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Editor's Corner
Excerpted from the June 2006 Newsletter

Powerful Speaking

Truly powerful speaking starts from a place of conviction, confidence and generosity. And those all start with getting over yourself.

It’s not so much using "power words" as it is being clear on the idea you want to convey and then saying it in words that paint pictures for that particular audience. Power words tend to be vivid and active.

It’s not so much movement, as it is purposeful movement, whether it’s your hands, face, or feet.

And, it’s not so much pausing, as it is being comfortable with silence and using it to support yourself as well as your audience.

Your speaking takes on an incredible dimension when you’re at ease with silence: 1. Use it to collect your thoughts before or during your presentation, 2. Let it highlight an idea, a number, a concept, and 3. Take advantage of silence in those split- moments before you start speaking to connect with your audience. And then again, use silence after your last words to allow your final words to sink in for you and for the audience.

That last one is so important, I’m going to repeat it. The most powerful thing you can do is not to start until your brain is in gear. It gives you that moment to be sure you’re focused, know what you’re body is doing, and know where you’re starting. That alone will ensure that you’re more likely to be in control of your message and your delivery.

And pausing after your last words is so much more powerful than, "thank you," or "are there any questions," or rushing back to your seat. Let the audience catch up and take your message to heart. That’s powerful.

First Person

Suresh Radhakrishnan, SPHR, Human Resources Program Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California: "I appreciated your advice regarding the need for care when asking questions as an opening to a presentation. Very good. I really enjoy your newsletters and the tidbits of immediately usable information and pointers.

"Two things I use frequently from our session with you are to be prepared and to calm myself down. Also, being brief and telling stories.

"Thanks for sharing your wisdom in your newsletters. Very helpful."

Critiquing by the Audience

From a participant: “I have a hard time believing the audience isn’t judging me; that’s what I always do.”

My thoughts: I’m willing to accept this is true (that people sometimes judge speakers), but I’m not willing to give up and turn myself over to the mercy of the audience. (That would remove all control from me and minimize any effectiveness I might have.) Which leads me to an explanation that works for me.

I cannot control the audience’s thinking, I can only control mine. And, there are some people who may never move away from judging, so I can ignore them.

I figure I’ve got to go for invisible here on the chance that will bring most of the audience into focusing on the message and off paying attention to me. That mind set makes it more likely we’ll both get what we need from the presentation.

I do know that there are a minuscule number of people in the world who really care about the results of their judgment of us. They’re mostly just focused on making themselves feel better. As for everyone else? I’ve got a really good shot at bringing them into the fold.

Quotes to Make You a Better Speaker

“He is able who thinks he is able.” —Buddha

“Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble.” —Arabic parable

“Discretion is being able to raise your eyebrow instead of your voice.” —Anonymous

“It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

“The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going.” —Anonymous

“We can try to avoid making choices by doing nothing, but even that is a decision.” —Gary Collins

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” —Seneca

“Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.” —Richard Bach

“In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest.” —Henry Miller

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” —Anonymous

For more great quotes, check out these websites:


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Visit our seminars section for details or call (888) 800-2001

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