Tag Archives: speaking

The WOW Factor: How to Stand Out As A Speaker

26 Jul

You’ve been in that terrible position.  That dull, mind-numbing state of being that we call the boring presentation.

Lemme guess.  It’s in a dark room.  There’s a projector showing a handful of abysmal graphs and an endless list of bullet points.  These things are bad, but the worst part is that your speaker is droning in a monotone fashion.  It’s a show we’ve all seen many times before, and yet nothing changes.  We continue to experience these run-of-the-mill catastrophes because speakers are focusing too much on the information and aren’t thinking enough about their delivery.  Without at least a clean and clear delivery, your audience won’t care enough to listen to the content.

Remember: Content is King, but Delivery is his Queen.  The king makes the decisions, but the queen gets the people’s attention.  He is powerful, but she is beautiful.  You need both to rule the kingdom.

So, what to do about this problem?  How do we transform a boring speaker into a master of style and confidence?

Well, great speakers possess certain attributes that give them the spark that audiences crave.  At Big Fish Presentations, we have come up with three qualities that we believe will make you a memorable and exciting presenter.  These three things combine to give you the “WOW” factor.

The WOW Factor means you’ve got to be:

Well-versed

In order to appear confident, you’ve got to actually be confident.  The best way to be confident is by being a know-it-all when it comes to your topic.  Practice, practice, practice.  Then, practice some more.  You want to be able to relax and breathe properly while you speak, which you can’t do if you’re visibly struggling to remember certain points.  Audiences are smart.  They can easily tell if you know what you’re talking about or not.  Become extremely comfortable with your material beforehand, and you will have no problem presenting to crowds of any size.  Pretty soon you’ll be a well-oiled machine, ready to rock any venue like a true boss.

Original

The problem with many inexperienced presenters is that they lack originality.  They get by in their presentations by repeating the same jokes, using the exact same words and speaking like they always have.  It seems as if they just go through the motions, not diverging from habit.  Whether it’s because they are scared to leave their comfort zone or because they are too busy or lazy to change the routine, the fact remains that their audiences suffer.  Once again, audiences are smart, and they can tell if you’re just going through a process.  Now, this attribute might seem contradictory to the first point: being well-versed.  However, being comfortable with your material and simply repeating the exact same words over and over are two very different things.  Being well-versed means that you have done your research and are able to answer any question that comes your way.  Being unoriginal involves the memorization of lines, sounding forced as you speak and not truly delving into the subject matter, but skimming the surface with your old routine.  The point is that you should be fresh and innovative in your approach to presentations.  Give your audience a new, exciting show every time you present.  If it is new to you, it will be even newer to your audience, which excites and entertains them.

Weird

I know what you’re thinking.  “Why would I want to be weird? That’s weird.” Here’s the way I look at it. Wouldn’t you rather be different than be normal?  The average presenter is someone who goes under an audience’s radar.  If you want to be a great speaker, you’ve got to break away from the norm.  You’ve got to be unique enough that people can’t help but be captivated by your energy and your passion.  Keep your audience guessing by livening up your delivery and putting a fun spin on your content to make it more easily digestible.  Don’t let any type of information remain typical and boring.  You can’t afford to get too comfortable with your delivery.  Your audience deserves better than that!

Having the WOW Factor isn’t difficult to acquire.  You’ve just got to do some thinking about your material, your delivery and most importantly your audience.  You are like a host at your very own party.  You don’t want your party to be drab or boring.  You want to have the best parties with the best activities and the best personalities.  Your parties are awesome because you give your attendees something of value, something of true worth to them that makes them want to come to the next one.  So, make your presentations the best that you can by “wow-ing” them at every point in the presentation.

Was this helpful?  Do you want to know more about having the WOW Factor?  Please don’t hesitate to contact us, whether through the comments below, on our Facebook or Twitter pages or via e-mail at hq@bigfishpresentations.com!  Check out our YouTube channel to see the latest Big Fish news and projects.  We’d love for you to stop by!

Advertisements
Link

Our First Guest Post on Forbes: 5 All-Star Techniques You Can Use In Your Next Speaking Gig

21 Jul

Our First Guest Post on Forbes: 5 All-Star Techniques You Can Use In Your Next Speaking Gig

Big day for us…our writers at Hook-Line-Sinker are now guest posting exclusive presentation articles on Forbes. Please check out our first and not definitely last blog post on Forbes called “5 All-Star Techniques You Can Use in Your Next Speaking Gig.”

This articles shares with common audiences how star presenters like Steve Jobs, Chris Rock, Martin Luther King Jr. Tony Hsieh, and Bill Clinton work their magic in enchanting audiences.

Feel free to leave comments here, and if you’re new, please subscribe to our blog for the latest presentation updates and all things Big Fish Presentations.

25 Awesome Public Speaking Quotes

3 May

Public speaking is the number one fear in America.  Death is number two.

From sweaty palms to cracking voices, speaking publicly can be terrifying, yet it is a crucial skill to have in the business world.  We’d like to alleviate some of this stress by offering up some inspirational, informative quotes.  These quotes are in no particular order, and the speakers range from well-known orators to presentation gurus.  Some are serious, some are classic, and some are short and funny.  Feel free to spread these around, write them in your journals, whatever you want! Enjoy!

“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.” -John Ford  

“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” -D. H. Lawrence  

“Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent.” -Dionysius Of Halicarnassus  

“What we say is important… for in most cases the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” -Jim Beggs  

“If you can’t write your message in a sentence, you can’t say it in an hour.” -Dianna Booher  

“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” –Dale Carnegie

“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” – Mark Twain

“A good orator is pointed and impassioned.” -Marcus T. Cicero

“Oratory is the power to talk people out of their sober and natural opinions.” – Joseph Chatfield

“He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense.” – Joseph Conrad

“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” – Alexander Gregg

“The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.” – Lilly Walters

“If you don’t know what you want to achieve in your presentation your audience never will.” – Harvey Diamond

“Best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you’re talking about.” – Michael H Mescon

“There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.” – Mark Twain

“No one ever complains about a speech being too short!” – Ira Hayes

“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” – Somers White

“It takes one hour of preparation for each minute of presentation time.” – Wayne Burgraff

“The most precious things in speech are the pauses.” – Sir Ralph Richardson

“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.” – Martin Fraquhar Tupper

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Carl W. Buechner

“The problem with speeches isn’t so much not knowing when to stop, as knowing when not to begin.” – Frances Rodman

“Words have incredible power.
They can make people’s hearts soar,
or they can make people’s hearts sore.”
-Dr. Mardy Grothe

“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” – Mark Twain

Spark the Conversation!: Audience Engagement in Presentations

20 Apr

 

Anyone can stand up and speak to an audience.

Even if you’re deathly afraid of public speaking, you can squeak out a few words on stage.

However, rarely do you come across a person who speaks TO the audience and not AT them.

You may be thinking, “Well yeah, but I’m the exception.  I’m a fantastic presenter!”

I don’t want to flatten your ego, but there’s always room to learn, my friends.

The average presenter is comfortable on stage.  He or she is very well spoken, even charming in their delivery.  They make you laugh, learn and think.

All of this is great, but in order to take your presentations to the next level, it’s imperative that you reach out and personally engage with your audience.  They need to know that you care about them, that you are tailoring your message and speaking directly to their hearts and minds.  We’re all people, here! (Unless you’re speaking to a group of animals or talking to yourself…)

This idea of audience engagement is often overlooked.  The audience is usually unaware of its absence.  The presenter feels confident enough that he or she disregards or forgets it.  Like I said, the majority of presentations you will see or have seen do not involve the conversation, the engagement.

But do you really want to just be average?

No! Your audience deserves to be a part of the presentation, to be involved in the experience.

If you don’t believe in this stuff, look at it this way: If you simply regurgitate your slides or relay some tid bits of information, your audience might remember it.  That funny joke you said might be repeated at the water cooler.  BUT, if you involve them, if you ask them questions and listen to answers, they will absolutely remember the way you made them feel.  They felt important, and they felt your message resonate with them because they were a part of the explanation.

Feelings trump logic any day of the week.  Look it up!

So, how do you do it, this conversation thing?

Well, it’s really quite simple.  Have a conversation!  Be open to questions or comments.  Feedback is your best friend when engaging your audience.  Pose questions.  Get answers. Get the audience moving and smiling.  Keep the blood flowing!

Depending on the size of the audience, you may be limited to certain activities, but nonetheless it is still important to maintain the audience engagement whether speaking to a crowd of 5 or 5,000.  An audience is an audience, and they still need to be a part of the conversation despite their size.  You can still ask questions, and even get answers, when presenting to a large crowd.

So, in your next presentation, remember to engage your audience.  Remember to be different, to not simply sell an idea, but to create cohesiveness between a concept and a person.  Bridge the gap between talking and sharing.

Spark the conversation!