• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

Speaker Preparedness

How visualization helps you succeed

How visualization helps you succeed 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

You can do many things to prepare for a talk. Record yourself. Request feedback from a willing audience. Practice. The list goes on.

One way to help you achieve your speaking goals is to visualize the steps you need to take in order to be a successful, effective speaker. For example:

  • Imagine yourself conducting research.
  • Picture yourself drafting a clear, engaging message.
  • Visualize yourself practicing.
  • Mentally watch as you respond to audience questions.

You know what to do to develop your presentation. Researchers Taylor, Pham, Rivkin, & Armor (1998) say that by imagining yourself successfully completing each step, you’ll maintain motivation and help make it happen!

 

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Write a memorable wedding toast – in just minutes.

Write a memorable wedding toast – in just minutes. 2560 1710 I Need A Speaker

Outfits have been purchased. Gifts have been wrapped. Now it’s time to write your toast.

Where do you start? Some people tell us they can stare at a blank sheet of paper or gaze at a laptop screen for hours without inspiration.

We’re here to help with tips that will make the process easier and calm those butterflies.

  1. Remember the purpose of the toast. Your intent is to honor and congratulate the couple, encouraging others to join you in this celebration.
  2. Know your audience. Would a sentimental or funny approach work better? Are there people in the audience who would love to hear stories related to the couple?
  3. Start by mentioning your feelings about being asked to speak at the wedding. Are you excited? Honored? What makes you feel that way?
  4. Take a moment to talk about your relationship to the newlyweds, and share a favorite story.
  5. Discuss how both people complement one another. What makes their relationship work? Why is it so special? How will their married status enhance their lives?
  6. Ask guests to raise a glass as you deliver your closing remarks, ending with congratulatory wishes for lifelong happiness.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to write an appropriate, memorable tribute to the pair.

As you plan your delivery, keep these additional tips in mind:

  • Make eye contact with the couple and wedding guests, including everyone in the room.
  • Practice in advance so you’re more comfortable when you’re called upon to speak.
  • Plan for a brief presentation of less than three minutes.
  • Remain classy and appropriate.
  • Avoid past relationships, inside jokes, use of expletives, and inappropriate humor.
  • Limit your alcohol content prior to the speech to ensure your best performance.

Now we raise a virtual glass to you and your wonderful wedding toast!

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Women, please take the stage.

Women, please take the stage. 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

Yesterday I heard a disturbing statistic. I learned that approximately 70 percent of conference speakers are men. Seventy percent. Wow.

Although I’m sure these speakers have a great message, I know that women also have inspiring and useful information to share. Let’s make room on the stage, please, to welcome more diverse speakers.

I Need A Speaker is on a mission to amplify new voices. Please encourage the women you know to learn more about I Need A Speaker and how their voices can be heard. Audiences are waiting for you.

 

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Do this before beginning your public speaking career.

Do this before beginning your public speaking career. 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

I was in a Clubhouse room the other day, and someone raised a hand to be invited to the stage. The individual explained that he was ready to begin exploring opportunities for public speaking.

“What’s your central message?” the moderator asked.

The individual replied, “Well, I can adapt to suit the audience. I have expertise in a number of areas.”

Ouch.

The first thing to do is to have a central message. Know what it is, and know who needs to hear it. Then you can start looking for opportunities to share it.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Check the link. An error can lock out your audience.

Check the link. An error can lock out your audience. 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Dafna Gold Melchior – one of our wonderful speakers – recently posted this on LinkedIn. With her permission we’re sharing this message:

“Check the link. Double check the link. Otherwise you could discover that your esteemed guests were sent somewhere else…

I delivered a workshop last night, on behalf of an organization. 150 people signed up via a production company, which sent them an invite with a link. I was in the Zoom room early, checked sound and share screen with the helpful tech person.

At a few minutes to the hour, we started wondering why no one was joining… Turned out the production company had mistakenly sent the wrong link…

By the time I too was sent the (wrong) link my audience had received, there were 8 people left (5 with cameras off). So three lucky people received my workshop, and I assure you I gave them my all, as I would have with 150 participants.

I’m sharing this to spare you the same frustrating experience. I beg you, have those who handle logistics on your behalf check and re-check the link.”

Follow her advice.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Why Clubhouse may be your best training resource

Why Clubhouse may be your best training resource 2560 1920 I Need A Speaker

Clubhouse is one of the most popular new social media apps. Currently available to iPhone users only, Clubhouse describes itself as “a new type of social network based on voice—where people around the world come together to talk, listen and learn from each other in real time.”

As of 1 February 2021, Clubhouse has 2 million users. I haven’t turned off my Clubhouse notifications, and my phone regularly lights up with mentions of current, new, or scheduled “rooms.” As a user, I can drop into these rooms and listen to a discussion or raise my hand to participate. I can create my own room solo or with other people.

So what’s the appeal for someone who is a public speaker? There are several benefits, actually … networking, learning, promoting yourself. But today I want to focus on a really important benefit that’s especially beneficial for emerging public speakers: practice.

If you’re anxious about public speaking or feel like you need to speak more confidently, take the Clubhouse “stage” and share your thoughts. The tone of the app is an informal, using a pop-in-quietly-and-leave-quietly design. Schedule your own room on a topic you know well, or raise your hand in someone else’s room to contribute.

You’ll have the opportunity to receive valuable feedback. And when people ask questions, that tells you what information you might want to include when speaking in front of a live audience.

When you do this with regularity, you’ll refine your message, obtain more experience in delivering it, and advance your public speaking goals.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Hot mics can lead to a hot mess

Hot mics can lead to a hot mess 2560 1706 I Need A Speaker

An entire school board resigned days after a private discussion was broadcast. The California board members didn’t realize the mic was open as they disparaged parents in a profanity-laced chat.

While there is certainly a lesson here for the individuals involved, there is also a lesson for all of us. It’s simple. Don’t say anything you would be ashamed for others to hear. And treat every mic as if it’s live.

 

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Five reasons to take the stage

Five reasons to take the stage 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

If you’re thinking about taking the stage, there is no better time! Virtual events have increased exponentially in the last year, and event planners are looking for panel presenters, keynoters, motivational speakers, and more. Do it for the audiences who will benefit – and do it for yourself as well.

Here are five great reasons to grab a microphone or jump on a video conference:

  1. You’ll improve your critical thinking skills. As you plan your talk, you need to think through a central statement, supportive material, and clever endings. Along the way, you have to plan with your audience in mind.
  2. You’ll stand out. If you’re looking for a job or welcome advancement in your current position, your work as a public speaker will get you positive attention.
  3. You’ll expand your network. Virtual meetings are still meetings. Use the opportunity to network with new people and follow up afterward.
  4. You’ll sharpen your communication skills. Public speaking is a process that involves focusing on verbal and nonverbal language. Emphasis on these skills will improve your interactions.
  5. You’ll enjoy a greater sense of self-confidence. Many people say they fear public speaking, and others credit their talks for giving them a sense of accomplishment.

While there are so many more reasons to get in front of an audience, these five will hopefully be enough to get you started. Break a leg!

Photo credit: Pexels

Webinar attendees pinpointed one thing new speakers need

Webinar attendees pinpointed one thing new speakers need 441 232 I Need A Speaker

This week, I had the honor of being a guest on a webinar hosted by Samantha Kelly for Women’s Inspire Network (WIN). Based in Ireland, WIN is a networking group for female entrepreneurs.

It’s a lovely group of women who are motivated, passionate subject matter experts – qualities of great public speakers. During the webinar, host Samantha and I talked about why and how people can use public speaking to elevate their brands. As we spoke, the chat continued scrolling as attendees made comments and asked questions.

What happened next surprised me a bit. The conversation drifted toward the one obstacle that prevented many of these women from taking the stage – their self-doubt. It was a surprising revelation because these women are brilliant, accomplished individuals with important messages to share. Also, they have a huge potential audience.

Our conversation changed once again, and this time the direction wasn’t surprising. Attendees acknowledged one another’s skill sets and expertise, then encouraged each other to take the first step with public speaking. That one element – encouragement – was all it took to give these women the confidence to do it.

I shared an anecdote about a very powerful speaker I know. The speaker is a woman who overcame difficult circumstances to reinvent her life and succeed. Speaking from the heart, this woman tells her story in a way that’s relatable and impactful. She may never have had a class on public presentation, but she has the qualities needed to captivate and inspire her audience.

We all have stories to tell or expertise to share. I Need A Speaker was founded to help new voices be heard, so I’ll encourage you now to take the next step and discover what you can accomplish.

Go for it. Be heard. People want and need your message.

 

Photo credit: Samantha Kelly

3 public speaking lessons you can learn from Amanda Gorman

3 public speaking lessons you can learn from Amanda Gorman 1709 2560 I Need A Speaker

Last month, Amanda Gorman stole the show during President Biden’s inauguration. She captivated everyone when reading her original poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

Three takeaways from her presentation can benefit all speakers:

  1. Have a clear purpose. Develop your central statement of purpose, and add relevant support material. Eliminate anything that’s redundant, and keep editing until you’ve created a powerful presentation.
  2. Speak with confidence. You’ll feel confident when you know the material well and have practiced several times.
  3. Add drama. Use pauses that emphasize points and allow your audience to keep up with you. Incorporate nonverbal language to create an emotional connection and demonstrate your passion for the presentation.

Amanda Gorman can and will teach us a lot. These public speaking takeaways reflect just a portion of her talent.

Channel your inner Amanda Gorman. It’s your turn to steal the show!

 

 

Photo credit: Pexels

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