• open panel
  • Home
  • Archive by category 'Speech & Presentation Coaching'
  • Page 2

Archive for ‘Speech & Presentation Coaching’

Strategies for Improving Physical Movements During Presentations

by Natalie Gallagher

One of the best scenes from an otherwise mediocre movie was when Will Farrell’s character in “Talladega Nights” couldn’t figure out what to do with his hands while he was speaking in front of a large crowd. While he spoke, his arms slowly kept rising next to him, as if possessed by their own will. The humor stems from the commonality of this issue. All presenters have wondered at one time or another, “What on earth do I do with my hands?” The uncertainty often leads to awkward, distracting, …

Read More
 

Don’t Let Your Slides Tie You Down

by Tom Nixon
Long ago I would start my PowerPoint presentations standing next to the screen so that the audience could see both my slides and me.
A trusted coach suggested that was the weakest spot I could stand in – in the shadows, back and to the side, away from my audience. This is where I would begin my presentations! Not good.
Presenters often have great difficulty avoiding the beam of light from their projectors. The projection device is often on a table or hanging from a low ceiling in a conference room or …

Read More
 

Overcoming Nerves While Speaking Publically

by Natalie Gallagher

Public speaking continues to be one of the biggest fears many people have, and it’s largely because of the incredible anxiety that comes with standing in front of a crowd, with all eyes and ears focusing on you. “What if” questions roil around in our brains: What if I say something dumb? What if I look bad? What if, what if, what if???

After twenty-one years of being a public speaker, including in front of audiences large and small, I’m here to tell you that the nerves never fully go …

Read More
 

“What do I do with these hands?” Smart Tips for Using Effective Gestures in Your Presentations

by Claudia W. Brogan

Recently, I was helping a woman improve her presentation skills—in particular, hand gestures. Even though it’s good to add hand gestures to speeches, not all gesture-additions are created equal. Over-gesturing can be a problem, as can under-gesturing. Adopting hand motions from other speakers which don’t naturally suit you make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious and will certainly be distracting to your listeners. Then the gestures are self-defeating.

As noted in a recent TED-talk research project, some intriguing techniques were yielded. This observational study at the Science of People researched …

Read More
 

Chop, Chop: Tips for Ruthless Speech Editing

By Natalie Gallagher

Dear Fellow Speakers,

It’s time for some tough love about how we spend our time on the stage. Too often we get so wrapped up in thinking we are saying the most important thing ever, that we abuse the time allotted and end up boring our audience; or worse, we speak for so long that they become agitated and even feel trapped.

Consider this: The worst speech I ever had the displeasure of being in the audience for was given by an experienced, vibrant, energetic speaker. She was a leader in …

Read More
 

The Most Common Public Speaking Question Is …

by Bob Goodyear

Over the last month I’ve had the chance to speak to several groups on the topic of public speaking. Before two of the sessions, the host asked the attendees to submit questions for me to answer during my time with them. While I received many great questions, the most common one was a variation of, “What can I do about being nervous before and during my speech?”

Let me share with you three of the techniques I suggested.
Nervousness is Natural
First, remember that nervousness is something that naturally happens …

Read More
 

Just Say No

by Claudia Brogan

Not long ago I served as a speaking-coach for a highly intelligent scientist as he prepared to deliver an upcoming presentation. I can still remember our first meeting as we began the speech preparation process. For a 45-minute presentation timeslot, he brought 10 pages of script, double-spaced, lengthy, and dense. In a sense, he couldn’t resist the temptation to tell the audience everything he knew about his topic. We set those voluminous notes aside and created a brief list of the most crucial and timely ideas that …

Read More
 

Finding That Topic in the ‘Sweet Spot’ of Your Venn Diagram

By Claudia Brogan

One of my very favorite bloggers in the arena of communication is Andrew Dlugan (“Six Minutes”). Heaven only knows where he comes up with the excellent topics and resources that he shares for teachers, speakers and trainers. Oh wait…it’s not just Heaven that knows. Actually, Andrew generously divulges a great tool for coming up with good speaking subjects.

He calls this the “Secret of choosing successful speech topics” and I highly recommend to you his thorough, thought-provoking blog piece linked below.

Consider finding that “sweet spot” right in the …

Read More
 

Get Out Of The Rut

By Bob Goodyear

Years ago, I went camping with my Boy Scout troop one spring. Our campsite was guaranteed to be incredibly fun! It was off the beaten path and only accessible by a single dirt road that few people knew about. We reached the dirt road full of the anticipation that only a group of 12-13 year old boys could generate. We piled in the back of our scoutmaster’s truck and headed down the road. It was easy to follow because of the ruts that had …

Read More
 

3 Reasons to Perfect Your Pause

by Natalie Gallagher

When we are scared, anxious, or excessively nervous, our body kicks into fight-or-flight mode, a natural survival instinct.

Because public speaking can be a terrifying experience for many, the brain can trigger the “flight” response, and cause us to speak as quickly as possible in order to get off the stage as soon as possible. For me, speaking incredibly fast was one of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome to improve my speaking. On stage, my nerves combined with excitement over my topic made it sound like …

Read More