Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Practice, practice, practice!

In an email from Lance Miller, 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking, he shows us why, as a public speaker, we must take every opportunity to practice the skills we have learned.

Below is the email Lance sent:
Happy New Year!
There is a saying that success comes from not What you know, it is Who you know.
But can you Say what you know to who you know when the times comes?
Below is a 1 minute video clip from yesterday's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  Samsung is holding a press conference introducing their new 110" Ultra High Definition curved television.  Industry experts are saying this TV could actually threaten the cinema industry.
Samsung has brought in Michael Bay, noted Hollywood producer of Transformers, Armageddon and Pearl Harbor to promote the magnificence of their new product.
It is a huge moment for Samsung, a huge moment for Michael Bay!
Unfortunately, not the type of huge moment either wanted.  Michael walks off the stage, unable to think or speak, when the teleprompter fails.
Notice how well the host handles the situation as compared to how poorly Michael Bay does: [video goes here]
This could happen to any of us.  We have an opportunity speak out and make a difference in a meeting, our business, our community, our career?? But we choke!
Communication skills are some of the most important skills we can develop.  Public Speaking is a muscle.  To keep them strong we need to exercise them regularly.  If you want to be a speaker - you have to SPEAK!
One more thing -
Success is What you know + WHO you know + being able to Say it!
Stay Strong!
Lance Miller  
2005 World Champion of Public Speaking
Here is the link to the video mentioned in Lance's email: http://youtu.be/_tqRyzTvNKE

Lance makes an excellent point: public speaking is a skill that requires constant work. Unless we use our public speaking muscle, atrophy will set in and we can become victims of malfunctioning equipment or brain-freeze.

Speaking opportunities are everywhere: at social gatherings, at the dinner table, at meetings, in the gym, at a park — as a public speaker we must be alert to these unexpected gems and take advantage of them when they come. If you are a Toastmaster, you need to sign up to give speeches and volunteer to speak whenever the opportunity arises. Do you have a "pocket" speech, one that you can give on a moment's notice? Are you constantly working on a speech, whether it be a new one or an old one that needs revisions?

Speaking in public is an honor and something that we must take seriously. Preparation and practice are essential to any speaker. Our audience deserves our best effort every time we stand before them.

Mark Twain's words come to mind: ""It takes me about three weeks to write an impromptu speech".

Ryan Avery, 2012 World Champion of Public Speaking, constantly reminds us that we speak to serve others with the power of our words.

Friday, January 3, 2014

So what? Your audience drives the message

This article (So What? | iSpeakEASY blog) is a good reminder that we need to keep our audience foremost in our minds as we prepare for any presentation.

When you are planning your presentation, put yourself in the position of your audience …

Regardless of how great your talk may be, if it is not pertinent to the target audience it will be quickly forgotten.

Many public speakers contact audience members 30 or so days after a presentation and ask them to tell the speaker what they rememebred about the talk. What was the message they received? What lessons they derived from the presenter? Getting that kind of feedback can be a difficult eye opener and a great tool to sharpen our skills.

One of the greatest satisfactions I have received as a speaker is meeting someone at an event and hearing them say: "I remember that speech you gave about … I made changes in my life and they have paid off. Thanks!"

In the end, it is all about our audience and the impact we can have on them.