• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

public speaking

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

Enjoy our chat on the TrillMBA podcast

Enjoy our chat on the TrillMBA podcast 2560 1440 I Need A Speaker

Recently, the founder of I Need A Speaker was asked to be a guest on the Trill MBA podcast. Tricia Richards-Service was thrilled to talk with host Felicia Ann Rose Enuha about I Need A Speaker and the power of public speaking.

Click here to listen and learn.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Wonder Woman and Batman do this before they go out. Do you?

Wonder Woman and Batman do this before they go out. Do you? 2560 1567 I Need A Speaker

Years ago, someone gifted me with a bold red blazer that I adored. Cherry red with shiny brass buttons, this double-breasted masterpiece was more than I could afford. I really, really wanted it. My desire went beyond the color. It was the feeling I had when I slid in one arm, then two. The blazer made me feel bolder and more confident, like I could do anything. I was delighted to receive it as a gift.

Aside from the dark hair and sassy attitude, choosing a power outfit for work is one more thing I have in common with Wonder Woman. Even Batman has a go-to outfit for fighting crime.

These outfits are more than clothing. They’re a form of non-verbal communication, making a statement about who you are. They’re a psychological boost – a reason to stand a little taller. They’re part of your personal brand.

Earlier this week, I overheard a conversation about the most appropriate clothing to wear when giving a presentation. Discussion followed about suits versus jeans, and there was debate about business casual being “in the middle.”

Had anyone asked me, I would say, “It depends.”

Consider the event/occasion and the audience. Think about how you want to present yourself: Authoritative. Approachable. Relaxed. And give thought to your topic. Yoga pants might be okay if you’re talking about how to meditate and demonstrating techniques. Creative disciplines may welcome flow dresses and jean jackets.

There is no right answer that will suit everyone (get the pun?), but I do recommend that you find your proverbial red blazer. Choose something that makes you feel confident and sends the right message.

 

Photo credit: DepositPhotos

Check. Check again. And check again.

Check. Check again. And check again. 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Twice in the last week, I was in meetings where a speaker’s camera wasn’t working. Ouch. That makes it difficult to engage with audiences.

During the pandemic and the meteoric rise in video conferences, many people upgraded their home office equipment to include lighting, cameras, and microphones.

If you’re a speaker for an upcoming conference, class, or meeting, be sure to check your equipment in the space where you plan to use it.

  • Ensure that anything requiring power can be plugged into a power source.
  • Be certain that your settings are where you want them to be.
  • Remove virtual backgrounds that may not be appropriate for the event and audience.
  • Test microphones.

This sounds like common sense advice (and it is), but it always helps to reinforce these practices so your message will be heard as intended.

 

Photo credit: DepositPhotos

If someone yells “bingo,” no one wins.

If someone yells “bingo,” no one wins. 2560 1920 I Need A Speaker

Recently, I attended a high school graduation. Many of the graduates were giddy with anticipation about the speeches that were scheduled. The students weren’t excited about how wonderful the speeches might be. Rather, they were playing a secret bingo game.

The proverbial winner was the audience member who could mentally cross off enough buzzwords or overused terms during the presentations to win the game.

I was familiar with the concept, because I knew about “corporate buzzword bingo” games during my days in corporations. Employees would anticipate terms like “low-hanging fruit” and “having a dialogue” and “sense of urgency.” Sadly, we knew exactly what to expect when someone stepped up to the podium.

The graduation bingo game happened for the same reason. Students were expecting some speakers to include boring, predictable elements and terms that are often used in graduation speeches. Here are some examples of what students used for their virtual bingo card squares:

  • Reference to 2020 as “unprecedented” (this one was the center square)
  • A dictionary definition
  • Famous quotes
  • “It’s been a crazy year”
  • Reference to homework
  • Inside jokes
  • Reading a poem
  • The idea that “this is not the end, it’s the beginning”
  • Acknowledgement of “each and every one of you.”

Students would snicker and laugh silently whenever one of these elements popped up in a speech. While I Need A Speaker never advocates finding fault with speakers, the fact that the bingo game occurred should be considered a warning to anyone who has a speech to deliver.

The warning is this: Don’t be predictable. Don’t be boring. Don’t say what’s expected. Don’t say what every other speaker says.

Flip that to the positive side, and the lessons here are:

  • Be original.
  • Be engaging.
  • Be clever.
  • Be unique.
  • Be attention-grabbing.
  • Be dynamic.

In short … be effective.

 

 

 

Photo credit: DepositPhotos

What does pasta have to do with public speaking?

What does pasta have to do with public speaking? 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

My husband and I often have conversations when one or both of us might be distracted. It’s easy to do.

We’ll be putting groceries away and mention a few items that were just unpacked from a bag. Then one of us might say something like, “Leave that out. It’s for dinner tonight.” Inevitably, the other person says, “Which one? We just named three items.”

With interpersonal communication, we are not always focused on the words we’re using and the clarity we’re able to achieve. We may be interrupted by a barking dog, giggling children, a phone call, or even our own thoughts.

When we focus on communicating with clarity all the time, we learn to say things like, “Keep the pasta handy. We’re having that for dinner tonight.” This time, there is no confusion as to which item shouldn’t be put away.

Getting into the habit of speaking with intention and clarity makes you more skilled at interpersonal communication and public presentation. (And the pasta is right where you need it.)

 

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Make sure time is on your side

Make sure time is on your side 2560 1930 I Need A Speaker

Event planners juggle many responsibilities. They want to be sure that everything works well for the events they plan.

One crucial element in planning is time. Speakers are typically booked for a set time frame. In the planning stages, event planners will review the length of time allocated for each speaker.

Speakers who complete their presentations with time to spare may cause a problem, because they will affect the schedule for the remainder of the event. The same is true when they speak too long.

When practicing, speakers need to time themselves. It’s important to respect the time frame they have been given and do their part to help make the event run smoothly.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

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