Thursday, June 6, 2013

5 Ways to Become a Better Speaker Overnight

In my job I have the opportunity to speak to small and medium sized crowds. It is exciting and fun when the crowd is involved and connected - the energy is a rush. But if the connection is not there, it is painful. The pain isn't only with the speaker it is also with the audience. So how do you improve as a speaker? Below are 2 of 5 ways taken from Jeff Haden who is a writer for Inc. magazine. Click here for the other 3 ways to become a better speaker.

1. Find one thing no one knows.
I have never heard someone say, “I was at this presentation the other day... the speaker’s Gantt chart was amazing.”
I have heard someone say, “I was at this presentation the other day... did you know when you blush the lining of your stomach also turns red?”
Find a surprising fact or an unusual analogy that relates to your topic. Audiences love to cock their heads and think, “Really? I had no idea...”
2. Share a genuinely emotional story.
Many speakers tell self-deprecating stories. Many go farther, detailing their personal Tom Cruise “talk to me Goose” moment (1:45, NSFW) when all their bad decisions missteps and poorly timed flybys over an Admiral’s daughter finally came to a head... and they turned a corner and became the amazing person they are today.
Admitting a mistake is great, but not when used just to highlight how great you are now.
Instead tell a story (directly related to your topic) and let your emotions show. If you were sad, show it. If you cried, say so. If you felt remorse, show remorse.
When you share real feelings – which even the most inexperienced speaker can do – you create an immediate and lasting connection with your audience.
Genuine emotion trumps polish every time.

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