We have all been told that recording and evaluating your presentations is a powerful tool. I contend that having a mentor is more instructive and ultimately more beneficial.
A mentor will develop a relationship with you and get to know your style, habits and idiosyncrasies. They will know whether you are speaking from the heart or just play acting. A mentor will make suggestions that fits in with your style and speaking manner. Your mentor will push you to become better and better.
How do I find a mentor? One key factor is find someone who is better than you are. This person will be able to give you very detailed instructions. You may even have several mentors. One to work with your content. Another to help develop your style. You may have to work with several to find the right fit. Have patience!
A mentor maybe the best tool you will develop!
Your book! Your business card!
One great way to add credibility to you as a speaker is writing a book. Instead of being a speaker, you are now an author who happens to speak on your expertise. Even being a business person, a book gives you the label as an expert.
You do not have to write a book the size of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. All of us have enough knowledge in our business lives, that a simple pocket book would be sufficient. As they say, “It is not the size that matters, but the content!”
Start by spending 15 minutes each day or 2 hours a week to write a series of 150-200 word essays. In a year’s time you have the makings of a book. Look for someone who can edit your writings, followed by graphic designer for the cover. Then decide if you want to self-publish. Voila, you have a book!
How’s your laptop sounding?
Have you ever been in one of those meetings where the speaker was using a
laptop to play some type of audio file and the audio just didn’t sound
that good…maybe you heard a buzz or a hum in the audio. Well, it’s
very likely that their laptop was not correctly connected to the sound
system and was causing the troubled audio.
If you have a presentation with audio, do yourself and the audience a favor and make sure you are sounding the best you can! Carry your own Laptop Sound Port adapter. The Dsan Model LSP-1 is a compact adapter that plugs into a laptop computer speaker jack, changes the output to a balanced mono mic-level signal and mates with standard XLR audio cable for connections to a house audio system. This little guy can prove wonders for anyone’s listening pleasure and it won’t break your bank at $80 or so.
Check it out here on their Website
Every professional speaker has a signature story. A story that has been carefully crafted, rehearsed countless times and identifies the speaker’s main content.
You as a speaking professional should have a story for your expertise. If in your company, you are the expert in customer service, a story told by you can either illustrate the best of customer service or the worst. Each story is a teaching tool to your associates.
Spend time looking at your everyday events that will illuminate all sides of your expertise. Starting crafting several stories and begin to focus on one or two key stories. A story can always be pushed aside when events happen that illustrate better your content.
Take classes in storytelling. Read classic novels and try to identify the key features that makes the story great.
Once you have that story, don’t be reluctant to use it in your company meetings. Remember you are the expert!
Speakers loved to hand out information. One common type of handout has a key word or a phrase of information in a sentence purposely left blank. Throughout the speech, the audience just fills in the blanks.
Studies have shown that the very act of writing in these bits of information causes the brain to remember more easily. Of course the main problem is when audience members miss hearing this information. Then these same audience members begin to start asking their neighbors and distracts everyone around them. The result more information is missed.
The solution is to supply the answers for the handout, preferably at the bottom of the last page. You must tell your audience that if they miss the information of one of the blanks not to worry because you have included the answers. Don’t forget to tell them where to find everything.
Now give me your handout!