Words to avoid when speaking

Five Phrases to Avoid when Speaking

George Torok Communication skills, Insights, Leadership communication, Public Speaking Leave a Comment

If you are a leader or hope to be a leader in your company, organization or community – your words matter. It matters what you say and were wise enough not to say.

Are you paying attention to your words and implications? Guess what? Your audience pays attention and draws inferences and conclusions from your words. Here are five phrases that are counterproductive to your message because they can confuse or distance your listeners. People might not consciously notice these flaws, but these phrases can cause unconscious dissonance in your message.

Mind your words because they matter. Be precise and prudent with your choice of words. Remove words that are wasted, distracting or annoying.

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Start your presentation

How to open your presentation

George Torok Insights, Presentation Tips, Public Speaking Leave a Comment

Your first words are important because your audience is judging you. They are scrolling through questions in their mind:
Should I listen? How long will this take? Do I trust the person? How painful will this be? When will we get to the relevant part? What does this mean to me?

The purpose of your opening is to grab their attention, establish rapport and set the direction.

Most importantly – grab attention. How might you do that?

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Grab attention when you open your presentation

Grab Attention when You Open Your Presentation

George Torok Insights, Presentation Tips, Public Speaking Leave a Comment

How to open your presentation
Your first words are important because your audience is judging you. They are scrolling through questions in their mind:
Should I listen? How long will this take? Do I trust the person? How painful will this be? When will we get to the relevant part? What does this mean to me?

The purpose of your opening is to grab their attention, establish rapport and set the direction.
Most importantly – grab attention. How might you do that?

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Worst presentation ever from Harvard professor

Worst Presentation Ever: Part Two: Clear?

George Torok Communication skills, Insights, Leadership communication, Presentation Tips, Public Speaking Leave a Comment

We Can’t Hear You. The next flaw was that we didn’t hear or understand many of his words. Why? He mumbled often. Mumbling is a sign of incomplete thoughts and the lack of editing your words for a clear message.

His voice often trailed off at the end of his sentences. That’s a common mistake made when a speaker is thinking about their next thought instead of finishing the current thought. He wore a lapel microphone and often turned his face away from the mic which meant that his voice faded. That’s a mistake made by novice speakers. He didn’t know how to use a microphone.

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Open and close your presentation

Orchestrate the first and last impressions of your presentation

George Torok Communication skills, Insights, Presentation Tips, Public Speaking Leave a Comment

Spend more time and effort getting your opening and close right.
When creating your opening and close, consider the possibility that they might only remember these two parts. If that was true, would they have received your intended message? If not, revise your opening and close. The body is the detail, the opening and close provide the motivation and the direction.

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speak to hostile audience

How to Tame a Hostile Audience: Lessons from Marc Antony

George Torok Communication skills, Insights, Leadership communication, Public Speaking Leave a Comment

What can you do when facing a hostile audience?  How can you speak so they listen? How might you connect with them so they see your side of the message? Those are difficult challenges that we can learn to face by learning from Shakespeare – in particular the speech that Marc Antony gave after the death of Julius Caesar.

Notice the shift in tone of the audience and the techniques used to persuade the audience to change their thinking. Let’s visit the scene and listen to the speech and the changing tide of the audience.

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Presentation tip connect with your audience

Speak to an Audience of One

George Torok Presentation Tips, Public Speaking Leave a Comment

Presentation Tips 02: Speak to an Audience of One

Imagine how you might feel when you’re sitting in an audience listening to a speaker and it feels like the speaker is talking directly to you. It seems more like a one-to-one conversation despite the audience present.

Now imagine that you could convey that intimate feeling when you are the speaker.

The secret is to speak as if you’re speaking to one person. Sounds simple yet few speakers have mastered this technique.

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