you or your department has been doing for some time. What do you do? All of a sudden your mind goes blank, you start sweating and all you can think of is you want the floor to swallow you. I know this is a bit extreme but it does happen, even to the best of us. So what do you do?

Below are simple things you can incorporate in your practice so that giving impromptu speeches will no longer be scary for you.

  1. Change the way you think about speaking off the cuff
  2. Start with a pause
  3. Trust yourself and turn off your internal critic
  4. Use a simple framework to organise your thoughts

To find out more about this, please head to this post: 4 Powerful Tips For Speaking Off The Cuff


Webinars as Presentation Venues

webinar-laptops-around-word-14679028If you’re a public presenter or speaker, it is not only on live speaking engagements that you can share your knowledge and speak in front of an audience. You can do so online through webinars too. It is a good venue to practice your presentation and speaking skills as well as a great medium to convey your message whether you’re advocating something or selling a product or service.

But first things first. You have to know the basics of this latest trend we call webinars or seminars done online.

On Ellen Finkelstein’s post, you will find out:

  • What a webinar is
  • How webinars work
  • How webinars are different from live speaking & training
  • Why you might want to use them
  • How they’re changing now

Find out more by heading to this link: Extend your reach as a speaker or trainer with webinars

How to Be a More Effective Corporate Storyteller: 10 Tips

storytellerWe all want to be an effective storyteller wherever we are. But if we mostly do our talks, speeches and presentations in corporate events and environments, how can we best do this? Below are ten tips you can follow to become a more effective corporate storyteller:

  1. Plan your story starting with the takeaway message. Think of your audience and what’s important to them. After all, the objective of your story is to help your audience.
  2. Keep your stories short for the workplace. People tend to have ADD in today’s world so make sure your story only lasts 3-5 minutes lest you want to sound boring.
  3. Good stories are about challenge or conflict. They make your stories more interesting.
  4. Think about your story like a movie. The goal is to always get your message across.
  5. Start with a person and his challenge, and intensify human interest by adding descriptions of time, place, and people with their emotions. The point is, be descriptive.
  6. Be creative. By doing so, you string people along with the ups and downs of your story.
  7. Intensify the story with vivid language and intonation. This way, you get to touch people’s emotions.
  8. When using a story in a PowerPoint presentation, use appropriate graphics/pictures to convey your message. ‘Nuff said.
  9. Practice. Tell your story in front of a friendly audience and get feedback.
  10. Realize that stories are how people really communicate. Accept this fact and being an effective storyteller gets much easier.

Doing these ten tips will help you get your message across more effectively. To find out more, please head to:  10 Tips for Becoming a More Effective Corporate Storyteller


Tips on How to Adapt to Your Presentation

adaptWhen you present or speak in front of your audience, are you able to tell if your they are interested and engaged? How do you know if they are listening well to you or how do you gauge if they see you as credible enough? Being able to analyze your audience right then and there will also help you adapt on the spot to your presentations. Here’s what you do. Follow N.E.A.R.:

  • Notice emotions – Open yourself up so you can experience your audience’s emotions. Be more aware.
  • Examine – Notice their body language. Are they sleepy? Uh-oh! You are not exciting enough. Are they leaning forward? Good!
  • Ask – Ask them questions to keep them engaged or ask them to do some physical activities to keep them alert.
  • Request feedback -Always have a Q&A portion at the end of your presentation so you’ll know if they were able to digest your speech or presentation.

To know more on how you can determine your audience’s reactions and be able to adapt on the spot during your presentation, please visit this link:  HOW DO YOU ADAPT YOUR PRESENTATION ON-THE-SPOT?


Improve Your Eye Contact When Presenting: 12 Tips

1163675863Ew2y53Eye contact is essential in communication. We do it daily and naturally when conversing with family and friends. But the moment we speak in front of a large crwod, we seem to forget how. Below are 12 tips you can use to make sure that you maintain good and proper eye contact when speaking in front of many people.

  1. Prepare better.
  2. Avoid eye crutches.
  3. Warm up early to the audience.
  4. Keep the lights on.
  5. Ensure clear sight lines.
  6. Get closer to audience members.
  7. Express emotion with your eyes.
  8. Ensure eye contact as you deliver all critical lines.
  9. Avoid ping-pong.
  10. Sustain eye contact with someone for a few seconds, then move on.
  11. Connect with your audience’s eyes, if possible.
  12. Focus on the audience member during Q&A.

To find out more details on how you can do these tips and produce more and better eye contact, please head to:  Simple Secrets to Improve Your Eye Contact



Why do you need to practice as a speaker?

We all know that practice makes perfect. But here are 7 reasons to give you a better and clearer understanding of why it is crucial and essential for speakers to practice, practice and keep practicing.

Look like you didn’t need practice – Yup, the more you practice your presentation or speech, the more flawless and relaxed you’ll look on stage. And when you look very natural on stage, the more your audience will focus on what you have to say than how you act or sound like in front of them.

Remember more of what you wanted to say – By practicing your speech, the less likely your mind will go blank on stage.

Roll with the punches – Experiencing technical difficulties won’t be much of a problem if you know your speech by heart.

Work out your stumbles ahead of time – If there are phrases, sentences or sentiments that you are not confident in sharing to your audience, you will get better at it in time or you can change it in advance and avoid acting awkward about it in front of your audience.

Try a new speaking skill with lower risk – If you’re going to talk about a topic that is entirely new to you, with practice, you will minimize mistakes and even sound like you’re already an expert at it.

Build a stronger structure for your speech or presentation – By practicing your speech, you have more time to plan   a more engaging speech from start to finish.

Hit those grace notes – Through practice, you can take your speech from good to great.

For more insights about this, please head to: From the vault: 7 secret advantages of the speaker who practices


The Importance of NonVerbal Communication

Being able to communicate well is not just about verbal communication. Non-verbal communication plays a big part too…. actually, a much bigger part. In fact, in NLP or neuro-linguistic programming,  people are taught how to read non-verbal cues as well as how to appropriately give corresponding non-verbal reactions so you can get what you want. If you can master this type of skill, as presenters, you will most likely succeed in getting your audience’s attention and participation which could translate to profit for your business later on.

Fred Miller, in his blog post, Remember: NonVerbal Communication Trumps. . ., says that non-verbal reactions carry more weight than words. Just imagine a speaker saying how excited he is to be talking in front of people, yet he or she doesn’t smile, yawns, and looks pretty bored. Of course the audience will notice this and will end up not listening to the speaker at all.

So the next time you present, be aware of the non-verbal cues you’re exhibiting. Believe in your presentation and act it out well. Use non-verbal cues to convey positive emotions to your audience. Make eye contact, smile when necessary, make hand gestures, move around the stage, and so on, and so forth.

Learn from Fred Miller and see how NonVerbal Communication Trumps Verbal Communication.

How Do You Prepare for a Presentation?

I’ve shared with you some tips before on how you can prepare for your presentation. These tips mostly deal with preparations weeks and months in advance. But how about on the few days leading up to your big day? What do you do? More importantly, what should you do?

Here is a sample timeline you can use as you approach the date and hour of your presentation:

  1. The Night Before – finish your rehearsal early and try to relax.
  2. The morning of your presentation – eat a good breakfast and make sure you’re properly hydrated to keep your energy levels up.
  3. The minutes before your presentation – mingle with your audience to help you feel more at ease with them.
  4. The seconds before your presentation – smile, breathe and deliver your first few words confidently.
  5. During your presentation – smile, make contact with your audience and be aware of the speed with which you are speaking.
  6. After your presentation – reward yourself for a job well done.

To learn more tips on what you can do as you approach the day of your presentation, head to: Preparing for a presentation or speech – Part 2