• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

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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

Once upon a time …

Once upon a time … 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Shawn Achor and Brene Brown are two of my favorite authors and speakers. It’s not just because of the information they share. I like these speakers so much because of the way they share information. They tell engaging stories. They pull me in, and they make me want to hear more.

Before pen was ever put to paper, stories have been passed from generation to generation verbally. Ancient civilizations used stories to explain what they could not understand.

As humans, we are wired to tell, enjoy and remember tales. Great speakers know this, and they successfully weave stories into presentations to engage audiences, illustrate key points, and help listeners retain information.

When speakers tell stories from the heart, they connect with audience members in a special way. Speakers become more relatable, approachable, and memorable. In essence, they become more effective.

What story will you tell?

Nine ways to improve your online presentations

Nine ways to improve your online presentations 2560 1709 I Need A Speaker

With the rise of virtual meetings, many presenters have been asked to deliver remarks via Zoom. How can you be your best while presenting remotely? Plan well, as any good speaker would … and follow these nine tips.

  1. Keep your camera at face level, allowing you to look directly at the camera without looking down your nose or tilting your head upward.
  2. If your background doesn’t project the image you’d choose, swap it for a virtual background. Search “virtual Zoom backgrounds” online, and you’ll find a variety of free, downloadable images that range from silly to sophisticated. Use one that suits the occasion, topic, and audience.
  3. Ensure your background is as quiet as possible. You can’t prevent a fire truck from barreling down the street, lights and sirens engaged, but you can try your best to keep noises at a minimum.
  4. For best audio quality, consider using a headset with a microphone or a clip-on microphone in addition to your computer. Inexpensive models may be purchased online for less than $20 and will improve your audience’s experience.
  5. Be sensitive to time limitations. Many people are reporting “Zoom fatigue” from the number of online meetings they attend. Respect your audience’s time – as well as that of other presenters – by staying within your requested timeframe.
  6. Engage your audience when possible. This keeps attendees interested and supports their retention of information. Take a poll, conduct a brief activity, or have your audience complete a brief task.
  7. Dress appropriately! YouTube has a variety of “fail” videos revealing that some Zoom presenters failed to follow this rule.
  8. Remember that your setting may be more casual than your workplace, but you still want to appear professional. Enunciate and speak at a comfortable pace, so your audience can follow along easily.
  9. Have fun! Make the most of your opportunity to share information and engage with your attendees.
Tell Me, Don’t Tease Me!

Tell me, don’t tease me!

Tell me, don’t tease me! 922 922 I Need A Speaker

Recently, a friend of a friend dropped me a message to watch a webinar. He was pleased to recommend it and did so earnestly, sure that if we both watched it, we would come away enlightened and inspired. I settled into my couch, flipped open my laptop, and tuned in with great anticipation.

The speakers began with a lengthy introduction, recounting their entire life histories. Ten minutes later, they began describing the type of person for whom the webinar was best suited. Ten minutes after that, I closed the laptop.

As a speaker, it’s important to recognize that your audience’s time is valuable. The people who chose to hear your presentation are eager to hear your message, not a sales pitch for another message.

Background information and context are important. Let them support your message, not obscure it.

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