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Grab opportunities to improve your skills; registration now open for public speaking workshop

Grab opportunities to improve your skills; registration now open for public speaking workshop 2560 1920 I Need A Speaker

A friend told me that her college-aged son joined his university’s golf team, even though he’s only played a few times. She and I talked about his bravery, his willingness to learn, and his positive attitude.

Some people with powerful, impactful messages may feel that they lack the skills to stand before an audience. What they already have is passion. That can’t be taught. Fortunately, everything else that’s required for an effective presentation can be taught.

That’s why I Need A Speaker has collaborated with New York Speech Coaching to offer a live, interactive public speaking skills workshop.

YOUR HOST: I NEED A SPEAKER

Founded in 2020, I Need A Speaker was established to connect speakers with audiences. The team at I Need A Speaker is on a mission to amplify new voices, and we believe that information is most powerful when it’s shared.

Here’s how it works: Speakers pay a low annual fee to join our searchable directory, and event planners can create free accounts to search for the right speaker for their events.

YOUR INSTRUCTOR: BRENDAN HOUDEK (M.A., CCC-SLP)

Senior Instructor and Head of Corporate Training, New York Speech Coaching Brendan specializes in effective business communication, executive presence, and vocal production. He presents an interactive workshop on authenticity, comfort, and confidence in public speaking. Brendan specializes in helping professionals tell their story effectively regardless of environment.

In addition to his work as a speech coach, Brendan is a NYS-licensed and ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist, specializing in voice and fluency disorders. He is the head of New York Speech Pathology. His in-depth understanding of vocal anatomy and physiology assists his coaching by enabling him to provide speakers with healthy and efficient vocal technique.

Brendan also is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and voice impressionist, hosting the show Voice Breakdown on YouTube. These skills further enable him to have deep insights into the voice and performance.

Brendan’s clientele consists of individuals and groups from Google, Disney, Forbes, Nasdaq, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Capital One, MetLife, and McGraw-Hill.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

In this virtual workshop, prepare to laugh and learn at what one recent attendee at a Disney workshop described as “such a great event … my fingers were getting tired from taking so many notes! New York Speech Coaching obviously has great communicators and orators, but they also have wonderful educators too. One of the best webinars/seminars I’ve ever attended.”

Participants will leave the workshop with strategies to improve:

  • Presentation Skills
  • Eliminating Anxiety
  • Preparation Approach
  • Eliminating Vocal Fillers (such as “um, like, & y’know”)
  • Body Language and Gesticulation
  • Virtual Communication
  • Dynamism and Charisma

Join us for an exhilarating session with immediate takeaways to take your executive presence to the next level!

In order to create the most beneficial participant experience, seating is limited to 25 people.

Click here to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3483428076957249806

 

 

Photo credit: Kindel Media on Pexels

The show must go on

The show must go on 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

“The show must go on” is a saying that’s typically associated with theater. Some sources claim it originated in the circus, when the performers’ belief was that there must be a show, regardless of obstacles.

I thought of that saying about a week ago, when I arrived to speak and technology issues prevented me from accessing my slides.

An IT representative hurried to the room where I was presenting, apologizing several times over. She explained that there was a serious issue with the equipment, and she recommended that my audience and I move to another room.

“No problem,” I assured her. “This room will be fine. The system can be repaired later.”

The woman stared in disbelief and said, “but you can’t access the computer or the slides.”

I assured her that I knew the material, and everything would be fine. And it was.

I relay this story not to demonstrate my bravery, but rather to share the importance of preparation. With printed notes and a few practice runs under my belt, I was ready to go, with or without technical aids.

Pro tips: Know your material. Bring printed or written notes with you. Be confident knowing the show will go on.

 

 

Photo credit: Vidal Balielo Jr. on Pexels

Moving targets make you easy to miss

Moving targets make you easy to miss 2560 1709 I Need A Speaker

Years ago, while the BBC was interviewing a woman on live television, her child interrupted by toddling into the room. Since the pandemic, that’s happened over and over again.

This video is a parody of the original, but the takeaway is the same: when there are distractions, the speaker is no longer the focus. Audience members lose their focus, and they aren’t listening to the speaker’s message.

On virtual meetings, the distractions could range from a passing emergency vehicle to a playful puppy. In face-to-face sessions, distractions may come from the movement of a stage assistant, guest(s) seated on stage, or passersby outside a window.

Your audience members will be distracted when there is movement around you. Eliminate movement as best you can, and keep the focus on you.

Photo credit: Mikhail Nilov on Pexels

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.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

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

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