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Archive for the ‘Politics and speaking’ Category

Jokes and Presentations – Don’t do it!

Posted by Presentation Skills on January 7, 2011

Real Leaders know how to uncover the humour in their message to make their audience laugh.

When speaking to any audience, it is important to build a rapport with them as quickly as possible—and humour can be a great way to make this connection. However, it’s often best to leave the punch-line jokes aside and focus on more subtle types of humour.

It’s a misconception that beginning a presentation with a joke will get the audience on your side. In fact, jokes will fail far more often than they will succeed. There are several reasons for this unfortunate outcome:
• The funniest jokes are usually not appropriate for the work environment.
• Most jokes rely on a victim—and chances are that someone will identify more with the victim than with you. If the audience identifies with you more than the victim they will find the joke funny.  However, there will be people in the audience who identify with the victim and will think your joke is in poor taste.  If there are too many of these people in the audience, the joke will fail.
• Jokes require exact wording, good delivery, and perfect timing.  If you don’t carry off all three of these things, your joke will fall flat and leave you struggling.
• If you are constantly opening with jokes, you will get a reputation for it. You would be better off building a reputation as someone who has something important to say than as someone who cracks jokes.
• If you do happen to find the right joke and deliver it properly and everyone thinks it’s funny, they will probably remember the joke more than what you had to say.  If your joke overshadows your content, it will  prevent you from delivering your message.

Although structured jokes with punch lines are almost always a poor choice for your a presentations, humour is an important aspect of all public speaking presentations.

One type of humour that works well when applied to speeches is situational humour. Situational humour can involve making observations on what is going on around you at that moment. Chances are good that if you find something in your immediate environment is funny, others will too. Situational humour can also be used in the stories that you tell.

Another type of humour that works well in a speech or presentation is self-deprecating humour. In this case, you are the only victim of the joke and no one else is hurt or offended. More than that, self-deprecation shows the audience that you are not taking yourself too seriously and helps them build a fondness and respect for you.

Remember: even though humour can be a useful and fun tool to utilise, it is not required to successfully communicate with your audience. If you know that you are lacking a sense of humour, don’t try and force humour into your presentations—focus on your strengths instead. If you are unsure of whether or not a line is funny, try dropping it into a casual conversation and gauge the reactions—even if it doesn’t meet with laughter, it’s a better option than having a bit of humour flop in the midst of a speech.

Posted in Executive Speaking Skills, Executive Speaking Video, humour in presentations, Politics and speaking, presentation skills, Presentation skills training, Presentation skills training Adelaide, Presentation skills training Brisbane, Presentation skills training Melbourne, Presentation skills training Sydney, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking humour | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Just Because You Can Does Not Mean You Should

Posted by Presentation Skills on June 1, 2010

Last weekend I attended a conference where the presenters would just not stop talking. Each person on the agenda felt they had a duty to congratulate the last and next speaker for the job they had done. Then there were other speakers who to 20 minutes to say what could have been said in 5.

What was the result of this? because there were so many speakers (5 in 20 minutes) the whole event lacked rhythm. We could not settle into the speakers and listen to the message they had. It was like trying to watch TV with the ads coming thick and fast. Those that did have extended times to speak lacked substance and the audience stopped listening.

What is the solution?

Make sure that every person who gets up to speak will add value to the event message and deliver value to the audience. If they don’t add value, do they really need to speak? Just because someone can speak, doesn’t mean that they should. As the great philosopher Groucho Marx put it, ‘Very few sinners are saved after the first 20 minutes of a sermon.’

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, humour in presentations, Martketing your speaking skills, nervousness, Politics and speaking, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking courses, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Toastmasters, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Leave a Comment »

I’ve got eye contact – now what?

Posted by Presentation Skills on March 29, 2010

Just about every speaking book, blog or coach will tell you that eye contact is important when speaking. And while eye contact is important, that is not the whole game. What should you do once you have made eye contact?

The effect of making eye-contact is driven home by what you do once you have made it. There are several things you can do, depending what you want to achieve.

  1. Stare – This is when you hold the gaze for too long and the other person becomes uncomfortable. Generally not conducive to good communication.
  2. Stare down – This is when you show your position of power/authority over the person by holding them in your gaze. You let them go when you are finished ‘drilling’ them, or they break eye contact admitting their subordinate position.
  3. Break eye-contact. This happens when you feel that you should move on because you don’t want to be caught staring. There are 3 ways to break eye-contact. Break by looking down puts you into a submissive position and shows weakness/lack of confidence – almost like saying sorry for looking. Breaking by looking up has the similar feel of being ‘caught staring’, but is not submissive, but it is still not strong. It still gives the impression that you are moving on after being caught staring. Breaking eye contact horizontally shows that you are just moving on with your eye contact. This is the best.
  4. Move on as part of the natural flow. If your eye contact is moving from person to person when addressing an audience, it will put you in a position of control over yourself and others too. This gives you a sense of authority that your audience wants.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

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Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, nervousness, Politics and speaking, presentation skills, Public Speaking books, public speaking tips, Toastmasters, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Political Speak: We believe vs. the Facts

Posted by Presentation Skills on March 15, 2010

With elections in South Australia and Tasmania this coming weekend, as well as a Federal election and Victorian election due sometime this year, it is appropriate to look at political language – and I’m not talking about politically correct language.

In election mode you will hear speakers from all sides of politics telling us what is the right way to think on a particular topic. Unfortunately though, the words that they use will often detract from the message given. For example:

When someone prefaces a comment with ‘We believe…’ or ‘The labor/Liberal party believes…’ they do so to give power to their statement. Unfortunately it does the opposite. When you add statements such as ‘We believe’ you are by definition offering an opinion. And as we all know, opinions are never wrong – but they are debateable.

What should be done instead of offering an opinion? Simply state your opinion as a fact.

Instead of saying, ‘We believe putting in a highway is the best thing to do’ say, ‘Putting in a highway is the best thing to do.’ The difference is subtle but profound. Your audience is no longer hearing an opinion, but a fact. Facts are much harder to argue with than opinions.

Next time you hear your local Poli offer their opinion, ask yourself if you would believe them more if they gave you a fact instead.

As always, your thoughts are appreciated.

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Australia’s Corporate Speech Coach

Posted in barack obamas inaugural speech, Executive Speaking Skills, John Howard, kevin Rudd, Politics and speaking, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Has Westpac got it wrong?

Posted by Presentation Skills on November 11, 2009

Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia recently launched their TV advert campaign about how they have changed. The campaign highlights that they are now more customer focused. The only problem is, the ads are not saying that.

The key line in all the ads is ‘I am… We are…’ then they explain what that means. Their explanation includes being ‘Factor 30 sunscreen’, ‘not swimming for 30 minutes after eating’ (what ever that means!) and other lines aimed at getting Gen X & Y to remember the fun of their childhood.

But I don’t care about Westpac – I care about me, in the same was as you care about you.

Your thoughts please…….

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Posted in Business Presentations, Executive Speaking Skills, nervousness, Politics and speaking, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience, World Classs Business Presentations | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Free Marketing in Todays Economy

Posted by Presentation Skills on April 19, 2009

With today’s economy in a constant state of flux, it is important to get the biggest bang for your buck – marketing bucks included. You have to spend your money wisely.

The good news is, that you can get a lot of high quality, well targeted and free marketing if you want it … and this is how you do it.

Each night, literally hundreds of professional associations have meetings. These events are generally networking events for the industry and they are well attended. At these meetings, there is some ‘general business’ that the members need to hear. After this, there is the guest speaker who is there to share their knowledge on a particular topic. These guest speakers have a captive audience for 30 minutes and can set themself up as THE exert. Would you like to be that expert?

Here is an example of how it works:

You are a lawyer wanting to generate business in the Energy sector (gas, electricity etc). First, you need to find the hottest topic that the sector should know about – in this case it would be the governments Carbon Trading system. Then find the industry association that the decision makers belong too. You then simply call the associations’ President and ask if their members would be interested in an information session explaining the implications of the new legislation. It really is that simple. As most professional associations need to have a focus on member education and development, you are ideal for their needs.

Now, on the night, you are not selling anything. Obviously the name of your firm would be mentioned, and you may have some information sheets for people to take away, but that is it. You do not stand up and say how good you and your firm are. If you do this, it will kill any potential for business that you could generate.

Instead, what you do is generate lots and lots of questions in your audiences’ mind so they will want to talk to you after your presentation. Once you are talking, you can ask for their number and follow them up over the next few days. It really is that easy.

What are the benefits of this approach?

The content should not be too hard for you to come up with; after all you are speaking about what you do for a living. You are speaking to a self-selected audience who want to hear you. And because you are standing in front of the room, you are automatically seen as the expert. This is what you want.

I guarantee that this approach will work for any professional who knows their target market. The only cost to you will be your time … and you may just get a free drink out of it!

Give it a go, and let me know how you get on.

Cheers

Darren

Australia’s Public Speaking Coach

Posted in Martketing your speaking skills, Network Marketing, Politics and speaking, presentation skills, public speaking, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

How Obama Wrote His Speech

Posted by Presentation Skills on January 21, 2009

By now you will have seen the speech from the leader who we hope will set a new path for the United States of Ameria.

Have you ever wondered how the speech is put together? Follow this link to find out. (You may need to log into facebook).

http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=44345466733&h=bX9nX&u=WiA-7

Cheers

Darren

Australia’s Public Speaking Coach

Posted in barack obamas inaugural speech, How obama wrote his speech, inaugration speech, kevin Rudd, Martketing your speaking skills, nervousness, Obama, Politics and speaking, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking tips, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Are You the Authority?

Posted by Presentation Skills on September 25, 2008

You are speaking to a prospective client. You are making your pitch for business. As part of your presentation you quote some figures to support your argument. The question is, ‘Do you quote the source of the figures or do you leave that bit out?’

What is the answer? Well that all depends. What are you trying to achieve? Are you setting yourself up as the expert or are you after another authority to back your argument.

Today I was working with Peter as he prepared his sales pitch for new business. He is an expert in trading commodities (iron, oil, wheat etc). During his presentation he said,

‘BHP tells us that in the last 10 years, China has used more steel than the U.S. has used in the past 100 years. You need to be in commodities to be part of the action.’

So should you quote the figures as coming from BHP or leave them off?

What is the effect of quoting BHP in the figures? Quoting BHP as the source will set them up as the expert. They will be the people with the information and you will be seen as ‘the messanger’ that knows the information. This puts you in a subordinate role and not the true authority.

To overcome this, we changed the sentence to read,

‘In the last 10 years, China has used more steel than the U.S. has used in the past 100 years. You need to be in commodities to be part of the action.’

The difference is subtle, but profound. Without the reference to BHP, Peter became the expert. He was no longer playing a subordinate role to BHP. Peter was now the one to be listened too and the centre of authority. If he is pressed on where the figures come from, he could state that the figures come from BHP. This would act to further reinforce his position.

Should this be the tactic that you use all the time? Certinally not. Once you have set yourself up as the expert, you can use other authorities to support your position. By using other authorities to support your stance as an authority you are strengthening your position. However, if you do it the other way around, you will be seen as trying to achieve your authority by riding on the coat tails of others.

What if you are not an expert at what you are trying to argue? What do you do then?

This is where you can draw on other authorities to establish your credibility (as opposed to authority). By stating what you believe and then having others support your position you gain vicarious authority. Alternatively, you can state how others support what you are saying. This authority will never be as strong as setting yourself up as ‘the’ authority, but it will be better than having no authority at all.

Do you agree?

Cheers

Darren

Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow

www.executivespeaking.com.au

 

Posted in Politics and speaking, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking tips | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Obamas’ New Hampshire Concession Speech

Posted by Presentation Skills on July 21, 2008

You might like this 4 minute video by Obama. He has some great speaking techniques that he uses well – very well. This is his New Hampshire Concession speech

The first technique he uses well is Anaphora – repeating over and over again, “Yes we can.”  There is no doubt to what his message is. The repetition draws us in to his message.

 

He then Draws JFK and Dr Martin Luther King Jnr in as examples to support his argument. He does not dwell on them – just mentions them in passing – but he does it very well. This gives authority to what he is saying.

 

He then goes on to mention specific examples to drive his message home to the audience. He mentions the textile workers in Spartanburg, the Dish Washer in Las Vegas and the little girl going to the crumbling school in Dillon – as almost to mention them by name – This helps the audience connect with his message. It helps the audience become emotionally invested in what he has to say.

 

He also lets the audience pay their part in the speech (granted that they are all paying supporters – but they play their part well). He lets the audience contribute to his speech through cheering, chanting and clapping. He then draws of their energy and incorporates it into his speech. What would it be like if he said “Quiet – I want to say something”? Whilst we may never speaking to this type of chanting, letting the audience laugh or stop to think is just as important.

 

He then ends a concession speech with the power of someone who had won the primary. This shows absolute belief in his message and what he stands for.

Cheers

Darren Fleming

Speak Motivate and Lead; How Real Leaders inspire others to follow

Posted in Obama, Politics and speaking, presentation skills, public speaking, public speaking tips, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Speak Motivate and Lead

Posted by Presentation Skills on July 4, 2008

Do you want to know how to influence others at work? The you need this book. 

How to influence in today’s work place. The

complete guide to speaking as the Real Leader

you are.

 

Learn how to speak to your boss, your staff and your clients so they listen,

 

understand and then take action on what you say.

 

If you are a Section Manager, Sales Manager, or Chief Executive Officer, connecting with your audience and getting your message across is often a challenge. This power-packed e-book is the answer you have been looking for.

 

Here is what the Head of Psychology Services for the Australian Olympic Team (1992, 1996, 2000) and Business Psychologist Graham Winter had to say:

 

“Darren Fleming has created a simple reference guide to the tricky task of getting your message across in a way that doesn’t just inform but actually engages the audience.  The many useful tips will make it a valuable tool for the busy manager and team leader.”

 

Graham Winter, Consultant Psychologist and Director, Graham Winter Consulting.

Head of Psychology Services, Australian Olympic Team (1992, 1996, 2000)

Author of Think One Team, High Performance Leadership and The Business Athlete

Adelaide, Australia

 

In this e-book you will learn:

  • The 5 rules of PowerPoint that must be followed so you don’t send your audience to sleep
  • The 7 rules for Presenting in Boardrooms
  • How to control your nervousness when speaking
  • How to make every person in your audience feel as though you are speaking directly with them
  • How you can make any topic interesting – even statistics training can be interesting!
  • How to use your stories to connect with every person in the room
  • And much, much, much more.

 

Click here to get instant access to Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow.

  

“Don’t be deceived by this seemingly thin book (of 34 pages)! It compresses many nuggets of solid speaking advice that will take you years to find in other public speaking literature. No fluff and straight to the point! Oh, and you will feel really good about yourself because you finally get to read a book in one sitting!”

 

Eric Feng,

Public Speaking Coach and Author of The FAQ Book of Public Speaking

Singapore

After reading this e-book you will know how to:

  • Press your audiences’ ‘hot-buttons’
  • Construct your message so people will want to listen
  • How to get the right mental focus for your next sales presentation
  • Connect with your audience in the most powerful way possible
  • Put forward a different opinion and have others buy into it
  • How to use stories to connect with others

 

And all this for just $17!!!

Here is what other speaker and business leaders have said about Speak Motivate and Lead:

  

“Effective and persuasive communication made easy. An insightful guide to motivating by speaking – a must for people who deal with people”

 

John Tindall

MLC Australia

Sydney, Australia

 

Click here to get instant access to Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow.

 

In Speak, Motivate, & Lead, Darren Fleming offers a quick but effective look at many areas of public speaking. He includes examples from his personal coaching and speaking, which are effectively mixed with mini-case studies.

He also offers concrete solutions and methods to many speaking situations, including impromptu speaking, handling boardroom meetings, and appropriately tackling humour.

 

A quick read, Speak, Motivate, & Lead is an excellent resource to keep nearby to refer to again and again.

 

Rich Hopkins

Speaker – Author – Coach

Judged in the Top 100 Speakers in the World by Toastmasters International 5 times since 2002. Author of Win Place and Show

http://www.richhopkinsspeaks.com

 

At just $17 it is a great investment in your career.

Click here to get instant access to Speak Motivate and Lead: How Real Leaders inspire others to follow.

  

If you have to stand before any group and motivate them to follow your directions, you need to speak as a real Leader. This e-book will show you how to do that.

 

“The information is concise yet detailed with great examples that illustrate the fundamentals in presentation skills.”

 

Palmo Carpino

Applied Communications Inc

Alberta Canada

OK! Get the e-book now!

Posted in comedy, humour in presentations, nervousness, Network Marketing, Politics and speaking, PowerPoint, presentation skills, public speaking, Public Speaking books, public speaking humour, public speaking tips, Sales Presentations, Understanding your audience | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »