Who’s your audience?
Empty seats awaiting an audience

At a conference earlier this year, I hosted a panel discussion of experience speakers. I asked them their thoughts on the most important aspect of public speaking.  Every panellist said the same thing – your audience.  If you are an accomplished speaker – confident, polished, charismatic – but your audience is not interested in or […]

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The Power of Purpose…in Speaking
Dart hitting the target demonstrating the importance of knowing the point/purpose/target of your speech to deliver effectively

Purpose can be defined as the reason for which something is done or created; its aim or intention; essentially its why.  If you haven’t watched Simon Sinek’s TedX talk on Golden Circles, I highly recommend it.  It is one of the most famous speeches of its kind, because it eloquently explains the power of starting […]

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What’s the Answer?
speech bubble representing conversation and answering questions

We pose and answer questions every day.  From a simple “how are you?” to the questions like “why are you a good fit for this job?” which could influence our future. These high pressure questions may come in job or promotion interviews, professional exams or pitching for business, funding or to promote a new initiative. […]

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Selling Yourself – Communication Clarity
Telescope giving clarity to a picture

Does the question “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” send shivers down your spine?  In interview and networking situations, selling yourself is important. You need to be able to communicate your skills and expertise clearly.  You may not get this exact question, but articulating how your particular skillset will add value is likely to come […]

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The dynamics of speaking
Sheet music with dynamics highlighted

Recently in feedback on a speech, an evaluator likened vocal variety to horse riding.  How changes in speed can be thought of as galloping, cantering, trotting.  I appreciated the analogy as a way of making a concept more lifelike and understandable.  It made me think about vocal variety further throughout my daily activities.  I don’t […]

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Controlling nervousness
You can make the butterflies in your stomach when you speak fly in formation

One of the questions most frequently asked about public speaking is how to overcome nervousness.  A quote I really connect with I read in a book by Paul McGee, The SUMO Guy, a favourite speaker and author of mine.  It goes “you can’t get rid of the butterflies, but you can teach them to fly […]

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Realising Your Strength – Part 2

After writing my blog last year about yoga, practicing a skill and realising your strengths, I decided to see what I could do about my lack of knowledge of how to headstand.  At the time I’d been regularly practicing yoga for over a year, but at that time had put headstands in the “too hard” […]

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Setting the stage for speaking success

You could have an amazing presentation, but if the set up of your speech is off, it could derail your impact before you’ve even begun. To achieve speaking success, ensure you have prepared, not just your speech, but also your stage. Setting the scene One key thing I’ve learnt since joining an advanced speakers group […]

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Choosing your feedback

Feedback is one of the most valuable resources we have in developing.  Learning how to use it wisely is a skill in itself.  Feedback is after all only one person’s opinion and one person’s opinion may not be representative.  Accepting that you’ll never please everyone is an important lesson in not driving yourself crazy with […]

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Personality Perspectives on Public Speaking

My last blog was on leaving your comfort zone in general and how this might be different for introverts and extroverts.  I wanted to explore the theme of comfort zone in the context of public speaking.  Public speaking is often seen as way outside of an introvert’s comfort zone. Extroverts are classed as more natural […]

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