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Deliver your best keynote yet

3 Simple Tips That Will Help You Deliver Your Best Keynote Yet (Without the Nerves)

3 Simple Steps That Will Help You Deliver Your Best Keynote Yet (Without the Nerves)

You have an upcoming keynote, but every time you sit down to plan it out, you start to feel a little knot in your tummy – as if your body is screaming PLEASE DON’T!

 

Deliver your best keynote yet

Deliver your best keynote yet

It’s ok to feel a little nervous (I still do, even though I’ve done the public speaking thing for years now), but you don’t want that to stand in your way of absolutely rocking the stage. And it doesn’t have to.

 

I’ve helped a ton of people take the stage, and over the years, I’ve noticed that there are a few simple steps that can make a huge difference in the final product.

 

So don’t worry, you’ve got this! Just follow along and you’ll be rocking it in no time.

 

Step 1: Set a goal

 

Clarity is key. If you’re not quite sure what you want your audience to know, do or believe once they’re done listening to you, you’ll constantly question the material you’re presenting and whether your message is working. (Tweet it. You know you love it. 🙂

 

Basically, this is a recipe for disaster. We want to clear out that fuzzy feeling by setting a goal for ourselves.

 

I like to do this by writing out a purpose statement. What is it that you want the audience to know, do or believe by the time you’re done? Force yourself to write it out in one, clear sentence.

 

Now you know exactly what needs to happen during this speech and this should start to ease some of that anxiety.

 

Step 2: Visualize your perfect speech

 

I don’t typically get into all of the breathing and visualization techniques, it just isn’t my thing (because I focus more on the content), but I know that the fastest way to feel better about taking the stage is to be really clear on what that experience is going to look and feel like.

 

I used to have my students stand in the front of the room for a few minutes a day or two before they presented their first speech. They were often surprised that it felt so different from that side of the room!

 

But how much better is it to discover that awkward, uncomfortable feeling before you actually try to deliver a speech in front of a crowd?

 

If you have the opportunity to check out the venue, go ahead and do it. And stand on stage. See what it looks like, what it feels like and acknowledge any uneasy feelings that pop up.

 

If you can’t get there, or can’t get on stage, try your best to imagine yourself in the situation. Bonus points if you can imagine yourself telling your most inspirational story, or your opener. The clearer your visuals, the better you’ll be on speech day.

 

Step 3: Connect with your audience

 

It’s easier to talk to people you know than people you don’t. But, you won’t always speak to an audience full of friends.

 

If you find yourself in a place where you’re speaking to a room full of strangers, don’t worry! You can make friends real quick!

 

If you have a chance, mingle with the audience before you go live. Introduce yourself, say hi, chat about the weather, the conference, whatever.

 

If that isn’t a possibility, that’s ok. You can still start the speech off casually by making direct contact and smiling at two or three people in the audience before you start. Or, brainstorm a lead in question to start the speech in a very conversational way so they feel like they know you and you feel like you know them.

 

Remember that the best keynotes are those that both deliver value and also connect with the audience. If you set a goal, visualize success and connect with your audience, you’re bound to deliver an amazing presentation.

 

Your turn – in the comments below, let me know if you have any tips to help you deliver a great speech. I’d love to hear!

 

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Handle Unexpected Situations on Stage During Your Keynote

5 Ways to Handle Unexpected Situations while Speaking on Stage

5 Ways to Handle Unexpected Situations while Speaking on Stage

Conversations are fun! Lectures? Not so much (unless you’re a nerd like me).

 

One reason why live speech is so much fun (and so valuable) is because the audience is invited to participate. It isn’t just a monologue – it’s an experience The audience is taking part, helping to create and shape the message as it goes.

Handle Unexpected Situations on Stage During Your Keynote

Handle Unexpected Situations on Stage During Your Keynote

This is also one reason why live speech is so scary! You spend all of this time preparing, but, who are you kidding? You don’t really know what’s going to happen once you get up there! A few unexpected situations can throw you for a loop. Add that to a case of stage fright and you immediately go into fight or flight mode, freezing on stage, (or you ramble for a bit without actually saying anything useful).

 

But, there is a way to avoid that! If you know me and my speech tips, you’ll know I’m big on preparation. (It’s allllll about the prep, baby!) Without it, you’re dead in the water. With it? Unstoppable!

 

In this post, you’ll find 5 tips on handling unexpected situations while speaking on stage so that you can keep control of the speech and make sure everyone has a positive experience and leaves your speech feeling empowered and motivated.

 

1. Create an example bank

 

You’ll likely get some questions that you aren’t expecting, or that you aren’t sure if you’ll have time to go into while speaking. Or, you might just get some questions on clarifying the ideas you already covered.

 

Either way, an example bank can help. I like to keep a number of examples on the bench, just in case the starting team doesn’t get the job done. These are examples that are clear and that I know well, that I can talk about with little preparation.

 

This way, when someone asks a question, I don’t have to search my brain for an example, it’s already there. It allows me to answer clearly and effectively, without a lot of pause time and without a lot of stumbling.

 

The best part? Taking a little time to prepare this bank makes your audience think that you are completely comfortable thinking on your feet, and really adds to your credibility and to their overall understanding of your material.

 

Anticipate questions ahead of time

 

If you have a workshop or keynote that you deliver regularly, you’ll start noticing that you get the same questions over and over. You can either start to incorporate those questions into your speech, or not. Either way, you’ll want to know what they are so that you have go to stories, examples and clear answers for them when they come up. But, how do you anticipate questions? If you have a lot of published content, you can start there. What are people asking you in your blog posts? In your live Q&A sessions? In your personal conversations? Start creating a question bank and have a clear, concise answer to those questions that you’re ready to share without stumbling or searching through your memory bank. You can even go a step further and link these questions to something in your example bank for a powerful answer at any time.

 

Have a back-up plan

 

Plans are great. But back-up plans are life savers! (Tweet it. You know you love it. 🙂

 

Sometimes, whatever you planned, just doesn’t work out for whatever reason. The speaker before you went long and now you have half the time. The audience isn’t cooperating and they’re not giving much back. The audience is too into it and they’re eating into your speaking time. You fell off the stage (ok, hopefully that doesn’t happen).

 

Whatever it is, things happen. And when you’re in a live situation, things happen all the time. Having a back-up plan will make you look as though you are thinking and speaking off the cuff, even though you had it planned all along.

 

How do you create a back-up plan? First, anticipate possible scenarios (a change in time is a big one, so is audience participation if your speech relies on that, and technology is always a wild card). Know what you’ll cut if you’re short. Or, what you’ll add if you’re given more time. Know what you’ll do if you have no audio or visual.

 

Example: If I suddenly have less time than I thought, I’ll have certain examples that I cut – never just slice right off the end. Instead, cut a little from each of your main points.

 

Another example:  If you’re using slides, know how to explain the slides with words if the slides suddenly aren’t available, or what to skip over entirely if it isn’t possible to explain it without the slide.

 

Know your material beyond what you’ve written

 

If you’ve poured all of your knowledge into your speech, you don’t have a lot of wriggle room. You can’t really answer questions or adjust accordingly.

 

But, luckily for you, you probably won’t be speaking on anything that you don’t know really, really well. But, there might be some examples or case studies that you don’t know a lot about right off the top of your head. To counteract that, take the time to know some other additional details about any of these examples. Even if that info doesn’t make it to the final cut, you can respond and expand on it if that’s what your audience wants, or if you need to add some time.

 

Prepare phrases that you’re comfortable with to regain control

Sometimes, an audience member will try to highjack your speech – either intentionally or not. They’ll over share, or they’ll ask too many questions. Although I’m all about audience participation, if I’m managing a group of 50, 100, or even just 10 people, I want everyone to have a positive experience. And, if someone is overstepping boundaries, it can take away from what everyone else gets out of the presentation.

 

So, I always have a plan for managing the audience when someone, or multiple someone’s start to take over. My favorite is “oh yeah! That reminds me…” and then change the subject to my next topic. Sometimes, I’ll have a story that bridges what they’re speaking about to the topic I’m talking about. Stories always help the transition seem more natural for everyone.

 

Your Turn! You might have some other tips for handling unexpected situations. Let me know in the comments below – what do you do as a speaker when things start to get out of control? Or, have you seen a speaker handle unexpected situations really well? Share in the comments below!

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Start Your Speech Off w- a Bang

One Simple Tip to Start Your Speech Off with a Bang

One Simple Tip to Start Your Speech Off with a Bang

 

Ya know that moment when you’re at a cocktail party (…or insert school function, park play date or other less exciting activity if you’re like me!) and you meet someone new. She seems fun, interesting, and definitely someone you could see yourself getting a drink with. Instantly, you know you’ve met a new friend.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if your entire audience felt that way about you from the moment you met them? From your first spoken line up there on stage?

 

Your opener is arguably the most important part of your entire speech. It’s your chance to convince the audience to commit to sticking with you for the rest of the presentation (and resist the urge to check email or daydream about what’s for lunch). It’s also your opportunity to get some likes (the in person kind).

 

Today, I’ll share with you just one quick and simple tip that will help you start your speech off with a bang. In fact, it’s so ridiculously simple to implement that I bet it’ll surprise you!

 

Your Opener

 

First, let’s get clear on what your opener does and doesn’t do.

 

Your opener is sooooo important. It is more than just the start of your speech. It’s your opportunity to do the following…

 

  1. Convince the audience that your content is worth listening to.
  2. Give them clear expectations so they know what is coming up.
  3. Convince the audience that you’re da’ (wo)MAN! (Otherwise known as sounding credible and likeable.)

 

Starting off with a bang

 

You might already know that the best way to convince the audience that they should stick with you – and that you have content worth listening to – is to start off by saying something interesting (as opposed to starting off by, say, stating your name or topic).

 

But…. what are your slides saying?

 

One common mistake I see (that turns an otherwise interesting opener into a dud) is putting up a title slide when you should be creating suspense, interest and desire to hear more.

 

What’s the point of crafting the perfect story, full of suspense and mystery to start off with if you’re posting a large slide behind your head that completely ruins all of that mystery? It’s a distraction, and a buzz kill.

 

The simple tip

 

As promised, there is a ridiculously simple tip to eliminate this problem and start your speech off with a bang.

 

Simply start your slide show with a blank slide – completely black.

 

Put this black slide as your first slide, before the title slide.

 

This let’s you and your cleverly crafted opener shine vs. letting the distracting and mystery killing title slide to take center stage.

 

It let’s you make a connection with your audience right from the beginning. And that’s really what speaking is all about. That’s why you do that, rather than just write your blog. So the audience can get to know you. Connect with you. Like you. Love you!

 

And it’s so ridiculously simple. Yet, so powerful.

 

Your Turn

 

I want to know from you, what’s your tip for starting your speech off right? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

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That time I fell on my face (public speaking fail and how I recovered)

That time I fell on my face (public speaking fail and how I recovered)

People often ask me what to do if the worst case scenario happens on stage. You’ve probably thought about this at some point if you’ve ever given a speech. Maybe you’ve thought about someone in the audience interrupting, or a loud noise, losing your place, or anything that could distract you and throw you off  your game.

 

And actually, these things happen all the time. Anyone who’s been on stage will probably have some horror story. Here’s mine (and how to recover if it happens to you).

How I fell flat on my face in front of a room full of people

I have no idea how many hours of my life have been spent talking to a group of people in a formal, “public speaking” setting (I can count at least 2000, but that’s only since I’ve been keeping track). As with anything in life, if you do it enough you’re bound to a) get better at it and b) have a few… ‘incidents’.

 

I happen to be an ‘incident’ waiting to happen (not just on stage).

 

So, it didn’t necessarily surprise me when I took a major fall in front of a group of about 30 people, while delivering a presentation.

 

For a lot of people, this would signal a public speaking fail. Things like, falling over, tripping, sweating through your shirt and vomiting all tend to top the list of “things not to do on stage.”

 

Yet, there I was…. really involved in this lecture I was presenting. And when I get really into my presentations, my body gets into it. I move around a lot, I use big gestures, and I don’t pay much attention to what is happening with “me.”

 

I had a cute outfit on that day. Black pumps (the pointy heel kind for those of you who don’t know your women’s shoes), grey slacks that were just a bit too long so I had them hemmed up in a cuff, which might not sound cute, but actually was. (I loved those pants.)

 

Unfortunately, the combo of pointy high heel and cuffed pant = high percentage falling over.

 

I took a step closer to the audience, really worked up about something I was talking about, and stepped right into the cuff of my left pant leg with the point of my right heel. My legs tangled, I got caught, and had one of those slow motion falls to the ground. You know the one, right? Where you see it coming, but you just can’t. quite. catch yourself.

 

Talk about an interruption.

 

Here’s the thing (and I realize this might not be comforting), these things happen. I’m a person. You’re a person. The audience is full of people. And people aren’t always graceful (especially me, ask anyone who knows me). And people sometimes trip, or cough, or sneeze, or otherwise act like people while delivering a presentation.

 

Does this make you a bad public speaker? Or does this make this a bad speech? Absolutely not. Because, that isn’t the important thing here. The important thing is that my audience understood my message, that they connected with me, and that I was able to effectively communicate with them.

 

And all of that still happened, despite the interruption.

 

Actually, the time spent on that interruption was relatively small. We moved on pretty quickly.

 

How to recover from interruptions

 

If you’re on stage enough, you’ll encounter interruptions. Some will be out of your control, some will be all because of you. Some are major, other’s are barely noticeable. Either way, don’t stress. Here are some things you can do to get everyone refocused on your message again.

 

Acknowledge it

Listen, I know that the impulse is just to push through and ignore anything you may have done wrong, or any outside disruption. But don’t leave that big elephant walking around the room without anyone acknowledging it – because what happens when there’s a big elephant that no one wants to talk about? It’s the ONLY thing you can think of.

 

And same with your audience. Now, I’m not saying you have to acknowledge every cough, sneeze or paper shuffling that happens during your speech, but if there is a major incident (like falling on your face), people are going to notice. If you act like you didn’t, you appear to be disconnected (imagine if I just kept talking as I was picking myself up off the ground? I’d look like a weirdo, lacking personality, right?)

 

Acknowledging it paints you as a natural and relaxed presenter who knows your stuff so well that you can adapt – almost like you’re speaking off the cuff (even if you’re not – I wasn’t, but my audience thought I was).

 

View this as a conversation. Not as if you are delivering a monologue. There’s room to veer off the path for unexpected circumstances.

 

Acknowledging the incident can be as simple as a little smile and nod to the interruption, or a full on pause with an added joke or story. The choice is yours.

 

Focus on the Content

The main goal is still to communicate the message. Make sure the audience is still with you and caught up before moving forward after an interruption. Just because you were at a specific place of your speech before the interruption, doesn’t mean you have to pick up exactly there.

 

If the interruption caused a commotion, or was especially distracting, just do a quick recap before moving on. The audience will quickly forget and get wrapped up in your speech soon enough. Again, this is a conversation. Not a monologue. Adjust as needed.

 

KNOW your content

One thing I’ve noticed while working with new speakers is that a lot of people believe that if they want to sound and look natural on stage, they have to talk off the cuff. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Does it work for some people? Sure. But, they’re the exception. Not the rule. And, if you’re one of those people, you probably know it by now and have a very natural ability on stage.

 

To sound natural, you need to know your speech inside and out. This actually safeguards against things like losing your place or not recovering well from interruptions.

 

And when I say “know your content” I don’t just mean memorize the speech. I mean, know and understand the flow of the content. What are the common themes that weave through it? Know multiple examples, even if you don’t plan to use them (good for Q&A’s or expanding when needed). Know how pieces connect to each other.

 

If you know all of this very, very well, you’ll be able to pick up anywhere, at anytime, despite any interruption – even if it’s a major one.

 

How I recovered

What did I do?

 

Well, first I stood up – and I had to laugh because, who couldn’t? I actually told a short story to diffuse the situation about the same thing that happened the last time I wore those pants (at least that time I wasn’t in the middle of a presentation). Then, I did a quick recap and got back on track. Overall, the entire distraction was only a minute or two and was quickly forgotten (it didn’t end up on YouTube, I think that counts as a win these days?). Since I didn’t make a big deal about it, and didn’t awkwardly pretend like it didn’t happen, they didn’t view it as a big deal (mildly entertaining? Yes. Can’t believe that happened and this goes down as the WORST presentation EVER??? Not at all).

 

Next time you’re on stage and something tragic happens, just remember to keep your cool. Address it, focus on the message, and have faith in your expertise and knowledge on the topic. You’ll get through this!

 

Have questions about public speaking? With over 2000 hours of presentation time and after working with over 2000 people to help them create and deliver their presentations, I’ve seen it all. And I know how to deliver a speech that gets results. Let me know what you want to know by filling out this super-quick, one question survey and I’ll make sure I address it!

 

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Let’s Chat

 

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done in front of a group of people? How did you recover? Let me know by commenting below!

[box] Want to deliver a 100% natural and completely conversational keynote? (And by that I mean, it’ll feel as comfy as chatting with your best bud). Get the 5 Step Cheat Sheet and learn how (+ join the Very Important Presenter’s Club to get access to all the support you need for rocking it on stage). You in??[/box]

 

 

What to do after you book a speaking gig

What to do after you book a speaking gig

You booked a speaking gig? Congrats! Now what?

You probably worked really hard to book this gig, or maybe you just got lucky on this one and it just kind of found you. Either way, now that it’s in the books, you might feel a little overwhelmed as you try to figure out what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.

 

You’re already a passionate expert, and you already have lots of content out there on your platform, but speaking is a bit different than what you’re used to (maybe blogging or podcasting), and you just need to nail this.

 

No worries, you’ve got this!

 

This post will walk you through the first 3 things you need to do immediately after booking a speaking gig.

 

Step 1: collect all of the info

 

Uncertainty causes anxiety. And anxiety is no fun, especially on stage. If you want to get rid of that anxiety, get rid of as much uncertainty as possible. This means finding out the dirty little details about the speech ahead of time (no surprises!)

 

First – the obvious – Learn about the expectations of the speech itself. You can ask things like….

 

How long are you expected to speak for?

How many people will be there?

Where is the event?

What expectations does the conference organizer have for you?

What technology is available for you to use?

What time of day and is there a dress code?3 steps

 

Next – the less obvious, but super-duper important – These are things like the make-up of the audience and the specific situation. You can ask…

 

Who exactly will be there (CEO’s of big firms, or freelancers? Men or women? School teachers or the kids? It makes a difference)?

How is the room set up (if the conference organizer doesn’t know this, you can always call the hotel and ask)?

Will you have a teleprompter / or a screen to view slides on?

How will you get your slides on the screen? Do they need them ahead of time?

 

Finally – the details – dig into the culture of the event. You can ask…

 

Why does this event take place?

What has it looked like in previous years?

What commonalities do the audience members share?

What are their common goals?

 

And there might be more info that you want to collect, depending on the event and your level of comfort as a speaker. If you can adapt to any situation on the fly, the setup of the room isn’t as important. If you’re feeling a ton of anxiety and you like to control details in your life, the knowledge can help you visualize your speech going well before you even take the stage.

 

Step 2 – Get clear on your topic

 

This is such an overlooked step. A rookie mistake is to just go, “Well, I’m a social media marketing specialist, so I’ll talk about social media marketing. Bam. Done. This speech is going to be a breeze…”

 

This is way too vague, and leads to all sorts of problems later on down the line. Instead, I suggest creating a goal statement – one clear statement that defines your goal as a speaker.

 

That goal statement will become your compass as you create the rest of your content. You’ll always have a goal in mind, and you’ll have a better shot of meeting that goal. Skip this step and you run the risk of confusing the audience, leaving them feeling like they just couldn’t quite connect the dots during your talk.

 

It helps to do this early on so you can clearly tell the conference organizer and your platform what you’ll be speaking about, even if it isn’t completely ironed out yet.

 

Step 3 – Create a plan

 

The more anxious you feel about the speech, the more likely you are to put off preparing for it. I know, that isn’t what your intuition says, but trust me, that’s what happens. Your mind will think of anything that it wants or needs to do besides preparing for something that terrifies it (or even just something that makes it feel uncomfortable).

 

You don’t want to end up stressed out, pulling an all nighter before your speech. Who wants to take the stage after a night like that? (Puffy eyes, scratchy voice… that certainly won’t help you feel comfy on stage).

 

I like to start working on a speech, or a client’s speech, about 6 weeks before the presentation date. This leaves plenty of time for creating the content, and lots of time for practicing (but not so much time that you obsess over it).

 

Set some deadlines for yourself. When do you want to have the first draft done? The slide deck? What about the finer details, like your outfit? Or your travel plans? Setting up the plan ahead of time will help you stay on track, but it’ll also help you create killer content and feel completely at ease on stage while you deliver that content – and that’s what it’s all about.

Want more??

Want more?? I’ve got lots more, but I need to know what you want! Could you please fill out this ONE question survey to let me know? I’ll do my best to get you the information that you need to turn yourself into an incredible public speaker!

How to build relationships when you are on stage PART II

How to build relationships when you are on stage PART II

Welcome back to the second part of three about how to build relationships when you are on stage.

If you haven’t read the first part yet, I highly recommend you to do it.

Read the PART I.

 

So let’s move on to the second part.

In this post we’ll cover:

  • Before going on stage
  • During on stage
  • Follow up

This is the part that excites me the most.

We have our speech ready, we are well prepared and the day is finally here.

With your speech, your pictures, and your slides, you know what you want the audience to feel like and how to react.

But as you know by now, it’s not what you say it’s how you say it.

You have prepared for this and you know the high energy parts of your speech and the low energy. You know when to lower your voice and when to make a strong and powerful impact with your voice and body.

Which leads us in to…

Before going on stage

As I said, your preparation includes many things. Now it’s time to prepare your audience as well. It’s time to put them in the perfect state of mind, to set the energy you want.

But first, you’ll prepare yourself, mentally.

Go somewhere you can’t be disturbed. Backstage if you can or even to the bathroom for a moment. Somewhere you can close your eyes, visualize yourself on stage giving the speech.

I want you to visualize the high energy parts of your speech and how the audience reacts.

Before you break the silence and go out again, I want you to visualize how the host calls your name and you go up on stage while your favorite song is playing and the audience is clapping along.

Boom!

Now you go out and prepare the audience as well.

Talk to as many as you can from the audience, make it feel casual.

Try to connect with them and to laugh with them. This set’s the mode for them that you are relaxed but letting them know that this will be good.

Make sure to remember the people you talk to and can point them out in the audience later on stage.

During on stage

Now is where the fun part begins.

You have prepared so well for this and you will crush it!

Spot maybe one or two of the people you talked to before going on stage and make strong eye contact with them. Throw in a quick smile if you like.

Do the same with one or two other in the audience that you haven’t talked to before.

A quick tip here is to make them participate as soon as possible.

  • Ask them to raise their hands if they came from another country/or another continent for that event
  • You can acknowledge that they came from another continent by asking them from where and ask the audience to applaud that.

Now, during your speech, don’t forget to keep eye contact and not move your head around too quickly.

It looks insecure. I always try to move my head in slow motion when my eyes change direction. It feels slow motion to me but it looks pretty normal from the outside.

Another thing to remember is not to talk to fast. Embrace the silence. Silence takes a statement from good to great.

However, to make a great impact with your words, you have to think of your tonality. Make it come from the heart.

How?

Skip the higher pitch.

“Higher pitch equals lower amount of social value.” Click To Tweet

Think of it this way.

Have you ever heard a superhero in a higher pitch? No!

“I’m Batman!”

Boom. It’s strong and powerful.

Same with Darth Vader, he talks slow and low.

This is something you can practice on every day and make it come automatic.

But in order to be able to have a good tonality, you have to control your breathing.

A recommendation is to breathe in through your nose.

This way you feel more relaxed. Also, the more you breathe through the mouth the easier it is to get dehydrated.

Another important aspect to think of is your body language and the nonverbal communication.

This is definitely more difficult than to control your breathing and your tonality.

In this case, you have to be self-aware, to analyze how you move and stand when you’re talking.

If you find yourself thinking of your posture in the middle of a speech or a conversation then take a quick look at your toes.

A quick look on your toes and back up again is an easy way to scan your body language and adjust it if necessary.

Nonverbal communication experts often talk about open and closed posture. A closed posture can be when someone is crossing their arms and legs or being positioned in a slight angle from the person they’re interacting with.

An open posture can be when you are facing the person you interact with, having eye contact, and aren’t afraid of showing your palms/forearms.

You’ll want to have an open posture to show your confidence.

To become a speaker that builds relationship on stage, you can’t take your body language for granted.

You know that this is a big part in building those relationships and gaining trust.

You’ll be focusing on your voice and tonality, your breathing, how you’re standing, moving your head and eyes, and how you use hand gestures to make a greater impact.

And if you find yourself thinking of your posture in the middle of a speech or conversation, take a quick look at your toes and adjust.

Follow Up

The last thing your audience wants is to leave the event with a great feeling about you and your speech but still wondering “so, what’s the next step for me?”

I haven’t talked about how to build your speech, what to include or what to say when and mainly that’s because I’m no expert on it.

But what I DO know is about building relationships and if you don’t have a smooth finish, then you won’t get the results you hoped for or deserved to get.

Usually great speeches end with a summary and tie it all to the audience. More important than that, how do you follow up?

Have a clear step, a landing page, a paper to fill in etc.

Think of it this way.

You are at an event hearing one of your favorite speakers giving a great presentation.

This is exactly what you needed to listen to and by the end of the presentation the speaker mentions a course on the same topic but more in depth.

Do you make an investment?

If you are serious, yeah you probably do.

The next step doesn’t have to be a course, it can be something free. As long as there is a follow up plan and you mention it for the audience, you’re giving it a perfect ending.

Ok, so we have covered A LOT in these two parts.

In the next, and final part we’ll cover:

  • Recap
  • Examples of great speeches and why
  • Next Step

As always, I’m very open to feedback and questions so if you have a question or would like to get some more information on a certain topic, hit me up below in the comment section.

Also let me know, how do you set the energy before a speech or something that demands preparation?

BIO:

Jossif Elefteriadis is a relationship marketing strategist that helps you build valuable relationships and gain trust.

Get his FREE 20+ pages guide: “How To Connect With Experts And Influencers In Your Field

What do I put on my slides?

#Presentation TipWhat do I put on my slides?

Do you have any tips for using slides in my speech?

I’m not a visually creative person. You can probably gather that much by taking a look at this website. Or my house. (Or my wardrobe for that matter).

For that reason, I declare, slide decks are the worst.

But, hey, it isn’t just a bias opinion, this opinion comes from years of sitting through poor lectures, blue Power Points and boring conference presentations.

But, they’re a necessary part of speech, you say?

Eh. I can do without them for the most part. But, let’s talk about it.

I’ve talked to a whole lot of people about their speeches / presentations / talks or whatever else you want to call them, and one thing that I’ve noticed is that the word, “slide deck” is almost a synonym for public speaking.

I’ve also noticed that, for the most part, people really struggle with knowing what to put on their slides. How many are too many? How many are too few? How many words per slide? What color text? Etc.

People are sometimes surprised that I’m not really into the whole slide thing, being a speech coach and all. But, the truth it, although they can really help supplement your content, along, they aren’t your content.  In other words, all of the beautiful images and pie charts in the world aren’t going to make your speech great. Nor will they make your speech terrible (assuming you have great content).

So, to ease some tension around the creation of these slides, I wanted to give some tips that you can use to create an amazing presentation that includes amazing slides.

  1. Go visual

Images are more fun to look at than words. They help support your content without tempting you to rely on them FOR the content.

  1. Think about (and write out) how you’re going to talk about your slide.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to figure this out on the fly. I wrote a post about this here, but in short, you’ll end up either talking to your slide (and turning your back toward the audience), or you’ll end up confusing the audience (“why are we looking at this picture of his cat again??”) because you don’t have a clear connection between your actual point and your slide.

  1. Use the blank slide trick.

This is my favorite trick. Put a blank slide in between your other slides so that you can control where the audience is focusing. If you have something on the screen, they’ll look there. But, often, it is best for them to look at you. That way, they’ll soak in all of the emotion from your face and they’ll actually feel something while you talk. When there isn’t anything important on the projector screen, let it go dark and focus the audience’s attention on you. Then, when it is time to show another slide, they’ll immediately refocus on the screen.

Do you have any other tips for creating and using slides in your speech? I’d love to hear. If you want even more, I have a short eBook that discusses the use of slides in depth. Get it here.

How to build relationships when you are on stage (Part 1 of 3)

How to build relationships when you are on stage

This is a guest post by Jossif Elefteriadis.

Yes, you are here! And if you are here, then you’re in the right place my friend.
This isn’t just a regular blog post. This is the beginning of a 3 part series on how YOU can build relationships when you are on stage.
No one wants to be on stage and forget the words, or even worse know that the audience is leaving without the satisfaction of your talk.
You didn’t meet their expectations.

If this has happened to you then you know what it feels like. It sucks!
Now let’s build on that.

You’ve probably heard the quote that “it’s not what you say it’s how you say it”.
Here’s a quick story.

I remember one of my teachers. He was one of the good ones.
One lesson, he decided to start a bit different, he started with a story.
He told this story with power and with enthusiasm.

Everyone was drawn in. Everyone was focused. The teacher had 100% of our attention, physically and mentally.
Then suddenly he stops and says: “That’s it. This story has no end and no meaning. It’s not about what you say rather than how you say it and how you present it”.

To our all’s disappointment, that was true.

Now imagine that, but with a story, and with a value that is perfect for your audience.
In this 3 part series, I will go through the steps of how you can create great impact and build relationships when you’re on stage.

PART I

  • What makes a great speech
  • The preparation

PART II

  • Before going on stage
  • During on stage
  • Follow up

PART III

  • Recap
  • Example of great speeches
  • Next step

What makes a great speech?

Here are three key words that I try to follow every time I’m about to plan a speech.
Alpha – Confidence – Knowledge
Trust me when I say, if you miss one of them, you’re screwed.
These three key words have many different definitions but I will explain what I think of them (and probably others do too) and how you can use them to your favor.

Alpha
When I hear the word Alpha, I immediately get a clear picture in my head. It can be a male or a female, well dressed, you can feel the charisma around them and their “important-ness”, but there’s more than that.

I tried to break Alpha down into three categories (which weren’t easy) so you can take action right now.

– Awkward doesn’t exist, embrace the silence

An alpha doesn’t believe in awkward situations. They see the positive in every situation and flips it to something good. This will be easier once you learn that the silence is positive.
When an “awkward” moment is about to happen, just be quiet, hold eye-contact (important) and listen (very important).
To be able to embrace the silence, you have to be present. You can think of what to say, you can think of how you’re standing (body language), listen to others talking and take notes. This shows massive respect.

– Dress well

Dress well and dress appropriate. This doesn’t only show respect (you’ve put time and effort to be presentable and to look good) but it adds to the whole picture of building trust, not by what you say but how you say it.

– Nonverbal master

An alpha is highly aware of how his body is moving. You can make a statement much stronger than what it is, if your body is acting along with your mind and words.
This is important not only to show your power, how dominant you are etc. which is what most of the people think when you talk about nonverbal communication.
This is important to show that you aren’t week or insecure, you respect yourself and take care of your body which gives you a better, more confidence hold.

Confidence
Confidence is a part of alpha but I want to give it an own section since it’s so important.
Confidence doesn’t mean arrogance.
You don’t have to show your confidence, people will notice.
Remember that everything you do and every choice you make, it’s your decision and you should stand for it. To stand for your decisions and your thoughts, and to be able to talk about them and put your feelings on the outside, that’s confidence.

Knowledge
First of all knowledge in yourself and in your topic. Make sure you know what’s working and what’s not (from yours or others experiences), also the latest in your topic.

Understand your audience.

– Who they are
– What are they doing
– Why are they listening to you
– What language are they talking
You want to adapt as much as possible to your audience for them to get the most out of your speech.
Of course there is more than the steps above for creating a great speech and we’ll go through a few of them in this series.
I’ll explain more in this 3 part series on how you can prepare for your speech.

The Preparation
Ok, so you’re about to give an awesome speech or a keynote presentation at an event, what’s next?
I’ll give you an extra second here to understand how important preparation is.
Pat Flynn prepared his opening keynote presentation for New Media Expo 2015 for over a year.
Yes, a whole year. Pat Flynn.
Let it sink in.

Now, your speech might not be at New Media Expo or some big event, but to get there you have to make every speech count.
First I want you to remember that someone chose you to speak on stage, because of what you’re doing. Embrace it. You are doing something so good that people want to put you on stage.
Have confidence in your knowledge. If you have a blog and you’re creating content by writing, then think of this as creating more content on the same topic but instead of writing you just speak.
You can also ask the host why they did chose you to speak so you know why they think their audience will benefit from you. Rolling from that, ask about their audience, do research on who’s going to be in the audience.
Go back to our Knowledge section above and understand your audience.
If you’re going to use a PowerPoint presentation or show pictures then make sure you have good slides and high quality pictures that resonate with what you are talking about.

Get feedback on your presentation and pictures from others.

And don’t forget to practice.

Practice, improve, practice, improve, get feedback, and improve.
Run your whole speech with pictures (if you have) to others and get feedback, both on your content but also on your voice and body language.
Practice in front of a mirror as well so you can spot the week parts and improve them.
Make sure to only keep the essentials. The last thing you want is to lose the attention of your audience and to waste their time.
I hope to set the foundation here for this 3 part series and that you’ll set the foundation for your speech.

In the next part we’ll cover:
• Before going on stage
• During on stage
• Follow up
I want to get you active right away. Head to the comments below and share your best experience on stage.
If you haven’t been on stage yet but you want to change that pretty soon, what do you fear the most, and what are you most excited about?

About Jossif:

Jossif Elefteriadis is a relationship marketing strategist that helps you build valuable relationships and gain trust.
Get his FREE 20+ pages guide: “How To Connect With Experts And Influencers In Your Field

How do I manage my time during a presentation?

Manage time on the stageHow do I manage my time during a presentation?

If you’ve never taken the stage before, or have only taken the stage for short periods of time, your first 60 minute speech can feel like eternity.

In reality, speaking for 60 minutes, or even 4 hours, really does go by fast (it’s ok if you don’t believe me just yet 🙂

In a TED Talk, Tony Robbins comments that he’ll have a tough time managing the timing of his talk because he typically gives seminars that last all weekend. But, back when I was teaching public speaking to college students, their first assignment was to give a 2-5 minute presentation. Every semester, I would announce the assignment, and then watch absolute shock and terror come over their faces. Who could possibly speak for that long?? It’s all relative.

Whatever amount of time you’re given to speak, it’ll likely either feel too short or too long for you. The key to managing your time all comes down to developing a really great outline.

I have lots of tips for managing your time, and today I’ll just give you two of the big ones.

First, make sure that your content is properly focused. A common misconception is that the length of time you are given to talk will determine the number of main points that you present. But, that’s not true. In fact, the length really has nothing to do with that. Instead, the timing should dictate the detail in which you cover a topic. So, if you’re given 5 minutes, it is likely the person is looking for a brief overview. If you’re given longer, they want to know more about it in depth.

Focusing your content is really important. I talk about it more in this video. You can watch it here.

The second tip for managing your time is to create rock solid stage notes – and use them.

Stage notes are just notes that you take on the stage with you. But, the way you construct them is really important. You can’t just print out your script and call it a day, and you can’t just have a bulleted list  (you’ll never find what you’re looking for quickly enough while you’re on stage). Rather, I suggest writing your notes in an outline form and leaving small timing reminders at various places throughout the outline. This way, if you get off track for whatever reason, you can quickly get back to where you need to be.

What about you? How do you manage time while on stage?  Leave your tips in the comments below.

Have another issue that you’d like to see me address? I’d love to help out. Leave a comment with your question and I’ll see what I can do 🙂

Overcome limiting beliefs with Brian Holmes

HolmesBrian_headshotOvercome limiting beliefs with Brian Holmes

Hey everyone, welcome back to episode 51 of the clearly influential podcast. As you might know, today is going to be our last episode of season 1. We’re taking a little break and we’ll be back with season 2 later on in the year. Now, don’t be sad because season 2 is going to be very exciting. We’ll have a slightly different format, we’re making some changes – all for the better, and basically, we’re just moving on up in the world. If you want to know when that starts, I have a special offer for anyone who wants to join my launch team. You’ll have free access to all of the videos and other materials in my self-study version of the Content Clarity Formula which is meant to teach you how to become an amazing presenter. So, if speaking is part of your marketing plan, or if it’s going to be, and you want to learn how to create and deliver amazing presentations every single time you take the stage, here’s your chance to do it for free. You can join my launch team, get the course and it’s a win-win for all of us. Sign up at clearlyinfluential.com/launch for more info.

Oooooook…. so today, wow, big episode today about overcoming your own mind, your own limiting beliefs to get yourself to the next level in life. Our guest today, Brian Holmes, believes that everyone has a next level waiting for them, and we just have to change our thinking so we can allow ourselves to grow and move into that level.

We talked about balancing living in the moment and feeling grateful with that desire to move to the next level and discuss practical tips for doing so.

We also talked about limiting beliefs, how they’re formed, how to uncover them and how to move forward. I also asked Brian a very personal question about an issue that I’ve been having lately in moving forward in my own business. So who is Brian Holmes?

Brian Holmes the Founder and President of the Strategic Living Institute (SLI), a life changing organization dedicated to teaching people to harness the power and potential that God has given them. SLIs mission and method is revolutionary, providing individuals the opportunity and means to receive inner life healing, purpose specific training and development, and the practical activation necessary to be mobilized as leaders of cultural transformation.

Brian is an author and speaker; a Certified Life, Business, and Leadership Coach; a Master Coach Trainer; and mentor to people in all fields.

Like what you see? Tweet it out!

Did you enjoy Brian’s interview? Let him know and tell him Sandy sent you:

Brian Holmes’ Website

Brian’s Facebook Page

Connect with Brian on Twitter

Resources: 

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Focus@Will: Be more productive

Free Enrollment into Content Clarity Formula (Self-Study) ← http://clearlyinfluential.com/launch