Archive for the ‘Speaker Habit’ Category

SPEAK

 

 

Public speaking excellence is a necessary skill if you are a leader. It has always been so. Yet today what you say may be heard by millions worldwide. Your ability to be fully, extraordinarily present in your speeches and presentations is therefore essential.

Of course the higher your profile and influence, the more numerous and compelling are the sources of beckoning distraction. (For more on the skills of being a dynamic performer as a speaker, check out our ( “Elements of an effective speech.”)

Below are 10 suggestions we use at Traindrill, all of them with roots in the theater, for helping leaders stay fully focused and present for their audiences. They range from nonverbal communication to storytelling to breathing for speech. Each tip is simple. Together they are a recipe for presentation excellence on a level commensurate with speaking for true leadership.

Ten Public Speaking Techniques for Leadership

  1. Ground yourself. Feel your feet gripping the floor. Imagine your feet have roots that go deep into the earth. The earth gives you energy and stability. You are steadfast and powerful!
  2. Stand or sit with good posture. Visually, it’s important. Overall, it makes a difference in how strongly you and your ideas are accepted. You will feel like you have more authority if you look like you should.
  3. Breathe diaphragmatically. That means slowly, deeply, and calmly. “Belly breathe” by taking fuller breaths, and learn how to control your exhalation so you support the sound to the ends of phrases (where the most important words usually reside). Be aware of each delicious nourishing breath.
  4. Dive into your audience. Your audience is a pool. Submerge yourself in their energy and humanity. Relish the sheer reality of their presence and yours, together. You will excite yourself and them.
  5. Take your time. High-profile speaking can make you speak too rapidly because of adrenaline, the “fight or flight” hormone. Take your time to cherish this opportunity, which is only here now and in a moment will be gone forever.
  6. Pay attention with all of your senses. Take in sensually everything that’s going on around you. Hear with your eyes, feel the audience’s reactions as if it were tactile, taste the ideas in your mouth, etc. Respond with all your being!
  7. Aim your energy outward. Your audience matters, not you! Lose yourself in your message and how it is being received. Since you are a leader who isn’t used to hearing this, I will repeat it: you don’t matter. Send the best of you to the people who do matter.
  8. Make eye contact as you tell the story. The story is what the audience is here for. Whatever you’re talking about, it’s a story, a narrative. In that sense you’re always involved in storytelling. Tell people about it.
  9. Trust silence. Silence is one of the most powerful tools in your public speaking toolbox. It helps you pace your presentation. It gives audiences time to fully grasp what you’re saying. It also tells audiences, “I’m confident.”
  10. Move! If you move while you speak, it will help you think and keep you in the moment. Strong, clean gestures amplify and bring your content to life. The body is an essential tool of human communication, and ignoring it can turn you into a block of wood. If you’re seated, simply use your arms, hands, upper body, and face. But give physical expression to the important things you say. If you don’t, we’ll miss the person behind the ideas.

There is one thing that will keep you from employing these techniques: listening to your own self-talk that frays your concentration when you need it most. But if you practice the skills named above, do you think you’ll have time to listen?

A last point: Don’t practice all of these techniques at once. Try one or two at a time, especially in low-risk speaking situations. Gradually, you’ll build up dynamism and focus that any speaker would envy. When you do, let us all know where we can hear you speak.

By Amanambu Amobi

el

 

                                                                           Elements Of An Effective Speech

by

Lenny Laskowski

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t; the other half have nothing to say and keep saying it.”

Anyone can give a speech. Not everyone can give an effective speech. To give an effective speech there are 6 elements you should consider.

Be Prepared – Being prepared is by far the most important element. How many times do you practice your speech? As a general rule, you should spend about 30 hours of preparation and rehearsal time for every hour you will be speaking. Use a tape recorder or videotape yourself. This will help you to get an accurate picture of how you speak.

Give of Yourself – Use personal examples and stories in your speech whenever possible. Make sure your stories help to emphasize or support your point. The stories must match your message. Use examples from your personal and professional life to make your point. In either case be willing to give of yourself by sharing some of yourself with the audience

Stay Relaxed – To stay relaxed you should be prepared. Also, focus on your message and not the audience. Use gestures, including walking patterns. Practice the opening of your speech and plan exactly how you will say it. The audience will judge you in the first 30 seconds they see you.

Use Natural Humor – Don’t try to be a stand up comedian. Use natural humor by poking fun at yourself and something you said or did. Be sure NOT to make fun of anyone in the audience. People will laugh with you when you poke fun at yourself but don’t over do it.

Plan Your Body & Hand Positions – During the practice of your speech look for occasions where you can use a gesture. Establish three positions where you will stand and practice not only how to move to them but where in your speech do you move. Pick three positions, one on center stage, one to your right, and one to your left. Do not hide behind the lectern. When you do move maintain eye contact with the audience.

Pay attention to all details – Make sure you have the right location (school, hotel, room & time). Make sure you know how to get to where you are speaking. Ask how large an audience you will be speaking to. Make sure you bring all your visual aids and plenty of handouts. Arrive early so you can check out where you will be speaking and make any last minute adjustments.

It is very important that you pay attention to even the smallest details. You can never overplan. Remember, “He who fails to plan is planning for failure”

Edited by

Amanambu Amobi

It became an accepted slogan, when millions of Nigerians started chanting ‘My Oga at the top’. One would wonder that even the market women caught this verbal virus. The truth need be told, does this shameful act from Obafaiye Shem (My oga at the top), the Lagos State NSCDC commandant represents that decaying system in our dear country where nothing can be done except ‘my oga at the top’ gives an approval, no wonder Charles Novia wrote in one of his article titled ‘My Oga at the top’, where he opined that “As hilarious as this may be to millions of people, it is also a sad reminder of our societal genuflection as a people. The whole apparatus of the Nigerian administrative organogram is strangle (sic) held by so many ‘Ogas on top’. An effective ‘checks-and-balances’ system which works seamlessly in other climes is made impotent here in Nigeria by a wicked system of administrative despotism. Nothing gets done except the top guns approves, even your visiting the restroom!”. Or do we say that those who hold the mantle of leadership do not deserve to be there as they perhaps bribed their way into the job. Or again do we rather say that they lack that most important aspect of leadership which is public speaking.

‘My Oga at the top’ represents that Nigerian top leader who does not fully understand and have great knowledge of that position he is in and fail to express it adequately or represents the one who calls the shots, every decision is taken solely by him. Delegation is not in his routine of jobs. However you choose to look at it, this problem is a national crisis especially since even our president is guilty in this regard, anyone in doubt please watch the Amanpour interview with our president. Thank goodness it trended hitting over 1.5 million views on Youtube. Many top politicians, CEOs, and men of the Armed Forces these days can’t grant interviews without the exercise turning into a media gaffe. This indeed represents that failed state whose leadership lack the skill of public speaking. ‘My oga at the top’ in my opinon, represents that leader who lacks the techniques and strategies of speaking in public. These ‘ogas at the top’ need to be sent to the school of orators to learn the act of public speaking.

Written by Amanambu Amobi