We are Alexis Blevins and Katya Kantar, the new summer interns at Accent On Business. As interns we were very excited to sit in on our first client session. We observed a small business entrepreneur who is developing a 45-minute keynote speech for marketing an innovative, new product. The session included an overview of basic presentation skills and how to deliver the content of the speech in a more significant and memorable manner. It began with Ellen Dunnigan, President and CEO, inspiring the client to think and question how she wanted her audience to perceive her and what the main goals of the speech are for both the speaker and the audience. We recognized that the client truly believed in the content she was presenting to us. She wanted to be perceived as relaxed and insightful while giving her speech, but she had no way of explaining what it meant […]
An English dictionary is not a rulebook, but a suggested guideline. It is based on the pronunciation, spelling, and usage of most educated speakers.
There are several “must-haves” for every great presentation. Of course, depth in your content is vital. Without stellar content, there is just no reason to stand before us as a presenter. Of course, your content must be carefully crafted. Always think about your purpose and your audience when crafting the content of your speech. Beyond depth of content, making sure you are properly channeling your energy (sometimes referred to as anxiety) allows you to show up as the capable and confident speaker that we’re expecting. We advocate our four-part process for mastering your fear of public speaking and for showing up with professional-level energy.
While the four-part process is an effective and essential component, it is not the only formula for successfully delivering your […]
Uh oh, it’s happened again. You’ve been able to avoid it for the last 3 years. Now here it is again…the dreaded presentation. Ever been in one of these situations?
- You’ve been invited to make a key presentation at a Board of Directors meeting.
- Your dream job just opened up and you will need to interview for it.
- You have one single opportunity to have lunch with a prospective major account client.
- You have three months to prepare your 25th high school class reunion’s keynote address.
- You’ve been asked to fill in for a colleague in teaching a training session to senior management.
- Your company is in the peak of a crisis or incident and you need to speak about it live on television or on radio.
- You volunteered on a mission trip sponsored by a large company in your area and are […]
Purpose: What are your purposes in presenting your idea? How is it good for your organization? Why should you be the one to deliver this message to your boss (or other targeted audience)? What do you want from this pitch for yourself and/or your team?
Audience: Knowing what you know about your boss (from the first two steps above), what do you expect from him or her? What are her questions going to be? What will she be concerned about? What amount of detail will he want? When is the best time of day to talk to him? What behaviors does he really admire from his employees? What does he loathe? What are the questions you hope she doesn’t ask – and what are the answers to those tough questions?
My Actions: Knowing your purpose(s) and your audience tells you the behaviors and actions you should display. What will be your actions […]
Most people spend a great deal of time and effort crafting a stellar message when trying to land their dream job or next great assignment. Professional credentials, experience, power words… these are all details we include in attempts to get the interest of a prospective employer. Not that this isn’t an important piece to the puzzle…it is… but there is more. Would you believe me if I said that if this prospective employer HEARD your pitch when they read it – even if you used exactly the same words – they would rate you above others and would be more likely to hire you?
A new study by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that when employers listened to job qualifications from prospective candidates, they rated the candidates as more competent, thoughtful, and intelligent than when they simply read a […]
The sometimes debilitating fear of public speaking, technically called “glossophobia”, affects a large portion of the population. It is known in medical communities as a type of social anxiety, similar to “stage fright”. This includes symptoms of: a feeling of impending doom, obsessive thoughts of failure and worry, trembling and shaking, dizziness, accelerated heart rate, sweating, and nausea. You might also find that your mouth dries and your voice weakens and cracks.
When you get up to the podium, notes shaking in hand, feet nervously fidgeting, it seems like all the information you know well and rehearsed, delivering has just gone whirling away with your confidence. At that moment, staring at your anticipating audience, all you really want to do is flee. However, this reaction is a response to your brain’s necessary “fight or flight phenomenon”, the physiological response to a threatening situation.
The fear of speaking in front of 5 or 500 people is shared by virtually everyone and cuts across all professions, social classes and leadership levels. There are lots of reasons why this fear wells up and seems to choke our confidence and vocal chords. But this blog post isn’t about the problem - it’s about the solution!
The last time your business development team submitted a proposal in response to an RFP to win new work -- was it accepted favorably? Was your company shortlisted for an upcoming interview or presentation to bid on the work? And when your team made their in-person presentation, did you indeed win new work? If so, congratulations – we hope you see that happen many more times next year!
Can you recall your last really good conversation? I mean the type of conversation in which you and your communication partner truly shared the engagement. Perhaps you believed the same things, agreed on specific issues, laughed at the same points, and were both astonished by the same topics. You both really seemed to enjoy each others company.