Recently listened to someone speak at a business event and my insides were dying.
The speech was:
Lots of um’s and ah’s
Basically … boring.
Sorry, but it was.
People say to me, “well, it’s easy for you, you are an actor.”
Yes, true. I have been acting since I was young (see bio at bottom of page), but there are still skills and tricks I needed to learn (and still do) to hone my public speaking.
And you can too.
Here are just seven tips on speaking (there are a ton more).
Use humor either about yourself or with the audience. People relax and ENJOY the talk.
Speaking of audience, make sure you research your crowd beforehand. Are they all high end CEO’s, moms with little ones or all in the same industry as you?
Examples and stories are so important. Giving these draws your audience in and allows them to ‘get’ it.
Don’t get too bogged down in details. They can learn that from you later.
Get passionate. Inflect your voice. There is nothing more infectious and memorable than someone who is excited about what they are talking about.
Look at your audience in the eyes, even if they are far away. This shows you care and you are strong. If that intimidates you, look just above their eyes at their forehead (little acting trick!).
There are a ton of professionals out there that can help. One of my favorites is Toastmasters (http://www.toastmasters.org/) who have groups around the country – inexpensive and very helpful. (You can also call me as this is my absolute joy to coach people in their speaking – it’s like directing a show!)
Finally, there is another skill that desperately needs to be taught - the elevator pitch or the one liner about what you do. You will have to wait for a future blog on that one!
Penelope has been an actor since she was 7yrs in the UK. Mostly on Stage, but some TV/Film. She owned ‘Poppins Party & Drama Company’ teaching acting to children and adults, as well as directing shows, children’s entertainer and speaker. She speaks on various business topics including marketing, social media, personal branding as well as more personal topics such as marriage and parenting.
CALL PENELOPE TODAY for a personal Speech Coaching Session or book her to speak at your next event!
Now, I have to confess, I am not an expert blogger.
I am a wannabe blogger. I have done some blogging.
I love words. I love conveying information that might help. I love musing.
But, I can research and ask other bloggers, so here are Ten Tips:
You have to love what you blog about, or you will give up after a few months. Find some topic that just excites you, one you love to research, talk, read about and then start writing!
I tell clients this all the time with social media – be consistent. Even if it’s only once a month, just do it regularly. If you don’t, people will think you are a flake, changed direction or died! Just decide on how often (start small), and stick to it.
3. USE CURRENT CONTENT
Nothing bugs me more than reading peoples blogs and it’s not current. Either they are pulling information from people from years ago (research changes), or their stats are not current. This also applies to current events – comment, commiserate, congratulate on current events, even if it’s a one liner.
4. BE EASY GOING
We are done people with the ‘professional’ speak (unless you are a lawyer). Talk in the everyday ‘chat’. Be conversational. You want your blog to be you and your reader sitting with a cup of coffee (or in my case tea!) and just yarning about your subject. Don’t try and be someone you are not. Just be you.
5. VIDEO & PICTURES (are you bored yet?)
I love words, but personally my brain goes like jello if I don’t have some pictures or a video. Its BORING without visuals. Graphics help the readers memory and stimulates the brain. Video is the new marketing tool, so pull those in from YouTube or from your own repertoire.
(Now to stop the boredom, here is a random 1min video!)
6. SHARE THE WEALTH
Share your blog with others. Ie. Get guest bloggers on, share other bloggers content (with permission). This way you help others, and you both get different audiences – win win.
7. RESEARCH OTHERS
Find out what other bloggers are doing – it’s a great community out there.
As I look at this particular blog I am writing, I realize its too long (for this time, too bad!). Unless you are writing a piece of news, you want it to be fairly short and easy to read.
Not too long paragraphs. Not too many pages. Don’t use too small a print (if people have to squint, they are gone and remember, most people view the internet from a mobile device).
9. A QUIET SPOT
Find your creative space. Richard Branson, of the Virgin Company, says that even just being in a different room, maybe out in the garden, or for him, on a hammock on his private island (invite please!), can create that place to write. You see things differently. Your brain thinks creatively. Also, allocate a time every week/2 weeks/month/daily that you are going to blog and calendar it in.
(An actual office, made into a library, for the sole purpose of creativity - fastcompany.com).
10. WRITE IT DOWN
Often I can be sitting with a client, hanging out with a friend or even just driving and a brilliant blogging idea comes to me. By the time you get back to the office, its gone! So write it down (although not recommended while driving!).
So that’s it. Just a few easy tips to get you started in blogging.