• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

virtual

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

Avoid these common Zoom errors (don’t be a cat)

Avoid these common Zoom errors (don’t be a cat) 2560 1700 I Need A Speaker

It’s been quite a week for virtual meetings! One lawyer appeared virtually in court with a cat filter in place, unable to figure out a way to remove the transformational effect.

In another part of the world, a professor in Singapore conducted an entire two-hour lecture virtually while on mute. According to news reports, students were unable to get his attention to rectify the situation.

How can you avoid situations like these? Here are some tips:

  • Become familiar with all of the settings on your virtual meeting platform before the meeting begins. If you’re unfamiliar with the platform, experiment with a friend or family member until you feel comfortable. Do an online search for tutorials if necessary.
  • Frequently seek feedback from your audience, whether through verbal communication, written notes in the chat feature, or non-verbal communication.
  • Monitor your physical background to ensure that it’s professional and suited for your virtual meeting.
  • If you need to share your screen for any reason, check your desktop for information you might not want people to see. Close any tabs you don’t need open. This week, I saw a thread on Twitter that began when a student posted the story of her professor sharing her screen during class. The professor’s desktop had a folder related to her divorce, and it was visible to the entire class.
  • Be aware of sounds that may be picked up by your microphone, and do your best to avoid audible distractions.
  • If you need to use the rest room, leave your phone or laptop somewhere private. Do not take it with you! (Yes, that has happened to too many people already.)
  • Dress appropriately for your virtual call – from head to toe! Some people dress more formally from the waist up, thinking that others on the virtual meeting will only see a partial outfit. But if the frame is wider than you expect, if you or the camera move, or if you need to reach for something, your audience may get an unexpected peek at your gym shorts or pajama bottoms.
  • Notify others in your home, dorm, or office when there is a live camera, so they know to dress, speak, and behave appropriately.
  • Avoid eating during the meeting.
  • And, as we learned from the mathematics professor, mute only when necessary.

 

 

Photo credit: Pexels

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