How imperfect are you? And will your audience care?

your audience will forgive imperfection if they see authenticity

When I first started coaching and speaking professionally, I was obsessed with being perfect – telling my audience everything I knew. If I left something out inadvertently, I would berate myself for being so stupid. I’ve learned a thing or two since those early days. First of all, less is more. We are all awash …

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Gutsy decision that led to ‘I have a dream’ speech

Abandoning script led to magic of 'I have a dream'

This month saw the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Over the years, speakers and presentation coaches have spent hours poring over King’s speeches, analyzing the blend of sermon and poetry, noting the rhetorical devices of rhyme and repetition, and the use of metaphor. But we should remember that …

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Fought a bear? You really must tell the story

tell your story and you bring your presentation to life

In a presentation skills workshop the other day, one participant was introducing herself. Her opening sentence was dramatic. “Have you ever come face to face with a bear?” she asked. “I have,” she continued, and hurried on to tell us her name, her title, and how her job meant she spent a lot of time …

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Use storytelling structure for presentation success

storytelling structure can help presentations

What would your presentation or speech look like if it was a graph? You can plot on a chart the course of a good presentation… just as you can plot the storytelling structure of a movie or book. In fact the graph of a good presentation looks just like the graph of many a movie. …

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Win your audience’s trust with authenticity

Beat the blues with authenticity

Sometimes, when we’re asked to speak or make a presentation or give a media interview, we strain to say what we think we OUGHT to say, in a way we think we OUGHT to say it. Two quotes from very different people, on very different topics, go to the heart of something anyone who speaks in …

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Focus on benefits for your audience

hook your audience with your opening words

We choose how we speak, to whom we speak and where we speak. But the greatest decision has to be the why. It’s doesn’t matter whether you’re speaking in a boardroom, in a classroom or on stage. You want your words, ideas, thoughts to mean something, to make a difference. “Wise men speak because they …

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A little humour goes a long way to make a message stick

humour can make a message memorable

I’m old enough to remember when you went to the movies, bought your ticket, got a bag of popcorn and sat down. You sat through a few previews. Then it was time for the main attraction. You watched the film and when it ended, you threw your garbage on the floor (just like that picnic …

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Tips for speakers – from a Mexican bus

Too often, as speakers, we don’t respect our audiences enough. We place the focus on ourselves. We become the ‘sage on stage’. We forget the Golden Rule – treat others as you would wish others to treat you. It’s all about the audience.

Bedside manner is key to connecting with audience

by Halina St James Recently my mother, who’s 85, had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in her left lung. She’s one of the lucky ones whose cancer was discovered early, was slow growing and therefore easily removed. Plus, she had one of the best thoracic surgeons in Canada, Dr. Yaron Shargall. What struck my …

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