Embarrassment is self-conscious emotions dictated by a disconnect between how we feel we should respond or act and how we actually respond or act. Everyone knows the feeling of embarrassment and how it is not the best feeling. There are few ways to control it as it usually happens with little notice; however, there are ways we can respond to it!
Many years ago, I was teaching at ‘Willis College of Business and Technology’ in Ottawa. I was sitting on the front corner of the teacher’s desk, explaining a point to the class, and I could feel something amiss about the energy level in the room. The class, comprised mostly of women, seemed to be in a strange, and almost silly, mood.
I concluded that it was due to my magnetic personality, causing the class full of women to be so capricious in my presence. Then, one of the ladies at the back of the room held up her hand. I acknowledged her, and she said, “We have a problem.”
“What’s the problem?” I asked.
“Your fly is down!” She replied, as she giggled. I looked down, and saw that she was telling the truth. Not only was my zipper down but, because of the manner in which I was sitting on the edge of the desk, there was also a gaping… Continue reading
It’s not always possible to step away from a podium. If you are delivering a formal speech or hosting an awards ceremony, it may be your only option. However, when you have the option, get out from behind it.
Some may feel safe and secured behind a podium. The only thing this is doing is putting a barrier between you and the audience. It strips the power of emotion you can convey and the importance of the message you want to deliver. If it is your intention to move and inspire your audience, you don’t want to stand in one spot making your presentation feel like a lecture. The less they see of you, the less they can judge your body language and hence measure you believability.
You may not feel comfortable at first being open on stage as it can be a very vulnerable position. You are essentially inviting them into your world. However, because you are inviting them in, a natural state of trust will develop giving you a new character and a new sense of control over the room.
Once, a speaker began her talk from behind the podium, and then, after only a few minutes, stepped out from behind the podium and walked to the front of the stage. In this case, I found her approach very effective. She began in a safe position… Continue reading
There’s an old axiom, often attributed to Dr. Joyce Brothers that states, “You can’t consistently act in a manner which is inconsistent with the way you see yourself.”
In other words, how you think and speak about yourself directly reflects how you present your message and will in turn effect how others will perceive you as a speaker. When you speak well of yourself, or even when you repeat positive and accepting words in your mind, your physical nature actually changes. Positive body language and self-talk becomes an essential tool in helping you build credibility, expressing your emotions and connecting with your audience. It promotes healthy self-awareness and overall confidence which are both necessary in becoming successful on the stage.
Your self-talk isn’t just a motivational tool. The way you think and the words you choose will lead to changes in the way you behave and in the way you speak. How information is exchanged between others clearly affects how you walk away from the experience and it is no different when walking off that stage. Therefore, as a speaker, you’ll want to replace any self-talk that doesn’t serve your message and self-image with self-talk that does.
Marc Bowden, author of “Winning Body Language,” calls this your “Yes State.” When you focus on all the most positive words you can think of, several… Continue reading
It is important to have an objective for your presentation.
Even though the objective is reached at the end of the presentation, it should be the first thing you think of. Your entire presentation will be designed to get to that objective.
Start With the Goal and Work Backwards
What are some possible objectives to a speech or presentation? Are you there to inform, inspire or influence? What do you want your audience to do, to be or to have as a result of your presentation? How will you let them know your intention, and how will you get them to take action?
Once you have clearly defined your goal, a logical next step is to prepare your closing. How you close your presentation or speech will determine what your audience does with the information you’ve provided.
Prepare your closing statement, or your “call to action,” and then consider what your audience needs to know and feel in order for them to take the course of action you recommend. Most audiences are going to require more than personal influence to make changes, to make decisions or to take action, therefore, your presentation must contain compelling arguments to sway them to your way of thinking.
After your goal is clearly defined, and you’ve worked out your call to action, then it’s time to decide what content will best convince your audience to adopt your ideas.
Designing your presentation from the… Continue reading
You must Earn your Right to be in front of your Audience!
Regardless of how you present yourself, either as an expert, as a reporter or as a philosopher, you’ll need to provide some evidence that you have actually earned the right to be in front of your audience. Inevitably, you’ll have someone in your audience who’ll be asking the question, “Who says so, besides you?” or, “Why should I believe you?” Having the proper evidence gives you the ability to handle any such questions, and you may very well have to use this evidence.
When you have the proper evidence to support your talk, you remove yourself from any line of fire of anyone who might challenge you. This provides you with enormous confidence, because you know that you have the goods to defend yourself against someone who might oppose you. You have all the proof you need, and that gives you strength.
In addition, providing evidence helps your audience to put your information into its proper context in their minds. It allows your audience to see the real-life application of your ideas, your claims or your philosophy.
The evidence you provide can depend on how you position yourself when you speak. If you’re presenting yourself as an expert, your evidence is your personal experience. As a reporter, your evidence is your research. And as a philosopher, you offer an example of the application of your philosophy.
When… Continue reading