Ethan Rotman

Posts Tagged ‘Excellence’

Give Your Best

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Mannerisms/Habits on September 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Speaking Tip # 55

 

 “I am not really prepared for this presentation tonight” the speaker stated as she opened her talk. “I have not been feeling well so did not have time to prepare. I did not want to let you down, so I came anyway.”

 

 As a member of the audience, what is going through your head at this point in the talk?

A.           Great, I busted my butt to get here only to get a second rate presentation

B.           On top of being bored, I will probably get sick from his germs

C.           Maybe I can sneak out the back unnoticed and get something important done

D.          All of the above

The speaker has barely started his talk yet his credibility is already lower than the floor.

There are many reasons for not being prepared for your talk but no real excuses. You knew you would be expected to speak and probably procrastinated on the preparation. Your audience has sacrificed to come hear you and deserve your best. If you can not deliver, consider alternatives that may save your professional credibility.

 “I am under the weather today and will not be able to deliver the seminar I promised you. I am very disappointed and apologize for the inconvenience, but want to be at my best for you and do not want to risk sharing my illness with you. Let’s reschedule for next week.”

Which feelings do you think you will experience after reading the above email:

A.           Disappointment yet happy to have an extra 2 hours in your day

B.           Appreciative of the courtesy of the speaker

C.           Excitement for the high quality presentation you will get when she recovers

D.          All of the above

The first speaker demonstrated lack of respect for the audience – they were not important enough to him to adequately prepare. His talk should have been planned in advance so that last minute “stresses” would not have an impact.

The audience will judge your professional abilities based, in part, on how well you present. A second-rate performance indicates you are a second-rate professional. A first rate delivery indicates you take time to plan and prepare in all aspects of your life and work.

Your credibility is on the line every time you present. A single bad presentation will not destroy your career and it won’t do anything to enhance it. Presenting is one of the best ways to build your business, gain support for your project, and influence others. The audience is giving you the most important item they have, their time. Honor that by delivering your best to them.

 

© 2009 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words.

You are welcome to link to this page. Permission is required to reprint this in a newsletter or other format.

Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.  www.iSpeakEASY.net  

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The TED Commandments

In Attracting New Clients, Business Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Public Speaking on August 23, 2010 at 5:53 am

 

TED is an organization dedicated to sharing the best thinkers and presenters of our time. Their speakers demonstrate excellent speaking skills and thought provoking information.

The TED Commandments

These 10 tips are given to all TED Conference speakers as they prepare their TEDTalks. They will help your TEDx speakers craft talks that will have a profound impact on your audience.

1.  Dream big. Strive to create the best talk you have ever given. Reveal something never seen before. Do something the audience will remember forever. Share an idea that could change the world.

2.  Show us the real you. Share your passions, your dreams … and also your fears. Be vulnerable. Speak of failure as well as success.

3.  Make the complex plain. Don’t try to dazzle intellectually. Don’t speak in abstractions. Explain! Give examples. Tell stories. Be specific.

4.  Connect with people’s emotions. Make us laugh! Make us cry!

5.  Don’t flaunt your ego. Don’t boast. It’s the surest way to switch everyone off.

6.  No selling from the stage! Unless we have specifically asked you to, do not talk about your company or organization. And don’t even think about pitching your products or services or asking for funding from stage.

7.  Feel free to comment on other speakers’ talks, to praise or to criticize. Controversy energizes! Enthusiastic endorsement is powerful!

8.  Don’t read your talk. Notes are fine. But if the choice is between reading or rambling, then read!

9.  End your talk on time. Doing otherwise is to steal time from the people that follow you. We won’t allow it.

10.  Rehearse your talk in front of a trusted friend … for timing, for clarity, for impact.

This original document can be found at http://www.ted.com/pages/view/id/360

Visit TED at www.TED.com

Like Filler in a Hot Dog

In Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Mannerisms/Habits, Public Speaking on March 18, 2010 at 7:54 am

Some words are like filler in a hot dog.

Speaking Tip # 58

Do you ever notice the words and phrases people use that have no meaning? They struggle to find something to say and throw in things that take up space but mean nothing. Words such as: 

  • Obviously
  • Let me begin by saying
  • Clearly
  • Honestly
  • As you can see
  • Really
  • Well
  • Um
  • Ah
  • In fact
  • As ‘so and so’ just said
  • In addition
  • Let me say that
  • So anyway
  • Before we begin
  • As you already know
  • Actually
  • Right

These phrases are like filler in a hot dog – they offer nothing more than bulk. There is no nutritional value or meaning. They do take up space though.

These words seem silly when read in a list, but listen for them as people around you speak. A few of these words or phrases sprinkled in a conversation may have little effect and in some cases, they may be appropriate. Most of the time, they convey a single message: The speaker does not know what to say. This hurts your credibility.

A confident demeanor demonstrates you are an expert in your field. It shows that you know what you are doing and, have the experience required to make a wise statement.

If you find yourself feeling nervous or unsure what to say, use a pause to buy you time to think. Silence is a powerful and loud tool that demonstrates you are thoughtful and credible. It buys you time to think while building your credibility.

Listen to others speak: are they using filler? If they do, how do you react when they use it? What is the impression you get when you hear them? Watch other audience members to see their reactions as well. Look at the speaker and see if you can ascertain their emotions while they do this. Do you sense confidence or panic?

It is good to speak when you have something to say. If you have nothing to say, rather than use filler, just say nothing.

 (if you have a word you like to add to the list, post it under comments. I will compile them a post the updated list)

© 2010 iSpeakEASY. All rights reserved – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

All Speaking Is Public Speaking

In Attracting New Clients, BNI or other Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, New Techniques, Organization, Public Speaking on February 25, 2010 at 6:49 am

The most important talks tend to be to small audiences

Speaking Tip 46

 Imagine these three scenarios:

  • 1. In 2 weeks, you will make a presentation to 250 strangers in another town
  • 2.  Tomorrow, you will give an update on your project at a staff meeting
  • 3.  Today, you need to have a conversation with your spouse, child, potential client, subordinate, or supervisor

Which talk would you spend the most time preparing for? Which one would you be most likely to have with little or no preparation?  

The answers will vary from person to person but in most cases, people will spend the most amount of time preparing for the first scenario – speaking to a group of strangers. This makes sense as for most people, it puts us out of our comfort zone to speak to a large group. Smaller groups of people that we know are less threatening.  

If you consider which situation may have the most dramatic impact on your life and business, you may find you should be spending time preparing for the smaller talks. 

You may feel comfortable speaking in a one-to-one situation, but that is not a reason to not prepare. You are trying to bring about a change: elicit support for a project or idea, change a behavior, or shift an attitude. Being familiar with the topic and audience leads people into a false sense of comfort and security. In the first scenario, where most people feel the least comfortable, the stakes are generally very low: personal credibility and momentary embarrassment. In the second and third scenario, the stakes are much higher. 

In general, the smaller the audience, the more important it is for the speaker to be sharp and on task. 

The next time you have to speak to a small group or one-to-one – prepare as if it were an important presentation. Take time to determine your desired outcome. Write out how you plan on achieving that outcome. What are the 3-5 supporting points you are going to include? What visual aids can you use to help make your point? Practice. 

View every situation with the planning and foresight needed to accomplish your goals. Your credibility, success, and reputation are at stake. Do not be lured into delivering a poor performance because you feel comfortable – rather use the opportunity to excel. 

You will find your credibility and success increase. 

© 2009 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY.  We help you profit from your words. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

Give Your Best

In Attracting New Clients, BNI or other Networking Groups, Confidence/Nervousness, Credibility, Delivery, Public Speaking on January 29, 2010 at 8:49 am

 “I am not really prepared for this presentation tonight” the speaker stated as he opened his talk. “I have not been feeling well so did not have time to prepare. I did not want to let you down, so I came anyway.”

 As a member of the audience, what is going through your head at this point in the talk?

  1. Great, I busted my butt to get here only to get a second rate presentation
  2. On top of being bored, I will probably get sick from his germs
  3. Maybe I can sneak out the back unnoticed and get something important done
  4. All of the above

 The speaker has barely started his talk yet his credibility is already lower than the floor.

 There are many reasons for not being prepared for your talk but no real excuses. You knew you would be expected to speak and probably procrastinated on the preparation. Your audience has sacrificed to come hear you and deserve your best. If you can not deliver, consider alternatives that may save your professional credibility.

 “I am under the weather today and will not be able to deliver the seminar I promised you. I am very disappointed and apologize for the inconvenience, but want to be at my best for you and do not want to risk sharing my illness with you. Let’s reschedule for next week.”

 Which feelings do you think you will experience after reading the above email:

  1. Disappointment yet happy to have an extra 2 hours in your day
  2. Appreciative of the courtesy of the speaker
  3. Excitement for the high quality presentation you will get when she recovers
  4. All of the above

 The first speaker demonstrated lack of respect for the audience – they were not important enough to him to adequately prepare. His talk should have been planned in advance so that last minute “stresses” would not have an impact.

 The audience will judge your professional abilities based, in part, on how well you present. A second-rate performance indicates you are a second-rate professional. A first rate delivery indicates you take time to plan and prepare in all aspects of your life and work.

 Your credibility is on the line every time you present. A single bad presentation will not destroy your career and it won’t do anything to enhance it. Presenting is one of the best ways to build your business, gain support for your project, and influence others. The audience is giving you the most important item they have, their time. Honor that by delivering your best to them.

 © 2009 – This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words.

Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.