What if you woke up tomorrow and realized…

OnceUponaTimeWhat if you woke up tomorrow and realized that your most valuable legacy… the priceless gift you are to pass on to future generations…are your stories…the ones you tell with pride of following your dream and overcoming a specific obstacle or obstacles, about your community and family, the stories you only share with close friends, and the stories you have buried deep within your heart?

How will you be remembered?

Your story is compelling because it is YOURS.

You have the chance to share your story every time you are asked to tell us a little about yourself in the About Me/Bio section on applications, social media, and websites or various other places.

Did you ever watch any of the Olympics? Those are ordinary individuals who sought extraordinary circumstances to display their gifts. Competing in that ultimate contest is the result of many, many, many days and nights of training and sacrifice.

Whether you strive to achieve Olympic gold medal status, you are an everyday hero because…you can be counted on to show up for work on time…bring the cookies for the bake sale…sew the costumes for the dance recital…or bring the project in on time and under budget, your contributions are invaluable to the lives of everyone around you.

Your story is one of accountability, compassion, and connection.
Your words are your legacy and as a speaker, your mission is to share those words with the world.

Make your words your legacy by sharing the story of You.

If you are ready to learn how to give voice to your passions and gifts contact Elizabeth Bachman at ElizabethBachman.com

Spring Panic

BlossomsGuest blog post by Cara Corodoni: Spring, spring, spring is almost sprung, especially if you’re in California where we skipped winter this year. Spring, when the seemingly dead reveals itself as only dormant; when then earth once more begins her veil dance, showing a little green here and there, oh la la! A flash of color a snippet of birdsong. Rising desire. Spring, a lovely time to surrender to the cycle of abundance, to be comforted by the repetition beyond our control. Spring is also a time of new beginnings, in many ways the true beginning of the year. And new beginnings mean change, and where there is change or the longing for change, there is resistance. Ah, resistance, fear, anxiety, wish for control, for knowing how it will all turn out. Spring panic: The energy we feel at reconnecting to the possibility, at seeing the earth burst forth and both being called and fearful ourselves. Within resistance, there are assumptions and limiting beliefs – often a space in which we let our brain’s negativity bias call the shots. Our desires can scare us, activating a digging-the-heels-in, I-don’t-need-anything-to-change reaction even when we really want everything to change. There are numerous ways to grapple with resistance and its feelings of fear, anxiety, and panic; thank goodness ’cause we need them all! Here I invite you on a Spring mindfulness approach to moving through resistance. Continue reading

Speakers Tell Stories like an Artist Painting a Canvas

Artist painting canvasGreat speakers are the ones that are also great storytellers. All great storytellers are also great artists when it comes to their craft. Storytellers, like artists, are painting pictures with words instead of paint for their audiences. The storyteller starts with a blank canvas and starts painting with their words so the audience “sees” in their mind’s eye what the speaker is telling them. At the conclusion of the story, the listeners will have the whole “picture” from the speaker. Great stories will affect the listeners in a variety of ways; intellectually, emotionally and even physically. Finding the keys to the listeners’ minds and hearts is the first step in creating a memorable speech. As the speaker paints the words on the minds and hearts of their audience they are connecting with the listeners on a variety of levels. Professional speakers know that laying the groundwork for their speech is crucial to getting their point across. They will sometimes spend hours doing research and tweaking their stories and speech to create just the right picture for their listeners. These speakers know the steps leading up to a stellar ending. Starting with the end in mind and crafting the speech to cover the storytelling basics, speakers follow a general pattern that they use over and over again, with minor variations.

Star Maker Speaker Steps to Crafting a Story:

  1. Steps up businessStart with the background
  2. Rough in the outline
  3. Add color and interest
  4. Have a few surprises
  5. Use contrast
  6. Fill in the details
  7. Have a strong conclusion

Using the above steps, review all of your stories that you use for your speeches to see if they follow these steps. Do your stories meet these artistic criteria, touching your listeners mentally and emotionally? If you aren’t sure if your storytelling is touching all the points, ask some trusted friends who have heard you speak for feedback. When you aren’t getting the results you want from your speaking, it may be time to seek some assistance. Need some assistance taking your speaking and storytelling skills to the next level? Book a Strategy Session.

Woman speaker pointing at flip chart graph

Using Props When Speaking

Want tWoman speaker pointing at flip chart grapho enhance your public speaking? Using props can be very effective when done right, resulting in an enhanced presentation. The word “prop” is a shortened version from the term “theatrical property”, which refers to objects used by actors in a play, or in this case, a speaker telling a story to engage an audience. In my long history in both Opera and Theater, I have firsthand knowledge of the dos and don’ts of using props. Props have been used to enhance storytelling since the dawn of time. Props can be as simple as a chair, or picture, food, beverage, trophy or as intricate as a PowerPoint presentation, video,… you get the idea, right? Using items to enhance your speaking can be very beneficial by adding memorable visuals and moments, or it can backfire by distracting the audience or even offending the audience.

Props Can:

  • Laptop and microphoneMake a point concrete
  • Have an emotional impact
  • Focus the audience’s attention and interest
  • Be effective metaphors
  • Inject humor into a presentation
  • Be memorable
  • Be unexpected

My client Shannon talks about defeating one’s inner monsters, then hands out monster finger puppets to the crowd. It’s both humorous and memorable. Here are some of my expert tips on Dos and Don’ts of using props when speaking.

10 DOs for Using Props

Word Goal DO: Test Your Props and make sure they work Thoroughly test your prop before your presentation. It is the best way to ensure it works when under pressure in front of an audience. DO: Keep Props hidden until needed Visible props can distract an audience and spoil their effectiveness. Keep them hidden by a cover or behind a table or screen. DO: Have a backup in case the prop/PowerPoint doesn’t work Having a backup of any PowerPoint is a must. You should also have a backup plan in case the prop doesn’t work, disappears, or breaks. DO: Use props that are memorable Props are to enhance what you are speaking about. When your prop is memorable it will keep your key point in your audiences mind long after your presentation. DO: Make sure the prop is relevant (appropriate) for the topic It’s great to use a prop to emphasize a point, but don’t confuse the audience. If the prop is too unusual, the same color as your outfit, or relies on words that one can’t see from the back of the room, it will detract from your message. DO: Make sure everyone can see the prop clearly Have a prop that is large enough to be visible to everyone in the room. If you have a large audience, make sure there are screens where the picture of the item can be projected so everyone can see it. DO: Practice with the props several times – till you’re comfortable using them Practice, practice, practice! For a great presentation you will want to be able to use the prop smoothly and not fumble with it on stage. Props are there to enhance your message, not distract you with worry about how to make it function. DO: Be creative with your props Use an everyday item in an unusual way or something that would be unexpected. DO: Put the prop away so it doesn’t become a distraction Once you are done using a prop make sure it is out of sight or off to the side far enough not to be a distraction or a tripping hazard. DO: Have props available after the presentation for a closer look when appropriate Props that are products/items that are being sold should be available for the audience to look at after the presentation.

5 Don’ts for Using Props When Speaking:

man juggling itemsDon’t leave the prop where it will distract the audience or be in your way You want the audience’s attention to be on you, the speaker, not on the prop which has largely served its purpose. Leaving a prop in the way so your movements are hampered, or even worse, so you could trip over it, is a mistake that professional speakers don’t make. Don’t use a bunch of different props so you end up looking silly Using the right amount of props to emphasize a point is good, using too many props can make you look more like a juggler in a circus act than a professional speaker. Don’t use props that can hurt people Using items that can hurtle into an audience, hit someone or damage their clothing is a negative on many levels. Don’t use props that Offend or Outrage your audience Ask yourself if your prop is going to offend your audience or make them angry? If so, don’t use it. The last thing you want is a hostile audience. If you are unsure, ask a trusted speaking advisor. Don’t pass props around – it becomes a distraction during the presentation Passing around your props, products, brochures, handouts or other items after you start speaking can be very distracting, noisy and often times annoying to your audience. Using props to enhance your presentations is an excellent way to make your presentation unforgettable. Copyright© 2014 Elizabeth Bachman, San Francisco, California. All Rights Reserved.

Just the Facts Ma’am, Just the Facts – Part 2

Just the Facts Ma’am, Just the Facts – Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous blog, your listeners will relate more to stories than to a list of facts. But what if you are giving a report where the facts are important?
Use a metaphor!

Creative ThinkingStatistics are a great way to catch an audience’s attention. I often say “Speaking is one of THE best ways to promote your business or practice, yet 3 out of 4 people would rather DIE than speak in public.” That statistic makes people sit up. Then I follow up with a story, and I can see the comprehension in their eyes. When you need to explain something complicated – for instance, if you are giving a report to upper management – then using a metaphor will help the concept stick in their minds.

“Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.” ― Orson Scott Card
Happy Speaking! You are FABULOUS!
Elizabeth

Have you listened in to one of our Master Mind calls for great ideas for speaking? Click here for more information about our next Master Mind Call!

Just the Facts Ma’am, Just the Facts

Accounting reportDo you use your own personal story to connect with your audience or do you get up and just give people the facts when you speak? If you feel like your audience is tuning out when you speak, it could be because you aren’t connecting with them on an emotional level, just giving them the facts. Everyone has a personal story that relates to their business in some way. Finding the connection to your story, your business and the emotional connection with your prospects is a key to having people lining up to work with you. Here are some tips from expert speakers about using stories when they speak:

  • Although facts are important, what people remember what they can relate to.
  • People want to know about you as a person before they want to do business with you.
  • Stories bring the facts to life.
  • People have emotional needs that facts don’t touch. Stories are the key to reaching their emotions.

Woman SpeakingHaving trouble figuring out what the connection is to your prospects emotional needs are and how to craft your story to bring emotional value to your prospects? We can craft your speech so you become a Star Speaker who reaches their prospects and turns them into clients.

Happy Speaking! You are FABULOUS!
Elizabeth

Copyright© 2014 Elizabeth Bachman, San Francisco, California. All Rights Reserved.