Tip #4 – Practice with a supporting group

July 27, 2014 (San Diego)

Why do people often “freeze up”, lose verbal fluency, and become nervous when merely moving from their chair to the front of the room to make a presentation? When making a point to the same audience from freezingtheir chair there is no loss of fluency. However, when they move to the front of the room the world seems to have changed.

 

There seems to be 2 general reasons for the “freeze up”:

  • They feel exposed, naked, transparent       That alone would not cause the troubles, but couple it withnaked
  • They feel the audience will not like them or their message.

 

 

Where do people get the idea the audience will not like them or the message when delivered up front, but there is less worry when making the same point from the chair? I am sure part of it comes from their own asking questionslearning environment. When they were listening to others where they listening to learn or listening to critique? My guess is that they were listening to critique and that is what they think is then happening to their presentation, so they are worried. As they worry more and become more self absorbed by the worry their message starts to deteriorate. They become so absorbed with doing poorly that the message literally becomes worse.

 

Tip #4. To overpower this predisposition practice in safe environments where the audience is there to learn and appreciated your message, not to critique it. As one gives more messages in the safe childrenenvironments one becomes more confident of one’s message and his/her ability to deliver the message in all environments. Toastmaster Chapters are a wonderful places to find these safe environments: toastmasters.org.

 

While you are following this tip be sure to incorporate tip 1, tip 2, and tip 3.

 

Tips #3 – It is not about you

July 12, 2014 (Jeddah)

You are the person up front. You are the message, however you are not there for your sake alone but to give a gift to the audience. Your audience wants to receive your gift – the message – and they want you to be successful in giving them the gift.

The audience has invested time, money, and effort to be there to hear your message. They want to believe they have made a good decision and that their investment is worthwhile. Since there are so many other things they could be doing with their time, there must have been an intrinsic need to be fulfilled that persuaded them to invest their time with you. The energy of the group is going your way before you even began.

To leverage the audience’s energy that is going your way build rapport with them. Learn something about them and what may be going on in their lives that might have been part of the reason they are there. As you are giving your message connect with them through eye contact, questions, relevant stories, and self disclosure. Let them see that in some respect their need is your need. You are in a common place with them yet through the message you have found a way to maintain yourself in the “midst of it all.”

You become one with the audience. It is not a you and them dynamic, but a we dynamic.

It is not about you          children       but about “us.”

 

 

Presentation tip #2 – Intentions – reloaded revised

My first tip was “be passionate about your topic or do not be passionate.” Ok, I am passionate about my topic, now TIP #2 my intention: http://leadershipmanager.com/expand-your-ef…ip-1-re-loaded

Do I intend to share my passion, involve the others in the passion, persuade the others to become passionate also, or delegate the passion and have the audience move it forward? I suppose I am most interested in this question because for the longest time I gave presentations without having first determined the answer for my self. My presentations were good. They received good reviews, but nothing came of them since I had not thought in advance of the outcome I wanted to occur.

However as I became clearer on my intention from my perspective I could determine how to arrange the data of the message to gain the outcome. I became purposefully better at presentations.

If I am sharing data for information purposes only, then making the data attractive, keeping the audience’s attention, and making the data memorable will all be important.

On the other hand if my intention is to move the audience to action as a result of hearing the message, not only do I need to do all the above I also need to get the audience to own some action as a result of the message. I need to connect with intrinsic needs of the audience to allow them to see that resultant action is in their best interest.

The current political contests in the USA were a clear example that a speaker is greatly hindered if he/she attempts to get the audience to do something of great magnitude, but their personal history or integrity does not support the plea. In this case the speaker’s intentions were undermined by the speakers history. It was in fact the history that told the audience about the intention regardless of what was being said.

The more your speech tends towards a call to action the more the speaker had better best be “connected” to the audience. This of course is true for speeches as well as leadership.

Expand your effectiveness upfront: tip #1 re-loaded

June 21, 2014:

I have the privilege of working with hundreds of people who want to expand their effectiveness while in the front of an audience.

The 5 principles entered on 2 June 2014 are why people want to expand their effectiveness, now I will write one tip on several blogs of how to be effective.

TIP #1: Be passionate about your topic or do not be passionate:

Being passionate drives all other effectiveness aspects of your presentation. Think about the last time you were “passionate” about something: amorous towards another, angry at the kids, really happy about the outcome from an employee. You did not need to tell yourself to be energetic, to have vocal variety, to demonstrate your passion with body language. You were very passionate about the topic and your voice and body language backed you up. We all know how to be really pleased with something. We know instinctively how to communicate “really pleased.” Parents are great at this. Dad or Mom comes home and all they need to do is say your name and you know, you know how the conversation is going to go. All you need is the content. The disposition of the conversation was announced in one word: your name.

When we are upfront we tend to be neutral on a topic, but simultaneously we try to be animated. This is as being “Liked” and Facebook. There is no energy in it, just a check in the box.  This level of being “nothing” creates a problem when you want animation. The presenting mind is neutral and is sending out messages to the rest of the body to be neutral also. Your conscious mind is telling the body to be animated, do something. . The body is confused, it “knows” both signals. This will definitely generate a “mixed signal” to the listening audience.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The tip: be passionate and let the body follow the emotion. The opposite side: if you do not really care guy oneabout the topic, be careful if you are trying to “fake” the presentation skills. If you are having trouble being passionate about a topic:

1. Determine if it is a topic you want to be passionate about                      challenges

2. Check yourself: am I willing to take a public stand on something?

For more tips go to leadershipmanager.com

 

 

 

Five levels of presentation

Over my years as a member of Toastmasters and as a professional helping others with their presentation skills I have found five level of development.

First Level: is to be comfortable not only up front of people but also in life in general. When I am upfront I am well aware of my personal concerns and worries about being upfront. As I find my self upfront in a supportive club, overtime I learn to overpower those worries and concerns. When I am less worried and concerned about how others think, while I am up front, I become less worried and concerned about what people think in my daily living. I become more of me which opens the door to the second level.

Second Level: is to become reasonably articulate when upfront. Being articulate is linked to and is a normal follow-on to the first principle. If I am not comfortable it is hard to be articulate. On the contrary though I could be comfortable up front and not particularly articulate. Most people join  Toastmasters to be both comfortable and articulate.  For most of us, being articulate is a learned skill. When we are upfront we are often so self aware and disengaged from the audience, that are words do not really communicate and there is a plethora of “word fillers.” In fact when I am really disengaged I do not care if my words communicate or not. I just want to say the words and get off the platform. I am totally not present.  When I am connecting to the audience my ability to be articulate is high. Toastmasters helps people perfect the skill of getting out of my own head and connecting to the audience.

Third Level: OK, I am comfortable and reasonably articulate, now say something useful, give a logical well organized presentation. Be able to talk from 5-15 minutes and stay on the same story line, no tangents. While presenting the story line stay connected with the audience to determine if they are getting the message. If they get the message, you have succeeded. Staying connected to the audience is often more challenging than learning to present the story. To stay connected I must know my material well enough that I do not need to think so much about what I am going to say, but stay more focused on the readiness of the audience to receive the message.

Fourth Level: There is a principle between being articulate, #3 and being a “world  changers” , #5. The fourth principle is being intentional and passionate about your presentation topic. We hear this level from the TI World Champion Speakers. The speech is said with passion. The passion drives voice inflection and body movement. Each thought is ‘weighed’ and given the intentional emphasis so that the audience receives an impactful message. World Champion speeches are not influential speeches in their intent to get you to do something, but they are influential speeches in their intent to arouse emotion in the audience.

Fifth Level:  Give a message that moves people to action, a world changers. This I find particularly difficult. First I must believe in the topic enough to be willing to be ridiculed. I must believe in the message enough to give the time to follow up with those that do respond to the call for action. I must believe in the message enough to follow my own call to action: integrity. I must believe in my message enough to really sell an idea and be willing to deal with the angst of people feeling uncomfortable about being “sold.”

 Helen Blanchard, PIP, once said, if I get all there is to get out of Toastmasters, I will never get out of Toastmasters. I have been in Toastmasters since the spring of 1989 and I am still growing.

Tip #2: Determine the intention of your presentation

November 5, 2010:       My first tip posted on June 24th was “be passionate about your topic or do not be passionate.”Ok, I am passionate about my topic,

now TIP #2 my intention:

Do I intend to share the passion, involve the others in the passion, persuade the others to become passionate also, or delegate the passion and have the audience move it forward? Based on my clear intention of the speech from my perspective I can then determine how to arrange the data of the message. If I am sharing data for information purposes only, then making the data attractive, keeping the audience’s attention, and making the data memorable will all be important. On the other hand if my intention is to move the audience to action as a result of hearing the message, not only do I need to do all the above I also need to get the audience to own some action as a result of the message. I need to connect with intrinsic needs of the audience to allow them to see that resultant action is in their best interest. The current political contests in the USA were a clear example that a speaker is greatly hindered if he/she attempts to get the audience to do something of great magnitude, but their personal history or integrity does not support the plea. The more your speech tends towards a call to action the more the speaker had better best be “connected” to the audience. This of course is true for speeches as well as leadership.

Be crystal clear about your message

August 7, 2010:

On June 15th I shared my first “tip”: a driver of expanding one’s personal effectiveness in front of an audience and fulfilling the five principles noted below.

TIP #1: Be passionate about your topic or do not be passionate: Being passionate drives all other effectiveness aspects of your presentation.

TIP #2: Be crystal clear about the point you wish to make. I am preparing for a major presentation tomorrow. I had general ideas of what I wished to say, but I had not initially gone through the self discipline of being precise about what I wanted to be crystal clear about to the audience.

I buckled down and focused my mind and gained clarity about the point(s) I wanted to make. Since those points were intimate to my personal mission statement it was easy for me to see myself gaining passion about the topic.

My intention will be to photograph the presentation and put it on u-Tube. If I think it is a reasonable presentation I will add a link to this note.

First principle: To come alive not only up in front of people but also in life in general. When I am upfront I am well aware of my personal concerns and worries about being upfront. As I find myself upfront in a supportive club, overtime I learn to overpower those worries and concerns. When I am less worried and concerned about how others think, while I am up front, I become less worried and concerned about what people think in my daily living. I become more of me.

Second Principle: Become reasonably articulate when you talk upfront. Being articulate is linked to and is a normal follow-on to the first principle. If I am not comfortable it is hard to be articulate. On the contrary though I could be comfortable up front and not particularly articulate. Most people join Toastmasters to be both comfortable and articulate.  For most of us, being articulate is a learned skill. When we are upfront we are often so self aware and disengaged from the audience, that our words do not really communicate. In fact when I am really disengaged I do not care if my words communicate or not. I just want to say the words and get off the platform. Toastmasters help people perfect the skill of getting out of their own heads and connecting to the audience.

Third Principle: I am comfortable and reasonably articulate, now say something useful, give a logical well organized presentation. Be able to talk from 5-15 minutes and stay on the same story line, no tangents. While presenting the story line stay connected with the audience to determine if they are getting the message. If they get the message, you have succeeded. Staying connected to the audience is often more challenging than learning to present the story. To stay connected I must know my material well enough that I do not need to think so much about what I am going to say, but stay more focused on the readiness of the audience to receive the message.

Fourth Principle: There is a principle between being articulate, #3 and being “world -changers” , #5. The fourth principle is being intentional, the level we hear from the TI World Champion Speakers. The speech is said with passion. The passion drives voice inflection and body movement. Each thought is ‘weighed’ and given the intentional emphasis so that the audience receives an impactful message. World Champion speeches are not influential speeches in their intent to get you to do something, but they are influential speeches in their intent to arouse emotion in the audience.

Fifth Principle: Give a message that moves people to action, a world changer. This I find particularly difficult. First I must believe in the topic enough to be willing to be ridiculed. I must believe in the message enough to give the time to follow up with those that do respond to the call for action. I must believe in the message enough to follow my own call to action: integrity. I must believe in my message enough to really sell an idea and be willing to deal with the angst of people feeling uncomfortable about being “sold.”

Expand your effectiveness upfront: tip #1

June 14, 2010:

I have the privilege of working with thousands of people who want to expand their effectiveness while in the front of an audience.

The 5 principles below are why people want to expand their effectiveness, now I will write one tip on several blogs of how to be effective.

TIP #1: Be passionate about your topic or do not be passionate:

Being passionate drives all other effectiveness aspects of your presentation. Think about the last time you were really “passionate” about something: amorous towards another, angry at the kids, really happy about the outcome from an employee. You did not need to tell yourself to be energetic, to have vocal variety, to demonstrate your position with body language. You were very passionate about the topic and your presentation backed you up. We all know how to be really pleased with something. We know instinctively how to communicate “really pleased.”

When we are upfront we tend to be neutral on a topic, but simultaneously try to be animated. Now there is a problem. The mind is both neutral and trying to tell the body to be animated. The body is confused because it “knows” both signals. This will definitely generate a “mixed signal” to the listening audience.

The tip: be passionate and let the body follow the emotion. The opposite side: if you do not really care about the topic, be careful if you are trying to “fake” the presentation skills.

Presenting for personal power.

Oct 13, 2009 from Bogota, Columbia

Why do people lose being coherent in moving from their chair to upfront of a group?

  1. 1.      With the many groups that I give presentation skills to the primary answer is, FEAR.
  2. 2.      The primary FEAR has two parts:
    1. a.       Being exposed with nowhere to hide but behind the lectern
    2. b.      In being exposed I believe that they will think poorly of my.

Where do people get this projection?  What has happened in their lives that causes them believe that others will think badly of them and their performance when they go up front?

The social psychologists work on these questions directly while the behaviorists, me, work on overpowering the beliefs with new beliefs.

In the work I do we do not work on the beliefs directly but on getting people up front of a group and having them discover that others do not think badly of them. In fact, the audience very much wants them to succeed. Wow what a transformation that makes to the individual once they discover most people do want them to succeed.  They then begin to blossom as individuals.

It is then amazing the medicinal benefit of developing presentation skills. More than being effective in front of audiences, they are effective in more of live as they become more of themselves.

Ah, what personal power is hidden in people.

A presentation skills club

First principle: Sep 13th, is to come alive not only up in front of people but also in life in general. When I am upfront I am well aware of my personal concerns and worries about being upfront. As I find my self upfront in a supportive club, overtime I learn to overpower those worries and concerns. When I am less worried and concerned about how others think, while I am up front, I become less worried and concerned about what people think in my daily living. I become more of me.

Second Principle: Sep 17th  Become reasonably articulate when you talk upfront. Being articulate is linked to and is a normal follow-on to the first principle. If I am not comfortable it is hard to be articulate. On the contrary though I could be comfortable up front and not particularly articulate. Most people join a Toastmasters to be both comfortable and articulate.  For most of us, being articulate is a learned skill. When we are upfront we are often so self aware and disengaged from the audience, that are words do not really communicate. In fact when I am really disengaged I do not care if my words communicate or not. I just want to say the words and get off the platform. Toastmasters helps people perfect the skill of getting out of my own head and connecting to the audience.

Third Principle: Sep 19th.  OK, I am comfortable and reasonably articulate, now say something useful, give a logical well organized presentation. Be able to talk from 5-15 minutes and stay on the same story line, no tangents. While presenting the story line stay connected with the audience to determine if they are getting the message. If they get the message, you have succeeded. Staying connected to the audience is often more challenging than learning to present the story. To stay connected I must know my material well enough that I do not need to think so much about what I am going to say, but stay more focused on the readiness of the audience to receive the message.

Fourth Principle: Oct 1. There is a principle between being articulate, #3 and being a “world  changers” , #5. The fourth principle is being intentional, the level we hear from the TI World Champion Speakers. The speech is said with passion. The passion drives voice inflection and body movement. Each thought is ‘weighed’ and given the intentional emphasis so that the audience receives an impactful message. World Champion speeches are not influential speeches in their intent to get you to do something, but they are influential speeches in their intent to arouse emotion in the audience.

Fifth Principle: Sep 22 Give a message that moves people to action, a world changers. This I find particularly difficult. First I must believe in the topic enough to be willing to be ridiculed. I must believe in the message enough to give the time to follow up with those that do respond to the call for action. I must believe in the message enough to follow my own call to action: integrity. I must believe in my message enough to really sell an idea and be willing to deal with the angst of people feeling uncomfortable about being “sold.”