GSUAS NEWSLETTER - May 8, 2012
THE INTRO to your speech
Be smart and write your introduction because your speech or presentation starts when the person introducing you reads what you have written.
So do you list your accomplishments and abilities and wonderfulness? Why not? Everyone does! My one hue and cry will continue. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.
What can your audience expect to receive from you? What is the gift you are giving that will make a difference to them – in their lives, in their work? Focus on that in your introduction and make sure the person who is doing your introduction gets your written speech ahead of time.
I did this recently. I handed my introduction to a women who was going to introduce me and she read exactly what I wrote; in monotone, without pausing, hurriedly. It made no sense.
I was distraught. What to do next? Teaching people how to speak is what I do. But I couldn’t prevent her from butchering a simple introduction. Her head was somewhere else. She didn’t care. She made a bad impression. And she didn’t help me either.
I’ve decided to put in pauses (directions) and then ask them to read it over before we go on to make sure they understand my introduction.
Presumptuous? Maybe. But how else do I take care of my audience? How do I make sure they get the most from me in exchange for their valuable time?
Another time a friend of mine was to introduce a speaker. My friend herself is an amazing speaker but she decided to really help this person and sing the introduction. The speaker was steaming afterward and said that she wanted to be introduced the way it was written without any creative additions.
How good are you at introducing people? Some I find are greatly lacking in this skill. They end up looking sloppy, disinterested, unprofessional. Don’t make that mistake when you introduce a speaker.
And when you write an introduction for yourself - what does it say about your desire to be of service to the audience?
Here is the introduction I wrote for the Public Relations Society of America Conference regarding Acting Skills and Public Speaking:
I’M ASSUMING YOU’RE HERE TODAY BECAUSE THE SUBJECT MATTER “GREAT SPEAKERS USE ACTING SKILLS” INTRIGUES YOU. YOU MAY EVEN BELIEVE YOU WILL FIND NEW WAYS TO BECOME A BETTER SPEAKER. YOU’RE RIGHT. TODAY YOU WILL LEARN ABOUT NEW TOOLS FOR OUTSTANDING COMMUNICATION.
BARBARA KITE, WITH OVER THREE DECADES OF COACHING, SPEAKING AND ACTING EXPERIENCE, IS HERE TODAY TO SHARE THE BEST KEPT SECRET OF MEMORABLE SPEAKERS --- ACTING SKILLS. LET'S LEARN ABOUT HOW GREAT ACTORS CONNECT TO AUDIENCES.
PLEASE GIVE A WARM WELCOME TO BARBARA KITE, THE ACTING COACH FOR SPEAKERS.
Short, to the point and addressing the needs of the audience.
What does your introduction say about you?
"Creativity is an Act of Bravery"
My energy is dedicated to supporting the dangerous artist, the authentic speaker, and all other adventurers brave enough to go outside their comfort zone to explore the extraordinary that lives in them.
The Speaker Prepares
Just like the actor, the great speakers prepare before they go on. And there are so many different ways of doing it. It all depends on what issues you need to address before you walk onto the stage.
Here are a couple of obstacles and some proven solutions -
– I was driving to a speaking engagement last year and it came up. Yes, - fear. After all the coaching and speaking, I do, I had butterflies.
It happens to everyone who cares about their work and actually fuels it. Without a certain amount of excitement your presentation will be flat. It is also true that too many butterflies can shut you down.
So I did what I tell my clients to do. I flipped the word “fear” to “excitement”.
After all the feeling is the same, it’s just the way we describe it to ourselves. I started to tell myself the truths I knew about the upcoming event - “It’s going to be exciting meeting new people.” “It’s exciting to offer important techniques that open a whole new world of speaking and connecting.” Talk to yourself about what you love about speaking and let it carry you into your presentation.
- Speaking is like performing in that it requires heightened energy. You cannot move from your ordinary world onto the platform and expect the same energy to carry your message to the audience.
There are many ways of preparing ahead of time to meet this need.