speech

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Nixing Public Speaking Nerves

“I can hear my heart pounding in my ears, my mouth feels like it could dispense cotton balls at any moment, my hands get cold and clammy, and I’m dead certain everybody within ten feet can hear my knees knocking together.”

How Do I Hold this %&$#! Microphone?!

Last time we started our “Top Tips for Your Next Speaking Engagement”.  This is Part 2 of better microphone usage:

  • Microphones can be handheld or lavaliere—the kind that clip to your clothing.
  • When using a handheld mic, make sure it doesn’t block your face. You want your audience to see AND hear you.
  • Hold the handheld microphone six inches from your mouth so that it picks up your voice clearly, but not close enough that your lips make that “popping sound” or  result in feedback, which hurts your listeners’ ears.
  • Avoid bumping the mic, as it causes feedback.
  • Lavaliere mics can be wired or wireless. If you’re using a lapel or lavaliere microphone, make sure that you place it six inches from your chin.
  • Clip a lavaliere mic to the center of your shirt, blouse, or tie at about the level of the […]

Before You Speak – Get It In Writing

contract-408216_1280Picture this:

There you are…taking the stage with authority and confidence, about to deliver the speech you’ve spent months honing. You made the investment in professional coaching, you discovered your authentic voice, and you rehearsed your presentation from one end to the other and back again. You’ve finally arrived at this auspicious day. As you look out on your audience and prepare to utter the first words of your speech, it hits you….you are officially a professional speaker! But wait…..are you really, or are you just “a speaker?”

“What’s the difference,” you may ask.

That’s easy! A professional speaker uses a contract – always!

Now, it may seem obvious to state such a thing. But frankly, many speakers forget to include this essential communication tool in their speaker’s kit. This is particularly true for individuals who are just getting started in the business of giving public […]

“Becoming the Best at What You Do”

 

award_2743486bHere at Accent On Business, we work with clients from many different professional and personal backgrounds. Whether they are doctors, salespeople, junior executives or administrators, our clients come to us with needs as diverse as they are. Some seek to improve their presentation skills, others are looking to overcome a fear of public speaking, and still others simply want to improve their overall communication skills or create a memorable “elevator speech.” In the end, however, all share a common bond – to be the best they can be at what they do. Recently, one of our regular clients did just that and he wrote us to share news of his achievement.

Tom Barrett, owner of Green Water Infrastructure and an Accent On Business client in 2009, was honored with his industry’s highest recognition. The Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association (INLA) bestowed its prestigious Award […]

It’s Never Too Early to Polish Your Speaking Skills!

beautiful-15704_1280Earlier this month, Accent On Business hosted ten home-schooled teenagers for a public speaking practice and evaluation session. The teens, who go by the name Franklin Homeschool Group, included a mix of sophomores, juniors and seniors – three boys and seven girls – who hail from various churches in the Franklin, IN area. These young people presented speeches on some weighty and very timely topics. One student championed Dr. King and his fight to end racial oppression as a role model for overcoming current trends in marginalization of at-risk populations such as the elderly, unborn and disabled; another spoke about choosing gratitude over excess. And one young lady spoke about the difficult subject of self-abuse among ‘tweens and teens.

One thing was clear in listening to these young men and women deliver each of their 8-10 minute speeches: they were passionate about their subjects and they had a […]

Tips to prepare yourself for selling by phone

smartphone-431230_1280Prepare for your call by making sure your style of communication (the HOW) matches your message.  To start off with a warm, friendly message:

  1. Think of a key word which represents the tone of voice you wish to create (warm, friendly), such as “tender”, “calm”, “sunshine”, “cozy”.  Repeat that one key word to yourself several times with emphasis until you feel it.
  2. Picture the mental image.  Visualize hugging a child or your spouse, wrapping up in a blanket by the fireplace, walking along the beach in the bright sun.  Make the picture clear and vivid.
  3. Change the sound of your voice by changing your body tone and placement.
  • For a warm, friendly voice you must first relax. Inhale, then exhale slowly.
  • Look into the mirror and smile.
  • Talk expressively with energy.
  • Move.  Make your movements BIG and FLUID.

Eliminating Throat Clearing

 

Throat clearing is one of the most traumatic things you can do to your vocal folds. When you clear your throat, you create an extreme amount of movement of your vocal folds, causing them to slam and rub together.  Sometimes people do not even know that they are clearing their throats; it has become a habit.  Often they say that they feel something in their throat, like phlegm or mucus.  The majority of the time; however, when you clear your throat, there is simply nothing there.  One thing you have accomplished is to create more vocal fold trauma.

 

We […]

What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a communication disorder that affects the rhythm or “fluency” of speech. It begins during childhood and, in some cases, persists throughout llife. The disorder is characterized by disruptions (or “dysfluencies”) in the production of speech sounds. Most speakers produce brief dysfluencies in speech from time to time. For instance, some words are repeated and others are preceded by interjections such as “um.”   Dysfluencies are not necessarily problematic; however, they can impede communication when a speaker produces too many of them or they are drawn out and lengthy.

Many of us find we’re out of breath or anxious when speaking in front of an audience.  Speakers who stutter exhibit excessive physical tension in the throat, mouth, and jaw and may appear to be unable to recover from the tension when talking. At times, the forward flow […]

Sound Like You Mean It On the Phone

Modern_Smart_PhoneRemember: when selling by phone, 84% of the message is conveyed by the quality of the voice and the intelligibility of the speech.  Pitch, tone, inflection, and pronunciation matter!

The customer uses “Credibility Detectors”.  These sensors in the brain are activated by tone of voice and body language; not words.  They give us important information about the speaker’s sincerity, integrity, and emotional intelligence (EQ).  Some people equate this to the “gut-level hunch” we often sense.

HOW you say your message makes all the difference.  And there is an art to this.  Before you head off to that next big call, think about the feeling you want to leave with your customer; the emotion you want to share.  For example, consider that you might want to start with a warm, friendly message and follow up with a confident, powerful, or influential message.

Each feeling you want to […]

Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

By guest blogger, Scott Emmett.  Scott is a client of Accent On Business.

I don’t think I’m going to like this, I said to myself. I was having one of my early sessions with Ellen Dunnigan, my newly acquired speech coach. We were just the two of us in a room and she wanted me to give a speech that was going to push me out of my comfort zone. I did not like this one bit. No sir, not one bit. Told her so and further informed her that I was not ready for this. She just sat there and stared at me. Did not have any choice but to suck it up and get on with it. It was not one of my better experiences but, at the end of the day, I got past what proved to be one of the larger […]

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