Listen to this recent interview with Jim Blasingame, the Small Business Advocate, as we chat about how small business owners can make changes with their words, their actions, and how they reinforce the changes.
What’s not to like about a nametag? It serves an admirable purpose: allowing others to know your name. It is an invitation to say “hello.” A conversation starter. And when you are presenting, it allows you to call people by name and connect with the audience.
There are several things that drive me NUTS about nametags as well: They don’t stick, they swivel so you see the back of the card rather than the name. And the worst offense of all: the name is written so small, you can’t read it.
Imagine my delight yesterday when I attended the Arizona Association of Facilitators meeting. LOVE this nametag! I could see people’s names across the room! (okay, so it was a classroom, but impressive nonetheless!).
Are you making your nametags large enough for people to read your name from across the room?
It’s gray and rainy here on Prince Edward Island, and usually I hit the deck running hard on a Monday morning. But not today. Is it the rain? The gloom? The wind? Whatever it is, I am not running at peak performance. And, because I have the luxury of not having to do something vital today, I can wallow in the grayness with virtually no visible pain.
But what if I had to give a presentation today? I would certainly have to snap out of it. Reframe my perspective. Pull up the ol’ bootstraps and psyche myself into peak performance. Sure, 90% of this is about thinking positively about your day. The optimum outcome. The journey you will take.
But there ARE things you can do to get you in a happier, sunnier place. Go someplace quiet; take a deep breath and close your eyes. Imagine yourself in a literally sunnier place with happy memories. Linger on the images, the connections, and the smell of the day. Connect with the peacefulness and happiness…and smile! Laugh if you like. And when you open your eyes, continue to smile. And the next person you see, give them an even bigger smile (or a hug if you’re like me). Say hello to the people in your audience and you’ll find your happiness becomes contagious!
There is a rash – no – a virtual epidemic of speakers giving their presentation in the dark. Well, not in the black dark of night, but out of the limelight.
I just got back from SE Asia where I was speaking at the Malaysian Association for Professional Speakers Convention, the HR Summit, and the Association for Professional Speakers Singapore. All three venues had the same problem:
The stage lighting was not directed appropriately. The canned lights in the ceiling were canted anywhere BUT center stage toward the face of the speaker.
I continue to be flummoxed as to why this is….but it is. Even though we all know better.
So what happens? One spe
aker stood on the very end of the stage. Gosh, I thought he was going to fall off. Another one just stood in the shadows. Me? I moved to a place where there WAS light – which happened to be on the floor with the audience. Fortunately for me, I’m a fairly tall woman (5′ 10″ to be exact and over 6′ with heels!) and so most of the people can still see me. However, at the HR Summit where I was speaking to 400 people, I danced between being on the stage and working the crowd.
The solution? Get to the venue in enough time to kindly ask the hotel to reposition the lights. Sometimes, this is impossible as the ceiling is sky high. But if you don’t look, nor ask, you’ll be standing in the dark.
The National Speakers Association just published their first book, Paid to Speak. Covering every aspect of launching, building, and maintaining a successful speaking career, Paid to Speak is a must-read for professional speakers–whether keynote speaker, motivator, coach, trainer, facilitator, or consultant–as well as those aspiring to a speaking career.
Divided into four sections, the content corresponds with the four core competencies that the National Speakers Association (NSA) has identified for success as a professional speaker:
- Eloquence: platform mechanics, presenting, and preparing
- Enterprise: business management, sales, and marketing
- Expertise: topic development, authorship, and product development
- Ethics: professional awareness and professional development
Thirty-four NSA members who have built thriving speaking businesses weigh in with valuable insights and proven strategies on a gamut of topics, making Paid to Speak essential to any speaker’s list of reference materials. And, I am one of them! . I wrote Chapter 4: When Presenting Becomes Facilitating.
In this book, you will learn how to:
- Create compelling presentations using stories of humor
- Hone your presentation and facilitation skills
- Convey a professional image through dress and body language
- Market and sell yourself effectively
- Develop an authentic and innovative brand
- Partner with speakers bureaus
- Spice up your writing and sell book proposals
- Establish yourself as an expert in your niche
- Leverage the virtual world
- Adhere to an ethical code of behavior
- And much, much more!
Read Paid to Speak from cover to cover, or open it to any chapter, for tried-and-true, hands-on information on taking your speaking career–and your bank account–to the next level.
Bob Pike, a renowned champion of participant-centered training is often quoted as saying, “Never do for the audience what they can do for themselves.” As you review your presentation, ask yourself whether you are doing something that an audience member can do just as easily.
When you ask an audience member to do something for you, she feels special. She morphs into a participant while sending a subliminal signal to the rest of the audience that you are reaching out for help, and they might be more willing to cooperate when you ask them to do something later. It can be something as simple as asking for help in setting up the room, being a timekeeper or recorder, or a “runner.”
Those are the easy things you can do. Demonstrations, skits, competitions, and role-plays are more complex interactions that take more thought and deliberate consideration but have HUGE payoff because they are HUGELY memorable.
One of my most impressive interactions is a team-based psychological experiment I first read about in Harvard Management Update. I wanted to talk about it but thought it would be much more powerful as a demonstration. So I obtained the original study and developed a scenario with four participants to show the effects of freeloading on a team. I then practiced SEVERAL times with friends, family, and relative strangers off the street. Wildly popular. Wildly memorable. I didn’t just dream it up during the middle of the presentation. These things take a bit of forethought. And patience. And are well worth the investment of time.