GREAT SPEAKERS NEWSLETTER - September 27, 2015
WHEN DOES YOUR PRESENTATION BEGIN?
Recently I was reminded about the most neglected part of a presentation. Three clients in a row where not happy with their openings and it wasn’t necessarily the content. It was nerves. I had to remind them that a presentation doesn’t begin when they start to speak. No actor worth their talent ever goes on stage without a preparation. And so it is with great speakers.
Oh yes, the months, weeks, days before you step on that stage are crucial but did you also pay attention to those moments just prior to your entrance - to your “warm up”? Every actor knows if you walk on stage and your energy is at a “level 2”, it is very hard and takes time and focus to bring it up to “10” or even “8”. This takes energy away from your presentation; from your presence, passion, (in mind and body) and your voice.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO MOMENTS BEFORE YOU GO ON?
Here are a couple of exercises I train my actors and speakers to do before they go on stage.
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15 MINUTES before you go on stage you remind yourself that:
- YOU ARE TRANSITIONING TO ANOTHER LEVEL OF AWARENESS
What this means is that you have to be very very PRESENT with the audience and listening on a deeper level than you usually do. The audience is always telling you something. LISTEN.
- THE STAGE IS A WORLD THAT REQUIRES HIGHER THAN NORMAL EVERYDAY ENERGY
This requires filling the whole room with your energy. Imagine that you are covering the room with your body, fully committed to your words (for some this requires practice and proper coaching before understood and utilized fully).
- THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. THE AUDIENCE WANTS TO SEE THEMSELVES THROUGH YOU.
Each person wants to walk away with a new tool to implement the next successful level in their endeavors.
10 MINUTES (find a quite space alone)
- BREATHE- In on four counts, hold for 7, exhale completely on 8 counts. Do this 2Xs. Remember it’s a FULL DEEP BREATH, FILL YOUR BELLY, RIBS, CHEST, BACK.
- YAWN and at the top of the Yawn allow an “Ahh” to come out from your belly, opening your throat. Speak with an open throat supported by breath.
- TIGHT LOOSE – tighten your body from head to toe, hold and then let go completely.
- TONGUE TWISTER – Find one you like and use it to warm up your face, lips and tongue.
HERE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES - PETER PIPER
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
DO IT TWO OR THREE TIMES WITH A WIDE OPEN MOUTH SUPPORTED BY YOUR BREATH – FASTER EACH TIME.
1 MINUTE BEFORE
- BOUNCE or PUNCH THE AIR IN YOUR MIND.
- EMBRACE THE AUDIENCE IN YOUR MIND BY STRETCHING YOUR ARMS OUT.
- SAY TO YOURSELF “THIS IS EXCITING*. I AM GOING TO HAVE SO MUCH FUN. I AM GOING TO GIVE ALL THESE PEOPLE VALUABLE INFORMATION. I CAN’T WAIT”
BECAUSE if you don’t have information that can help the audience, if you don’t believe in what you are going to endow them with, GET OFF THE STAGE.
*EXCITEMENT AND FEAR LIVE IN THE SAME PLACE IN YOUR BODY. YOU HAVE TO CONVINCE YOUR MIND THAT THE FEELING IS EXCITEMENT.
- STEP ON STAGE AS IF YOU OWN IT
(YOUR PRESENTATION BEGINS THREE STEPS BEFORE YOU WALK ON STAGE WITH ENERGY AND JOY).
- TAKE A MOMENT - remember to breathe.
- LOOK THE AUDIENCE OVER.
- MAKE EYE CONTACT.
- EMBRACE THEM ALL IN YOUR MIND BY SMILING.
- DO YOUR INNER SENTENCE. ‘THIS IS EXCITING’ - IN YOUR MIND.
- GIVE THEM YOU, BY OPENING YOURSELF; SPEAKING FROM YOUR HEART AND INVITING THEM IN WITH YOUR FIRST IMPACTFUL SENTENCES.
Now, the preparation that goes into writing the speech is another newsletter. Let me say that all of my clients are shocked when they learn no one wants to hear their “speaking voice”. They prefer a conversation with an authentic, passionate, informed speaker who makes sure they leave with a special gift they can use to better their situation (be it work, or private life or both).