Sunday, 8 December 2013

How to quote in your speech or quotes count

Hi All,
Today I am focusing on the positive effect on your speech of quoting.
You can start with a quote, finish with a quote and even use one or two in the body of your speech. They enhance your own words in several ways.If some people in the audience know the quite it increases their attentiveness. They could be curious to know how you are going to use it. They could pay more attention because they like the quote. If the audience does not know the quote, they may be keen to learn something new. Most quotes rhyme or have some alliteration and so they are just enjoyable to listen to. Of course, they should be relevant to your topic. They can be from someone famous, or even from a relative or friend of yours.

Here are some ideas for incorporating quotes into a speech. You could start off a speech about communication with the famous words of John Donne.
" According to John Donne, "No man is an island." What he meant is that we all need each other and we need to live with each other.Today I will share with you the five steps to better communication...."

You could start off with a poem.
""The furrow followed free.
And we were the first
Who ever burst
Into the silent sea."
Samuel Taylor Coleridge in this poem "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" is extolling the virtues  of the sea. I am about to extol the virtues of sea travel...."

You could quote a relative:
"My late dad always said farewell with the words, "G-d bless you." Although he died five years ago, his words still ring in my ears when I say good bye to my family."

Most famous lines come from dead, white men. "There is nothing to fear, but fear itself." "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." "I have nothing to offer you but my blood, tears, toil and sweat."

Quoting Shakespeare is a favourite of most people. He's very memorable and often suitable. "To thine own self be true and it must follow as the night the day, thou'st then cannot be false to any man." Unfortunately he gave the lines to Polonious, a doddering old fool in Hamlet. Even the most famous "To be or not to be." could make a great quote in a speech about suicide or euthanasia.

Finishing with a quote, especially one that rhymes can be very memorable. It can even be a quote from an ad.
"Use water wisely." is an example.

The thing is that finding quotes on any subject is as easy as Googling the idea and the word quote. You will be amazed at how many quotes there are. The trick is to think of quoting in the first place.
So let me finish today's post with a quote from a poem "Be Specific".
 "For every idea there is a word.
 Don't say it was a bird. Say it was a swallow."

That wedding speech

Hi all,
As it's December and loads of people get married in December (we did), I thought I'd give some tips on how to write that wedding speech. Many of the tips can apply to a birthday or anniversary speech as well.

The first thing is to avoid clichés. You want to avoid saying things like "This is the happiest day of my life."or "You look so beautiful,Darling." These expressions are vague and can apply to anyone and mean very little.
Instead, you could say something like, "When I saw you coming down that isle in that flowing white dress, your hair in ringlets, your face beaming, my heart skipped. Wow, I thought, I am so lucky to be marrying you."

The second thing is that you do need to tell specific stories. Instead of saying, "I love you because you have always been there for me." which is sooooo over used, you could say something like, "I'll never forget the day you came into town to pick me up when the trains stopped running. You really drove in the rain and waited outside my office and took me all the way home. That's just typical of the way you put yourself out for me." Or tell the story of how you met or how she/he comes to watch you play your sport.

Avoid thanking the same people. Yes it's great when people come from interstate and overseas for your wedding. Decide who is going to thank them. Just get one person to do it. Make sure their names are pronounced correctly and the person does not have to be you. Grooms-man can do that job. You have enough people to thank.

Thanking the parents and in-laws.  This is usually the bride/groom's job. It's very hard to thanks your parents in a few words. Again, think f a story about the wedding arrangements or a time when your mum and dad have put themselves out for you and tell it briefly. With the in-laws, don't just say they have accepted you. Be specific about the time they invited you for that  late supper or the time they told you how much their daughter loves you because....." Keep the stories clean and short.

Thanking for presents. Often there is a wedding list and you could make a point of thanking those people who went to the trouble of choosing those list gifts. You could also mention how you are looking forward to using them in your new home after the honey moon.

About jokes. There are loads of wedding jokes on websites. Avoid them. They can be clichéd and inappropriate. Do not embarrass anyone or any guests. If you are good at humour, just be yourself and tell a self deprecating joke. Avoid any jokes at your fiancée's expense. It may take years to live down.

Keep it short. No one wants a long speech. keep it to 5 to 10 minutes at the most. Less is more.

What if you get emotional? There's nothing wrong with showing some emotion. Have a hankie and water on hand to blow the nose and sip some water. If you have practised as if you are at the reception at least 13 times, you should be fine. Also if the two of you go up together, you can take turns. It gives you a breather and the other one can take over if you cry.

Finally, a wedding is a joyous occasion, let the joy and passion carry you along. If you want help writing your speech, just email me to and I can help.

Good luck and my next blog will probably be next year. Enjoy the Silly Season and be safe.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Bad Body language and what it could cost you

Hi all,
Over the last months I have been sharing some hot tips on what to do to be a better speaker and I have had one on what not to do. This one focuses on some bad body language and the possible negative consequences.
Just to remind you, body language accounts for up to 70% of your communication, no matter what.
Hence, you want it to work for you and enhance your communication.

Here are some of the things to avoid.

Walking on stage with anything less than looking like you own the place will not start you well.
If you walk up to speak and you are slouching or looking uncomfortable, your audience will pick this up. Instead of being focused on what you are about  to say, they might feel sorry for you or worried for you. That is not what you want. It is not the best way to start. And you have started from the moment you walk up to the podium or platform. So, walk tall and confidently.

The main way to destroy what you say is to over gesture or gesture inappropriately.
You want your hands to work for you. So, any hands in pockets, hands on hips or hands pointing are likely to be seen as aggressive. They can also distract. Too many gestures; gestures that are too big and even gestures that make noises from bangles are inappropriate. You want to make definite ones that support your points and then relax the hands by your sides.

Too much moving can be really off putting.
This includes walking up and down, rocking and crossing feet. The more you move the less they listen.
So generally speaking keep feet still and a little apart. The only exception is in a huge hall where there are 1000s of people. Then a gentle walk/stroll up and down the stage can be appropriate. Never turn your back to the audience. This includes to look at a Power Point. You should have your slides in front of you and just glance at them. Make sure you are not blocking them either.

Your facial expressions must not contradict your content.
If you say you are pleased to be there, look it. Smile. What ever emotion you are expressing your face needs to mirror it. So, if it's serious and you smile, the audience is likely to think  you are uncaring. This applies to eye contact too. You must be looking at them into their eyes or just between their eyes. The only exception is a big audience. This time look at groups of people, say into a grid of six into a large hall. Otherwise, make eye contact with the whole room. Do not look at the back wall or at the floor or out the window. there is no one there. Likewise, do not speak to the lectern or cards. There is no person in the podium or on the paper.

You need to look like you are a winner when you walk off.
If you hurry off or even start to leave the stage before you finish, that will create a poor final impression. So, look tall, speak up and make your body zing.

There is an earlier blog on body language. That has more on what to do than what not to do.
Keep smiling!


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Magic of the right words

Hi All,
Today I thought I would focus more on what you say, even though the words by themselves are just 7% to 10% of your message.

So I do not duplicate what I wrote on the one on words, I am taking a different angle.

First, it is important to establish rapport when you open. Some ways of doing this are the point of this blog.
I will also revisit some of my favourite things to do with words.

Ask them a question. As soon as you ask a question most people will start to reflect on their answer. Try to make it a relevant question. So, if you are speaking about something to do with health,you might ask, "When was the last time you had a complete medical check up?" They will start to think about it and perhaps realise it has been quite some time. Or, they will pat themselves metaphorically on the back, because they had one recently. Either way they will listen t the next thing you have to say.

You can establish rapport by telling a relevant story, either about you or someone else. You might start off with a story like this. "When I had my complete medical check up three months ago, I was delighted to find that my cholesterol was down to 5.5. But I was not happy with my weight loss." I can assure you that most of the women in the audience will sit up and listen. They are interested in weight and how much people have lost or gained, especially compared to themselves.

Another great way of connecting is to make a statement like, "Did you know that the three main killers in western societies are more connected to our lifestyles than anything else?" Death is a real connector and shock is too.

During the body of the speech, use plenty of inclusive language. The words "we", "us" and "our" and especially "you: and your" should be used about 10 times more often than "me", "my" and 'I". Remember, a speech is all about them.

So, moving along, you have their attention and you have signalled where you are going. The next best way to use words effectively is to employ a metaphor. As soon as your audience can picture what you are talking about, the sooner they will relate. I once heard a great speech where every part of it was compared to a bike. It had five parts and each one was a metaphor related to bikes and bike riding. It was clever and memorable. The speaker even came on riding her bike.

If the metaphor is not coming use a simile. "Life is like a chocolate. You do not know whether you have a hard or soft one, until you bite into it." Okay, it's not original, but very few similes and metaphors are.

My other favourites and they will be of the audience too is to use plenty of alliteration. It not only tickles the brain it delights the senses, if used well. So the sentence from Churchill, "I have nothing to offer you but my blood, toil, tears and sweat." works so well because the words go together, create a picture and are metaphoric and ,of course, it;'s full of alliteration.

So, although the words are the least important part, they are also very important. It's what you say and how you say it as well as what you do with your body, that all make a brilliant speech..

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Common errors in speaking

Hi All,
I have been in the USA the last month doing Route 66. What a hoot.
So, that's why the blog has been silent.
Today, I want to take up the idea of mistakes people make when speaking or even things they do that they may not know are wrong. S, here goes and in no particular order.

Many speakers go too fast because they want to get it over and done. Big mistake. When you go too fast, the audience cannot take in your message and they will turn off. The right pace is 120 words per minute and that needs to be varied too.

There is a rumour out there that you should imagine your audience naked or in their undies to make you less scared. Bad advice. You should imagine you are speaking to one friend, one friend, one friend. Mostly you are speaking to an audience that is friendly. So picture them as people, not sex objects.

Some people say you should speak to the back of the room. No. You need to look into the eyes of the audience. You do need to keep your head up, but not to look at a wall or the ceiling. There is nobody there.

Another silly idea is that speaking is all about speaking. It isn't. It's mostly about your body and your voice. 90% of your message is conveyed by body language and voice variety. So, although the words ARE important, it's even more important what you do with your hands, eyes, face and feet as well as your tone, pitch pace, than the actual words.

Next, some people say to themselves, "I'm not nervous"  or "Don't shake." If you say these words, you will become more nervous and shake more. The subconscious does not access negatives. So say instead, "I am confident." or "I stay calm and relaxed." It will work, over time.

Many people think you should start with: "Hello, my name is xxxx and I;m going to talk about XXXXX." No. Start with something interesting: a question, a statement, a connection, a quote, a story. Then you can introduce the topic. If you are not introduced by someone else, you can introduce yourself and a bit about you. Then pause. Then start with the grab.

Others think you need to finish with "Thank you." NO. It;s polite, and it's boring. Finish with a message which rhymes, is memorable, catchy, funny or different or even a call to action. If you feel you must thanks the audience, do it before your finish.

Finally, some people think you do not need to let your audience know where you are going. Not true. You must signal and signpost where you are going so they can follow you. The words go out and can be lost. So, let them know where you are going by saying," I have three points to make." and for the end, "In conclusion," or "finally" or anything that says this is the end.

You may have some suggestions, write them to me.



Monday, 9 September 2013

Be persuasive. 7 types of evidence to persuade people to your point of view.

Hi All,
I hope you are speaking well and getting heaps of tips from my blog. This time I am focusing on being persuasive. These  tips are based on over 30 years of English teaching and training in public speaking.

There are heaps of persuasive techniques. Just about all of them will enhance the talk. They are just techniques, not types of evidence. The following are the real solid ways of arguing. I will show you what to do and what not to do when you use them.

The seven types of evidence are: statistics, anecdote, analogy, quoting, logical sequence, precedence and hypothetical.
Let;s look at statistics. The references to numbers can be strongly persuasive. When you quote numbers they make an impact. To say that 1/10 of the world only has clean drinking water is quite shocking. If we say that only 1% of the water in the world is drinkable is also shocking. The trick with statistics is to make them real. If you want to say 200,000 it is better to say that is 2 times the capacity of the MCG. Do not over use statistics. Just one two or three sets of figures otherwise it is going to become boring and you will lose the audience. They usually cannot hold onto more than three figures.

An anecdote (or case study) is a very effective way of illustrating a point. When you tell a story the audience can see and hear it. They can relate to it. If you add colour and detail it will be even more effective. Remember, it is just a story and just one example, but it does make the point real. The story of Anna Frank means more to most people than the statistic of 6,000,000 people killed for being Jews and gypsies and homosexuals. Opening with an anecdote can be terrific.

An analogy is a comparison. When you use an analogy again your audience can see it and it makes the point interesting. The trick with analogies is to make sure the two things have a lot in common. Comparing trams and elephants as means of transport could be very effective if you are showing ways of people moving through their environment.

When you quote and expert, a piece of literature, someone famous and even your grandparent, it carries weight. There is something about a quote that allows people to connect with it. If the quote rhymes and is clever, so much the better. Starting and finishing with a quote is an excellent idea.

By logical sequence I mean cause and effect or even what naturally follows. When you speak you want a mix of logic and emotion. The logic of a point will appeal to the heads of your audience, while the emotions should appeal to their hearts. Be careful, there needs to be a causal link between the two ideas. Does violence on television lead to violence in society? Or vice versa?

Precedence is a big work for another time or place. When you refer to history it can work well. The example of the Prohibition in America in the 30's show what happens when things are banned. Likewise the banning of pot has just sent it underground.

A hypothetical  or scenario is one of my favourite ways of arguing. It can be a positive picture in the future or a negative picture. It is very hard to argue against because it is made up. What will the world look like in the year 2030? Will the global warming ruin the world? or will we  solve the problems through science?.

Next blog I will look at the persuasive techniques. There are many and I will share some of the best ones.

Till next time,

Judith  Direct Speech

Friday, 30 August 2013

Using the lectern and cue cards

Hi all,
Now that you know about what to do with your body, your voice and your words, it's time to look at what to do with those notes. You will have practised 13 times as if (you are there, at the venue) by the time you get up to speak. So, now let's focus on what to do with those notes or cue cards.

The most important tip I can share with you is: Ready. Aim. Fire. This means whenever you need your notes, you look at them in silence. That's READY. Next, you look at the audience in silence. That's AIM. Then you start to speak. That's FIRE.

This technique will help you connect with your audience, because every time you speak, you will be looking at them. If you have a lectern in front of you, it will hide most of your body, which is a pity. So, if you can, move to the side of it and only look at the notes when you need them by glancing across. If you have a mike, use the ones that allow you to move around and that way you can move right away from the lectern and only return when you want to have a quick glance at the notes. Never stand up with sheets of paper. If you are shaking, they will shake. If you hold them in two hands, they will create a barrier between you and the audience.

If you decide to use cue cards, they should be small, hole punched, tied together and only held IN ONE HAND. Why? So you can make natural gestures and the cards do not form a barrier between you and the audience. If you tie them together, they will always be in the right order and you won't lose one.

About dot points verses written out in full, I have no personal preference. If you have practised enough, dot points should be sufficient to trigger the next point. If you do have them in full, use large font and and highlight points you want to stress. Also, start a new line every time you want to pause.

Finally, here is a tip if you are in a venue where there is no lectern and cue cards have not been chosen. Pop the sheets onto a clip board. The clip board should be held in one hand and and you can still make gestures with the other hand. This is good for weddings outdoors or funerals at a cemetery.

So, keep practising ,as if, only speak when you are looking at the audience and make those notes or cue cards enhance your speech, not detract. One final word about learning speeches off by heart. For those who can focus and nothing puts them off, it might work. For the rest of us, I feel it is a recipe for disaster. If you do forget, you have nothing to fall back on. You will look up to recall and lose contact with the audience. And, if you cannot remember, you will  look foolish and possibly fulfil all your fears about speaking. Maybe develop a fear you did not have.

Let me finish with a story my dad told me about the time he used no notes. He was in a public speaking competition. He "pinned" his five points onto the five people in the front row. When the speaker before him finished, they all got up and left because they had come to support him. So, when dad got up to speak all the points had no anchor. He did not win that competition. But he passed on a love of public speaking, that has stuck!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Words Words Words. Say what you mean

Hi All,
Although the words by themselves do not carry more than 10% of your message, they are very important. That's because the way you say them and what you do with your body make up 100% of your speech.

Today I am going to share some great tips about what words to use for any speech.

The main thing is to keep those words short, sharp and simple. The easier they are to pronounce, the easier it is for you to say and the easier it is for your audience to understand. When you try to impress them with big words, some of the audience will chase those words and are likely to miss what you say next. Others in the audience will start to turn off and assume the speech is not for them. So, keep them simple. Let me give you an example. The word "demise" is a very good word. It means the death of or the downfall of.It is not as well known as the simpler words. A young boy in Grade 5 used it. He knew what it meant, but the class did not. The point was lost and the class did not get his meaning.

You need to use some logical words and some emotional words. When you use words like," It follows." Or words like, "This is just common sense," that is being logical. When you say ,"It make me sad." Or "I am delighted about," the audience will feel that emotion (Only if your voice and body shows the emotion too).

One of the best things to do when speaking is to create images in your audience's heads. This is achieved by using adjectives, describing words or images. When you tell a story, you need to make it come alive. Don;t just say, "The man fell over." instead say, The old man staggered down the street, grabbed hold of the rail and crashed to the floor." Can you see how much more detailed and descriptive that is? Likewise, using both sound and sight adds to the picture as does sound effects.

This brings me to poetic techniques. By this I mean that at times, rhyme, rhythm, metaphors, similes, onomatopoeia, repetition and alliteration all help your audience to feel and see what you are saying. A rhyme, especially at the end will make the speech memorable. It can be a quote and even from someone else's words, but ending with a rhyme is a great idea. The rhythm of the words can be achieved when you know the emphasis of certain words and is enjoyable for the brain.
Metaphors are especially great. Like adjectives, they create pictures in the minds of the listeners.Try not to use clichés as these are not creative. You can use nouns as metaphors and also verbs. An example would be "Let's zoom through these ideas." Similes are not as powerful as metaphors because the word just resembles the compared word. However, they can also create those important pictures that connect you and the audience. The next one is just fun. Another word for onomatopoeia  is sound effects. These can be animal sounds, words for wind and movement and even snapping your fingers and stamping. Used in the right place at the right time these sounds can create an amazing effect on the audience.
In writing repetition can be boring and melo-dramatic. In speaking repetition can be very powerful. You need to choose which words you want to repeat and what emphasis you wish to place on them. It can be very powerful, very powerful! Another form of repetition is reversal as in the famous JFK sppech:"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

Alliteration or the repetition of the same letter(s) at the beginning of the words or in the middle or even at the end, makes a speech zing! The "boys bring bases home" is as interesting as "Nation, creation, station". The repetition of vowels (known as assonance) is just as effective. My favourite example of alliteration, metaphor and short, sharp words is the famous speech by Churchill: "I have nothing to offer you but my blood, toil, tears and sweat.  

Finally, get rid of all fillers. These include: "Um", "err', "basically", "sort of", "actually", "you know", "like", "anyway", "like I said before", "okay" "yeah" and "and so on". They are all a waste of breath and time and jsu fill the speech with noise. Take a breath and enjoy the silence. The audience will too.

Next time you speak, keep it simple and say what you mean.


Sunday, 4 August 2013

Voice Variety, it's more important than you think

Hi All,
Last post I focused on body language, the most important part of speaking. Today, I want to look at the second most important aspect of speaking: voice variety.

According to NLP research this carries between 20% and 38% of your message, which is a huge amount.
Just as there are several aspects to body language, there are about seven different things to vary in yout voice.

The most telling aspect of voice is tone. This shows the emotion in the voice and should match waht you are saying. (As should your facial expressions.)

The pace should be about 120 words per minute, which is about two words per second. However, you should speed it up if you are telling a story and slow it down for emphasis.

Next, are pauses. They are very powerful and should be used often, to stress points, after each section, to allow deep breathing and after a question. Pauses are often underestimated by inexperienced or nervous speakers.

The volume needs to change too. Although you need to be heard, you do not want to be too loud for too long. A quiet voice can be powerful if used deliberately and to contrast with the louder voice.

The pitch is best low than high, because a low voice carries more authority. However, if yu are excited, the pitch can rise.

Emphasis is important on the words you want to stress. There can be lots of different words you can stress and each change will alter the meaning.  Try saying even one word like "YES" lots of different ways.

Last, but not least, is diction. You need to say each word clearly and not slur it or mumble. The way to improve your diction is to practise alliteration (repetition of similar sounds).

There are otehr things, like timbre (the quality of your voice) and flow. You do not want to have an upward inflection at the end of a statement or it will sound like a question.

Overall, the more you vary your voice, the better it will be, providing you speak with conviction and sincerity.


Judith Field

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Body language: the key to communication

Hi all,
For my 4th blog I thought I would share some secrets about public speaking and body language. Most people don;t know that your body communicates over 50% of your message. In fact, it is 55% to 70% of your message.

That means what you do with your posture, face, eyes, hands, gestures, feet and movements tell your audience more than the words.It also means that you need to make sure all of these non verbal communication aspects work for you. They need to be deliberate and purposeful. They need to be relaxed and in keeping with what you are saying, so they enhance your message, not detract from it.

Let's look at posture. Posture means that you walk on tall and straight. You stand in front of the audience, looking pleased to be there (even if you are nervous) and you do not rush to begin. Your back should be straight, hands relaxed by your sides and you need to smile!

Once you start to talk, your body should help you, especially gestures. This means if you want to illustrate something, the hands might come up to show what you mean, whether it's numbers or directions or the shape of something. You do not have to make gestures, but if you do, make sure they are definite and relevant. What you MUST avoid, are gestures you do not intend to make: pulling on clothes, penguin gestures, or hands in pockets. All these will communicate negatively. They will detract from your presentation, not help it.

Then there is eye contact. Eye contact needs to be on the eyes of the audience, every time you speak. If you find it too difficult to look them in the eye, you can look at their third eye. If the audience is large, say over 200 people, look at sections at a time. However, you cannot look behind the audience, at the ceiling, at the floor or out the window. That will lose your audience, very quickly. Generally it is a couple of words to each person and your eyes should move like a lazer beam. Do not scan a room and do not move your eyes so quickly that you look like a frightened rabbit!

Facial expressions are vital. The main rule is that the face should reflect the mood of what you are saying. Your face needs to smile when you are delivering good news or saying something positive. Likewise, it needs to loo sad when the topic is sad.This maybe obvious, but I have seen people (out of nerves, usually) smile or even laugh when they are saying something supposedly serious. It looks stupid.

Keep movements to a minimum. Only move slowly and deliberately. Only move keeping your body facing the audience. Then move backwards to your original spot. If you need to use Power Point, only flash your eyes to the monitor, not to the screen..The only time to move from one side of the stage to another, is if you are speaking to a large audience and there are thousands of people out there.

Finally, your feet need to be still, not rocking, crossed over or shuffling. Keep them planted firmly on the floor and about a foot apart.

There is much more to body language than meets the eye! AS it communicates so much of your message, make sure it supports you and does not contradict what you say. If there is a contradiction, your audience will believe your body.

Finally, to get rid of unfortunate habits, like blushing, shaking and sweating, tell your body to relax. If you say to it:"Don't shake!" it will shake more, So just talk to it nicely. When you are not sure what to do with your hands, leave them relaxed by your sides. When you are ready and confident, they will just come up and work for you.

For more tips, visit my website:

Monday, 15 July 2013

Hi All,
This is Blog 3 and once again will be full of practical ideas and great tips for those of you who want to be GREAT COMMUNICATORS.
The focus today will be on how to prepare.

The first things to realise before you prepare are: who you are speaking to; why you are speaking to them ; and for how long. This may seem pretty obvious, but if you get any of them wrong, your presentation won't be very successful. Well, not as brilliant!

The main thing is to know what you are talking about. Chances are that you will have been asked to speak because you are an expert. If not an expert, someone thinks you should/could/ought to speak to these people about this topic. Still, it's a good idea to do some more research. Maybe see the latest writings, and who is writing on the topic. Look for some great quotes. Look for some engaging case studies or anecdotes (either from your own repertoire or others) And most of all, think about what your audience would find interesting/relevant/engaging.

The structure of the speech looks like this: Grab 'em by saying something relevant and engaging. Tell 'em what you are going to tell 'em. This is the summary. Tell 'em This is the bulk of the speech and each section should follow a structure,which I will explain in a moment. Tell 'em what you have told 'em You summarise. And finish with a bang: Do not say "Thank you"at the end

The body of the talk should follow this structure, which is repeated for each point: T E E R L. This means you tell them the TOPIC of the section. You ELABORATE by expanding or explaining the point. You give some EVIDENCE.(ways of giving evidence and the best evidence will be in the next blog). You REINFORCE the point you have made and how the evidence has helped. You LINK to the next point.

Now that you have written your speech, you are half way there. The next thing is to practise. I wrote in the last blog that you need to practise AS IF. So now you do. At least 13 times. You may even visit the place if that is convenient.

The question of having it written out in full, or dot points on cards is a question of your style and experience.
You need to know it well enough that you just glance down.

Before I finish this week's blog I just want to remind you, that a speech is not a report or an essay. You need to use plenty of questions, paint plenty of pictures, use the word "you" heaps of times.

Let me know if these tips are helpful.

There are plenty more. I will blog you next week

Judith Field   Direct Speech

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Tricky speaking "nerves"

Hi all,
Blog number 2 deals with that tricky aspect of speaking called "nerves". In this post I am going to share some great ways to minimise them! The word I used is "minimise", not get rid of. You almost can;t get rid of the nerves. You would not want to. It is  scary thing to be out the front and everyone staring at you.SO, JUST ACCEPT THAT A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF NERVES are NORMAL.

However, that's the thing; you want everyone staring at you! What is worse, would be you looking at the audience and all of them NOT looking at you. So, what you want is for them to be nodding and smiling back and giving you non verbal feedback. If someone is looking down, they may be an auditory listener. So, don;t assume they are bored.

Okay, let's get to these tips. The first one is that if you know your subject and you are passionate about it, you should feel reasonable about speaking to them. Usually, you have been invited to speak, because you are considered very well versed in the topic. If you are not confident on the topic, become more of an expert before you speak. However, you do not need to know everything before you say anything!

Next, when you practice, practise as if you are in front of the audience. This will make you a little more nervous as you go through your presentation, but once you are really there, you will think that you have been there many times; because you have, in your head.

The third tip is very important and related to the last tip. You need to get rid of the negative voice in your head that is telling you things that do not help. You need to focus on what you are saying to the people in front of you, NOT ON WHAT THEY MAY OR MAY NOT BE THINKING OF YOU.

The next thing to minimise nerves is to be well prepared.Most people practise three times. Not enough! I think you need to practise at least 13 times (as if). That way you will be much more confident. Practise the start and especially the end, so you finish on a strong note.

We are have to breathe, otherwise we die. However, when it comes to speaking in front if people, some people hold onto their breath and make themselves short of breath. One of the best ways of feeling more relaxed is to give yourself permission to breathe deeply while speaking. It will give you pauses and volume as well as allow you to speak at a reasonable pace.

Tensing up and relaxing the muscles before you go on is also a good idea. Do this i the privacy of the toilets.
Some people tense up their whole bodies and relax. Other just tense up shoulders  and face. It's also a great idea to go to the toilet before you speak! 

Lastly, walk on tall, take a big breath before you speak, smile and dive off that diving board like a swallow.   The keep flying. You will reach safe shores before you know it.

One thing that I need to add before signing off today, is DO NOT IMAGINE THEM in their underwear! It's rude, sexist and likely to make you giggle! Instead, imagine you are speaking to one friend, one friend, one friend. That way the audience will seem less daunting.

I hoe these tips and tricks work for you. Send me your suggestions. I am always looking for more tips to share

Monday, 1 July 2013

First blog! And some speaking tips to make you a better speaker

Hi all,
This is my first blog. From the start I want to make it interesting and relevant to all of you who want to be better speakers.
The thing I want to clear up is a misconception about what speaking really is. Most people thin it's about speaking! The truth is that while what you say IS important, it's even more important HOW you say it and what you do with you BODY. If you do not know this already, let me share some statistics.
If we consider that public speaking is made up of BODY LANGUAGE, VOICE VARIETY and WORDS, the largest % is in your non verbal communication. Up to 70% of your message is conveyed by your posture, movements and eye contact and especially, your facial expressions. The next biggest factor is your VOICE. You need to vary it as much as you can, by changing the pace, volume, pitch, tone, emphasis, even your timbre. This part of speaking can be as much as 38%. Now I know that leave nothing for the words themselves. They can contribute by themselves up to 10%. These words should be short, sharp and create pictures in your audience's mind. That means lots of adjectives, active verbs and poetic devices.

I will go into more details over the months, but for my first blog I hope you got at least something out of it. By the way, timbre refers to the quality of your voice. Mine is husky, middle aged and no longer sexy. However, it does resonate and when I talk, people listen. Do they listen to you?