I have learned a great amount about public speaking and presentations from the articles of my fellow bloggers. I’ve created the ‘Blog Profile’ series as a way of saying thanks.
Blog Profile: Communication Rebel
Michelle Mazur’s website promises to ‘rebel’ about the speaking status quo. Michelle has logged over 10,000 hours of speaking to groups of all sizes, from small classes of 10 to audiences of over 1,000. She is so obsessed with all things communication that she received a Ph.D. in Communication specialising in persuasion. I have linked to my favourite articles from her blog below.
7 Habits of Highly Successful Speakers
Have you ever wondered what makes a speaker super successful? Have you ever sat in an audience in awe of a speaker and pondered “How did she do that?” In this post, Michelle shares the 7 habits of highly successful speakers.
HABIT #1: A CLEAR GOAL FOR YOUR PRESENTATION
HABIT #2: PREPARE EARLY, PREPARE OFTEN
HABIT #3: FIND STORIES EVERYWHERE
HABIT #4: INVOLVE YOUR AUDIENCE
HABIT #5: RESPECT THE TIME LIMIT ALWAYS
HABIT #6: SHOW UP EARLY
HABIT #7: PRACTICE YOUR BOOTIE OFF
4 Simple Ways To Engage Any Audience
When you break it down a speech is just like any other conversation. You are tasked with communicating information to a person or people, and to do this you need to build rapport. Michelle’s post about engaging with any audience outlines 4 simple rules to follow to build rapport and gain supporters in the crowd. The acronym NEAR is used to help you remember the 4 steps to success.
NOTICE EMOTIONS: When you walk into the room, notice the emotional vibe. Arrive early and chat with the audience members. It’s a great gauge of how they are feeling
EXAMINE: Are they leaning forward? Great they are engaged! Are they falling asleep? Bad they aren’t getting your message! Examine the crowd and adapt accordingly.
ASK: Keep the audience engaged by asking them questions. Get them involved.
REQUEST FEEDBACK: It’s the best way for you to improve as a speaker.
Write a Speech Your Audience Actually Wants To Hear
This practical post about speech writing steps through the important task of defining a key message for the speech based on the objectives of the audience. Michelle explains:
You must define the starting point for your audience. What do they already know about your topic? What do they know about you? How do they feel when they walk into the room? The more that you know about the audience the more you’re able to meet them exactly where they are. When you meet the audience at THEIR starting point, you’ll be able to move them to where you want them to go.
While part 1 focuses on the starting point, part 2 is all about giving the audience small wins to help them reach their final destination:
When the audience gets a small win, they get addicted to the change you provide. They want more wins, and since you’ve created a change for them, they will look to you for the next win, and the next. When you write a speech that gives the audience a concrete transformation, you’ve provided them with value.