The best news is that you are already really good at being yourself. The better news is that you have no choice, everyone else is already taken. However, now that the biggest issues have been resolved in Part I and Part II of this series, let us get into the nuances of public speaking. These nuggets will help you take your presentation skills and put them on steroids. Your “10” will become a “12”. You will be viewed as a public speaking guru. If you can find a way to add one or more tricks to your repertoire, great things will happen as you present.
Wear that suit, yes, that suit.
Everyone Eye-Cubed woman and man has the outfit that feels fantastic. You know the one. You get compliments every time you put it on. Wear that one. And if you are putting on a tie, make it the one that “pops” and screams “style”. When you know you look good, you will feel good in front of the team.
Feel good, real good.
When I had my first insurance sales job in New York City, I seemed to have my best days when I shined my shoes on the way into work. When I was in Law School, I got myself psyched for exams by listening to Rocky music blasting in my apartment. What do you do to feel fabulous? Make sure you do it so you can feel it on the way in.
To Stand or Sit, that is the question.
Stand by your words. Stand by your innovation. Stand by your ideas. That means you must stand as you present. It immediately places you in the power position in the room. Standing opens up your lungs and allows you to use the room and many of the tricks identified in this post.
Walk the Walk so you can talk the talk.
One of the most powerful moves during a presentation is to walk to a specific and strategic spot in the room. Perhaps it is behind the most influential person at the table. Perhaps it is close to the “contrarian” so you can put your hands on their shoulders as a sign of unity and friendship. Just be aware to too much walking is annoying. If you do it, have a plan and stick to that plan. Do not wander. If you do not know where you are going, you will get lost for sure (and you will lose the team).
Location, location, location.
The most strategic place to stand is at either head of the table, off to one side or the other. That placement gives you a view of the entire room without swiveling your head back and forth. You will be able to see each of the players at the table from one spot, just by moving your eyes. That is power.
Inflection… USE IT or lose it!
If your goal is to cure insomnia, go ahead and speak with a monotone voice. Worse than that is a “sing-song” voice. If you want to speak like that, go present in front of nursery school children. You are in the big-leagues now and you need to EMphAsiZE appropriately. When done well, it will keep your audience on their toes begging for the next word.
The pregnant pause, one of the strangest descriptions (how exactly did that happen?). Regardless, it is an amazing tool……………………when used effectively. The pause places significant power and attention on the next word. It actually ignites a visceral reaction in folks since they get subconsciously nervous that you will call on them. So they wait with baited breath for you to continue. Try it. It is magical.
Never give them the finger, unless it is your thumb. (Is that a finger?)
The first presenter that I saw use his thumb was Bill Clinton. I am sure that technique started long before him. However, it works. Do not point at your audience. That is considered rude.
See the whites of their eyes.
Look around the room at each individual. Take your time and make the kind of eye contact that says “I appreciate you listening to me and I really hope you like what I am saying.” Many times, the eye contact you gain assists you in building the buy-in from the room. By focusing on each person, they identify with you and feel as if you are talking to them rather than at them. If you were not going to look at them, you might as well do a webcast or video presentation.
Drive 15, 25, 35 or 65 miles per hour. The speed limit (of your voice) must vary.
If you talk really fast, no one will understand a word you say. If you talk really slow, everyone will be praying for you to end. But if you recognize that speed is similar to inflection and can make a point, you have just gained another tool to put in your belt. Test the impact of talking rapidly or slowly during specific portions of your speech. It adds variety and spice to the message.
Big words and acronyms belong in books.
You will not come out of the meeting looking smart if you fill your presentation with letters or SAT words. Forget it! You will come out looking like a pompous, condescending, confusing blow hard. Be real and appropriately intelligent. You will love the result if you do.
I have been told that some folks would rather be in the casket than present the eulogy. That, my friends, is unfortunate. We all have a lot more to do above the ground and Eye-Cubed leaders use the presentation moment to propel our innovations forward by inspiring everyone to implement and evolve our organizations. Presenting is a muscle that needs to be developed. It is a skill like all others. Without practice, you will be awful and miserable. However, with a better understanding coupled with practice, you will blow them away and get exactly what you are asking for more often than ever before.
If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you.