Hollywood Lessons: Make your Speech Opening Strong

You get one chance to make first impression. This hold true for speakers – even when presenting to an audience consisting of colleagues or clients you have known for a long time… When starting any speech or presentation you need to make a positive impression – one that forces each audience member to sit up and think about the topic you are presenting.

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Mirror, Mirror – How to practise a speech

“How can I practice my presentation?” is a question I frequently hear from clients wanting to perfect their pitch between coaching sessions. Usually its followed by “Should I practice in front of a mirror?”   There are many reasons why I don’t encourage clients to waste their time delivering a speech in front of a…

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What does Public Speaking and James Bond have in common?

Do you remember the scene in Casino Royale where Daniel Craig (aka James Bond) is in the middle of a high stakes poker game with the villain of the movie, Le Chiffre. James is trying desperately to identify the Le Chiffres “give” to know when Le Chiffre has a bad hand and is bluffing.  …

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How to Give feedback – so it has a positive impact!

I know plenty of people who are prepared to share their “thoughts” and “opinions”. Not many of them know how to provide their counsel in a constructive way. They often wonder why their feedback doesn’t have the desired impact. And, in many cases, the result is the direct opposite of what they expected or wanted…

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Putting life in your presentations

One of my biggest recommendations to clients is to refresh their view of PowerPoint. Too often it is used as a speech-writing tool. The result is the text heavy slides that hypnotise the presenter as they read EVERY word that is on the slide.   You know the presentations I’m referring to. They are traditional…

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Do you have the perfect recipe?

Is there such a thing as the perfect recipe for a speech? Based upon my nine year old daughters last night I don’t believe there is…. Let me explain. It was my 15th wedding anniversary yesterday. I say mine – but obviously there are two of us in the relationship…. But my wife describes our…

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Are you being understood?

I recently read an article on the BBC website describing some of the greatest mistranslations. There are some hilarious examples of phrases uttered in one language becoming mangled with a completely different meaning after an interpreter has translated them. One phrase has President Jimmy Carter saying “I left the United States this morning” being translated…

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Satisfaction concept

Getting to Yes!

What is your goal when you deliver a presentation? Is it to not make a fool of yourself? Is it just to get through it as quickly as possible and sit down? Or, is it to get a room full of people agreeing with you? If it’s not the latter – you need to re-evaluate…

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Learn the Lessons of Sherlock Holmes to improve your public speaking

How to avoid a Sherlock moment – Investigate your language

I have sympathy for Benedict Cumberbatch and the situation he finds himself in at the moment. It appears to be a circumstance where one, poorly chosen, word has landed him in hot water. And, the positive message he was trying to communicate has been lost in a flurry of condemnation for his choice of a single word.

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Man after making mistake

Top 10 Public Speaking mistakes in 2014 (and how to avoid them in 2015!)

Over the last twelve months many, many presentations have been delivered. Most of them were disappointing for audiences. All of them could have easily improved if the presenter had avoided making some simple mistakes. In most cases the presenter was oblivious to the mistakes. After reviewing the list below you will know what the mistakes…

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