Now what do I say!!


You are standing in front of your company’s executives to give a speech. You have been preparing for this moment for weeks. You want to make this speech, the best one you have ever made. Suddenly, in the middle of your PowerPoint presentation, the projector goes dead! Or you are about to make a key point in your speech and a waiter drops a tray making a thunderous noise with all heads now looking at the back of the room. Or you are speaking and the lights go dead. Now, what do you do or say? Stuff can happen when you are speaking. The key point to remember is that what you say is more important than the actual mishap. You can either look confident or look as if you are lost. This is why it is important to take some time before giving your speech and think of possible mishaps that can occur. Write down these potential mishaps and begin thinking of possible sentences to say. Doing this while you are relaxed, makes it much easier to think of something to say. When something happens, you can now give a response and go on speaking. You look confident and in control of the situation! Of course there is always the next time something happens!


It’s in the Hello


Hello and welcome to another “Speaking Nugget”

NPR broadcasted a piece on first impressions on May 5, 2014.

It highlighted how important the word “hello” is in building relationships.  Some Scottish scientists labeled it the Jerry McGuire effect from the movie “Jerry McGuire”.  They go into it in the piece.

What is important here is how much attention we pay to our hello;  whether it be a packed auditorium, class or conference room setting, not to mention the one with a co-worker, friends and family members.

Have you ever spent the time seeing if your hello resonates with the people you meet?  After this you just may want to test your Hello and observe the reaction you get back.

OK, here is the clip from Jerry McGuire

Good bye.  We will handle that at another time.

To change or not!


You are a speaker of many years. You give countless presentations every year. You have a very comfortable life as a trainer, speaker or coach. I have a few very simple questions.  

How often do you update your material?

Do you have 20 years of experience or one year 20 times over?

Do you discard a certain percentage of your material whether you think it needs it or not? 

One problem all of us have is that we get comfortable with what we know. Rather than changing or adding to our material, we just use the same material over and over. If you as a speaker or presenter want to stay current, you will need to discard a certain percentage of content every year. This forces you to constantly evaluate your content and decide what to remove and what to add. Many great presenters are constantly reading very diverse materials, giving them new insights into what they are doing. These new insights lead to new actions for their audiences. We as speakers should be in the position of leading our audiences rather than playing catch up. It is your choice.


What You Do…

Jim Dawson

“What you do speaks so loudly, I do not have to hear what you say” is a saying that has been passed down through the ages.  Many speakers forget that the majority of their message is in the body movement and facial expressions that give real meaning the words being said.

When a speaker’s gestures, from head to toe, are not in harmony with what they are saying, their message is being lost.  It takes a great deal of practice to get it all together.  Key points should have unique gestures to enhance the message being delivered.  If a speaker does not have their speaking points down cold, they will lose the body movement and facial expressions which add to the substance to their message.

The next time you are speaking and you have multiple points to convey, develop a unique gesture for each point.  This has a twofold purpose:

  1. Keep the audience more engaged
  2. Help you remember you speech quicker

Remember it is not what you say; it is how you display it.