Write Your Speech With A Kiss

And Make Your Speech Flow

Ever listened to a presentation that didn’t flow or make sense? What it needed, was a KISS.

To clearly link your ideas and emphasise major points or direction changes, write your speech with a kiss. The KISS principle is of course: “Keep It Simple, Silly.” A KISS efficiently tells your audience what you are doing next with your use of language, pausing or emphasis. This allows listeners to stay with you rather than wander off the path in wild confusion. Here are some KISS examples I’ve used when speaking:

Link With a KISS

  • “The PURPOSE of my 20 minute presentation is…”
  • “Now I’ve explained how to craft a snippet, you are going to PRACTISE on your own website…”
  • “If you only remember ONE THING today… make it this…”
  • “I’ve told you a little about my background, now I’d like to hear about yours. So next we’re going to 
do a warm up exercise to help us to get to know one another better…”
  • “The 3 steps of a, b and c, are pivotal which is why we’ve just spent half an hour on them.
 Now I’m going to show how YOU can apply the same ideas at work…”
  • Pause…”I’d like to talk to you about… ROCKET SCIENCE.” Pause.
  • “It’s been a big 3 days. Now it’s time to finish. I’m going to summarise, then open it up to 
your questions for half an hour. Then we’ll end with our powerful completion process and I’ll invite you to register for our ongoing program…”

Be Like A Book

To write your speech with a kiss, link sections of your talk with connective sentences to demonstrate logical progression. Use language, tone and pausing to emphasise major points and signify changes in pace and direction.

Think about how books are written to aid understanding; not just the content but the format and the structure. Consider:

A book is divided up into chapters, sections and paragraphs. These are broken up further into major headings, minor headings and general text.

Your presentation is like a formatted book, except your audience is listening to it, rather than reading it.

If you were reading a story out loud to a child, you would pause at the exciting moments, speak slowly to emphasise important moments and throw in some vocal drama here and there.

No Convoluted Slobberings

Whenever there is confusion in a story line, an argument, a speech…. the listener gets lost. Keep your listeners on a clearly lit path and write your speech with a kiss. No convoluted slobberings, just clear, logical links to gently invite your listeners to walk with you.

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© 2015-18, Geraldine Barkworth, public speaking coach. This article is the author’s opinion only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

The Art Of Audience: Know To Whom You Speak

If you thought giving a talk was about you, think again!

No matter how scintillating your information, if it’s not a perfect fit for your audience, they won’t hear you or your words.

While you have opportunity to influence when you speak, you don’t have total control. Audiences have free will! They can stay, leave, come back and these days change channel.

Let’s Define Audience

In 16th Century France, if you wished to speak to the Queen, you asked for an “audience”. The origin of the word means “to hear”. In the 21stcentury, “audience” retains its original meaning and refers to “assembled spectators at an event”. If the word “audience” sets your googlies rumbling, try swapping a synonym such as throng, gathering, company, group or my preference, “listeners”.

Is it just me or does “throng” sound like a gathering for a hanging, while “listeners” sounds like what you want from people when you speak! I notice that “gathering” is often used by the arts and literary crowd, “Mmm, we’re having a small gathering at the studio. Pino Grigio of course and some of that ash-dusted goat fetta.”

Why You Need an Audience

Without an audience, listener or friend you are just talking to yourself. And that’s OK if you like a one-sided chat. If you do have something you wish to say, share or promote publicly then you do need an audience. An audience however, does not need you.

It’s a privilege to speak to an audience. And don’t they know it! They want respect, rich content and to be emotionally lifted from the daily dross, connecting to something bigger. Yes, they want it all and they want it now. Read on to learn how to know and keep your audience.

Respect Every Audience as Unique

Audiences are diversely shaped and sized. On any given day, you may address:

  • Workshop participants keen to learn new skills.
  • Team meetings with colleagues who wait tiredly for your report.
  • Board members whom you must persuade to accept your funding proposal.
  • Children at the dinner table demanding to know why the beach party is cancelled.
  • A room full of expectant listeners waiting to hear the answer to the meaning of life!

Research Audience Nitty Gritty

To understand what your audience needs, loves and wants, research to help you customise:

  • Demographics: How old are they? What do they do for a living? Are they strangers?
  • Psychographics: What do they care about? What are their common problems?
  • Logistics: How big is the audience? Do they have special needs, like wheelchair access?
  • Promotion: What are the best methods to reach and motivate them to attend?
  • Learning Preference: How best do they absorb information? Visually? Doing? Discussion?
  • Morale: What’s the mood of the audience? Excited? Bored? Do they want to be there?

Set and Exceed Audience Expectations

Who hasn’t been to a workshop that overpromised and under delivered? It’s irritating, disappointing and a waste of time. The best way to manage audience expectations is to be the one who sets the them. An audience will come and stay, if you deliver beyond your promise. Be clear about:

  • Why this topic and its importance;
  • Who will benefit from attending;
  • What result they can expect to gain;
  • How you will deliver the goodies to them.

Customise Fresh to Every Audience

Just like a restaurant, audiences desire fresh, authentic and good value dishes on the menu. They want to be entertained, informed and inspired. Inauthenticity repels and b*s* detectors are set on high. Listeners want you to be real, otherwise, how can they trust you?

  • Entertain: Open with a juicy story your audience specifically cares about.
  • Inform: Shower generously with rich, interactive content, case studies and results.
  • Inspire: End by helping them to see rewarding change is within their grasp.

Appeal to Heart and Head of Your Audience

When an audience connects emotionally with your message, they feel it. When they see evidence and proof, they believe it. And when you give them a personal experience of it, they take ownership.

Help listeners take ownership by engaging deeply. Ask rhetorical questions, pause while they think. Look into their eyes and read their face, just as you would a one-to-one conversation. Facilitate interactive exercises, use physical props and invite questions. Listen and hear your audience.

Listeners do need more than data and a touching story. Most importantly they need to know WHY. “Why” gets you out of bed in the morning and connects you to the Big Picture. When people understand and care about the “why” of a topic, they take action because they want to. And that’s when your idea and message grows wings. It flies away to reach an even bigger audience.

Inspire Your Audience to Fly

It’s often quoted that only 2% of audiences follow through and get results. The other 98% think it’s a good idea and forget about it the next day. So how can you inspire your audience to fly into action?

Depending upon the situation, I advise my clients to start with answering the “why” to generate interest. Then stir emotionally to engage feelings, followed by solid evidence to satisfy the mind. Deliver interactively so listeners have a personal hands-on experience. Lastly, show the next steps to take. Make the pathway attractively simple to inspire immediate action.

The (He)Art of Audience

Often when we get asked to speak, we’re so caught up with ourselves, we forget the whole point is to communicate fabulously well to others. To help them understand, learn and grow. The Art of Audience is to know to whom you speak. To research, customise and exceed expectations. To entertain, inform and inspire.

With the art of audience, you’ll know how to deliver powerful talks that get under your listener’s skin, into their hearts, out of their chairs and into action. Ta daa!

(For further reading on working with Audiences, here’s links to a few of my other articles: Speak and Listen With Presence, The Radiantly Attractive Communicator,  3 Questions In The Mind Of Your Audience .

© 2018, Geraldine Barkworth, fear to fabulous speaking coach. This article is the author’s opinion only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide To Public Speaking by Chris Anderson

Book Review by Speaking Coach Geraldine Barkworth

TED Talks is a fabulous book. Essential reading for the modern presenter. Filled with poignant tips and practical examples of how to use spoken word to creatively get your ideas across in a very short time.

I’ll be brutally honest. 80% of “how to public speak” books and videos bore me silly. There are always gems in every offering, but boy do you have to wade through alot of mud to find the rubies.

Ted Talks the book, makes the ancient art of public speaking exciting, relevant and a must have accessory for anyone who seeks to be heard.

The Aha! Not Ho-Hum of Public Speaking

I’ve always struggled to neatly explain what I do for a living as it’s so much more than public speaking. “Public Speaking” has alot of ho-hum baggage. Chris Anderson reframes “public speaking” as an  “aha!” moment for great ideas to be shared and every voice to be heard. With the internet as vehicle, 20 minute talks can literally change the world and bring us closer to one another through shared humanity and technology.

TED Talks is written specifically for writing and delivering a short TED-style talk. It covers the fundamentals of purpose, message, story, structure, delivery, inspiring action and managing your nerves to get you out in front of people. The book is totally applicable for all styles of presentation. The focus is on communicating your ideas authentically and clearly, not perfect polished oration.

Just Read These Two Books

If you only ever read two public speaking books in your life, make them:

  1. TED Talks by Chris Anderson
  2. Be Heard Now by Lee Glickstein

These two books share a tender compassion for people and ideas. And both provide practical steps on how to tap into your own humanity and connect us all to something bigger. Exciting, life changing stuff. I love witnessing people unfurl themselves and their ideas in front of me. It’s why I’m still a speaking coach after 20 years.

(c) 2018, Geraldine Barkworth, From Fear to Fabulous Speaking Coach. This book review is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Video: Massively Multi Player Thumb Wrestling by Jane McGonigal

Use Oxytocin To Group Bond

Oxytocin is the “bonding hormone” – the feel good hormone that opens our hearts and minds to each other. Apparently 6 seconds of hand holding is enough to activate the flow of oxytocin through our veins. Important to know this if you work with a group / team / audience and wish to lead them somewhere meaningful and, together!

Jane McGonigal begins this fun and fabulous 7 minute TED Talk with the promise that you’ll feel 10 positive emotions in 60 seconds. She promises and she delivers by showing how to connect a large audience of 1500, physically and emotionally.

Watch this video if you want to learn how to make your presentations dynamically creative. And, if you want to learn how to set up and successfully manage large scale interactive group exercises. Oh and, it’s very well written, tightly delivered and even over-delivers.

Massively Multi Player Thumb Wrestling is also a great warm up, wake up and cool down exercise. It costs nothing and doesn’t even take much time. It generates cooperation, laughter, connection, physical movement, inspiration, perspective and a sense of togetherness. And who doesn’t want more of that?

(c) 2018, Geraldine Barkworth, from fear to fabulous speaking coach, www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au . This video review is the opinion of the author only.

 

Presence Power: 6 Steps To Super Speaking!

No longer hiding beneath her cape, Dianna threw her anticipation anxiety aside and strode to centre stage.

Well ok, it was her lounge room and her family was her audience on this occasion. But next week, it will be in front of 250 of her colleagues. Quaking in her boots no matter how pretty, or calling in sick last minute will just not do.

So how did Dianna shift from a slink to a strut?

For starters, she worked with me earlier this year in a 5 session program called Feel Fear Speak Anyway. Dianna learned how to embody leadership presence, inside and out. Before I launch into describing this 6 step sequence (it’s a kind of elegant 3 minute ritual), I better explain a bit about the significance of Presence Power and why you definitely need it.

Why You Need Presence Power

If you suffer from speaking nerves, presence power will fix it. If you wish to engage the respect and attention of your listeners, presence power will deliver it. If you wish to boost your personal influence and find a large audience for your ideas, presence power will take you there.

Recap: What Is Presence?

Presence is a state of being. It’s something you feel, not do. Presence is also described as “charisma”, “something drew me to her”, “compelling”, “magnetic”, “powerful”, “mindful”, “now.”

Presence is mind, body and emotions working harmoniously. It is radiantly attractive. There is no space for fear and doubt when you are fully present in the moment. Listeners “switch on” when they realise they are in for a special treat: the speaker is truly authentic and right here right now.

Presence charges the atmosphere and inspires trust, rapport and connection. It generates credibility, energy and impact. The most compelling leaders speak with presence power.

Wow! Who wouldn’t some of that? And it’s free! Flowing through your veins right now. You just need to know how to activate your super power!

How To Activate Your Super Power

You need to coax your super power into it’s full magnificence. This involves trust and perhaps some cajoling. The state of presence is a habit like any other. Until it becomes second nature whenever you speak and lead, you need to cultivate it, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Homework Before You Do The 6 Step Sequence

  • Watch the Amy Cuddy TED Talk “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” to understand the significance of a power pose and how to do it.
  • Spend some time getting clear about your purpose for the next time you are going to speak to other people. Be specific. “I want to talk good” is not good enough for a purpose. You want your purpose to ring true, to enliven your words and your listeners. To capture the very essence of a meaningful outcome. “I want to show my group how to take a 5 minute break every hour to decrease stress and increase joy”.

 

Presence Power: 6 Step Sequence

  1. Power Pose: Strike a powerful “super person” stance for about 1 minute. Feel stable, grounded and strong. Become aware of your breath, pace and thoughts. Relaxxx.
  2. Calm Belly: Close your eyes, hands on lower belly, count 5 slow, even breaths in and out. Feel the natural rise and fall of your belly. With each breath, relax more deeply.
  3. Be Present: Now open your eyes slowly and awaken your senses. Identify 3 things you can see, 3 you can hear, 3 you can feel on your skin. This will keep ground and calm you.
  4. Purpose: Bring to mind your Speaking Purpose. Focus on the result you want for your listeners. Let the clarity fill every cell of your body. You know you have a job to do! Speak it!
  5. Refocus: Intentionally shift your focus onto your listeners and away from yourself. Be 100% present with your listeners and your message. See their enthralled faces.
  6. Now Move! Do a gentle shoulder roll, slightly tilt your chin up, walk forward into your future…

Unexpected Bonus

Talk about a transportable skill! Recently I had 10 minutes before I left the house to run a 3 hour workshop. I needed to be calm as I was teaching, “How To Be Calm Under Pressure!” Well, I had an unexpected visitor who was demanding and rude. I got very angry. I was now late. As I drove my car away, mentally obsessing about where I could hire a hit man, it occurred to me to practise my Presence Power sequence.

While I couldn’t close my eyes and stand like superwoman, I adjusted my posture, went through the process and stated my speaking purpose whilst ducking and weaving through traffic. And you know what? By the time I finished this cute little 3 minute-ish sequence, I was indeed, cool, calm and connected. I was so surprised with the unexpected bonus… Presence Power can be applied to any challenging situation… not just “public speaking”.

Go Get Your Cape!

Well, what are you waiting for? Presence Power is here, there and everywhere! It really does start with you, knowing how to transport yourself and then others, into that better place. Go forth and strut your stuff with dum de dum daa… Presence Power!

© 2017 Geraldine Barkworth, authentic speaking coach. This article is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

The Radiantly Attractive Communicator

Do People Listen When You Speak?

To become a radiantly attractive communicator, 1-to-1 or 1-to-many, you need first to connect with your inner speaker, the purpose of your message, the space around you and then with your listeners, before you even open your mouth.

Are you thinking now, “Geez I don’t want to change the world, I just want staff to follow our new policy,” or “All I want is to rustle up a few new clients with this little talk.” Who cares about being “radiantly attractive”?

Well, let me explain dear reader. A sense of connection is more powerful than words. Communicating from the heart, fully present with other human beings, creates acceptance and understanding… and take-up of your ideas. There is a sense of “oneness” which is healing for all – speakers and listeners. The ability to connect with others is radiantly attractive to all people. It is the defining characteristic of inspiring leaders and great communicators.

  1. Connect With Your Inner Speaker

The core belief that we are separate, isolated or different from everyone else, generates uncomfortable feelings of self-consciousness, fear of rejection and doubts about self worth. Connecting authentically first with your inner self, then with others, is a simple and effective remedy for our western epidemic of social isolation and fear of you guessed it, “public speaking.”

When you feel connected to the self, you are connected to your foundation. This is a place of great peace, stillness, strength and clarity for many people. When you speak from this place, you speak in authenticity. Your presence carries a natural charisma and authority without trying to be something you are not.

Connecting first to your inner speaker occurs at the beginning of all powerful presentations and conversations. It is also described as “being present.” It takes only a few seconds. Simply do this by:

  • Consciously take a moment to pause,
  • Feel your feet on the floor and take an even breath in and out,
  • Focus your attention on your purpose in speaking, not on yourself.
  1. Connect To The Purpose Of Your Message

Before you begin writing or speaking, be clear about the purpose or intention of your speech. The word “purpose” means “an intended or desired result” (Macquarie Dictionary, 1990). Without a sense of purpose, your words can appear directionless. Your listeners may miss the point because you did too. When you are clear about your purpose, your listeners will be clear too. It works really well to ground your speech with: “The purpose of my presentation today is….” or “What I hope you will learn and take away is…”

Help yourself to become a radiantly attractive communicator by asking yourself:

  • What is my purpose in speaking today?
  • What outcome do I want?
  • What do I want my listeners to remember or say about me?
  1. Connect To The Room

Before you enter the room or just before you speak, tune into the space around you. Again the time it takes is mere seconds. The “space” refers to your surrounding environment on every level.

The term “holding the space” refers to the skill of balancing your awareness simultaneously with the 4 aspects of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual connection when you communicate with others. It is a skill requiring a high level of self-awareness and emotional control. Speakers who learn this skill deliver with greater impact, communicating beyond mere words. Their words are radiantly attractive, bypassing the mind and head straight for the heart.

To give you a real life example, I once attended a coaching conference where the opening speaker held us spellbound. His quiet, slow paced story (mental space) caused us to wait in relaxed silence (spiritual space) as he strolled across the room (physical space) to pour himself some water. It could have been his living room. By witnessing a normal, human event, it connected us to each other (emotional space). Rather than “him up there and us down here”, he gave us a chance to pause and take a drink too – we were all in this together.

  1. Connect To The Audience

It’s now time to connect with your listeners… it takes only seconds…

Take a breath, feel your feet on the floor, make your intention to be 100% present and available to the human beings in front of you. Offer eye contact to someone in the audience who wants to be with you; they are leaning forward, smiling and waiting.

Begin your first words to that available person and then move onto the next willing-to-be-engaged listener. Speak directly to them. Open your story. Speak from your heart. Show you understand the problem they’ve come to hear you talk about, because you’ve had that problem too. Explain how you overcame the problem and how by the end of your presentation, they will understand how to do it too.

Connection is ultimately far more important than content. Your content may be spine-tinglingly brilliant and world-changing, but it you fail to build genuine trust and rapport with your listeners, they will not listen. Your brilliant words will not be heard.

Physiologically, when we soften our eyes, our whole body relaxes. Imagine your eyes are resting in hammocks when you softly gaze one listener at a time. Having the ability to sustain, comfortable, relaxed eye contact builds trust and rapport – in effect, you are saying without words, “I hear you, I see you and I am with you.” Fundamentally, I think this is something we all want deep down. And as speakers, we definitely want and need, our listeners to hear, see and be with us.

Do You Want To Be A Dull, Miserable Communicator? Is That Working Out For You?

So does being a radiantly attractive communicator still feel like overkill? Are we waving the stars around and do they still feel too far out of reach? Just think about a time you were bored silly at yet another meeting, presentation or party. It doesn’t need to be like that again. Everyone wants connection, acknowledgment and attention so why don’t you be the first to offer it when next you speak? And what you will likely receive in return, is radiantly attractive listening. Wow! It works both ways.

We know when a speaker leader is present with us and we know when their mind and spirit have left the building. We feel the absence of presence just as much as we feel the thrill of being in the presence of a radiantly attractive communicator.

One last point: be aware that as the speaker, you are “on” from the moment your name is called and you take the floor (even it’s it just the family dinner table), right through to leaving the floor and finishing. Your listeners’ eyes, minds and emotions will be engaged and assessing you before you even open your mouth. Your integrity (who you are and what you stand for) is always on display. Yet another reason to understand why it is so important to take time to connect first with yourself, the purpose of your message, the space and the human beings in front of you.

Listen to your inner voice…. your radiantly attractive communicator is calling your name next.

(A great book to read on this topic is Lee Glickstein’s “Be Heard Now!”)

(c) 2012-17, Geraldine Barkworth, public speaking coach, www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Video Review: Before I Die I Want To… by Candy Chang

“Preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life.”

Before I Die I Want To… is a terrific 6 minute TED Talk that shows you how to:

  1. Handle tears when they start rolling down your face in the middle of a presentation,
  2. Make sense of a personal sadness by channelling it into a powerful social movement,
  3. Take one simple idea, link it with a universal story we all relate to, use visual examples to explain the concept and demonstrate the how and why it’s spread around the world,

And all in 6 minutes. The talk is elegant, clear and uncluttered and refreshingly natural. Candy advocates using public spaces, like the sides of unused buildings and bus shelters, to encourage people to anonymously talk about their greatest hopes, dreams and fears… it begins conversation between people, the community and, the world.

Spaces are set up for people to write their answers to big statements like: “Before I die I want to…” The spaces fill up quickly. Most people understand that “life is brief and tender” yet have few opportunities to explore the fears, hopes and ideas that this and other big questions, ask of us.

I like this speech for many reasons. I recommend it to clients who worry about breaking down with emotion in public. Candy’s feelings surface throughout her speech and it doesn’t detract, it enhances. It makes her message more powerful and sincere because she stands her ground and rides through the storm, letting it flow through her as she keeps going. If you are interested in more tips on how to handle strong emotions when you present, here’s another article I’ve written: “But What If I Cry?”

TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading.

© 2017, Geraldine Barkworth. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au  This Video Review is entirely the opinion of the author.

What I Learned From Nigella, Obama & G-String Wearing Strangers

Let Your Words And Body Speak For You

 

In a world of superfluous verbosity and redundant superlatives, whose services, products and ideas do we believe, trust and follow?

(This article is based on a 30 minute recently filmed speech about how to let your words and body speak for you to build trust and rapport. You are welcome to watch, especially if you’ve never heard me speak before! First is a 1-minute video demonstrating the 6 techniques in this article. Second is an edited 10-minute video of the whole speech, which does include a little Nigella impersonation.)

 

According to my Mother, I’ve been living in “a little slice of heaven on earth” for the last 20 years. Brunswick Heads is an idyllic seaside town, nicely daggy around the edges. People nod and say “hello” even if you don’t know them as you meander down the street. And that’s how we like it.

Change Is Here

But this year it’s changed. Apart from the soaring 30 plus degree temperatures, Brunswick Heads has been “discovered” and the locals are finding it hard to get a parking spot.

What I really noticed was the change in pace. It was faster (“I want it now!”). It was intolerant and closed (“I was here first!”). There was a loss of community (little eye contact, connection or conversation from visitors.) Locals felt like they’d lost their friendly village to a horde of transient, cold-eyed, g-string wearing strangers.

Apart from this year’s fashion for scanty beach attire, it strikes me that our experience in Brunswick Heads is similar to fears that speakers face the first time they give a talk to a new group. The group is often perceived by the quaking speaker as a wall of strangers with whom they have little connection or warmth. And the group may feel exactly the same way toward the speaker.

So how do you break through and forge meaningful relationships, trust and credibility with strangers? And how do you do it with genuine warmth, integrity and an invitation to come back? Especially if you are selling something or promoting change and new ideas to people who are “happy to stay as we are, thank you very much”?

A Quick Way To Learn
One of the quickest ways to learn anything new is to observe how successful others do it. And of course, sometimes it’s the best way to learn how not to do something. You can find yourself in the mirror of others, trying on their ideas and behaviours like a new outfit. Then assiduously keeping the bits that fit and letting go of the bits that don’t.

Whom Do You Admire?
Before reading on, please take a moment to think of someone, local or global, famous or infamous who makes you sit up and listen. What qualities do they embody? Why are you attracted or repelled? Which of their communication skills would you like to try on and see if they work for you?

Let Your Words And Body Speak – Obama And Nigella Style
I admire the communication skills of Barack Obama, the former American President and Nigella Lawson, the English cook and former journalist. Both are brilliant communicators and generate emotional impact, presence and approachability. Barack is more cerebral, structured and deep thinking. Nigella is more sensual, down to earth and practical. She shows you how to do it; Barack inspires you why to do it. I’m going to briefly describe and demonstrate 3 verbal and 3 body language techniques used very differently by Barack and Nigella. If you haven’t already done so, you may now find it useful to watch the 1-minute video demonstrating these 6 techniques…

3 Ways To Spruce Up Your Verbal Language

  1. Anaphora: is the repetition of the same word or phrases. Used well, it adds impact and power to a central idea. Barack Obama is skilled at using anaphora: “If I told you that…If I told you that… If I told you that…” Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard used anaphora brilliantly in her famous 2013  “Misogyny” speech in parliament when she repeated…”I am offended when… I am offended when… I am offended when…” It requires holding your nerve and delivering the simple repetition with elegance and confidence. It if feels too performance like – you need to reconnect with the authenticity of your message. Speeding up and garbling diminishes and dissolves you and the message. (Find the link to Julia’s speech within my article “Do Men & Women Do Public Speaking Differently?”See my underlined example below of how to use anaphora in my one-minute self-intro below.
  2. Rule Of Three: refers to using words and ideas in sets of three. Our brain processes and remembers groups of three very well; groups of four or more get a bit awkward. There is a familiar, story-telling rhythm in groups of three… “long, long, long ago, in a far, far, far land…there lived three sisters… Martha, Bertha and Greta.” Who can forget Barack Obama’s powerful promise line distilled into three words: “Yes We Can.”  Another speaking device is called the ascending tricolon (“three’s getting bigger”) It’s a lovely way of taking a small, do-able idea, then making it bigger, then making it bigger again and again. It helps expand ideas from one point to another. See my bolded example below.
  3. Personal, Conversational Language: helps remove barriers of unfamiliarity, difference and newness. It enables one human being to speak directly to another human being, building the connection of shared relationship and experience. Using pronouns of “me”, “you” and “us” are inclusive. Using present, active tense grammar, keeps us united in the current moment. “Together, we can do this.“  Rather than speak in the passive tense of what I call  “the royal we”, Barack speaks directly to every person, to you and I, from him. During Nigella’s cooking shows, she speaks personally and conversationally, almost like a confession… “I don’t know about you… but I just don’t have time to mash my own potatoes.” She is engaging because she appears like every busy woman, pressed for time, and finding smarter ways to do things. Her down to earth humanity, shortcuts and joy of food are universally appealing. See my own examples below in italics.

3 Ways To Luxuriate In Your Body Language

  1. Large, Lighthouse Gestures: Your eyes track movement and gesture long before your mind processes word meaning. A large, simple gesture, cuts through the fluff of endless verbiage and flies straight to the heart of understanding. Why say, “It was a big fish, at least a metre long”, when you can show it with your hands and emphasise with your voice. Your meaning is clearer with physical demonstration and is much more interesting for viewers. A hand on your chest adds credibility when you share something personal; a “no” becomes emphatic when you make an accompanying slashing gesture and use a hard tone. You can be as creative as you like, as long as you get the message across.
  2. Direct Eye To Eye Contact: In most western cultures, direct eye contact is an invitation to trust and connect. If we linger too long or too short, it becomes uncomfortable. Look directly, pause, wait for your words to land and move on. Direct eye contact with a speaker makes listeners feel heard and important. They immediately know they are not being spoken at, but with. In Nigella’s cooking videos (“Nigella Bites”), she leans forward conversationally, and lingers into the camera to make sure you are still keen to make a berry soufflé. Obama looks directly into the camera, he doesn’t shy away, gazing without fear into millions of eyes. He is solid and real. Yep, direct eye to eye contact definitely takes practice and confidence if you are squirming right now.
  3. Open, Relaxed Body: The “secret” to looking relaxed and confident is to show your body as relaxed and confident. Obama looks open, languid and comfortable in his own skin. The message it sends is “I’ve got this. I’m strong and capable and at ease with myself and the world.” It causes others to believe in him because he appears to believe in himself. That’s confidence and it’s a compellingly attractive quality in anyone. He also takes his time in speaking and gazing, he gives complete attention, he doesn’t rush. One of my favourite Nigella moments is the last 3 minutes of her cooking program. It’s dark in the kitchen, she slips down in her robe late at night lit up by the light of her giant fridge. She decides between a hunk of chocolate gateau or a roasted pork roll to snack on. She makes her choice and takes a huge bite with a cheeky grin. Yep, we’d all like to effortlessly embrace the joy of eating without guilt. Nigella defies popular convention and shows us how to do it with a relaxed, open mind and body.

How And When To Apply These Techniques
Written directly below, I delivered this rather formal, 1-minute self-introduction at a business breakfast where we took turns to stand and introduce ourselves to the group.

It was a good opportunity to demonstrate the use of anaphora (underlined), rule of 3, ascending tricolon (in bold)  and the use of personal, conversational language (in italics). To see the body language gestures, you’ll have to either watch the video or use your imagination. It’s probably easier to watch the 1-minute video…

My One-Minute Demo Self-Introduction
This one-minute self-introduction formed the opening of a 30-minute speech about what we can learn from expert communicators like Obama and Nigella. Watch the 10 minute edited version here.
Have you ever wondered, how some speakers inspire you with every word and others, do not?
How some speakers inspire you to trust and believe in them and others, do not?
How some speakers inspire you to ask for their card, work with them, connect to something bigger and others, do not?
My name is Geraldine. I am a public speaking coach and I transform the speakers whom you didn’t want to work with, into the ones that you do!!!
I show professionals like you, like authors, coaches and business owners how to relax and overcome nerves. How to find your true voice and how to craft meaningful words into memorable presentations you can be proud of.
Work with me if you want to get hired whenever you speak!
I’m Geraldine Barkworth, director, Goddess Of Public Speaking.”

 

Above All, Stay Real & Stay Open
In a world of superfluous verbosity and redundant superlatives, whose services, products and ideas do we believe, trust and follow?

The speaker-leaders who embody warmth, credibility and authenticity. Who aren’t afraid to look you in the eyes. To help you grow, learn and connect to something bigger than what you saw for yourself. Speakers are compelling when they offer that gift of intimacy and invite you to join them there.

So… welcome to Brunswick Heads! Let your words and body speak. And don’t forget your g-string.

(c) 2017 Geraldine Barkworth, speaking coach, www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

What’s So Hard About Making Eye Contact?

Imagine Your Eyes Are In Hammocks…

So many people avoid making eye contact in groups, it’s almost an epidemic! Ease with making eye contact is all about relaxing. When you relax, your audience relaxes too. And relaxed people are more receptive to hearing your message. It really is in your best interest to learn how to make gentle, sustained eye contact if you want to deepen your interpersonal communication skills.

In order to relax your whole body, you need to relax your eyes first. Imagine your eyes lazing in hammocks, heavy and supported. Miraculously, when the eyes are relaxed, the brain sends a message to your body, saying “You are safe and can relax.” And so, you do.

Let go of believing you have to connect with everyone at once in the group. Public speaking is not a multi-tasking competition. Allow yourself to relax and sink into your talk, just like you are swinging in a hammock. Be with 1 person at a time. Watch your words land on their face for you to see the connection between you. That’s really enough. You are not going to “lose people” if you aren’t gazing at all of them, all of the time.

Here are 4 steps to help you relax into making gentle, sustained eye contact:

  1. Relax your eyes first and let your body follow,
  2. Move your whole body and eyes to connect with 1 person,
  3. Maintain gentle eye contact for approximately 3 seconds-ish,
  4. Then move your body, eyes and words to the next receptive person. And so on.

That’s it. Relax your eyes. Soften your gaze. Make it an invitation, not a staring competition. Share the love around. Invite connection with one person at a time. Don’t run, stay steady. Pretend you are a lighthouse, tall and visible with an important job to do. As the speaker, you are the role model, so role model the kind of communication you want in return. Start with relaxed eyes and allow your muscles and your intentions to soften. Let the people in! And the people will let you in, in return.

This is one of those occasions when I can say, “Do Practise This At Home”. The dinner table is a good place to start making eye contact before you let loose on a bunch of strangers.

(c) 2017, Geraldine Barkworth, authentic public speaking coach, www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

 

Scared Speechless: 9 Ways To Overcome Your Fears & Captivate Your Audience by Steve Rohr & Dr Shirley Impellizzeri

Book Review By Speaking Coach Geraldine Barkworth

The key morsel of Scared Speechless is the clear and simple language explaining the psychology behind public speaking fear. It goes way beyond the standard explanation of “Your stress response can’t tell the difference between a sabre toothed tiger and an upcoming speech.”

Scared Speechless offers logical, down to earth and humorous explanations to help you understand why in the past you were scared of speaking and how to change it for the future using neuropsychology.

I was surprised at how good this book was because if you are anything like me, your first reaction to yet another “how-to-public-speak” book is yawn. I’d rather pluck my eyebrows.

Also, it arrived unsolicited in the mail from the publicist, so I wasn’t expecting much. I assumed it to be a typical over-marketed “How To Be Awesome On Stage In 1 Minute” hyped-up American rave.

Instead, I enjoyed Scared Speechless’ easy to read, straightforward words; the authors clearly want to generously help as many people as possible. It’s designed to be universally accessible to people of all ages and walks of life from young adults and up.

I picked up some useful gems from Scared Speechless, which I’ve already put to use in my workshops. I’ll only give you three so you’ll have to read the book to get the rest:

  • Practise your speech non-verbally (yes, mime!) with your body to express your meaning first. Then practise with words. Your body will remember your meaning and underscore your words with natural gestures. (Moving also helps you to “unfreeze” should this happen to you.)
  • Prepare your speech to be READ rather than SAID. In other words, write it out loud. (Ever noticed the difference when you’ve heard someone READING a speech as opposed to talking directly to you? Which is the more powerful?)
  • Use “clothing cognition” to your advantage, that is, dress to support your message. Wearing high-heels or bare feet will impact how you deliver and the impressions you create. (If you want to expand your delivery style, practise wearing different hats or shoes. A Police Officer will likely speak and behave differently to a Graphic Designer. As to whether it’s true or not, doesn’t really matter, it’s what you and your listeners BELIEVE.)

If you prefer a weighty academic tome of jargon and unpronounceable technical terms, this book is not for you.

Scared Speechless is down to earth, practical, fun and enlightening. A good read for nervous speakers on a quest to change their relationship to fear for once and for all.

(c) 2016 Geraldine Barkworth, speaking coach, www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au Geraldine Barkworth is an Australian public speaking coach who works with the psychology and physiology behind public speaking fear. This review is the opinion of the author only.