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

“What Should I Talk About? I’ve Been Asked To Speak!”

A Common Conundrum

Most of us emerge from our mother’s womb with plenty to say and no worries about who hears it. Why then, with decades of experience, insight and knowledge behind us, do we quiver with self-doubt on invitation to speak?

One of my recent clients, a practitioner of the law, just turned 70. He deliberately hid in the shadows of research rather than the bar, because he feared his spoken words were just not good enough. His written words however were brilliant and he was happily successful behind the scenes of Australian law.

When he came to see me, it was because he’d decided to step out and take a big risk. He wanted, needed, to speak at his son’s wedding. What he couldn’t do for himself and his career all those years, he was ready to do for his son.

I could see it was difficult for him, turning up week after week to see me. He persisted, determined to slip from the grip that held him. He wished for a new response to being asked to speak. Instead of panicking, he wanted to just say, “Yes”.

I’ll return to his story at the end; first it’s important to explore a bit of subtext. The question, “What should I talk about?” is a common conundrum.

Why Was I Asked To Speak?

It’s generally a compliment when someone asks you to speak at an event, meeting or gathering. It’s weird but true that others believe in us, before we believe in ourselves. Of course another reason could be purely pragmatic. They were desperate and needed a speaker! Seriously though, no one will invite you to speak if they genuinely think you might stuff it up.

What Should I Talk About?

Being asked to speak, can feel like an entire set of very heavy encyclopaedias are sitting on your shoulders. Who are you to sift and sieve the entire knowledge of the world? And then absorb and mush it about a bit to regurgitate exactly the right bits of relevant, witty insights just perfect for your audience? Their eager faces, upturned like expectant flowers, ready to receive your wisdom, your thoughts, you.

Therein lies the problem. And you have created it. By turning it into an amorphous one-way talkfest of frightening proportion.

The Reframe: What Do Your Listeners Need To Know?

Firstly, start with the Old Switcheroo, also known as The Reframe. Ask the Organiser, Who will be there and What do they care about? What should I talk about? Why were you specifically asked? Research what you share in common with group members. It could include things like: desire for change or a love of words.

Secondly, decide on the purpose of your Talk. This will anchor your thoughts into a logical flow and pull, not push, your listeners along with you. Decide:

  • Are you wanting them to learn a specific skill? (“At the end of this talk you’ll be able to…”)
  • Do you wish to build awareness of an important issue? (“My purpose today is to help you understand the importance of and take action on…”)
  • Is your desire to entertain them? (“I’m going to share my adventures of the world’s most dangerous places. Although I must say your carpark out the back is one of the scariest places I’ve ever been to!”)

Thirdly, speak about a subject that begins with a personal story. It will be easy to tell and remember because you were there; it’s the story of your own experience. An experience you thoughtfully chose because you know the group will relate to it. Self-consciousness drops away when you allow yourself to get lost in the story. You tap into something much bigger than yourself and it becomes a bridge, connecting you to the whole group. This is where rapport and trust begin.

Fourthly, respectfully choose topics that will not offend but extend your listeners. Ask yourself, What would keep me in my seat as a member of this group? Where does my passion lurk within this topic? What universal truth can I tap into to reach people’s hearts and minds? Listeners want to grow as human beings and like you, want to be seen, heard and attended to. Offer them that and you will be scintillating, whether your topic is Secrets of Cabbage Success or How I Conquered The World With Just One Leg or How To Increase Ticket Sales And Increase Profit.

“I’ve Been Asked To Speak… What Should I Talk About?”

The answer to this question lies in it’s reframing, research, purpose and your passion. The privilege of speaking to a group, whether it’s a Workshop, Team Meeting or your son’s wedding, is about honouring the occasion and the human beings in front of you. Temporarily you have been gifted the Mantle of Leadership. Transfer your focus from you to them. Attend to their needs and you will earn their attention and perhaps their hearts, minds and wallets!

 

I’ll return now to my original client story and end with his insight gleaned from 6 weeks of being willing to show up and feel very uncomfortable. He said: “I’ve come to realise that public speaking isn’t about me and my performance. It’s about sharing with others. And I can do that.”

What should I talk about, is no longer his dilemma… What can I share to help other people, is his new mantra.

© 2017, Geraldine Barkworth, www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Tell To Win: Connect, Persuade & Triumph With The Hidden Power Of Story, by Peter Guber

Book Review By Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach

♥ Love This One

Tell To Win is a keeper. It’s a wonderful addition to my reference library on story telling, persuasive speaking and inspiring people with genuine emotion. Tell To Win is a delightful book filled with incredibly useful tips, reframes and stories for tapping into the power of purposeful story telling. My husband read it first and choked up every time he tried to read me one of the stories. So much good stuff in one little book from the local library. I began to fold corners as reminders of “the good bits”, but really there were so many, I ordered the book online. I’ve now asterisked, underlined and happily dog-eared my own copy. My husband recommends it to so many people, there’s now a waiting list at the local library. To get your own copy, order it from PeterGuber.com

3 Gems From Tell To Win:

  • p.57: “Stories make facts and figures memorable, resonant and actionable… ignite empathy in the room and face to face and your audience won’t just hear you, they’ll feel you. (Geez I love that bit!!)
  • p.174-5: “…mirror neurons in the brain only switch on when the sense another person is acting intentionally… humans begin reading each other’s intentions as soon as they are physically close enough to see, hear and smell each another… intention can speak louder than words.
  • p.197: Human communication is mostly non verbal. Half is visual and one third is vocal tone. We talk through our senses, rather than our words.

The author, Peter Guber works in the movie, entertainment and sports industries often as CEO. He is well connected and fills his book with stories, case studies and examples of famous people, firms and films. Here’s a quote from the actor George Clooney who says it well: “If anyone knows how to survive in business, it’s Peter. This book is a manual for that. It gives you the two keys to success – first, everything starts with a good story, and second, don’t drop names (actually Frank Sinatra told me that.”)

© 2017 Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach. Articles and reviews reflect the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

The Sheer Beauty Of Speech Structure

Great Speech Structure = Great Results

Imagine this: I’m holding up a beautiful emerald green satin shirt. It is form fitting with a frivolous long bow at the neck and short flouncy sleeves.

Now imagine this green satin shirt without the structure of seams. Without seams, there is no coherent shape, no clarity of purpose and no defining detail. What I am holding up to you is simply a large green piece of satin. Could be anything really.

And a speech without seams or structure is simply without shape, purpose or definition. An incoherent ramble. Could be anything really.

Speech structure provides context, shape and form. It helps you and your listeners make sense of your message. Audiences like to know where you are taking them – structure assures them you know where you are going. Nothing loses the interest of an audience faster than pointless rambling.

Writing speeches, presentations and workshops becomes easy when you use a defined structure to elegantly hang your thoughts so that they look, sound and feel like a shirt with purpose, not a shapeless, vague thing.

Craft A Perfect Fit For Your Message

When people hear the word “structure”, I do see shoulders droop. I guess it can sound kind of boring, because structure is generally hidden; it’s not out there and sexy. Structure refers to the internal blueprint of details, planning and intention. Without structure there is nothing to display, connect and promote your brilliant ideas.

I have created a delightfully logical speech structure to ensure the perfect fit for your next speech, presentation or workshop. The simple speech structure I use and teach clients is my own. I call it PAPISA and yes, say it with an Italian accent so it rolls musically off the tongue… as will your speech. PAPISA stands for:

 

Purpose What is your purpose in speaking?
Audience Describe your audience in detail to customise your message.
Problem What is the main problem the audience needs fixing and one you’ve experienced too?
Impact Describe the impact of what could happen if audience members don’t fix that problem.
Solution Describe your solution to fix that problem by demonstrating proven results.
Action Offer the audience simple steps they can take immediately to fix that problem.

 

How To Use PAPISA & Link Ideas With A Kiss

PAPISA provides underlying structure to ensure a coherent flow and sense of forward movement. You could literally say a sentence or two for each section of PAPISA and you’d have a perfectly formed mini speech. However, that will not be sufficient for presentations longer than one minute!

To begin, take a piece of paper and draft up 6 columns with the PAPISA headings on the far left side. Make several copies and start by quickly jotting down some ideas in each section. Let go of perfection. Edit later.

Link the sections of your speech with connective sentences to demonstrate a logical progression. Use your voice and pausing to emphasise major points and signify changes in pace and direction. Follow the “KISS” principle: “Keep It Simple, Silly.” To give you a few examples I frequently use when speaking:

  • “The PURPOSE of my 20 minute presentation is…”
  • That’s a little about my background, now I’d like to hear about yours. We’re going WARM UP by…”
  • “It’s been a big 3 days. Now it’s time to FINISH. I’m going to summarise, then open to questions for half an hour. We’ll END with a powerful completion process. LASTLY I’ll invite you to register for…”

Email Geraldine If you have a speech, presentation or workshop coming up and you want a perfect fit for your message and need help with speech structure. Email me to set up a time to work together over phone or Skype to craft something truly beautiful.© 2017 Geraldine Barkworth, Speaking Coach. Articles and reviews reflect the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

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

On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft By Stephen King

Book Review By Speaking Coach Geraldine Barkworth

We are a word-based society. Your ability to articulate your thoughts with clarity, precision and flair is an essential life skill.

If you are a public speaker, you will also be a writer. If you are a writer, judging by the number of authors I’ve worked with, you will also be a public speaker. Eventually. Those books won’t sell themselves.

My number one business activity is speaking and listening to clients. My number two is yes, you guessed it, writing. I always have a fat notepad by my side. I know many professionals have the same division of labour. When are we not composing emails, reports, articles and notes?

Recommended Reading

I decided to read and review “On Writing” because I’ve seen it referred to in so many Recommended Reading Lists for writers wanting to work on their craft. “On Writing” is entertaining and offers straightforward advice. And yes the author is the famous horror writer, Stephen King, so it’s filled with personal anecdotes and insights about his inner life as a writer.

One of the things I appreciated about “On Writing” was the author’s repeated acknowledgement of his love and gratitude for his wife for her support and honesty. It’s easy to get caught up with ourselves and forget the family and friends who keep us up upright on bad days. Stephen King describes the up and down reality of his life as a writer and it’s work, not glamour.

These 3 “On Writing” tips made me smile and change my wicked ways:

  1. Declutter! Everything irrelevant and redundant must go! At least 10% will be rubbish!
  2. If your message is meant to be engaging and energising, aim to write in active present tense, otherwise the slow slip into irrelevant boredom begins.
  3. Choose a physical writing location allowing you to be relaxed, focused and yourself. I set up a beautiful office, desk and client-seating and promptly avoided the place like the plague. I’m much happier and productive curled up on the lounge.

These 3 tips are also perfect for being a relaxed, confident presenter:

  1. Declutter!
  2. Be engaging and engergising by actively remaining in the present moment.
  3. Be yourself to do your best work.

There are many goodies within this book. I do have to stop myself from rewriting and cringing from everything I wrote previously. Ah well. Sounds like a ghastly speech I gave 5 years ago. “On Writing” is available on line, good bookstores and will likely be stocked at Writers Festivals.

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

 

Bad Experiences Make Good Stories

story-telling-4x3

It’s true! Here’s a bad experience of my own turned into a good story:

I was second speaker at a conference, talking about the elusive mystery of work life balance. So elusive, the first speaker was missing. He eventually turned up twenty minutes late and spoke AT the audience instead of WITH them. I had to re-energise, re-engage and refocus a hostile audience. I gained a lot of value from that crappy experience. It propelled me to morph into a specialist public speaking coach.

He Lost Me At “Hello”

Here’s how I translated that bad experience into a two minute introductory story:

“It was hot, it was sticky… it was a tropical conference at the top of Australia.
pause
A government minister was to open the conference and he was twenty minutes late. He shuffled in apologetically, flanked by four flunkies and hid behind the lectern. He studiously read a long paper written by someone else. He spoke quickly, his eyes down. Who was this man? Why was he here?
pause
I had no idea what he was talking about because he didn’t appear to be saying anything in ordinary English. I couldn’t tell where he was going or what was the point. I found the  audience much more interesting. There was a lot of glazed eyes, long suffering sighs and checking of text messages…
pause
I didn’t hear the rest of his speech because, “he lost me at “hello”.

bigger pause
Two important things I learned at that hot, sticky conference:

One, when a speaker fails to acknowledge and personally connect with his audience, they switch off and stop listening.
Two, when a speaker fails to make his message customised and relevant to the audience, they switch off and stop listening.
pause
What is the point of speaking if no one is listening?

bigger pause
As I was the speaker following him, I felt jittery. He was not only over time, but he’d lost our audience. This meant I had to work hard to regain attention and respect from the audience and keep my own spirits up after a dismal start.
pause
The turning point for me was the realisation that there is a big market  to show speakers how to connect heart to heart with an audience and to keep them listening.

bigger pause
The result of that turning point experience is my public speaking course, “Free Your Inner Public Speaker”, which you are now experiencing.“

 

Being Personal Is Being Real
When you begin your speech with sharing a personal story, it begins a relationship with your audience. Start with a simple, graphic opening line. Pause to let the audience catch up and have their own experience of relating to what you said. Briefly tell the rest of the story. Tell what you’ve learned from that experience and how it relates to the purpose of your talk. Engage their interest first. Then explain how it is relevant to them. Make eye contact one person at a time.

Drop Trying To Be Clever
Don’t struggle with trying to put something “clever” or “perfect” together (that’s a “should” coming from your head). Instead, take a leap to trust your instincts (coming from your body and heart) that what tumbles from your lips will be good enough. It’s your true story in glory and simplicity. Your story telling just may a bit of polish.

The key is to practise again from a fresh perspective, using what you learned from your first story telling practise. Ask yourself each time: What flowed and felt good? What didn’t?

And Don’t Forget To Pause
Taking the time to pause often while you speak, gives you time to gather your thoughts, tune into your feelings and speak from that place. It allows your listeners to catch up and travel along with you.

Sometimes speakers feel nervous or believe they don’t have anything of value to say, so they too speak quickly or nervously fade away. Which are fabulous ways to lose your audience. The “pause” draws people in – they want to be with you, because you are with them. Pausing is natural and normal and feels like relief.

Now It’s Your Turn
Choose a story from your past, it may be twenty years ago, it may be yesterday. Choose a turning point for you, a significant learning that caused you to change, grow or overcome a problem. Or maybe you didn’t overcome it. Perhaps that was the valuable learning.

Take a closer look at the format I used for my turning point story above, “He Lost Me At Hello”. Let that rest gently in your head like a memory, not a lesson.

Right now I want you to resist writing out your turning point story so it doesn’t get caught up as a carbon copy of the one above. Writing things out perfectly often leads to memorising and sounding like a stiff piece of cardboard. Trust yourself you can tell your story, what you learned from it and what you can therefore share or teach others, because… you were there… how could you forget?

Distill The Essence

Start by recalling the story… identify what you learned… and then distill the essence into something you find valuable and can assume your potential listeners will too.

Now say it out loud. It’s ok to ramble a few times. It’s may be easier to practise with some one else. Get the guts out, then reduce and create a story telling picture. Remember to pause as you recall it and to allow listeners to share in the picture you are painting. Another benefit of saying it out loud first, is your language will sound more natural.

If you want to write it out, you can do it now! And if you’d like to learn the rest of the “He Lost Me At Hello” story, you can download my free 6-page e-book and learn how to re-engage, re-energise and refocus yourself and your audience.
(c) 2016 Geraldine Barkworth, public speaking coach, www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

 

Be Heard Now! Tap Into Your Inner Speaker & Communicate With Ease by Lee Glickstein

Book Review By Speaking Coach Geraldine Barkworth

♥ Love This One

Be Heard Now! is one of only two public speaking books I recommend. Buy, clutch to your bosom, then set it free as you step forward unfettered by fear! I’m a big fan of Mr Lee Glickstein and his work. His book is beautifully and simply written, filled with oodles of personal growth and public speaking-related stories, transformations and practical examples.

Lee’s approach is relationship based rather than performance based. He shows readers how to transform fear into magnetism simply by becoming present and speaking from the heart. “To be heard, you have to be here, now” is how Lee sums up the power and simplicity of presence. My work here in Australia shares many of Lee’s values and ideas.

The 13 chapter headings entice with titles including “Vibrant Vulnerability: The Wisdom Of Not Knowing” and “From Agony To Ecstasy: Tapping Into Your Own Natural Power”, “So You Are Going To Give A Talk: Preparing From The Inside Out.”

This book changed my life and caused me to finally find my groove as an authentic speaking coach. Highly recommended. Gush, gush, gush. Learn more about Lee’s work and his books: www.speakingcircles.com

(c) 2016-17 Geraldine Barkworth, public speaking coaching. This review is the opinion of the author only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

Motivate Groups Into Action

Get Out Of Your Comfort Chair!

I know chairs can be really comfortable, but at some point your presentation is going to be over and you want to motivate your group to get up and go do something. Preferably something intelligent, meaningful and useful that you recommend.

But how do you do that? How do you wake listeners from their comfort zone into trying out a risky move? And most change is risky at some level.

Firstly, explain to your listeners the action they can take immediately to recreate the brilliant solution you just explained in your presentation. Keep it simple and keep it personal. Not because they are silly, but because they have so many things competing for their time and energy.  Most people feel motivated if they understand they’ll receive a direct, tangible benefit asap.

If possible, give the group some sort of personal motivating see – hear – feel experience to help integrate new information, promote understanding and ownership.

If you want to inspire and motivate your group to engage you and your ideas straight after your presentation, make a generous offer just for those attending your presentation today. This is a great way to thank them for attending as well as a generate a quick response.
“Write these 3 steps down now…”
•    “Take home the flyer and follow through the steps to get the results…”
•    “Tell the person next to you how you will try out what you’ve learned today…”
•    “Buy my book from the back of the room so you’ll have your own copy of how to…”
•    “Just remember this 1 thing only… and who can tell me what it is?”
•    “Register for my workshop in the next 24 hours and learn how to do it yourself…”
•    “Just for today, I’m offering a 30% discount on my audio series when you….”
•    “If you get out of your chair now, you’ll be first in line for the chocolate ganache…”

(c) 2016 Geraldine Barkworth, public speaking coach. This article or review is the author’s opinion only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au

3 Questions In The Mind Of Your Audience

How To Keep Your Audience Listening

In every audience’s mind, there are 3 unconscious questions. How well you answer them determines as to whether your audience will keep listening to you.

Interestingly, these 3 questions aren’t restricted to an audience evaluating a speaker. Whenever we are introduced to someone new or consider buying a new product, we ask ourselves the same 3 evaluative questions and objections without consciously realising it.

The 3 Questions

  1. Who are you to me?
  2. How will I benefit from this?
  3. And what kind of commitment must I make?

Whether we shop for groceries, analyse the government budget or listen to a colleague speak at a meeting, these are the same critical 3 questions in the mind of your audience every time.

You may now be re-evaluating the last time you spoke, whether it was in a small meeting, large group or a networking event. Did you establish the answer to those questions with your listeners? And did you do it right up front to counter unconscious objections so they quickly became engaged and interested?

Listen to Them, First

Answer those 3 unspoken questions in the first few minutes and your audience credibility escalates. Your listeners will relax and be open to hear what you say, because you listened to them, first.

As an added bonus, you’ll find it easier to write speeches, presentations and workshops if you begin by answering those 3 unspoken questions for yourself, right up front.

(c) 2016-18. Geraldine Barkworth, public speaking coach. This article is the author’s opinion only. www.goddessofpublicspeaking.com.au