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Afraid of speaking in public?

You’re not alone!

Did you know the following people also had difficulties with public speaking?

  • Winston Churchill
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet was even afraid to say his name in class and said that he couldn’t even attend a public speaking course he signed up to. Eventually he overcame his fear by confronting his fear head on.

Here are some quick reminders to help overcome fear:

  1. Confront your fears head on. Avoiding them will only prolong the pain.
  2. Speak with passion by choosing a subject greater than your fear and one you care about.
  3. Turn your nervous adrenaline into positive energy and give impact to your speech.
  4. Deep Breaths. Seems easy enough but we tend to tense up and forget to breathe which can help to relax us.
  5. Prepare and practice, practice, practice.

If you’d like more information, don’t hesitate to contact us!

20 December 2016

How to be a L.E.G.E.N.D.

Lively: make sure you generate the appropriate level of intensity for your message.
Emotive: speak to the emotions of your audience.
Genuine: Be yourself, people know when you are faking.
Exciting: grab their attention.
Nourishing: feed your audience through inspiration.
Direction: give your speech a direction and your audience will follow.

09 December 2016

Getting on your audience’s radar

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If you are not able to get on their radar, there is no hope that they’ll be inspired by your message.

So, to begin with, get started with confidence.

Know exactly how your presentation is going to begin: the first 2 words, the first sentence and the KSP (key selling point).

Deliver your message with power and conviction.

You can’t convince anyone if you are not on their radar.

3 August 2016

Why how matters

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How you design your presentation changes how it is perceived.

How you use your body and voice changes how the audience is moved.
How you answer their questions changes how they will respond further.
How much of yourself you put into the moment changes how you perform.

In a world where getting people to take action is harder and harder, how you present your ideas matters more than ever.

  20 July 2016

Short is beautiful

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Most presenters are obsessed with being exhaustive.

They want to show they master the subject, they have done their homework. They will tell you everything.

The result: you get lost in the detail.

The big advantage of not saying everything is that your audience will want to know more and a true dialog ensues.

Stop speaking before your audience stops listening!

 13 July 2016

Reassuring your audience

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In order for audience to believe your message, they must first be able to put their trust in you as the messenger.

So, to reassure your audience, you must be reassuring.

Be prepared.

Stay calm, breathe, make good eye contact and make your voice sound confident.

And your message will be much more reassuring.

 6 July 2016

Owning the story

In order to have the conviction that you need to sway your audience’s opinions, you need to own the story.

Determine the angle that you want to take.

Build your story into the presentation.

And deliver the message with all of the conviction that you can muster.

29 juin 2016

It’s not a race

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Some things are a race, but not a presentation.

The first rule in making an impactful presentation is to take your time.

Deliver solid, thought-provoking messages, one by one, without rushing your way through to the end.

In a race, the person who finishes 1st gets the gold and their admirers’ congratulations.

In a presentation, it is not how quickly you finish that matters.

So, enjoy the ride, help your audience to learn something and make a contribution to your community.

June 22, 2016

“uh” and “um”

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Since the beginning of time, people have been judging other people based on voice.

Of course, based on what we say, but, more importantly, on how we say it. Most speakers seek out ‘fluency’ over pertinence. They tend to fill the air with word blurbs like “you know” and the inevitable ‘uhs’ and ‘ums’ to keep the flow.

Speak as slowly as you need to.
Give yourself time to think.
Don’t pollute and dilute your message.
Before you utter that next “uh” or “um”, merely pause instead.
Replace them with silence.
You’ll be much more understandable and your audience will enjoy listening to you more.

And there’s a bonus… Our default assumption is that people who pause and choose their words carefully, are intelligent. Like you ; )

15 juin 2016

Slideology 101 #2

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Don’t place yourself in competition with your slides.

Either give your audience time to understand the content of your slide or explain beforehand what they are going to see.

Don’t try to show and tell at the same time.

It won’t work and your message will suffer.

25 mai 2016

How, why and the other thing

Almost all the inputs, advice and resources available today are about how. How to make better presentations, how to capture your audience’s attention, how to handle questions, how to get people to do what you want…

Far rarer is help in understanding why. Why care? Why act now? Why engage?

The other thing is your fear. The fear that your plan might not work. This is the cause of the speech that goes on too long or the presentation that contains way too many details.

Explain the why, then the how.

27 avr. 2016

WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW

WHO are you trying to reach? (If the answer is ‘everyone’, start over.)
WHAT story are you spreading?
WHEN do you expect people to take action? If the answer is ‘now’, what keeps people from saying, ‘later’? It’s safer that way.
HOW will they become engaged in what you have to explain?
WHERE is the fear that prevents action?
WHY? What will these people tell their friends?
HOW? How does this story resonate with the worldview these people already have? (What do they believe? What do they want?)

Get the basics right and everything else will fall into place.

13 avr. 2016

Making Memorable Presentations and Business Storytelling seminars in France and beyond

A big “thank you” to all of you who read my weekly posts.
It’s thrilling for me to see the growing community of people aware of the power of good public speaking skills.

In the coming months, we are running a number of inter-company seminars:

Making Memorable Presentations dates:
Lyon, 8 June
Paris, 6 July
Grenoble, 1 July
Strasbourg, 26 May
Parma, Italy, 15 September
Marseille, 23 September

Business Storytelling date:
Strasbourg, 27 May

And if you’d like to tell a friend, they get a €150 reduction thanks to you.
Discount code MMPAPR

7 avr. 2016

Make 3 lists

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When preparing your next presentation, it may help to make 3 lists:

A list of everything that has to be true for this to be a good presentation (the message you want to leave, the call to action you want to engage your audience in…).

A list of all the skills (use of silence, eye contact, a great key message) you need to improve to have better delivery (choose to work on one of them, not all of them).

And a list of everything you’re afraid of, and how you can prepare yourself to face those fears…

It’s a lot easier to deal with the truth on paper rather than in the heat of the action.

30 mars 2016

Dreams and Fears

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Sooner or later, good presentations come down to this.

Fears: Of being ashamed, feeling stupid, being rejected, being pointed out, getting hurt, being embarrassed, left alone, dying.

Dreams: Of being seen, being needed, being impactful, becoming powerful, making a difference, making someone proud, being inspiring.

Good presenters have lots of tricks to deal with both but in the end, it always comes down to dreams and fears.

16 mars 2016

A crisp angle or blurred lines

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As soon as you begin speaking, your audience will tend to put you in a category.
That’s why when you make your next pitch, choose an angle.
Every subject can be presented with a multiplicity of angles; some make sense, some don’t.
Your challenge is to choose an angle, the right angle, crisp and sharp, that makes sense for your current cause and audience.

Don’t try to deliver multiple messages, you’ll just blur the lines.

9 mars 2016

Move with purpose

Everyone knows that body language is a big part of the message.

So how do you manage that?

The idea is simple, coordinate your movements with your message.

After making a point, you can physically make a transition to another spot.

This marks a pause, gives you a chance to breathe and clearly shows your audience that you have moved on to the next topic.

Move with purpose!

2 mars 2016

Slideology 101 #1

Using PowerPoint well can greatly enhance or detract from your presentation.

The biggest error that presenters make is too many slides and too many words per slide.

This distracts the audience from your message.

Images are better than words.

And less is better than more.

24 févr. 2016

The Devil’s in the details – or is he?

Many presenters have a tendency to overload their audience with details.They want to demonstrate that they master the subject; they have ‘done their homework’; they are prepared.What results is confusion as the audience slips down deeper and deeper into the minutiae.

Take the high road; that means placing your topic into a strategic context for theaudience.

If the audience wants to know more about a certain point, they’ll ask and that’s when the real conversation begins.

17 févr. 2016

One big idea

Most presentations aren’t built on a bundle of wonderment, novelty and new ideas.

In fact, they usually involve just one big idea. The more you complicate the message by delivering multiple points and ideas, the less you accomplish.

What is the ONE BIG IDEA that you want to convey in your next presentation?

10 févr. 2016

The difference between gotta and getta

The frame of mind you are in is capital in your performance as a speaker.
If this next presentation is something you have GOT TO do, but you can’t find the angle of communication and the conviction, then your audience is probably not going to experience a stellar moment.On the other hand, if you see this as something you GET TO do.

Enjoy, have fun, and convince them to engage.Getta always trumps gotta.

3 févr. 2016

2 Things to Forget before giving your next talk

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  • Forget that this is the BIG ONE!

Your next talk is probably not a life or death situation, just another opportunity to reach out, persuade, inspire, enlighten… Take advantage of the moment and live it to its fullest.

  • Forget to be stressed! Forget about yourself!

The stress factor is enhanced the more you allow your internal thinking process to be focused inward. To maintain your energy at a high level, keep your focus outward on the audience, concentrate on your intention, the message you really want to deliver to them and most importantly, how your audience is receiving your message.

If your keep things in perspective, then you can forget to feel stressed. And that’s when the real fun begins.

27 janv. 2016

Speaking to a wide range of audiences

Giving a presentation to an audience with very different linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be a tricky exercise and requires special effort on the part of the speaker.

In order to be understood by everyone, A R T I C U L A T E !  Speak very clearly and with a neutral accent. Avoid colloquialisms and other local expressions.

Be careful with jargon, meaning that you need to be sure to explain acronyms and special terms.

And finally, speak slowly to be understandable and impactful.

20 janv. 2016

Making 2016 the Best Year Ever

As 2016 starts, some of us might have thought of all the New Year’s resolutions that they hope to accomplish but probably won’t manage to keep. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all of these resolutions, one more effective way to look at it is to actually focus on one big goal you will be working on throughout the year thanks to a concrete action plan.

Here are 5 easy steps to help you reflect on the past year and start with the new one. Grab your pen and paper! 

  1. Celebrate. What successes, whether big or small, do you need to celebrate from this past year?
  1. Acknowledge. What is one life lesson you learned over this past year?
  1. Look for patterns. What were you doing when you achieved your best results?
  1. Set your goal. What’s ONE big goal that you want to accomplish this year?
  1. Take action. What actions are you going to take in the next 12 months? What is your concrete action plan for the next 3 months to come? Write all of this down.

Wishing you all the best year ever!

5 janv. 2016