gesture-communication-smile-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

 

This gesture is known everywhere in the world. It is universal.

This gesture is rarely, if ever, misunderstood.

This gesture scientists believe, actually releases chemicals called endorphins into your system that create a feeling of mild euphoria.

When you travel around the world, this gesture may help you slip out of the most difficult situations.

What is it? I’m sure you guessed it. A smile!

 

During this time of self-quarantine, when I do need to venture out wearing a face protector, what I discovered was how much I missed the ability to interact with people in the stores with a smile. The cashier that continues to be upbeat even though days are challenging. The person that helps me find something in the store. the person that lets me move ahead of them because they have more groceries than I do. I’m smiling at them, but do they know that?

 

So I’ve decided to pay close attention and use two ways that I can make a smiling connection if only for a moment.  I believe we can hear a smile in someone’s voice, so I’m making a special effort to have a voice that smiles. Our eyes can also show a smile. When we smile, our eyes light up. 

 

How about you? Are you feeling the challenge in making smiling connections when wearing your face protector? Or have you ever thought about it? We need all the positive connections we can give and receive during these challenging times.

 

Communication is a human connection. Even though our face may be partially covered, let’s connect with others with our smile, voice, and eyes.

 

Be safe, be kind, and smile,

Wendy

 

 

Please follow and like us:
virtual-classes-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

Recently I was contacted by a  colleague of mine complaining of almost losing her voice after teaching her classes virtually. I immediately put on my speech pathologist’s hat and suggested she may be pushing her voice too hard, increasing her loudness more than needed creating a fatigued voice. This is not unusual when we aren’t able to get the feedback on voice modulation as is possible during a classroom setting. 

Also, I suggested that a bit of anxiety may be playing into this as she had never used video to teach a class before. The anxiety she may be feeling will cause a tightening of her throat muscles which in turn would add to the vocal fatigue she was experiencing. 

In a follow-up email a week later she stated: “I took your advice about watching my projection, and it made all the difference.” She also switched to a more user-friendly video platform eliminating the stress she was feeling.

If you’re experiencing challenges with your voice with the new normal of teaching virtual classes, let’s talk. As a speech pathologist for over 30 years, I’ve coached business professionals on the use and care of the professional voice. Your voice is an instrument. Learn to play it well.

Be safe, be kind, be well,

Wendy

 

 

Please follow and like us:
virtual-presentation-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

 

Before your presentation:

  1. Consider the background your audience will see. Make it professional looking and avoid distracting pictures and objects.
  2. Dress professionally.
  3. Eliminate as much as possible any chance of a distraction or noise to disrupt your presentation.
  4. Make sure your face and or your body if standing, is well lit. Have the lighting in front of you not behind you. Don’t sit or stand with your back to a window. 
  5. Place something behind your computer that no one else can see that will remind you that you have an audience. A friend of mine shared that his 10-year-old daughter placed a stuffed animal behind her laptop as an “audience” to engage with.
  6. If you sit, sit on the front half of your chair and keep your feet flat on the floor. This will also help with your breathing and keeps you anchored in front of the screen.

 

 

During your presentation:

  1. Connect with your audience before diving into your presentation.
  2. Make sure your delivery uses both your gestures and voice to keep your audience engaged. Using gestures that match your message (keep them in the camera view) and vocal expression and inflections will keep you connected with your audience.
  3. Remember to tell stories, give examples, ask questions, pause and ask for comments every few minutes to keep interest high.
  4. Stand up if possible. This allows you to breathe more deeply than when sitting and will keep you from slouching in front of your computer.

 

Take care and be well.

Wendy

 

Public speaking and business communication skills are the skills SmarTalkers can provide to you through our coaching and training opportunities. Visit our website www.smartalkers.com or contact Wendy Warman: wendy@smartalkers.com for more information.

 

 

Please follow and like us:
what-if-syndrome-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida
 

“I know I’m the expert on my topic. I’ve worked hard on the design and practiced my delivery, but I always think before presenting, what if..?”

 

After hearing this from a new client of mine I asked her why she felt the “what if ” syndrome? Her reply was, “I don’t know. I just always feel this way.”

 

What about you? After you have designed and practiced your delivery of a presentation, do the “what if’s” begin to creep in?

 

The “what if” syndrome is a certain way to sabotage the success of your presentation, cause unnecessary anxiety, and cause you to second guess your presentation skills to make a successful presentation.

 

When preparing your next presentation, I invite you to ask yourself:

 

  • Do I have a clear objective for my presentation? In other words, have I answered the question, what do I want my audience to DO, not think, as a result of it?
  • Have I done an in-depth audience analysis audit to ensure my presentation is focused on my audience’s needs and wants and not what I think they want or need to know?
  • Have I added stories, examples, or analogies that support my main ideas which will keep my audience interested?
  • Do I have an attention-getting opening that does NOT  begin with “Thank you for having me speak to you,” and a closing that shows your audience you’ve come full circle?

 
These are just a few questions that need to be answered “yes” in order for you to eliminate the “what if’s” from your mind. 

 

In my book “Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations”, there’s a six-step process, when diligently followed ensures your success in designing and delivering an effective presentation that will get you the results you want and your audience will feel it’s been worth their time listening to you.

 

Loud and Clear’s practical step by step process has helped over a quarter of a million people present their message with confidence, clarity, and connection.

 

Check out the blog post on my website to see the six steps explained in detail.

 

And now the rest of my client’s story. After we worked through the Loud and Clear Six-Step process, my client delivered her next presentation without the “what if’s” but now she says, “It’s showtime!”

 

If you’d like more information about the Loud and Clear Six-Step Process and my coaching program, let’s connect! wendy@smartalkers.com.

 

Please follow and like us:
the-rabbit-listened-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

For those that know me either through friendship, coaching, or training, all will agree that I’m passionate about authentic and connecting communication. Recently a good friend of mine gave me the book The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld. Yes, it’s a children’s book, but as described …with spare and poignant text. The Rabbit Listened is about helping others by giving them the gift of simply listening. 

I invite you to pick up a copy and keep it close by to remind you that most of the time when there is conflict, hurt, or despair people just want to be listened to. 

My New Year’s wish is that you will take the time to simply listen. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

If the skill of active listening is difficult for you, let’s talk. I’d welcome the opportunity to share my individual coaching program or training programs with you.

Public speaking and communication skills are the primary skills SmarTalkers can provide through our coaching and training opportunities. Visit our website www.smartalkers.com or contact Wendy Warman: wendy@smartalkers.com for more information.

 

 

Please follow and like us:
success-vs-value-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

“Strive not to be a success, but rather of value.” -Albert Einstein

When designing your presentation and asking yourself “How can I make this a success?” the answer is simple. Bring value to your audience. Spend time with your audience analysis audit before finalizing your content. 

A few questions from the  Audience Analysis Audit found in my book Loud and Clear: How to Design and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations will help you get into the minds of your audience so, at the end of your presentation, your audience will feel it’s been worth their time listening to you.

 

Here are just a few:

  • Identify your audience’s expected benefits and positive outcomes. What will they want to have happen, learn, or change as a result of your presentation?
  • What are their opinions about you or the organization you represent?
  • How willing are the members of this audience to accept the ideas you will present?

 

Spending time thinking about what your audience wants to hear from you, what value will you bring to them through your presentation will ultimately bring the success you may have initially been striving for. Value first, then success.

Would you like to know more about the power of the audience analysis audit found in my book? Let’s talk.

Public speaking and communication skills are the primary skills SmarTalkers can provide through our coaching and training opportunities. Visit our website www.smartalkers.com or contact Wendy Warman: wendy@smartalkers.com for more information.

 

Please follow and like us:
perfection-key-to-failure-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” -Vince Lombardi

This quote reminds me of the many times when coaching a client for a presentation they have said to me, “I want this presentation to be perfect!”. My response, “That’s a sure way to fail.” 

I was raised to be a perfect child, which spilled over into fueling my fear of speaking in public. I wanted perfection and when I didn’t achieve it, my fear continued to build to the point of severe anxiety when asked to speak, even for a brief moment like introducing myself.

Choosing to be prepared, authentic, and audience-centered will result in excellence, not perfection. Practice makes permanent, not perfect.

If you’d like to learn more about how to eliminate your need for perfection and move towards excellence when designing and delivering your next presentation, let’s talk. 

Public speaking and communication skills are the primary skills SmarTalkers can provide through our coaching and training opportunities. 

Visit our website www.smartalkers.com or contact Wendy Warman: wendy@smartalkers.comfor more information.

Please follow and like us:
increase-success-presenting-executives-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

One of the most common concerns of my coaching clients involves how to effectively present to senior executives. Here are a few tips to help you the next time you have the opportunity.

 

  1. Summarize upfront: Say you’re given 30 minutes to present. When creating your opening statement, pretend your whole time slot got cut to 5 minutes. Lead with all the information your audience really cares about such as: high-level findings, conclusions, recommendations, call to action. State those points clearly and succinctly in your opening statement, then move on to supporting data, and material that’s peripherally relevant. 
  2. Set expectations:  Let the audience know you’ll be spending your first few minutes presenting your summary and the rest of the time on discussion.
  3. Create summary slides: When making your slide deck, place a short overview of key points at the front; the rest of your slides should serve as an appendix. Follow the 10% rule: If your appendix is 20 slides, create 2 summary slides. After you present the summary, let the group drive the conversation, and refer to appendix slides as relevant questions and comments come up. 
  4. Give them what they asked for: This time-pressed group of senior executives invited you to speak because they felt you could supply missing or valuable information on the topic. Answer that specific request directly and quickly.
  5. Rehearse: Run your talk and slides by a colleague who will serve as an honest coach. If possible, find someone who’s had success getting ideas adopted at the executive level.

 

Public speaking and communication skills are the primary skills SmarTalkers can provide through our coaching and training opportunities. 

Visit our website www.smartalkers.com or contact Wendy Warman wendy@smartalkers.com for more information.

 

 

Please follow and like us:
increased-responsibility-accountability-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

In my morning thoughts and meditation, I came across this statement. It’s one I’ve heard before, however, today it prompted me to reflect on the responsibility and accountability we have when presenting our information to others. 

When designing a presentation we must keep our audience in mind. That is a speaker’s responsibility. It’s not all about what we want them to know about our topic, but also what they will want to know and hear about the topic. 

In addition, we are held accountable for not only what we say but how we say it. Our tongue is a very small muscle in our body but holds power that can encourage and build up or destroy and tear down. Our voice and body language have power over our words. They must match in order to be believable and accepting to our audience.

Presenting to others is a privilege and with that privilege comes responsibility and accountability. 

When developing your presentation, do you have a process that will ensure your message will address your audience’s needs and wants? Are you in control of having your message match your words and voice? 

If you’re unsure, the process found in my book Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations may be just what you need. It’s a simple process that delivers positive results! To find out more about the Loud and Clear Process and hear from the words of my clients the benefits they’ve received, check out my website: www.smartalkers.com or contact me at wendy@smartalkers.com. I’d welcome the opportunity to speak with you!

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
data-dumping-bored-smartalkers-speaking-coach-florida

 

 

This week I listened to a speaker that was the perfect example of data dumping. For 25 minutes, we looked at slides with words too small to read, and listened to the history of the product he was talking about – beginning before the birth of Jesus to the present day! Yes, that’s right. We looked at too many slides in small font with the speaker giving only minimal commentary. He could have easily given us a handout of his slides and walked out the door. Data dumping at it’s best and BORING! During his presentation, I looked around and saw audience members looking at their watches and wiggling in their seats. 

 

When I thought I could stand no more, he began to show photographs and other interesting visuals and added commentary that piqued my interest and the interest of his audience. However, it was too late. The moderator politely interrupted him to let him know he needed to wrap up. 

 

Are you guilty of data dumping? Overwhelming your audience with everything you know about your topic? Or do you have a process that will guide you in designing a presentation that will get you the results you want and your audience will feel it’s been worth their time listening to you?

If you’d like more information on how to design an effective and interesting message, let’s talk. The six-step process included in my best-selling book (over a quarter of a million sold) Loud and Clear: How to Prepare and Deliver Effective Business and Technical Presentations may be just what you’re looking for.  Contact me to get your copy:  wendy@smartalkers.com

 

 

Please follow and like us: