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Archive for ‘Speech & Presentation Coaching’

3 Wonderful Ways for Warming Up

Claudia W. Brogan

Often overlooked, a few warm-up techniques can make a strong and colorful impact on the way your next presentation goes.

Common sense tells us that it’s not wise to head for a run without stretching and warming up. Just like runners who stretch their calves and rotate their hips, public speakers can benefit from doing intentional warm-ups. I have learned from my own experience that when I go into a speech “cold,” I can really tell a difference in the ease of delivery and, truthfully, the effectiveness as well. So …

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A Presentation is Essentially a Performance

By Sarah Browne

You climb a stage and speak into a microphone to address a packed room of live audience. Does that mean a stand-up comedian, a vocal artist, and a political leader are also delivering a presentation just like you? Does that mean you need to be as entertaining as they are for delivering a business presentation?

Public speaking or presentations happen on a stage, therefore it is essentially a performance. This part is often overlooked by most orators who are criticized as boring presenters. Yes, a presentation has to be entertaining …

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Knowledge You Learn, Wisdom You Earn

By Bob Goodyear

“Knowledge you learn. Wisdom you earn.” When someone asks me about how they can improve their presentations, I sometimes use this phrase. I heard this when I first tried to speak in front of a corporate audience. Let me explain.

When I was in the eighth grade, I decided to study computer science in college. I did that because I could work with machines and not people. While I didn’t know the word back then, I figured out that I was an introvert. The idea that I could work with …

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Poise, Power-stance, and Polish for Presenters

By Claudia W. Brogan

Once the design and writing have taken place in preparing a presentation, a good speaker continues to aim toward refining the speech and delivery. As the heart of a presentation is complete, then comes the time for a good presenter to add polish to preparations for a speech.

Three areas for finalizing and refinement will help add good finishing touches.

Poise

“The key to winning is poise under stress,” says Paul Brown. The more times a speaker has actually practiced saying the words aloud, the more that “muscle memory” will help …

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Welcoming Feedback

By Kelly Vandever

“How do you think it went?”

That was the question the facilitator of the train-the-trainer course asked me.

I was standing in front of a group of my peers. I’d just finished delivering a portion of a program and I anticipated that I’d be receiving feedback not offering my advice.

My focus as I delivered my segment of the training class was on remembering and delivering the material. I was prepared to receive feedback. I hadn’t really thought about how I felt about the material I’d just delivered.

I mumbled something, I forget …

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Handling Questions & Answers Like a Real Pro!

by Claudia W. Brogan

When coaching public speakers who want to polish their skills, one subject comes up without fail: What can I do to get ready to handle questions after my presentation?

Even the most seasoned, well-prepared speakers fear that audience members will try to trip us up. Or that an audience member will stand up to deliver his or her very own monologue at the end, explaining how our content or delivery — or both — were just less than satisfactory. Or a nagging thought comes to a speaker, that, “There …

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Who Are You Speaking To, Anyway?

By Claudia Brogan

Back when I was in high school speech class, little did I guess that my life’s journey would be focused upon ways to improve speaking skills and communication in the workplace. All I knew back then, as a junior in high school, was how fascinated I was to learn the principles of public speaking…and survive my next assigned speech for Mrs. Witmer’s class.

One day, she really got our attention with a provocative question, and her words that day have stayed with me all my life.

“There are three most important …

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Spit and polish: Trimming your speech will win you big points

By Claudia Brogan

I once worked as speaker-coach for a highly-educated scientist who was invited to make a presentation on the topic of his professional research. He brought to our first planning meeting a script of 11 double-spaced pages. With a greeting and a straight face, he placed them on the desk. I read through the pages with great respect, then set them down with care, and asked him, “Dr. C, what are the three most essential points you want to make in this presentation?”

Silence. Finally he pointed to the 11 pages …

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A Simple Strategy for Maintaining Eye-Contact During Presentations

By Natalie Gallagher

I was recently speaking to a friend who has had to give various types of speeches throughout the past year, and he was stumped about how to maintain eye-contact with the audience in a meaningful, effective manner. He was especially curious about an old tip he learned (which involves choosing one or two people in the audience to focus on throughout the speech), but he was having trouble implementing it in a natural way. While focusing on only a few specific people in the audience does work well for …

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A Rhyme is Sublime

By Bob Goodyear

Several years ago, I sat in a conference where Craig Valentine (www.craigvalentine.com) spoke. While I don’t remember everything he said, he used a phrase that has stuck with me. While talking about goals and achieving them, he said “If you can view it, you can do it.” His point was that you have to visualize the goal, see yourself actually doing what you want, and then you will accomplish it.

I’ve studied with Craig since then and today I realize that he used a couple of …

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