Often there is a co-host. Sometimes we give a lesson to a bunch of listeners at once. Sometimes we dedicate the call to a single attendee.
On a recent Monday, a lucky woman named Rosemarie received some serious attention from me and my speaker buddy, Steve Holt. Steve’s a Google Guru who has developed quite a reputation as a speaker.
Rosemarie was getting ready to co-host an industry trade show and wanted some tips on how to take her presentation skills to a higher level.
At the beginning of the call, I ad-libbed a little and promised our guest three dozen power tips. Steve was a little surprised at my bold promise, but we delivered.
Here are the three dozen tips, all delivered in a 60-minute phone call.
1. Be on time, hit your marks. Especially important when hosting an awards show.
2. Know your stuff. Memorize your content, rehearse it like crazy.
3. Fake it til you make it. Don’t tell them you only had a little time to prepare. They don’t care.
4. Be animated. Use your eyebrows!
5. The best facial expression (unless it’s a a somber event) is bemused. Remember, people will be looking at you the whole time you’re up there.
6. Go with the flow. Use the comedy ad lib known as “Yes, and…”
7. Use dress rehearsal to practice everything, e.g, walking on/off.
8. Sit in the four corners of the room in darkeness and light to see what others see.
9. Practice. Presenting is much harder than it looks on TV.
10. Write your own intro. Never trust a stranger with your image.
11. Watch video of speakers who are like you. Women, watch Ali Brown. Older folks, watch Les Brown.
12. Watch my videos on YouTube (search “Michael Angelo Caruso”).
13. Practice the beginning 10x more than the rest of your presentation. The beginning is when you’ll be the most nervous.
14. Forget past reviews. No one in the audience knows you bombed your 7th grade oratorical contest.
15. Call your own voice mail and practice bits of your speech (Poor Man’s recording technique).
16. Do your thing in front of a video camera (Rich Man’s technique).
17. Do your thing in front of a mirror. NOT the rear-view mirror while driving.
18. Craft and tell good stories. Short stories, not tall tales.
19. Get coaching. Michael and Steve Holt do speaker coaching via Google Hangout and Skype.
20. Break up your talk with energy shifts, e.g., volume fluctuation, pace changes, physical movement vs. standing still.
21. Raise the volume occasionally to recapture attention.
22. Be careful with humor. Don’t force it. Remember, all humor makes fun of something or someone.
23. Everything leads to the Big Finish!
24. Solicit applause at the end. Ask audience to give themselves a round of applause. Do a ticket drawing, whatever.
25. Nervous? Distract yourself from your own emotions by visiting with attendees.
26. Don’t drink alcohol before you speak–especially if the event is being recorded.
27. Still nervous? Remember to breathe.
28. Never tell people you’re nervous. Most people don’t know.
29. Teach the audience something they don’t know. (Use a statistic or a factoid from history.)
30. Send a “thank you” note to whoever booked you.
31. Say it right. Say it once. No need to repeat yourself or embellish if you’re clear the first time, right?
32. Keep it simple. Use short words, short sentences.
33. Practice how people will join you on stage. This is a type of dance. Don’t “upstage” anyone.
34. Always end with a “call to action,” e.g., donate, please attend again next year.
35. Get talented members of the audience involved when possible. They will make you look better.
36. Have fun!
Want more speaking tips?
Pick up Michael’s audio CD, How to Give Killer Presentations.
This one-hour program comes with a 30-page e-book and it’s loaded with fabulous tips that will help you be a more effective speaker practically overnight.
All of Michael’s products and programs come with an unconditional money-back guarantee.
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