The Missing Link in Presentation Skills Training
Imagine you are the most amazing figure skater who ever lived. When rehearsing in a peaceful, empty rink, you demonstrate the ultimate in athleticism and artistry. You defy the laws of gravity as you leap in the air, landing with flawless precision. You spin with effortless grace and power; you execute jumps other skaters only dream about. On that ice, you are in your element, doing what you love to do and doing it perfectly.
In rehearsal, that is.
The next day, you enter the same rink for the big competition. When you look into the stands, you see thousands of eyeballs on you. As you begin your program, you skate self-consciously, hesitantly. You stumble on moves you usually don't even have to think about. You forget what comes next. You wobble and bobble and barely get through the program on your feet.
Now, consider this: Your frustrated coach barrels up to you and bellows, "That's it! From now on, we're spending two extra hours a day in rehearsal until you get this right in competition!" Question: Will that tactic solve the problem? Of course not, because the problem is not in the realm of the skating. (Remember, you skated the program perfectly 24 hours ago.) The problem is in the realm of the EYEBALLS. You can skate until your feet fall off, but until you make peace with those eyeballs, you will continue to stumble in the spotlight.
So It Is With Public Speaking
Most people say, "One-on-one I'm fine. It's only when I'm in front of a group that I get nervous." If you can speak confidently and clearly one-on-one, it means you already know the content and can convey it well (like skating perfectly in rehearsal). The problem comes when a speech coach says, "OK, we're going to have you rehearse the speech five more times in the conference room to make sure you get it right when you present in front of the Board." Emphasizing the content and delivery has limited value because it attacks the problem from the realm of the SPEAKING. But where most people suffer most is in the realm of the EYEBALLS.
Sure, you're more likely to withstand the eyeballs if you feel confident in your material, but the discomfort will still be there. Techniques and gimmicks (like "picture the audience naked" or "start with a joke" or "look at the back wall if you're too nervous to make eye contact") won't help either. These tricks just put up a barrier; they don't solve the problem.
So what is the answer? Realize that the problem is not that you don't know how to speak; it's that you're not used to being THE CENTER OF ATTENTION. You see those eyeballs and suddenly you're thrust outside of your comfortable anonymity into the shocking realization that someone is actually paying attention. You shy away from the attention, the intense energy. But ironically, the energy in those eyeballs can energize and comfort you-once you let it in.
Yes, eyeballs almost always have positive energy behind them because listeners want you to succeed. Even if you face grouches in the crowd, you can count at least a few positive eyeball vibes coming toward you. Soak in the positive energy and send it back out in the form of genuine warmth and concern for your listeners. Seeing that concern invites even more positive energy, which keeps the cycle going.
It may seem far-fetched at first. But the only way to make peace with those eyeballs is to stop avoiding them and explore them instead. Seek them out. Peer back with your own eyeballs and see what's really there. It takes practice, of course. To get started, seek out a positive setting such as a SPEAKING CIRCLE* or supportive group of friends. Remember, you're already a speaker. You're just not accustomed to being a recipient of listening-a skill that can only be mastered in the mysterious, wondrous, scary, exciting realm of eyeballs.
* The SPEAKING CIRCLE(R) methodology is a revolutionary new approach for building speaking skill and power. It's based on the book Be Heard Now by Lee Glickstein. For more information, go to www.speakingcircles.com.
About The Author
Melissa Lewis turns traditional thinking about public speaking upside down to give people more comfort, confidence, and charisma in front of groups. For more information, call (913) 341-1241 or visit www.upsidedownspeaking.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Quick and Easy Rehearsal Tips
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The Crucial Components of a Lesson Plan
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I had been working on a logo idea for several weeks before I finally realized that it would take from several months to never before I came up with something that would work for me. Scanning the Internet for sites that resembled Logos 'R Us, I found one that had a portfolio that I liked.
Tips for Thinking on Your Feet
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Developing Successful Demonstrations
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The Relationship between Information Sender and Receiver: The Art of Communication
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Problems with the Lecture Format
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Using Your Audience to Your Advantage
Regardless of what response technique may be convenient in a given situation, one thing is certain for the aware trainer: different techniques will drive you deeper and deeper into the realm of subtlety, which is precisely where the art of using response points belongs. For most trainers, these direct questions will be the best method to determine how well the idea presentation is progressing.
Why You Need a Lesson Plan
LESSON PLAN DEVELOPMENT: Lesson plans, believe it or not, are a lot like the maps you have in the back seat of your car. They're probably not covered with the ketchup and pencil marks that your maps are, but they are directional guides.
How To Make Your Best Ever Presentation
The most important tip..
Leaves Your Audience Hungry For More! -- Presentations That Get Results
Regardless, if your goal is to make a sale or educate. You don't want to fall prey to the mistakes that many presenters make -- loading us down with piles and piles of information and communication hodgepodge.
Can Stage Presence be Learned?
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Projector Hire - Choosing the Right One for Your Presentation
Calling a projector hire company will often get you confused as they ask: What lumens do you need? (Lumens is the brightness of the projector) What resolution do you need? (Resolution is the number of pixels at which the display device does not have to expand or compress the input signal) What type: install, desktop or portable? (Install projectors tend to be larger and heavier, desktop ones are small and light and portable are somewhere in between!) What you should ask yourself are the following simple questions: How many people will need to see the projected image?A 1000 lumens projector will usually be sufficient for a smaller meeting - up to 20 people. 2000 lumens is better.
Trade Show Victory!
So you're going to have a booth at a trade show. How exciting - or how terrifying - depending on your state of mind!First of all - remain calm - you're not the first person to do this.
The Right Speaker Makes a BIG DIFFERENCE
MORE and more corporations in Malaysia have awoken to the necessity of training and developing their people these days. Hence, many local speakers have emerged in recent years just as many foreign ones have already been flocking to Malaysia as far back as two decades ago.
How to Teach: Lecture vs. Discussion
WHEN ONLY A LECTURE WILL DO: Under certain circumstances, of course, the lecture is the only workable format. For instance, when it is necessary to reach a large audience in a short time frame, or when the attendees have no knowledge of the subject whatsoever, there is really no choice.
"The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public." (Sir George Jessel)Have you had this feeling before? Rest assured you are not alone.
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