Impressions versus the reality of your message!

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One problem all speakers have is being believable. This concept of believability is directly related to the audience’s impression of you as a speaker. Not only as a speaker but what kind of speaker. If the audience has an impression of you being one thing but you are talking about something else, you will have a problem with your message.

All speakers should spend thinking about what sort of impression that they want to make with the audience. If the audience’s impression of you matches you and your message, then being believable will be easy.

You see this concept in the movies all the time. If an actor is primarily known as a comedian and decides that they want to do a dramatic role they will run into opposition with movie executives. Actors are constantly type- cast for certain roles. In order to be success at other roles they have to work on changing everyone’s impression of them as to what they are capable of doing.

When you are speaking to an audience, you need to know what impression you are giving to everyone. Your impression might be related to how you dress or sound. If you dress slovenly, you cannot expect to speak to your audience as an expert on dressing for success. If you are giving an impression of being disorganized, you will not be believed if you are talking about streamlining an organization to best maximize efficiently.

Look to asking an outsider on how you are perceived and then spend the time discussing with that person to see if your impression matches your message.

Three Rules Microphone Etiquette

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Mind Your Microphone Manners Please!!!

Have you ever seen anyone fumble with the power switch on a wireless mic?
Have you ever heard anyone blow into a microphone?
Have you ever heard anyone tap on a microphone?

Well….think again if you ever do. Here are three rules of proper microphone usage.

NUMBER ONE
Unless you are in complete control of your own mic system all by yourself, don’t touch the power button for any reason. Most likely, the technical team is aware that you are using the mic and should have ample battery power to last for the duration of your talk. Plus, they will make sure your mic is muted, if need, or turned up if you are talking.

NUMBER TWO
Never blow into a microphone. Blowing into a microphone usually sounds pretty cheesy and may actually damage the diaphragm in the microphone capsule.

NUMBER THREE
Don’t tap on the microphone. Just like blowing into the microphone, tapping a mic can be awkward for the audience to hear and can potentially cause damage to the diaphragm element as well.

Basically, if you need to check the audio in a mic system, just start talking…saying something like maybe thanking the audience for being there. This will give the microphone technician a chance to tweak your mic and then you’re off and delivering your fabulous keynote speech!

Hit that Record Button. Now!

record_buttonIn the future, every time you speak, challenge yourself to make sure you record your presentation with some type of recording device. In this modern time of ‘digital’ technology, data storage is now really cheap, takes up very little space compared to what it used to, and is easy to come by. If you can’t set up the recording device and make the recording by yourself, ask a colleague to assist.

Whether you’re using your own smartphone app (Android, iPhone, etc.) for making a basic recording file, or you’re using an actual standalone recording device that can usually make a more “robust” recording, some devices let you record in two different AV modes: either in an audio-only format or in a full HD 1080p video quality format containing both audio AND video. You make the choice. Remember, different quality formats require different amounts of storage space. To ensure you don’t run out of disc space, grab a calculator and do the math on your expected recording outcome file size based on the configurations of your recording device. Check your device user manual for recording card capabilities.

At about the size of a stamp, most data cards, for example, like the popular SD type seen here, are relatively SD_cardsinexpensive and can hold a handful of hours of high-definition (HD) 1080p quality video and even many more hours of audio if you wish to record in an audio-only format. Here is a reference link to a wiki page covering all of the difference types of SD cards. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Digital. The three basic SD card form factors are the original size, the “mini” size, and the “micro” size and they all come in storage capacity ranges from 1-64GB, and higher, depending upon the card type. Remember, check your manual.

Finally, remember to record whenever you can. You will enjoy reviewing your past speeches to help you get better each time you speak in the future. If you don’t record, you can’t measure your progression. Recording your speeches is a great way to document and learn more about what you did right or wrong and what you can work on in futures speeches. One reminder, though, as you review your recordings, be easy on yourself – don’t be too critical. This is a learning progression. As you become more familiar with hearing your own voice and looking at yourself on stage, you will begin to get more comfortable with watching…well – You!

Just sit back, watch and listen.