Blog-azine

When are you ready?

A former Toastmasters’ World Champion once said “How do you know when your speech is ready? Not until you’re sick of it.” He was referring to the amount of time you should practice a speech. And although a large amount of preparation is often necessary, if you practice a speech until you’re sick of it, your audience won’t want to hear it.  Fundamentally, I believe it’s the opposite: “You’re not ready to give your speech until you’re in love with it.” Have you ever selected the perfect gift for a family member or friend? Remember how you just couldn’t wait to see their reaction when you presented it?  Think of your speech in the same way: as a gift you are about to present to your friends. The moment you say, “I can’t wait to give this gift to this audience” is the moment you know you’re ready.

Want to learn more? Consider Connect With Any Audience and my speaking skills seminars Elements of Eloquence and Eight Essentials of Effective Speaking.

Read all entries in The Spoken Word
Posted Thursday, March 06, 2008 | Link to entry

The “Business Card Test”

Write on the back of your business card exactly what you want the audience to think, feel, or do as a result of your presentation. Why on the back of a business card? It’s only big enough to hold one handwritten sentence--and if you can’t define your purpose in one sentence, you’re not ready to speak. This exercise requires you to focus on conciseness, that powerful combination of clarity plus brevity. Remember, your message will never be clearer to your listener than it is to you.

Want to learn more? Consider Connect With Any Audience and my speaking skills seminars Elements of Eloquence and Eight Essentials of Effective Speaking.

Read all entries in The Spoken Word
Posted Friday, January 11, 2008 | Link to entry

What an audience expects

The audience does not expect a speaker to be perfect. In fact, not only is achieving perfection an impossible task, it may even be an undesirable goal. That’s because if you are fixated on delivering a flawless presentation, you’re focused on yourself instead of the audience. Surprisingly, audiences are remarkably forgiving if you make an occasional stumble or fumble. Notice that I said “an occasional fumble or stumble.” Too many mistakes shows you didn’t care enough to prepare, but an occasional mistake simply shows you are human. Therefore, your goal is excellence (an attainable goal), not perfection (an impossible one). That’s as much as an audience will ever require.

Want to learn more? Consider Connect With Any Audience and my speaking skills seminars Elements of Eloquence and Eight Essentials of Effective Speaking.

Read all entries in The Spoken Word
Posted Friday, January 11, 2008 | Link to entry

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