Tag Archives: public speaking

3 tips for improving your presentation skills

Carma Spence with Patricia Fripp

Carma Spence with Patricia Fripp at District One Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) on January 25, 2014

Last month, I had the pleasure of finally meeting in person Patricia Fripp, a well-known and highly sought-after professional keynote speaker, executive speech coach, public speaking expert and sales presentation trainer. I interviewed her over the phone back in 2010 for my forthcoming book Public Speaking Super Powers and was elated when I discovered she was going to be speaking at Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI).

Even better, Fripp gave not one, but three presentations packed with juicy information on how to improve presentation skills. In one of them, she shared a three-step process for getting better at public speaking:

1. Uncover what you do well
Every body does something well, even in public speaking. And, especially with presentations, you want to focus on topics that you know so well that you might even take them for granted. When you know your topic and are passionate about it, you will more naturally and effectively engage your audience.

That said, you want to either find an audience that is interested in what you have to say or find a topic that is of interest to your chosen audience. In fact, Fripp said that “If there were one secret of giving a good presentation, it would be that your content is of interest to your audience.”

Content of interest to audience - Patricia Fripp

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The C.A.P. Podcast

The CAP Podcast, Episode 1: Developing a Persuasive Voice with Cindy Ashton

Your voice affects how people perceive you. Things you may not even be aware of, such as where you hold your stress and how you breathe, can positively or negatively affect your credibility, authority and message. My guest on this first episode of The C.A.P. Podcast is Cindy Ashton, a […]

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Your job as a speaker is to …

David Henderson with Carma Spence “Your job is to make [the audience] feel like their life is better because they heard you speak.”
~ David Henderson

This past Saturday, I attended the Toastmasters District 1 Fall Conference. The keynote speaker was 2010 World Champion of Public Speaking David Henderson. What he had to say was truly inspiring and so full of good info, I knew I had to share it with you. In today’s post I’ll share his insights into the purpose of being a speaker … what your job up at the lectern is, as well as his advice for successfully performing that job.

No matter what your topic, be it purely inspiration, purely information or somewhere in between … you need to evoke the sensation of change in your audience. They need to feel that their time spent listening to you was worth their while. They need to feel transformed … even if just a little bit.

Henderson’s advice for achieving that is to tell a story. He said that your story should be personal, engage the audience emotionally and make your message stick.

A personal story is not necessarily about you, but it is one that feels real, authentic and draws your audience in. “When you tell a story really well,” Henderson said, “the audience starts thinking about themselves — that’s the point.”
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