Advanced Public Speaking Tip: The Power of Being Specific

Just 12 hours ago, my beautiful wife and I were sitting in a hotel conference room listening to one of the top nutrition formulators in America. He used a very powerful advanced public speaking tip.

He was very specific. This speaker did not say, “Over 20 million people suffer from diabetes in America.” He said, “23.6 million people suffer from type I and type II diabetes.” (My memory may be off on the exact numbers)

Again and again throughout his presentation, he was very specific.

Why is being specific a very powerful advanced public speaking tip? Three reasons.

Being Specific Increases our Credibility

When he said, “There are 405 mg of Vitamin A in this product,” it gave the impression that he knew exactly what he was talking about. (Which he did.)

Imagine two investment advisers talking to you.

Person A: “The stock market has averaged over 10% return the past 50 years.”
Person B: “The stock market average for the past 50 years has been 11.9%”

Who has more perceived credibility? Person B? When it comes to statistics we must be careful that we don’t get too specific and drown the audience in the details.

Being specific makes stories come alive

In college I told about my most embarrassing moment to my speaking class. Five minutes after class, I asked the teacher what I could do to improve. He said, “Be more specific.” When we are specific, it gives fuel to the listener’s imagination.

Compare:

“A car drove up and a man got out.”
“A blue, four-door compact car screeched to a halt. The door opened and out stepped a short, smiling, 27-year-old man.”

Notice the difference? We don’t want to be overly wordy, but being somewhat specific brings the imagination of the audience alive.

Being specific holds attention and keeps our speech remembered

Every speaker has to deal with their audience zoning out. However, being specific, especially in our stories, keeps the audience’s minds involved, and they take away more from the presentation.

Here are different ways you and I can be specific:

  • Numbers (47)
  • Date (October 5, 1907)
  • Time frame (15 hours ago)
  • Sound (Loud, soft, etc)
  • Color (Blue)
  • Statistics (31%)

Use this advanced public speaking and you will gain credibility, make your stories come alive, and hold the audience’s attention.

(C) Arlen Busenitz – All Rights Reserved World Wide

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

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The Speaker who Bored Me to Sleep

It was 20 minutes into the presentation and boredom hung like heavy smoke. Some individuals were fighting to stay awake. Others sought to stay polite, and not walk out.

Mr. Boredom continued to drone on and on. His message took off like a plane from the podium, crashed, and burned before it reached the front row. A few sentences that made it to the audience floated right past the audience’s ears and bit the dust.

Though I felt like sleeping, I tried to stay awake to analyze why Mr. Boredom was having this negative hypnotic experience on the room. Unfortunately, it reminded me of how I have also been boring at times because I have made three mistakes.

Here are three mistakes he was making and ones we should avoid as speakers.

Mistake #1: He was reading 90% of the time

Think of our eye contact as being like a curtain between the speaker and the audience. When the speaker is looking at the audience, the curtain is open. When their eyes are glued to the notes, the curtain is closed and connection is being lost with the audience.

A few second glances now and then are acceptable, but if that curtain is closed at least 30% of the time, your audience may rebel and lose attention.

Know your speech and just use a few phrases to jog your memory.

Mistake #2: He was bored with the material

If the speaker is bored,  the audience will be also. Fascinating fact, isn’t it. We must choose topics that we can get excited about. What if we don’t like our topic? Act excited anyways. That enthusiasm will transfer.

Mistake #3: He had a monotone message, voice, and body language

Think of a great peace of classical music. The music speeds up and slows down. The volume is high and low. That variation keeps our attention. Our message should vary also. Sometimes, we tell facts and other times stories. Our voice should be fast and sometimes slow.

When it comes to body language, let’s change it up. Step out of the podium box on certain points. Raise the hands. Step forward or maybe step back at times.

Being a boring speaker can be suicide to a speaking career and hinder our job advancement. Don’t make these mistakes and you can keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

(C) Arlen Busenitz. All Rights Reserved

http://www.SpeakingInfo.com

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

More Posts - Website

 

Julie cheerfully strode to the front of the room and accepted her trophy. She had just won the Toastmaster humorous speech contest. Why? She had a humorous speech and was a funny speaker.

As she sat back down to applause, I reflected on why she won the prize (which she deserved.)
Several thoughts flashed through my mind. Here is the one that stood out.
Julie chose a topic that connected with the audience.
She told several humorous stories about her grandmother. Everyone could relate. Each individual either has a Grandmother living, remembers their Grandmother or knows someone else’s Grandmother.
As Julie made humorous observations, most of us were likely thinking about our Grandmothers and the funny quirks about them. This actually enhanced the laughter.
Could she have talked about an experience on a cruise ship and still won? Sure. However, since only 10% of the audience had likely been on a cruise it would have been difficult to fully connect.
The 10% would have likely laughed a lot more, because they would have understood the experience better. However, the other 90% would be at a disadvantage.
How can we apply this?
= When we are speaking, we should use stories and observations that most of the audience can relate to.
= Keep humor comfortable. If someone is uncomfortable with our humor, we will not be connecting and they will not be laughing.
= If we use an experience that most can’t relate to (cruise ship), bring out the human emotions and experiences that we can all relate to. These include: being embarrassed, trying something new, failing, etc.
If we apply these practical ideas, it will help us be a funny speaker and make the audience laugh. Learn 21 Secrets to More Humorous Presentations.

 

 

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

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Eye Contact & Peanut Butter

Eye contact and Peanut butter? Yes, those two are related. Let me explain.

 In March of 2004, I was speaking to an audience. If you had been standing with me in the back of the room after the presentation, you would have seen a white haired, elderly lady walk up to me.
Boldly, she said, “You were looking right at me!” For a moment I was taken back because I thought she was upset! She went on, “I felt like you were looking at me the whole time. That’s ok.”
I knew I was not looking at her the whole time, because I was spreading it around.
I’ve never forgot the experience nor the lesson I learned. “Eye contact is powerful.”
As a speaker we want people to feel like we are talking to them. Not in an uncomfortable way, but in a way that connects.
How can you make people feel like you are talking right to them?
Three words. Make eye contact.
Eye contact helps connect us with the audience, keeps the audiences attention, and cements the message in the minds of the audience.
So what does eye contact have to do with peanut butter?
First, eye contact should be sticky, just like peanut butter.
Have you seen wall gazing speakers? They just look at the walls. Or how about “Stare in space” speakers. The audience is outer space and they just kind of stare out.
Unfortunately, I have done both.
We don’t want to be like that. We our eyes to stick with audience members for around 5-8 seconds. Just enough time to deliver a thought and let the member bask in the glow of our attention. They will feel like we are speaking right to them.
Don’t do it too long! We don’t want to stare them down!
Second, eye contact should be spread around-just like peanut butter.
Imagine eating a slice of whole wheat bread where all the peanut butter is crammed in one corner. 75% of the bread would taste dry and the corner would be overpowering.
Same principle applies to eye contact. Spread it around the audience. Hit the front row, the back grow, the sides, the middle, and everywhere in between.
My problem is that I sometimes have eye contact patterns that leave out part of the room. By watching video tapes of myself and being aware of how I speak, I have discovered areas of the room that I used to hardly touch.
Watch yourself on video and notice your eye patterns.
Don’t leave one part of the audience uncovered! Spread the eye contact around.
Next time you speak, keep your eye contact sticky and spread it around to all corners of the room.

 

 

 

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

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How to Get More Response from the Audience

Effective presentations are a two way street. You are delivering great content and they are responding through nonverbal and verbal clues that they are listening. Heads nodding, people whispering “yes”, or individuals responding to your questions are all signs they are in tune and tracking with you.

Are there things we can do as speakers to encourage response? Yes. Here are six ways to connect with the audience and elicit responses.

Play Music Ahead of Time

Pop in a motivational music CD and have it playing as people enter the room. Turn it up enough so people have to talk a little louder. This raises the energy in the room. Darren Lacroix taught me this and it is very effective. Seek to use music with no words.

Movies use music to significantly alter your mood. You can do the same to prepare people for your presentations.

Plant Questions

Getting the first question from the audience can be like pulling teeth. Help this process by giving out a couple questions to different people. Make them good questions that relate to your speech. Instruct these individuals to ask them within 10 seconds of the Q/A period staring, unless someone jumps in first. This will get ball rolling.

Start with a Personal Story

Start with a personal story that the audience can relate to. This helps connect you with the audience.

Give Out Free Gifts

“I have a question for you. There are several good answers, but one I am looking for. The person who gives that answer will get a free copy of my book.”

I recently tried this and it was like offering free lemonade on a hot day. Responses came flying in. The first person gave the answer I was looking for but I took 4 more answers, before I gave her the book.

Tell People Ahead of Time there will be Q&A

Let people know they will have a chance to ask questions and they will have time to think of them.

Don’t Wring Question out of the Crowd

After washing dishes my mom would wring out the dish rag. She would squeeze it to get every last drop of water out so that it could dry.

Sometimes as speakers we can do the same to our audience. We try to wring out questions from the crowd. Avoid long pauses and continually saying “Any Questions?”

“Surly you got questions.”

Not good.

By the way, never, never end with a Q/A session. Instead put the Q/A before the 5 minute conclusion. You want to control what people hear in the last five minutes.

Let’s wrap this up.

One weekend I was doing several workshops. With one group I used these techniques and the other group I did not. The difference was tremendous. Use a few of these public speaking or workshop tips and you’ll get more response from the audience.

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

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Smoking & Telling a Story like a World Champion

One of the best story tellers I have heard is Ed Tate, the 2000 World Champion of Public Speaking.

As you watch, notice three story telling tips:

  • The use of the “pause”
  • Details to set the scene in our mind
  • A good point

Enjoy!

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

More Posts - Website

Grow for Success™

Success. The overused term and inexperienced reality. There is no shortcut, but here is a proven path for any area of life.

Grow as a person. In other words Grow for Success™

When you grow or gain more:

  • Self-discipline
  • Focus
  • Self-control
  • Kind actions
  • Organizations
  • Etc.

You will automatically improve and become more successful in that area of your life.

Take finances for a moment. Most financial issues are caused by a lack of discipline in spending or being unorganized about tracking what we spend. Late payments, etc. are a sign of lack of discipline. Grow in our self control and organization and we will experience success.

Think about speaking for a moment. Anyone will become a better speaker if they just practice there speech an extra 3 times. This takes self-discipline. Grow in your self-discipline and you will become a better speaker. That’s what Grow 4 Success™ means.

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

More Posts - Website

It was 20 minutes into the presentation and boredom hung like heavy smoke. Some individuals fought to stay awake. Others sought to stay polite and not walk out.

Mr. Boredom continue to drone on and on. His message took off like a plane from the podium, crashed and burned before it reached the front row. A few sentences that made it to the audience floated right past the audience’s ear and bit the dust.

Though I felt like sleeping, I tried to stay awake to analyze why Mr. Boredom was having this negative, hypnotic experience on the room. Unfortunately, it reminded me of how I have also been boring at times because I have made three public speaking mistakes.

Here are three mistakes he was making and ones we should avoid as speakers.

Public Speaking Mistake #1: He was reading 90% of the time

Think of our eye contact as being like a curtain between the speaker and the audience. When the speaker is looking at the audience, the curtain is open. When their eyes are glued to the notes, the curtain is closed and connection is being lost with the audience.

A few second glances now and then are acceptable, but if that curtain is closed at least 30% of the time, your audience may lose attention.

However, great eye contact does not negate the need for compelling content.  I have seen speakers make 100% eye contact, but they bored the audience because they rambled and had weak content.

Compelling content will hold the audience’s attention. Lack of eye contact can hurt it, but compelling content is key.

Know your speech and have a a detailed outline to jog your memory.

Mistake #2: He was bored with the material

If the speaker is bored,  the audience will be also. Fascinating fact, isn’t it. We must choose topics that we can get excited about. What if we don’t like our topic? Act excited anyways. That enthusiasm will transfer to the audience.

Mistake #3: He had a monotone message, voice, and body language

Think of a great piece of classical music. The music speeds up and slows down. The volume is high and low. That variation keeps our attention. Our message should vary also. Sometimes, we tell facts and other times stories. Our voice should be fast and sometimes slow.

When it comes to body language, change it up. Step out of the podium box on certain points. Raise the hands. Step forward or maybe step back at times. As Patricia Fripp said, “Sameness is the enemy of the speaker.”

Being a boring speaker can be suicide to a speaking career and hinder our career advancement. Don’t make these mistakes and you can keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

(C) Arlen Busenitz. All Rights Reserved

http://www.SpeakingInfo.com

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

More Posts - Website

Reduce Public SPeaking Fear

Reduce public speaking fear

Do you get nervous at the thought of public speaking? Statistically, public speaking is one of the last activities most people want to do.

Here are three tips that have helped me reduce my fear of public speaking.

Tip #1: Understand why you fear public speaking

Ask yourself, “Why do I fear public speaking?”
Initially, I was nervous about speaking in public because of lack of experience and lack of training. How about you?
Write down the answers. Your list may look something like this:
  • New to public speaking
  • Bad past experience
  • Lack of training
  • Fear of failure

All of these can be easily overcome with some training and practice.

Tip #2: Spend time speaking

Were you nervous the first few times you drove a car? Are you still nervous? Practice and experience will help you overcome public speaking jitters. Take opportunities, join Toastmasters, and spend time speaking.

You’ll gain new confidence and overcome your fear of public speaking.

Tip #3:Research and learn how the pros overcame their public speaking fear.

96%+ of speakers have had to learn how to overcome their public speaking fear. By learning public speaking fear conquering techniques, you can slash your learning curve and gain confidence quickly.

One powerful technique is to simply act confident. When you act confident, you will look and feel confident. Every great speaker does this. As they act confident new confidence will replace the nervousness.

Don’t let public speaking fear handcuff you. Use these tips and become a confident speaker.

(C) Arlen Busenitz – Speakinginfo.com

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

More Posts - Website

Tip #22: A Speech Opening to Avoid

Are you familiar with Toastmasters? It is an international organization with local clubs in nearly every major city and many smaller cities. They exist for the purpose of helping people improve their public speaking and leadership skills.

Often individuals give 5-7 minute speeches. Many Toastmasters use what Daren Lacroix calls a very weak opening.

Speech Intro Tip #22: Consider not opening with Mr. (or Madam) Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters, and guests.

If you have visited a club, you’ll notice that it is very customary to say, “Mr. Toastmasters, fellow Toastmasters, and guests.” Consider listening to Daren Lacroix and following this advice. Instead, first grab attention and then 10-40 seconds into the presentation you can use this opening (which is good to use).

Think of this line as being like the credits and title scene on your favorite TV show. Do they show those first? No. First, they launched into an action scene to grab your attention, and then they roll the credits. Do the same with your speeches, and it will create a better experience for the  audience.

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

More Posts - Website

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