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Geraldine Barkworth is a speaking coach & presenter. She owns the training and coaching business, Goddess Of Public Speaking, based in northern NSW Australia. Geraldine has worked with clients in Australia and New Zealand since 2002 via phone and corporate workshop. She shows clients how to free their inner speaker, manage speaking nerves, create workshops and presentations and refine their unique message.
Dear Goddess Of Public Speaking...
" How can I stand out from the start and make my speech memorable in a long day of conference speeches? " M.K., MENTAL HEALTH EDUCATOR
" Don't Be Shy: Why Making An Entrance Is Important When You Speak "
" Ta Daa! " Introducing, YOU!
And in you come dancing to a funky sound track, feather boa trailing behind, your newly shaved head reflecting the strobe lights… is this the kind of first contact you'd like to make?
Yep, you would be memorable unless of course your colleagues also read this article and feather boa sales go through the roof. Actually, that's quite a nice thought… a mental health professional wearing a feather boa at your next counselling appointment. Ok, I digress.
Making A Memorable Entrance
Making an entrance is about engaging attention from the start. When an audience's attention is engaged, they will listen. And they will remain listening as long as you follow it up with valuable content. And when I say "don't be shy", I mean, don't diminish yourself and play small.
Apart from my creative suggestion above, I recommend you focus on creating CONNECTION with your audience first, before you even open your mouth. If you take the time to take a breath with your listeners and be present with them, you will immediately make an impact. Strange as it may seem, old fashioned audience acknowledgement is a simple courtesty always appreciated. Bit of a nod, eye contact, a smile. Costs nothing, takes a minute or so, generates credibility, respect and attention.
What Do You Want To Be Remembered For?
Begin preparing your presentation by asking yourself, "What do I want to be remembered for?" Your answer will determine the clarity with which you deliver your vision to conference participants. Let me give you some examples - do you want to be remembered for:
Being clear about what you want your speech to be remembered for, is similar to being clear about your purpose. And purpose acts like a rudder, engaging interest and steering your speech and audience on a valuable journey toward a powerful conclusion.
Sharing an inspiring vision to generate new thoughts in your industry?
Being an entertaining, informative speaker who brings joy to a heavy program?
Providing cutting edge insights and data to benefit the practice of colleagues?
To develop your profile and expand your career influence and opportunities.
What You Can Do Right Now
To make a long term, memorable impact when you speak, you need to understand and deliver what your audience really wants - connection and value. If you can do these two things, you will be a memorable stand-out in the conference program from the start. Next month, we stay with the same question from M.K., and focus on the other end of a delivering speech with impact in: "End Well: Why A Strong Exit Makes You A Memorable Speaker".
Put time aside to research practical things like how many people will attend, where you'll stand, microphones, if you'll be introduced and what they'll say, so that you'll set up your speech confidently from the start.
You are "on" as soon as your name is called. Don't slink in, pretending to be lost in intellectual thought or your notes!
Roll your shoulders gently back, head and chest up and take a strong, stable stance with room to move.
Establish your physical and energetic presence by taking some breaths with your audience. You are saying non verbally: "I see you, I hear you and I'm with you" and that acknowledgement to the audience in itself is memorable because its still so rare. Even though I remind you in almost every newsletter.
Practice your speech; include the the timing for your entrance, exit and pauses and even pfaffing around with your powerpoint slides. Ask friends for feedback and record or film yourself. Are there any flat or confusing moments? Is there too much detail or not enough? Is your message clear and memorable?
Speaking from the heart is your best promotional tool. It's easy, costs nothing and entirely authentic. If you a woman ready to hone your public speaking skill and you only have 4 days to do it in, join 8 women only at our Byron Bay August 2-5, 2012 Retreat. Early bird closes June 20th. Email Geraldine now.
It's time now to take your personal and professional wellbeing pulse. On a scale like the one below, rate between 1 and 10, how cool, calm and connected you feel right now...
When you speak and lead with natural ease and authenticity, you will be closer to 10. When you feel scattered, distracted or unconfident, you will be closer to 1.
What To Do: If you are above a 7 today, notice what's working well and keep doing it. Accept that daily variations in confidence and clarity are normal. If you are below a 7 today, listen to our free recording of the 5 minute Inner Calm exercise. You can also download our 2 free A4 Posters of Inner Calm and the Calm Barometer for your wall.