• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

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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

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

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

This week, we’re celebrating science speakers

This week, we’re celebrating science speakers 2560 1920 I Need A Speaker

The eyes of the world seemed to be watching as the Perseverance rover landed on Mars yesterday. Congratulations to everyone who played a role in making that happen.

Every day, international news includes coverage of science-related events and advancements. The spotlight on science has never shone brighter.

In honor of this historic landing, we want to recognize the communicators who take the time to share their expertise and love of science.

We salute the teachers who conduct experiments and help students see the wonder around them. We salute the researchers who talk about breakthroughs that improve the lives of millions. We salute the role models, volunteers, presenters, academics, hobbyists, and other enthusiasts who bring science to audiences everywhere.

We are grateful that you teach and inspire. Thanks for your perseverance!

 

Photo credit: DepositPhotos

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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