• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

public presentation

Wow! That’s impressive!

Wow! That’s impressive! 1920 2560 I Need A Speaker

In Dale Carnegie’s famous book, Public Speaking for Success, he shares tactics on how to make figures more impressive.

We agree with his advice, and we know it makes figures more memorable, too.

Consider the example he gives in chapter 13:

The Vatican has fifteen thousand rooms.

The Vatican has so many rooms that one might occupy a different one every day for forty years without having lived in them all.

Make it relatable.

 

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Answer questions before they can be asked

Answer questions before they can be asked 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

When your presentation content raises questions, your audience will begin thinking more about the questions and less about what you’re saying.

Anticipate what questions your audience will have, and answer them in your presentation. Don’t wait for someone to raise a hand.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Be your virtual best

Be your virtual best 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

The current business and academic landscape has proven to be far different over the past two years than what we have been accustomed to previously. Whether you’re a student, teacher, employee, business owner, or any position in between, we have ridden the wave of challenges and changes that come with shifting our processes to socially distance ourselves and implement an unforeseen set of precautions. 

One major implication and struggle of this process is learning flexibility when it comes to presenting, teaching, or even daily communication. Many of us can relate to changing our meeting space from a formal room/table to a virtual setting. While this can be a more comfortable atmosphere for some, we need to be aware of the challenges this new structure can have, and how to overcome them. 

While some may relate “virtual meetings” to comforts such as comfy clothes, little to no commute, and the privacy of our own home, it’s important to maintain a professional and credible image during even the most seemingly informal interactions. Regardless of your position, taking the appropriate preparatory steps can make or break your image to your audience. 

Your friends at I Need A Speaker are dedicated to helping speakers put their best foot forward, and being presentation rockstars. That commitment remains steadfast, regardless of if you are using a virtual or physical stage. We would like to share this opportunity to share some tips to help your adjustment to a virtual space be as seamless and successful as possible. 

For starters, be prepared to be seen on camera. While some presenters opt for no video, this may be requested by your audience (or professor, for students). Your first impression is lasting, your audience will notice your appearance, including your attire and level of polish. Make sure your visible appearance is professional and approachable, meaning details like pressed clothes, posture, a well-groomed appearance, and your facial expressions are going to be not only noticed, but interpreted by the audience. 

Next, set yourself up for success by making sure your background is ready for your presentation. Your audience doesn’t want to see, but will notice, if your shared screen shows the hamper of laundry, an unmade bed, etc. By keeping a clean background, your presentation avoids visual distractions. You may also opt for a platform such as Zoom, which allows the presenter to select a custom virtual backdrop (they’re really cool!), if you like. 

Your background should also be free of audible noise. Make arrangements ahead of time to set yourself up in a place that is as quiet as possible. This will also help you be free from potential distraction, as well as your audience. Make sure your background doesn’t have audible disturbances. Sounds like a no-brainer, but this is a surprising pain point we see in virtual presentations. 

Before presenting, give your systems a test run. Do you have to complete a “Forgot your password?” process before accessing your platform? Is the camera working on your computer? How do you look on screen? Address these items ahead of time, it may save you from a frantic panic before presenting. One strategy may be to run a test call with a friend, asking for their feedback on your presence. 

Go through a mental checklist of the items we shared for presenting. Give yourself ample time to address any obstructions to a great presentation, and put your hard work on the appropriate pedestal for appreciation from your audience. We’re sure your presentation is fabulous, so don’t let it fall apart by missing the small details. They have a large and lasting impression.

 

Photo credit: Photo by Marcus Aurelius at Pexels

Ways to wow during class presentations

Ways to wow during class presentations 2560 1709 I Need A Speaker

Whether you’re preparing a presentation in the first couple weeks of school (yes, it happens), or giving a quick self introduction, we’re here to help you nail your image and give the best possible impression when addressing your group. 

Be confident, but maintain likability and friendliness throughout your presentation. It’s doubtful to hold the attention of an audience if you appear frightened or unsure of the information you’re providing. Even if you are well versed in a subject, adjust your tone to ensure you aren’t giving your audience a condescending vibe. 

  1. Be prepared. In some classes or groups, the instructor may ask you to share some details about yourself. Why not take this opportunity to prepare a short description of what you want to be known for? Think outside the box – talking about what excites you, what you like to do, what accomplishments you have, and other personal traits that define you can make you a more engaging speaker.
  2. If you’re giving a thorough discussion or presentation on a specific topic, be sure you are establishing credibility throughout your presentation. Cite reputable sources, and be prepared to answer questions. Using fascinating and creative sources can engage your audience to take interest in your presentation.
  3. Be engaged in your own topic. Sounds like a no-brainer, but always show excitement and interest in your subject area. Use impactful slides to share your content (but don’t read them to the audience), and use positive body language to reinforce your excitement on the topic. Nobody would give much credence to a speaker who has their hands in their pockets, or one who doesn’t appear to care about their own presentation.
  4. Bring a professional image. Your appearance and image are important to delivering a notable and authentic presentation experience. This includes maintaining a polished appearance, appropriate clothing (see our previous blog post about dressing for presentations). Dressing well is a good way to show your audience that you care about your subject matter, and that you value their time in your presentation. 

While this is not an all-inclusive list for presenters, it’s a great foundation to start with for building your presentation skills. Building presentation and communication skills is a great practice to start now, and continue to develop throughout your academic, and soon-to-come professional career. 

I Need A Speaker sincerely wishes all students, parents, and educators a safe and successful academic year. 

 

Photo credit: Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels 

Hey, students! You can benefit from our class presentation tips!

Hey, students! You can benefit from our class presentation tips! 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

It’s time to buy notebooks and load backpacks for the academic year. As a student, your preparation should go beyond that. To succeed in your classes, you may want to give thought to how you will present when you’re called upon to do so.

Your remarks could be from your seat as you answer questions, or it could be in front of a class or auditorium. Regardless of how many people are in the room, you’ll want to demonstrate strong presentation skills. These include:

  • Having a clear objective for what you want to share.
  • Researching when necessary.
  • Collecting and organizing your thoughts.
  • Sharing stories or examples.
  • Speaking with confidence.
  • Being open to questions and alternative views.

For the next two weeks, we’ll be delivering student-focused content to help you succeed. Do you have a question about class presentations? Ask us! Drop a note to info@ineedaspeaker.com.

 

Photo credit: Photo by Stanley Morales from Pexels 

Presentation lessons from Disney’s Jungle Cruise

Presentation lessons from Disney’s Jungle Cruise 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

Some things just make summer feel more like … well, summer. Sprinklers. Bike riding. Shore taffy. One of my favorites is the drive-in.

Our local drive-in was showing Jungle Cruise, so we invited our daughter and her friends to enjoy the show outdoors. The opening scene featured Jack Whitehall as MacGregor Houghton, delivering a speech to an unfriendly crowd.

Playing the brother of lead Emily Blunt, Whitehall was requesting that his theatrical sister be granted access to a valued and protected archive.

Nervous, he read aloud from the notecards the requestor had provided. At one point, he read every word on the card, including “Pause for dramatic effect.” Blushing, he continued on, but the audience wasn’t amused.

Another notecard said, “If it goes sideways, go to plan B.”

As the kids munched popcorn, I reflected on the scene’s lessons:

  • Be prepared for your presentations.
  • Practice. Practice. Practice.
  • Yes, pause for dramatic effect, but don’t read the directive.
  • Have a plan B if plan A isn’t working.
  • Know your audience.

How would you handle a not-so-friendly crowd?

 

 

Photo credit: John Cheathem from Pexels

Channel this habit from rock stars to enhance your presentations

Channel this habit from rock stars to enhance your presentations 2560 1920 I Need A Speaker

I’ve been a fan of Styx (and most rock and roll) ever since I can remember. The first notes of certain songs take me back to fun memories and special times, and those songs tend to be the ones I play on repeat.

I’m not the only one who has stories associated with songs. At a recent Styx concert, band members would introduce songs by telling stories about what inspired the songs or what was happening when the songs were written. Hearing those anecdotes made me feel closer to the band and its music. Rock legends Tom Petty and Bon Jovi did the same thing, and the stories added so much depth to the show.

Something to think about: How can you incorporate stories into your message to make it more memorable and meaningful?

 

 

Photo credit: Tricia Richards-Service

Aren’t we all speakers?

Aren’t we all speakers? 2560 1920 I Need A Speaker

I Need A Speaker is on Clubhouse! Hosted by Tricia Richards-Service and Christopher Pahoski, the room was open for people who want to learn more about getting started in public speaking.

Some people have said, “I’m not a speaker. In fact, I’m rarely in front of an audience.” We responded that the size of the audience isn’t as relevant as the opportunity to deliver value to people.

When you make a presentation in your department meeting … you’re a speaker. When you make a toast at a special occasion … you’re a speaker. When you respond to questions in a job interview … you’re a speaker. If you have a message to share … you’re a speaker.

You get the idea.

Whether we are involved in a one-on-one conversation, a small group meeting, or a conference, we all have the opportunity to collect our thoughts, consider our audience, and deliver value.

 

We’d love to hear examples of how information was powerful because it was shared. Send your stories to info@ineedaspeaker.com.

 

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Public speaking notes from Dale Carnegie

Public speaking notes from Dale Carnegie 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

“Thinking people want to be led, not driven. They want to have the facts presented and to draw their own conclusions. They like to be asked questions, not to have a ceaseless stream of direct statements poured at them.”

— Dale Carnegie, Public Speaking for Success

 

 

We want to lead, not drive. What topics do you want to read about in our blog? E-mail info@ineedaspeaker.com with your suggestions.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Gig worker. Cancel culture. Second gentleman. What do these phrases have in common?

Gig worker. Cancel culture. Second gentleman. What do these phrases have in common? 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Have you figured out what those phrases have in common? They were all among the 520 new terms that were added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in January 2021. (Read more of them by clicking here.)

Yes, you read that right. In one month, more than 500 new words were added to our constantly changing vocabulary.

With so much rapid change in the way we communicate, it’s more important than ever to define unfamiliar terms.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

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