Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Presentation Prep

Larry Mandelberg, Guest Author

The one factor I’ve found to have the greatest impact on the quality of my presentation is how prepared I am. I have a routine:

A&S-SpeakerPrepDocument the desired result or outcome for the presentation, whether it’s my own self-produced event or for a client.
Understand the demographics of the target audience, identify their “tribal lingo” as it relates to my topic and adjust my presentation accordingly; this includes any examples or case studies.

Document all assumptions (I have a master list I work from, much like experienced travelers use when packing for a long trip) and review with the event organizer, e.g., podium, technology, audio, food, timing, handouts, logistics, seeing the meeting space.

Get familiar with the environment I’m going to be working in. Sometimes that means traveling for hours to get to a site and finding a comfortable place in the room, sometimes it involves asking for changes by the event organizer — lights, lectern, a clock I can see, microphones, aisles that allow me to walk around in the audience, etc.

Most Critical Step ~ Practice. Then practice some more. Then more. Go through three dry runs out loud from beginning to end in the actual environment (if possible, if not find some place close, even if you have to use a room in your house), and time yourself.

Buy a Wall Street Journal on the day of the event, find an article related to your topic — there will ALWAYS be one — and use it as a prop during your presentation.

BONUS Articles: The Importance of the Pause When Speaking
A Cheat Sheet for Public Speaking
33 Public Speaking Tips to Keep Your Audience from Falling Asleep
How to Give a Great Speech ~ Part One

LarryMandelberg Copyright 2015 by Larry Mandelberg. Larry Mandelberg puts business leaders in control of their organization’s future. A successful entrepreneur and business coach, Larry leverages the Eight Driving Forces behind a company’s focus, performance and morale into a foundation for successful, profitable growth. Mandelberg’s simple, yet powerful index points directly to where the highest return and greatest benefits can be achieved in your organization. Visit Larry’s Website!

ljspacer

A&SNetLOGO150

Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Friday, September 11, 2015

Here’s the Trick to Removing ‘Like’ and ‘Um’ From Your Vocabulary

Filed under: Speaker Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Lisa B. Marshall, Guest Author

Recently I attended a training course in New York City and at the start of the course each of us introduced ourselves.

The senior executive sitting next to me said, and I quote, “I, like, work for a big bank, like, Citibank. I work, um, in technology, and head-up a group of like, 500 people, right. I do, like, technology risk assessment, right, and create, um, processes, to, like, reduce risk, right.”

A&S-VocabularyI was shocked.

“Like,” “Um,” and “Ah” are credibility killers ~ He was a business professional, a senior director at a major organization, and yet he sounded more like a valley girl. His speech was so infected with “like,” “right,” and “um” that the message was muddled and he significantly diminished his credibility.

These “credibility killers” – fluency disruptions – communicate doubt, especially at the end of a phrase. When he was talking, I found myself thinking, “Doesn’t he know how exactly many people work for him? Does he work for Citibank, or does he really work somewhere else?”

What are disfluencies? ~ Disfluencies, in general, weaken messages. They’re distracting for your listeners and they make you sound bad.

In the first 30 seconds I counted four “likes” and three “rights” and two “ums.” Worse, I’m certain that Tom had no idea that his speech was infected with these verbal viruses. In his defense, credibility killers (e.g. like, so, you know, right, uh, ah) are actually really common in everyday conversation. Researchers say that about 20% of “words” in everyday conversation are disfluencies.

In fact, people around the world fill pauses in their own way. In Britain they say “uh,” Hebrew speakers say “ehhh,” the Turks say “mmmmm.” The Japanese say “eto” (eh-to) and “ano” (ah-no), Spanish speakers “esto,” and Mandarin speakers “neige” (NEH-guh) and “jiege” (JEH-guh). In Dutch and German it’s “uh, um, mmm.” In Swedish it’s “eh, ah, aah, m, mm, hmm, ooh, a and oh” (man, this is starting to sound x-rated podcast, I’d better stop, I think you have the idea!)

As a communication coach, I notice disfluencies the most when people are nervous; for some people it’s the only time these little buggers show up.

So today’s article is about what can you do to boost your immunity to these viruses. Its about how you can reduce disfluencies. Notice I didn’t say get rid of them all together. Reduction, versus complete elimination, should be your goal.

The first and most important step towards more fluent speaking is to become aware of your distracting speech habits.The fastest way to find out if you have trouble in this area is to ask a close trusted friend (or public speaking coach, hint, hint).

stop-saying-umAnyway, perhaps the BEST way is to record yourself. If you are comfortable with technology I suggest using free audio editing software (Garageband on mac and Audacity for PC). With this software you actually see your words in audio format. For a more simplistic solution try Utterz.com — you can just call a phone number and it will record your voice.

Once you’ve got some sample recordings, the next step is play back your recordings several times. Listen specifically for your disfluences — go ahead and make of game of it. First just list them and then start counting them. If you are counting past three or four, you’ll know you have a problem.

Focus on listening to yourself talk ~ If recording seems like too much effort, just focus, for one full week, on listening, really listening carefully for distracters when you talk. Some experts like to suggest you put tiny “um” and “ah” stickers on your computer or cell phone to remind you to be listening.

Trust me, after a week of listening, or recording and listening, you’ll have become acutely aware of your specific problems. And that’s exactly what you need; awareness. You need to be able to hear your disfluencies in your mind before you blurt them out.

How to reduce your credibility killers ~ If you’ve done your homework you’ll know when one of your credibility killers is just about to escape from your mouth. Then, all you’ll need to do is to keep quiet. I know, easier said than done. At first you’ll have awkward pauses in your speech, but that’s still better, actually far better, than speech peppered with “likes” and “ums.” Eventually the pauses get shorter. With time, you’ll be more fluent and have fewer “ums” and “ahs.”

So the next time you introduce yourself, be warned, somebody sitting next to you might just be counting your “ums”, “ahs,” and “you knows”. Don’t let your disfluencies kill your credibility. It really is worth it to take some time to focus on this. It can make a big difference in how you’re perceived.

Copyright 2015 by Lisa B. Marshall. For information about keynote speeches or workshops visit www.LindaBMarshall.com.

ljspacer

A&SNetLOGO150

Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Thursday, September 3, 2015

When Ideas Run Dry, But The Blog Deadline Beckons

Filed under: Author Tips,Blogging,Blogging Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

A well-written and regularly updated blog is a great marketing tool for variety of reasons.

A blog drives people to your website, helps you build your personal or company brand, and allows you to develop a relationship with customers or readers.

A&SIdeasRunDryBut let’s face it, the blog that you vowed to update every two or three weeks can seem like another mind-numbing chore as time passes and your enthusiasm wanes.

What’s worse is that, pretty soon, you start running out of material. After all, you already covered everything obvious and worthwhile, right? What’s left to write about?

Plenty, as it turns out. You just need to put yourself in a position to attract great ideas and snag them as they whiz by. Let me nudge you in a few directions that should help feed the blog beast that haunts your doorstep every couple of weeks or so.

One thing we do regularly at EMSI, and you should, too, is follow the daily news to see what’s creating a stir nationally, internationally or within your industry. For example, the debate over whether the mountain in Alaska should be called Denali or Mt. McKinley could be fodder for someone who blogs about mountain climbing, the outdoors or, perhaps, presidential history.

You also should check social media to see what topics have people the most excited. Twitter and Facebook track trending topics that are generating a lot of buzz, and those could provide jumping off points for your next blog entry.

I would also suggest that stealing from yourself is perfectly acceptable. Revisit old ideas from blogs past, but give them a fresh approach. Even newspapers and magazines will resurrect topics they previously wrote about, wagering that few readers will care or recall that the same subject was explored two or three years ago. You can do the same.

And remember, there’s no need to wait until the last minute to start formulating ideas. Keep an ongoing list, adding to it whenever a topic pops into your head.

Once you decide on a topic, here are a few tips for fleshing it out into a quality blog entry and for attracting the greatest number of readers:

Online searches are your friends. Background information about your topic is just a search phrase away using Google or another search engine. Look for real-life examples or recent news on your subject to add depth and reinforce your point of view. Just make sure your sources are legitimate. You will want to cite those sources, too, because that will add to the credibility of your post.

BLOGcartoonStatistics, studies and surveys. Specific numbers and recent studies also bolster the points you want to make. You could, for instance, write that “there are a lot of libraries in the U.S.” But it’s less vague and more impressive to write: “The American Library Association estimates there are 119,729 libraries in the U.S.” While you can often track down surveys, studies and data with a general Google search, you also can zero in on specific websites. For example, if you are writing about a medical topic, the Centers for Disease Control provides numerous statistics about how many people suffer from various maladies.

Integrate SEO keywords. People search the Internet using keywords or phrases they hope will uncover articles or websites with the information they want. The more you understand which keywords could bring the highest amount of traffic to you, the better, so research what might work best. You can integrate those keywords into a headline or the body of the blog entry. Keywords shouldn’t be too generic, though, or else your blog will be lost in a blizzard of other blogs, websites and news articles that use the same words.

Coming up with and carrying out great blog ideas on a regular basis certainly presents a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

How do I know? I’m always on the lookout for ideas myself. For example, at EMSI we noticed that many bloggers were on the Internet discussing the struggles they have generating ideas.

And, voila, I had a topic for this week’s PR Insider!

BONUS Article: Scribble, Scribble… Write, Write!

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2015 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’s Website!

P.S. from Larry James ~ Blogs are also a great tool for launching a publicity campaign! If you need help getting the greatest mileage out of your blogs, give her a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 215 or simply reply to this e-mail: prinsider@emsincorporated.com

ljspacer

A&SNetLOGO150

Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: