“I’d love to be a better public speaker, but the truth is, my job doesn’t really require me to do that.”
This is a sentence I hear A LOT.
Often, it’s the first response I get when I introduce myself as a public speaking coach to a new group of people.
And I totally get it.
Why invest in learning a skillset you’re not regularly getting asked to use?
But here’s the catch 22…
Speaking opportunities aren’t going to present themselves to you until you start presenting yourself as a skilled public speaker.
Let’s untangle that for a moment…
Here’s the pattern that I’ve seen emerge with client after client:
At the end of our first session, I’ll usually get met with a cautiously optimistic smile and something like this:
“I’m really glad I’m working on this, but I don’t think there are going to be a lot of opportunities for me to practice this...
To memorize, or not to memorize?
That is the first question most of my public speaking clients come to me with.
Here are the two scenarios I usually hear:
Either of those sound familiar to you?
(We’ve ALL been there.)
So, how much exactly should you be memorizing?
In my opinion, whether your presentation is 5min or 90min, the answer is the same.
Here are the 3 elements to memorize:
Let’s break that down, shall we?
This is the opening of your talk. You always want to start your presentation with a hook that engages the audience.
Your hook can take many forms. Here are a...
Buckle up for week 3 of our on-going blog series:
You ready for tip #3?!
Okay! Here it is:
“Don’t be nervous!”
Wouldn't that be an incredibly unhelpful tip?
Let's talk for a second about why “don’t be nervous” such an unhelpful piece of direction to give someone.
Because it’s inactive.
In general, humans aren’t great at processing negative direction.
For example: Don’t think of an alligator.
Similarly, a doctor trying to improve a patient’s diet will probably have greater success with the prompt “Eat more vegetables” than “Eat less junk food.”
A lovely side-effect of eating more vegetables is that people naturally eat less junk food, but it’s much easier to get them there with an active prompt.
It's week 2 of our cheeky blog series:
and it's time to talk about our pre-speaking warm up!
I'll be doing a video series demoing some of my favorite physical and vocal warm-ups down the line, but today we gotta talk about an essential and too often skipped step of the process...
Who's ready for a pre-speaking mini-meditation?!
WAIT, WAIT, DON’T SKIP THIS PART!
I promise I’m not going to suggest a daily hour-long transcendental meditation practice.
(Although, if you’re into that, by all means go nuts!)
Look, I know that slowing down and focusing on your breath is probably the last thing you feel like doing when those pterodactyls are flapping around in your belly. (Some people talk about butterflies in the stomach, but I think pterodactyls are a more accurate description.)
But at this point, the scientific benefits of meditation when it comes to...
Welcome back to our on-going blog series:
Let’s start out our 1st week of Speak Masterfully Speaking Tips with a brazenly simple suggestion:
If you know you struggle with speaking to a crowd of people, then don’t speak to a crowd of people.
Speak to one person.
Imagine you have a good friend sitting in the back row—someone nonjudgemental. The kind of friend you’d have no problem inviting over even if your place were a mess. Make this a private conversation between the two of you.
Allow your eyes to take in the whole room, but keep the intention of a private conversation. Focus in on the one or two people smiling and nodding.
Not only will speaking to one person calm your nerves, it will create a feeling of intimacy with the audience.
Apply this advice to the writing of your piece as well as the delivery. To quote James Joyce, ...
Please...Don't picture the audience in their underwear.
I’m not sure where that advice initially came from, but I guarantee you there are more effective (and less creepy) ways to calm your public speaking nerves.
How do I know? I’m an actor.
Hi, I’m Sara Glancy, founder of Speak Masterfully. I received a BFA from NYU Tisch School for the Arts in Making a Fool of Myself in Public. (Okay, it was in Drama, but those are basically the same thing.)
And here’s something that might surprise you:
Even after 5 years touring and performing Off-Broadway, I STILL get nervous before stepping onstage.
Yep. Like clockwork, the curtain rises, the heart-rate quickens, and the butterflies flap.
In fact, most actors get pre-show jitters. You learn to get comfy with those nerves and let it fuel rather than derail your performance.
But here’s something that surprised ME:
The first time I stepped onstage as an...