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Archive for December, 2016|Monthly archive page

Tips To A Meaningful Holiday Toast

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2016 at 8:51 AM

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It is a gift when you are able to stand and deliver warm, heartfelt words at a gathering of friends of and family. To speak in a manner that makes makes those around you, smile, press against their spouses, hug their kids, and laugh. Maybe you will even bring out a happy tear or two.

As you prepare for your holiday, whether it is at home or elsewhere, take time to reflect on your family and friends, and why you love them. Look around for all the wonderful blessings around you. Think about the holiday and put those thoughts into a short outline.

  • Keep it to three points or less
  • Practice saying it
  • Speak slowly and look around the room as you talk allowing your gaze to meet the eyes of each person at your table
  • Keep it light, keep it positive, and focus on the beauty and abundance around you
  • Moderate your drinking prior to the toast

You will amaze your family and friends with a heartfelt toast that will be remembered for a long time.

© 2010  iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

3 Traits Of Successful Speakers

In Business Networking Groups, Business Presentations, Communication, Uncategorized on December 12, 2016 at 11:20 AM

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Exceptional presenters/trainers present good information in a setting that makes audience members comfortable, satisfied, and relaxed. The more time you spend preparing your site, making your audience feel welcome, and attending to their comfort, the more focused they can be on your content. Here are three simple things to consider that will help your audience appreciate your professionalism.

1. Start On Time And End On Time (Or Early)

Starting on time sends a clear message expect audience members to be punctual after each break and lunch. More importantly it send a clear message of respect and appreciation to those who are on time.  Waiting for a ‘few more to filter in’ rewards latecomers while sending the wrong message to those who are punctual. If you get in the habit of starting late, you can expect participants to return late from breaks and lunch

2. Make Your Audience Feel Welcome

Long before you begin speaking, your audience will begin forming opinions, attitudes, and feelings toward you and your topic. Attention to the smaller details will help audience members be receptive to your ideas.

  • Did you provide good directions including parking information?
  • Is the site accessible by public transit?
  • Was the path to the meeting room well marked?
  • What did participants see/experience when they entered the room? Was there food and beverage, were they welcomed warmly, was it clear they were in the right place?
  • Are the bathrooms and drinking fountain easy to find?
  • Was the room set up to function in a comfortable manner?

3. Invite Your Audience To Be Part Of The Conversation

Audiences prefer to be active participants in a conversation rather than passive recipients of information. Encourage open discussion of ideas, create opportunities for small group discussion, and make sure to build in ample time in the agenda to foster conversation. The room will buzz with energy as people talk about what you are presenting relates to their life and share their experiences.

This portion of the workshop will spill out into the breaks and will continue after your session has concluded.

Your audience is most likely to remember how they felt about your presentation than they are to remember what was covered. It will be assumed the level of professionalism and customer care you show during you presentation is exactly what they can expect from your work.

This Speaking Tip is one in a series from iSpeakEASY. We help people present information in an exciting and relevant manner – usually by helping them avoid the mistakes discussed here. Contact us for information on workshops and coaching.

© 2015 by iSpeakEASY. All Rights Reserved.

A Holiday Gift For You

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2016 at 8:13 PM

Speaking and being an effective speaker are not the same thing. We all know how to speak – that comes with having a mouth. Being able to speak in a manner that helps to enlighten others – that is the tricky part.

As a holiday gift, you can receive a package of speaking tips delivered to your email inbox  – one tip per week for 8 weeks absolutely free. No tricks, no gimmicks, no obligation – just my way of thanking you.

gift

Each tip is short and to the point and will be sent separately so you can absorb each thought. Put together – they will make a powerful set of tools designed to make you a better presenter.

These techniques and ideas work regardless of the size of your audience – you can be speaking to a packed room, presenting at a staff meeting, or speaking one-on-one.

To Receive Your Speaking Tip, Simply click this link and say yes – you want to be included. That is all.

You are also welcome to share this gift with your friends, employees, colleagues – even your dog if you believe it will help them. Again, just send me an email with their name and email address and I will gladly include them.

If they decide they do not enjoy the tips, they can opt out at any time.

Happy holidays.

The One Thing All Audiences Care About

In Uncategorized on December 5, 2016 at 8:06 PM

Work, family, hobbbies, vacation, religion, politics, sexuality – what is your favorite thing to talk about? While not everyone will admit it – most people’s choice is themselves. Likewise, the topic we find most interesting to listen to is again, ourselves.

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Use this to your advantage when trying to capture the attention of your audience. Tell them something you know about them, a quality you admire, or an obstacle they have overcome. Cite the good work they have done or acknowledge their efforts – in a sincere and honest manner. Talk about them before you talk about yourself.

When you have done this, the next step is to make a connection between their life and what are going to talk about.

This technique helps grab the audience’s attention and encourages them to listen to you. It is amazing how engaging it is to hear a person talk about us! Many speakers begin by listing their own credentials and experiences – which most audiences find far less interesting.

Have you ever been in a crowded room full of noise when suddenly you hear one word above the roar – that word is your name? Your ears perk up and you focus on finding out who said it. It is the one topic that we are always interested in hearing about – regardless of our mood or what else is going on.

In a speech to a group of volunteers, the mayor of a large city began by talking about the importance of volunteerism, the benefits to the volunteer, and the difference in the world these people are making. He could have talked about his efforts spearheading this  program or the accomplishments of his administration but instead he spoke to the audience about the audience and in doing so, gained their attention, their support, and their loyalty.

A great way to grab and hold your audience’s attention is to speak about something near and dear to them. For example, when speaking to a decision making body (such as a city council) –begin by acknowledging the work the council does in creating a better civic life, When speaking to a potential client acknowledge their successes and the challenges they face.

The next time you are getting ready to speak – put “you” into your sentence before you say “I.” It takes effort to do this, almost as if it is unnatural, but you can learn to do this effectively in a short amount of time.

 If you enjoyed this article, I have a special gift for you….
 

© 2007 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY.  Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

Speak Well Every Time You Talk

In Uncategorized on December 2, 2016 at 8:53 AM

 

Consider these scenarios:

  • You have to make a presentation at a conference or trade show. You do not know these people and will probably never see them again.
  • You are asked to make a presentation at tomorrow’s staff meeting.
  • You need to talk to your spouse or child about family finances.

Which would you spend the most time preparing for and which would you be most likely do with little or no preparation?

We all make presentations. We try to convince, change a behavior or attitude, or share information and ideas. Since most of the time these presentations are to family, friends, or coworkers – we undervalue the importance of the talk and we not prepare. We go into it with unclear goals and exceptions, and subsequently, fail to reach our goals.

We tend to prepare the least for the presentations that have the greatest impact while preparing the most for the presentations that have the smallest impact.

Most speakers spend less than 2 hours preparing for a formal presentation. When the presentation is to staff, friends, or family, the tendency is to do little or no preparation. They walk in, shoot from the hip, and many times end up shooting themselves in the foot.

When you speak to a room full of people and make a mistake – there is empathy for you. The implications are minimal if you completely blow it: the audience probably will not even remember your name and will think you had a bad day or are a poor presenter. However, what are the implications for a poor performance when you present an idea at a staff meeting? What about when you need to speak to a family member about an important issue?

Treat all your presentations with the importance they are due.

  • Take time to prepare.
  • Identify your objective: know what it is you wish to accomplish.
  • Define your message: what is it you want the person(s) to know?
  • Create effective visual aids: what can you show to help you make your point?

Taking the time to prepare for your smaller presentations is more important than taking the time for the ones to a larger group. Take all your speaking seriously and you will be more effective in many aspects of your life.