Mark Twain once said, “There are two kinds of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars.” No matter how seasoned or under-seasoned you are as a speaker, when it comes to making presentations, Mr. Twain assures us nerves are just part our reality. Whether you are speaking to two people at a networking event, or two thousand as a keynote speaker, here are three strategies to help you get out of your head and on to the stage confident, poised and powerful. 1. Exercise…according to research from Dartmouth’s Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Laboratory, “the positive stress of exercise prepares cells and structures pathways within the brain so that they’re more equipped to handle stress in other forms.” So rather than tweaking your script again, spend a half-hour going for a walk or doing some cardio and release some serotonin – also known as the happy hormones. 2. Give yourself a running start…memorize your first three lines. Many public speakers cite getting started as their biggest stumbling block. You can short circuit your monkey mind by committing your first three lines to memory and reprogram your jitters into excitement about participating in the day’s event. 3. Invite a dialogue instead of a monologue. Plan a presentation to engage with the audience on a particular topic rather than conducting a lecture where only the speaker’s opinion and contributions are relevant. Early in your talk, perhaps in the first minute, ask the audience a question that requires a response, or take an informal opinion poll and get some feedback. This type of audience engagement will allow them to better retain the information you share. It will also give you a chance to breathe, take a sip of water, and manage your stress level.
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Those six words question the balance between the state of being versus the state of not being. Do you want to live a life of balance? Are you truly alive, or are you settling for a day-to-day existence in which you are alive, but not living your passion? Hamlet wanted to avenge his father’s murder. He wanted to set his world right, which his father’s violent end had thrown off kilter. Yet he didn’t go charging off in cartoon-hero fashion. Hamlet had very human generic for sale concerns about “the rub”: the difficulties, the objections, and the obstacles. It wasn’t until he faced his doubts and moved ahead anyway that he was able to create change. As a speaker
who wishes to have an impact on your audience, you are no different. You must overcome your own doubts, demons and nagging fears. “What if the audience doesn’t like what I have to say? What if I forget my talk? What if…?” Like Hamlet, you have a choice. You can choose…to use your voice to make a difference dosage vs in the world. You can choose…to influence and empower others with inspiration custom care and imagination to make changes in their lives. You can choose…to
We are celebrating Women’s History Month in March by recognizing some of the famous women speakers and their famous speeches. We hope you will join us in honoring the Women throughout History who have stood up and spoken up to improve the lives of others. Women’s History Month is dedicated to bring more awareness of the impact that women have had and continue to have on shaping our lives and world as it is today.
These famous women speakers have stood up in the face of opposition and even death threats to be heard so that others might gain their rights and freedom. They are an inspiration to all of us in their courage and passion for bringing about change. Their words will be remembered and have a lasting impact long after they are gone.
Sharing my passion for speaking by helping presenters give voice to their passions and bring their gifts to the world is my way of making a difference, just as these famous women speakers did.
“There really is nothing more important to me than striving to be a good human being.” Oprah Winfrey
Over the centuries there have been many famous women speakers, some of whom have had an impact – locally or globally. The ones below have impacted me personally.
Some of my Favorite Famous Women Speakers and Speeches are:
- Maya Angelou – On The Pulse Of Morning
Elizabeth Cady Stanton – First Anniversary of the American Equal Rights Association
- Hillary Clinton – Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
- Shirley Chisolm – Equal Rights For Women
- Sojourner Truth – Ain’t I A Woman?
- Eleanor Roosevelt – What Libraries Mean To The Nation
- Oprah Winfrey – 54th Annual EMMY Awards
Who would you add to this list?
I encourage you to take some time to read these speeches and learn about these and other famous women at Speeches by Famous Women – click HERE
Please comment and share below about your favorite famous women speakers and speeches.
As a speaker you are the center of everyone’s attention. From the moment you arrive at the event you are on public display. You only have a few seconds to make a positive first impression, both by how you look and by how you conduct yourself. Despite all the talk about not judging people by their appearance… well, people do judge.
When you, as a star speaker appear at an event you want to brand yourself as a professional, someone who is knowledgeable about the subject and about being a speaker.
The experienced speaker knows that 93% of what people perceive about you comes from your non-verbal communications. A star speaker prepares and does their homework on what to wear to make the best impression. (A 3-piece suit is not always the answer.)
Rule of Thumb: Dress the way the audience does — one notch better.
In preparing to speak at a venue there is some key information you will want to gather before deciding what to wear.
by Guest Blogger Lorrie Nicoles As a long-time writer and short-time business owner, writing a blog for Elizabeth Bachman, The Star Maker for Speakers, initially seemed odd. I mean, I’m a writer, not a speaker. And, while others see speaking in my future, it is not in the current plan. Just as many speakers would rather go mute than write, many writers would rather have their hands cut off than be on the stage. I’m pretty partial to my hands, but speaking is still not high on my Things To Do list. So, what do I have to offer speakers? How about what makes a good PowerPoint presentation? Technology can be so much fun, so having a presentation to accompany your talk can be very alluring. And, a good PowerPoint can really enhance a talk. BUT, a bad PowerPoint can make the best of talks a total disaster! Technical difficulties do not make a bad PowerPoint. They do, however, indicate an unprepared presenter – regardless of who’s actually responsible. Nope, a bad PowerPoint is:
- Bland Looking
- Over-full of Content
- Too Glitzy
These days, it is actually pretty hard to find a truly bland PowerPoint. A slide with just a list of bullets devoid of color, graphics, or any sort of design is almost impossible, because PowerPoint generally doesn’t let people start from a purely blank slate. You have to work pretty hard to create one. However, starting with a basic template and presenting strictly bullet points becomes real boring real quick. Even for the technically klutzy, changing layouts, adding a picture, and playing with fonts and colors is simple enough. There is really no excuse for a presentation lacking in visual stimulation.
This is the one that really gets me. Why bother speaking if everything is on the slide? Too often I go to a talk and come away frustrated because either the slides distracted me from the speaker or the speaker distracted me from the slides. Content for a good slide is a maximum of seven bullet points.
- Bullet Points: No full sentences, just something to jog the memory.
- Maximum of 7 Points: And that is the ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM. If you hit 7 – including sub-bullets – you have run out of space on your slide.
When the entire talk is on the slide, you deprive the audience. Most likely, you will end up reading your talk, not giving it. You lose spontaneity; besides, the audience is too busy reading to pay attention to you, so why bother being spontaneous?
How many presentations have you seen where there is so much design, graphics, and/or animation that you are just dumbfounded? Assuming the projector works, and your computer speaks to it without a problem, an over-done slide can lead to technical difficulties. We’ve all seen a mouse send a presentation in the wrong direction, skip a slide, or just not do anything. Imagine how much worse that looks when all the bling on the slide takes over your presentation. Use PowerPoint as a tool to enhance your talk, not as an opportunity to wow the audience with your awesome skill. You’re just as likely to look like an idiot as a master.
There are some basics to a presentation that I learned from doing, watching, and having a mom in marketing.
- Large Font: If the people at the back of the room can’t read it, then it is too small.
- Readable Font: I love playing with fonts, but there are really very few that I actually use. Remember, pretty does not equal readable.
- Mix Things Up: Change your slide layouts. Include pictures/graphics, but not on every slide. If you are up for it, throw in the occasional – and simple – animation.
- Good Design: Your color scheme must match your brand! If you are getting creative with bullets, make sure they are still clear. Keep the background noise to a minimum.
So, that’s what Tora Writing Services has to offer to Elizabeth Bachman’s speakers. At least for today. Maybe I’ll come up with something else in the future. About Lorrie Nicoles: Lorrie Nicoles is a Written Word Consultant & Content Editor and founder of Tora Writing Services. Lorrie loves words and crafting written messages. Her passion for Clear Communication led her through a short career as a Mine Planning Engineer, over a decade translating other engineers for the rest of the population through software documentation, and eventually starting her own business. As a person of many skills, talents, and personalities, Lorrie repeatedly proves that if she can understand a topic, she can write about it. She regularly credits the combination of growing up in “the Land of the Leftover Hippies” (the Rockridge Neighborhood of Oakland, CA), her marketing mom, forestry dad, and uber-organized banking step-mom with her ability to explain almost anything to almost anyone.