public speaking

Don’t make them say, “Get on with it!”

Recently I have watched a number of American How To videos on YouTube, and noticed a common trend that occurs also in American sales letters and motivational speeches. It’s a reluctance to get to the point. One video was about improving your singing voice. That was the promise in the title. It opened with a   →

8 Essentials for a Presentation Worth Hearing

There are eight important ingredients in a successful presentation, indicated by my acrostic, OH AM I SAD (which you will be if you don’t do something like this). O: Outcome or Objective.  Start with the end in view.  What do you want people to do when you have finished?  Write it down. H: Hook.  Sometimes called the Grabber.  It’s something that you do or   →

Wouldn’t you like to have the Voice of Leadership?

What makes you a ‘must have’ in your business sector? How effectively are you putting that across? Send for your free e-book: The Voice of Leadership The American Management Association states that no matter how compelling the vision or how brilliant the strategy, without leadership communication there is no execution. Your great ideas, your grand   →

Let me tell you a story …

Make a point, tell a story; tell a story, make a point. That’s an easy enough mantra to follow in speeches and presentations, but what kind of story should you tell? The three factors that work in story telling are: 1. They illustrate the point and are easy to understand and remember 2. We are all conditioned,   →

Consider the way you sound

Listening to Classic FM as I work, I have become increasingly conscious of the effect of a change of sound.  The music itself creates a mood that could be jolly, contemplative or simply relaxed.  But there are interruptions.  Three in particular. The first occurs when the tuning on the radio dial slips.  This creates a   →

Two nations, common language?

Americans have an interesting way with the English language, and their use of understatement is sometimes misunderstood. On LinkedIn, someone asked a group if anyone had experience of training virtually. One person replied: yes, I have both coached people virtually as well as conducted webinars. Is there something in particular I can share with you?   →

Who would you trust to sharpen your presentation skills?

Is presentation skills training a waste of time and money? Sadly, most of the time it is. Presentation Skills courses have attracted some opprobrium because they can be ‘same old, same old’ – routine trudges through PowerPoint slides and cliché-ridden accounts of platform skills. And soon afterwards people return to what they were doing before.   →

Making good contact with your audience

It was the Final of the annual Anglo-Irish public speaking contest. A long-standing Toastmaster with a good record in these contests took to the stage, and the largely Irish audience pulsed expectantly. It was a brilliant text, full of clever linguistic jokes, puns and even verbal pictures. But one minute into the speech, the audience’s   →

The 5th Level of Competence

I was talking to a Sales consultant recently, and he was asking me about my special skills. It’s a conversation I have had before, when I was exploring the skills of a friend or colleague. Now the boot was on the other foot. At some point I said, “I don’t know what I know.” I   →

What’s the story?

Make a point, tell a story; tell a story, make a point. That’s an easy enough mantra to follow in speeches and presentations, but what kind of story should you tell? The three factors that work in story telling are: 1. They illustrate the point and are easy to understand and remember 2. We are all conditioned,   →