Speak with Power: 7 Power Tips

Audience

How did you learn to speak so well?

This is the question I get asked most after I finish a presentation. My answer is with power. Power is a verb. I gained public speaking power after I became a charter member of the Dawn-Breakers Toastmasters Club. Even though I had spoken in front of audiences before, very few people haven’t, I corralled my vocal power by taking this active step to learn the mechanics of better communication.

Speaking with power is earned. As a speaker, you must work to earn the power of the platform.

Here are seven public speaking power tips:

  1. Plan your presentation or speech. Know what you want to say. The best way to plan your speech is to write it down. Begin with a free-flow of what you want your audience to learn; diagram it out in a logical sequence. Once your thoughts are in order, write the entire presentation/speech down and then read it aloud.
  2. Practice, pay attention to your vocal delivery. At this point you are saying what you wrote out loud. Some practice in front of a mirror, I do not. Pay attention to your delivery – make a note to indicate where you are making a pause. Underline the points you want to emphasize. Listen to your voice tone. Underscore where you need to pace yourself.
  3. Presence, presence, presence. The time has arrived for you to speak to an audience. You have planned your presentation and practiced until you are dry-mouthed. Now, all you need to remember is to be present. Seriously. Presence, presence, presence is the mantra for public speaking power. This means that you are in the moment, present with your authentic presence. Be real, that’s what audiences adore. Even though you may be nervous, you can overcome that with a delightful, engaging presence. People are there to hear you, not judge you. Be yourself!
  4. Punch them.  Speaking is not a drab recitation of what you wrote. No one in the audience wants to see or hear you read from a paper. Instead, punch them with emotion, stories, gestures, antidotes, clean humor practical tips, and a call-to-action. Remember, you have practiced your speech enough at this point to talk from your soul – do that. Enliven what you have practiced, even if it is a technical talk, by adding audience punches which excite, engage and entertain them. Be at ease.
  5. Power your voice. Brevity is the voice of power. The main purpose of planning your speech is to say what you mean and mean what you say. Speak clearly, enunciate well, and talk in a loud enough conversational tone. Real speaking power is when you concisely say what you mean. Precision is endearing. Keep on point, talk precisely about what you want the audience to learn. Stick to the point and audiences will stick with you.
  6. Personalize the speech. Even if you do not know anyone in the audience, make what you are saying personal. One way to do that is to get to the room early and introduce yourself to people and then use their first name when you are making a point. Another way to personalize is to add tidbits about the company if it is a corporate presentation. Lastly, you personalize when you conclude smoothly and properly. Wrap up your presentation with an enthusiastic summary of your learning points and sit down.
  7. Write your introduction. Submit your introduction, which relates to your topic, in advance rather than rely on a person to fittingly set-up your speech for you.

Communicators relate to others. The essence of public speaking power is communicating and relating.

Miracle Monday: Potential

Have you thought about your potential?

Have you been told you’ve got potential? Well I have. My evaluator at a Toastmasters meeting at my Club, Dawn-Breakers, gave me that feedback after I finished my Ice Breaker speech. Those words made an indelible impact in my life. To shorten the story, hearing “You’ve got potential” as a speaker changed the course of my destiny. Because of my passion for words and a desire to encourage others, hearing someone assert that I had potential was the fuel I needed to jet into a different world.

You have got potential! Internalize those words on this Miracle Monday.

You’ve got potential! Say these words out loud to yourself and feel the boost you get from honoring the fact that you have potential.

YOU HAVE POTENTIAL! Write that down. Write at the top of the page, I have potential then list all of the areas, which I feel are unlimited, in which you have potential.

Now make it a Miracle Monday by looking at your expansive list and find one or two things that you have the strongest potential and then take that germinating potential and do something in that area. If it is to paint, paint something today. If it is to garden, go outside and play in the dirt today. If your potential (talent) is in fund-raising or sales, do that. You have this time TODAY to work on your latent potential. It was always there, now DO something about it.

There is nothing to lose here, just act. Act as if…act with freedom and abandon. Act without worry or concern about tomorrow, live and manifest your potential in magnificent power right now.  Be creative.  Think: I have no doubts, I have no regret…just be mindful of your mighty potential now.  Live your bliss, be in pure joy, deepen your inner happiness-recall this truth often, “You’ve got potential.”

Potentiality is your intrinsic right.

Your Miracle Monday is filled with potential. Seek your potential this Monday, live rightfully in your power, manifest your gifts.

You are a miracle, magnify your potential!

Miracle Monday

Monday Miracle

 

Every day contains opportunities, some call them miracles, so to stay in the spirit of expectation and action I have decided to concentrate on Monday miracles since it is an active means of attracting new bounties.

I ask you to join me in creating intentional Monday miracles. Here is the suggested process:

1. Wake up (regardless of the time of the day) and meditate. Wake up and feel alive. Take 10 minutes. Really get down deep into your internal awareness and meditate on what you want. Recommendation: CD: Meditation-Be Still by Barbara Faison (www.barbarafaison.com)
2. Come clean. Really clean up any lingering mess. Ask for forgiveness, forgive yourself and disallow negativity.  Then take the time to refresh your inner happiness; tap into your passion and enjoy the moments where you were funny, joyful, spiritually uplifted, attuned, in your natural zone of expression.
3. Quiet down. Take a few minutes on Mondays to quiet external noise and allow yourself to experience quiet peace.
4. Clear Your Focus. Clearly, vividly, expressly focus on ONE thing and only ONE thing every Monday. The next Monday you may choose to shift your focus to another thing or remain focused on what miracle you want to manifest.
5. See the end. See your finish point. Be in the scenery and experience all of the expressions that accompany embracing your Monday Miracle.

This process may require some practice for those who are beginning to Manifest on Mondays, but in a short time, with direct commitment, you will accelerate through these steps with ease and purpose.

Begin today…right now.
Manifest your Monday right now and let us know the result….Be well, be clear, and expect miracles.

FYI: My Monday miracle just occurred – I need to complete three more community project presentation for my Accredited Speaker application to Toastmasters International and received a call from someone today inviting me to speak on April 18th at the exact  company I had planned to contact and ask for the opportunity. This is miraculous!

I am thankful.

Tell us your Monday miracle, share the goodness in your life.

What is Love?

Woody Allen makes a point here:

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”

Whether you think Woody Allen’s comment is funny or not does not matter (I think it is privately humorous), the question here is what is love?

American relationship/marriage statistics are alarming (if you choose to focus on the divorce probability) unless you counterbalance those data numbers with heart memories. This is one reason I often refer to a book written by Julie Rainbow, Standing the Test of Time, that debunks the myth of divorced, dysfunctional Black families as she tells the story of Black couples who have been married fifty years or more and are still standing together.

I have other reasons for my knowing about love, my parents. My parents were married 53 years (until my Dad’s death in 2008) and his last words on this earth were to my Mom, saying “I love you.” Their eternal bond taught me something.

Adding another personal note, now that I have eulogized two brothers, one my twin, but both whom I loved deeply, I had to ask myself what am I learning about life through this experience?  I have been taught that love is a jewel that sparkles as brightly as you do. Well, I want to dazzle because that is the type of love that I want before I leave this earthly plane!

I have learned that “love” endures pain. It is an unquestioned face that relationships that mark years of longevity face pain. Even so, the pain of infidelity, disaster, trauma, or other disruptive issues do not destroy the core of love between two people who are devoted to each other.

I have learned that “love” smells different. Sometimes love stinks. But, like you learn to love your baby’s poop, love is the reason. Other times love smells like a fragrant rose, scented by time and passion. Love among two people may smell different from time to time, but each smell you learn to love.

I have learned that “love” ages. The longer you bottle love the more of an aged bouquet it has. Time and stillness together can create a bonus of a barrel of savory love.

What love is is individual. My impression of love is distinct from yours and you can bet yours is distinct from mine. When I was younger I equated love with lust, thus a divorce as soon as the hots cooled off. Now after taking years of celibacy instruction to heart, I have learned that even though love may lead to suffering, I’ll suffer any day for the aged, sweetness of love.

I am a Toastmaster

You may not esteem the value of my title declaration, I am a Toastmaster, unless

  1. you are either a member or previous member of Toastmasters International,
  2. know a Toastmaster or
  3. have a phobia about speaking in front of audience

I am a Toastmaster. More specifically, I am a proud member of Dawn-Breakers Toastmasters Club (www.dawnbreakerstm.com) in Decatur, GA. This Club hosted its Sweet 16th Annual Awards Banquet this past Saturday and it was stupendously spectacular.

The featured speaker was Mark L. Brown, World Champion Speaker 1995. He was introduced by Dwayne G. Smith, World Champion Speaker 2002 (a member of Dawn-Breakers) and the emcee for the Banquet was Theresa Spralling, immediate past District 14 Governor. Roy Ganga, current District 14 (Georgia) Governor attended and awarded three DTM ribbons and plaques to the newly installed DTM’s of the Club. Now Dawn-Breakers Toastmasters has 14 DTM members. Awesome!

Mark L. Brown told us all to be a star – one who Starts, has Tenacity, carries a positive, unstoppable Attitude, who Reaches up to stretch to achieve more and reaches down to pull up someone below. He spoke with such eloquence and excellence as he delivered a spirit-filled powerful inspiring message of new starts and change that was just what the audience needed.   Mark Brown is a star!

Al Wiseman, DTM gave a hilarious roast of member Les Young during the banquet. Al is the author of Finding the Funny (www.alfredwiseman.com). You will soon see video clips of Al Wiseman’s clean, family humor online. In fact, I will attend this next speech event at Northlake Toastmasters Club on Wednesday, 15 December at 6PM.  Find your funny and laugh out loud!

Toastmasters is about speaking yes. But you also learn how to listen and lead.

Join Toastmasters this year to fast-forward your achievement table in 2011, be a part of self-change.

Speak Up: Speaking Tips that Count

Reader Question: What should I do to control my nervousness when I make presentations at work?

ANSWER:I have a few tips for you but first….

Why are you nervous?

Oftentimes being nervous in front of an audience is a learned response based on an erroneous perception that the audience will hate you.  False! It is not true that audiences will hate you and blast what you have to say with heckles and laughter.

Audiences love speakers – at least those who speak up and say what they have to say. There is little tolerance for an unprepared speaker and there really should not be. Being prepared means that you have researched and rehearsed your material in advance and is ready to present a well-thought message.

Presentations at work or for work should follow the same format. You are the speaker who has an obligation to share information in a way that the audience will understand you and get learning-points that make their attention worthwhile.

Period. That is your mission – to research, rehearse (not memorize), and present a worthwhile message.

Toastmasters International teaches speaking tips which members practice in Club meetings before an audience of their peers.  Joining Toastmasters is one way to work on a newly created project and test its cogency and receive usable feedback.  Let the Club members be your test audience as you practice your speech.

Other speaking tips are:

Have a topic – think of clever ways to engage your audience interest right from the start with a “hook” topic.  Be creative-open up your mind and you will surely capture your audience. For example: Making Money is too broad and bland. BUT Millions At the Bottom of a Fishpond will surely make my ears perk up.

Write for the Audience – never write just for yourself. Instead, write complete sentences and concepts that build upon a message for your audience. Take the title, Millions at the Bottom of a Fishpond as a creative suggested from above, you can break that title down into speaking points such as money, millions, a story about fishing and finding a treasure, bottoming out and coming back up…let the ideas flow.

Be symmetrical.   Make what you write make sense. Build your opening, speech information, and conclusion around your central topic that relates to your title.  Let each sentence guide your audience to a “dramatic” conclusion.

Add on – regardless of your title or topic, add on humor, quotes, and stories.  Embellish what you want to say with personal tales, advice, a challenge, humor, quotes or other material that punctuate your speaking points.

Be natural – just be yourself. They invited you to speak and not some artificial, unfamiliar clone of you. Speak in your natural voice, have a friendly, confident tone, and use voice inflections and simple natural gestures to underscore a point.

Sit down – say it, say it well and then sit down. Audiences love brevity. The world is moving so fast and information is delivered with such speed that competent brevity is prized.  Don’t linger trying to fill up time unless you plan to add a question and answer session after you have concluded your presentation.

Say it well and sit down. Absorb the applause. Bask in the emotion of a job well done.

Count it off…three, two, one. My job is done.

Speak up and make what you say count.