Speak To Be Heard

Do people talk over you so that your voice isn't heard? Do you shut down because nobody listens when you speak? As a public speaker, do you have to shout to get the group to quiet down and listen to you? When you're speaking one-to-one, do you experience constant interrupting? In this video, you'll learn three reasons why you're not being heard and what you can do to be a more effective speaker and communicator.

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Public Speaking Ranks As The Top Entrepreneurial Skill printed the best advice for entrepreneurs, from entrepreneurs. This quote was one of the top three submissions that received the most votes from readers. Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora, a popular music-streaming service:

Learn public speaking. Of all the skills that an entrepreneur can have, I think the ability to convey an idea or opportunity, with confidence, eloquence and passion is the most universally useful skill. Whether you're pitching a group of

investors, rallying your employees, selling a customer, recruiting talent, addressing consumers, or doing a press tour, the ability to deliver a great talk is absolutely invaluable. And it is perhaps THE most under-recognized and under-nurtured skill.”

I couldn't agree more and I've been saying this for years. In 2007, I was quoted in a  New York Times article, "Um, Uh, Like Call in the Speech Coach".

'Small business is leaving money on the table because it is overlooking one of the most powerful marketing skills: speech,' said Diane DiResta, a speech and communications coach in New York. 'Speech is the way a small business builds its brand, establishes expertise, gets free publicity and gets in front of its market.'”

And that's why I give webinars and speeches to entrepreneurs on Speak Powerfully, Sell More, How to Use Speaking To Grow Your Business. Speaking is the most cost effective and underutilized marketing strategy.  I spoke in Tanzania as a result of  giving two free  presentations. (The client doesn't always buy the first time).  A free speech at a National Conference led to business in Egypt. Speaking pays. Good presentation skills impact every aspect of business from getting the interview, making the sale, attracting funding, or running for office. It's the very essence of executive presence.

As leaders and executives, entrepreneurs cannot afford to avoid public speaking. Public speaking is the new game changer.

Maximize Your One-to-One Communication

One-on-one conversations happen more frequently than any other kind of communication. One of the biggest mistakes people make when speaking one-to-one, is not treating it as a presentation.  While people prepare extensively for group presentations, when it comes to one-to-one, they wing it. Even the most casual conversation benefits from preparation. An effective tool for one-on-one communication is the DiSC Personal Profile System. DiSC helps you to understand your communication style and recognize the communication styles of others so that you can get the results you want. Contact us for a FREE sample report.

Here's an excerpt from Knockout Presentations about one-to-one communication.

Speaking to an individual is different from the group experience. Whether you're training someone, selling, coaching, or asking for a raise, here are some tips for speaking one-to-one.

  • Eliminate distractions. Choose a comfortable setting-perhaps your office or a conference room with good lighting. Block off distracting window views and minimize interruptions. Clear the table of clutter.
  • Sit next to the person at eye level. Sit side by side rather than across a desk from each other. This has psychological and physical effects. It creates a feeling of being on the same side and allows both people to look at materials from the same perspective.
  • Maintain good eye contact but don't stare. In a group, you make eye contact with everyone. With individuals, you don't want to lock eyes. Break eye contact from time to time. A good guide is to look at the person 70% of the time.
  • Use visual aids. Props, pictures, and objects can serve as effective visual aids. Visuals are important learning tools, and you shouldn't overlook them in a one-to-one situation. Be sure your visuals are appropriate to the situation. A few carefully placed props and occasional use of a table easel can enhance your presentation.
  • Clarify but don't repeat questions. In a large group, you repeat the question so that everyone can hear it. But in one-to-one settings, the same technique would be silly. You may ask for clarification: "Are you saying that you need more practice?" Or you may restate the question in your answer: "The procedure for this project is..."
  • Maintain a comfortable physical distance. Don't invade the other person's space. When sitting side by side, don't lean in or take over the person's materials. Ask permission to demonstrate with or alter their materials.
  • Pause. The brain needs a few seconds to process information. Don't overload the learner with too much data. Pause between thoughts to let the information sink in.
  • Use smaller gestures. Show enthusiasm and get involved with the learner. Allow yourself to be natural and expressive. But contain your gestures, because the physical space is smaller in one-to-one situations. Wide, sweeping movements will seem out of place.
  • Prepare and organize. It's easy to lose track of time when you're working with only one person. Whether you train one person or a hundred, the preparation is the same. Without adequate preparation, you'll seem disorganized and unprofessional. Prepare an outline and establish time frames.
  • Watch for nonverbal cues. In a group, different personalities react in diverse ways. Someone in the group will often say what others are thinking. In a one-to-one situation, however, the person may feel reluctant to tell you that he or she needs a break or doesn't understand. Watch for body language and continually check back: "You look like you disagree." "Are you ready for a break?" "Is this something you can use on the job?"

Whether you're speaking to one person or a thousand, communication happens one- to- one.  It's all public speaking.

Contact us for a FREE sample DiSC report to learn your personal communication style.

How to Give Good Phone-Six Tips for An Effective Audio Conference

Nothing beats face-to-face communication. But it seems that we're communicating more often by audio conference. My clients are continually challenged by this medium. It's no wonder. Visual communication, which is 55% of the message, is missing. So here are six tips to get the results you want from an audio conference.

  1. Send the agenda in advance to all callers. It will give introverts or international participants time to digest the material.
  2. Set the expectations at the beginning of the call. Tell them to mute their phones, announce their names before speaking, hit the keypad if they have a question.
  3. Assign a room monitor. Conference calls can be chaotic. To keep control, ask each site to select a point person. That person will speak for the group when there are technical difficulties or communication challenges.
  4. Test equipment by calling in 10 minutes early. This will give the technical person time to troubleshoot.
  5. Count to four before you answer. There may be audio delays. People need a pause to absorb what you just said. Rapid speaking will cause listeners to lose the message.
  6. Engage the listeners. If you're a talking head for 30 minutes, they'll be checking email. Check in periodically and ask for questions and feedback. Require them to do something. Example: "Draw a circle. Put your project in the middle. Now draw 6 spokes around the circle. Write each module on the spokes." Having more than one speaker will keep their attention longer.

And don't forget to recap the follow-up steps so nothing falls through the cracks. Remember an audio conference is a presentation.

Take our audio conference survey and get a free podcast - How to do Video Media Interviews.

3 Interview Questions You Must Master

Here are the facts:More people are interviewing for jobs. Hiring decisions are based on 60% chemistry and 40% skills. Your presentation skills are critical for interviewing success.

And there are 3 questions you must master. When I coach C-level executives in transition we begin with these 3 potent questions:

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. Why did you leave your job?
  3. Why should I hire you?

Question number 1 is a selling opportunity. Lead with your 3 strengths or elevator speech. Don't start with your job history. Briefly highlight your job history and accomplishments. Close the loop by saying, "And what I'm looking to do next is..."

Question number 2 must be clear, brief, and stated with confidence. If you give too many details or seem hesitant, the interviewer will seize the moment and drill down. Don't raise a red flag by defending your position. State the facts. "There was a restructuring and my job was eliminated."

Question number 3 is a final opportunity to sell your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Listen to their needs and demonstrate how your skills match the job description.

An interview is public speaking. These 3 questions are the core of every interview. Get ready to prepare, polish and present.