In this Issue
Confidence Quotes for Summer
“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
“If things go wrong, don’t go with them.”
“I’ve developed a new philosophy… I only dread one day at a time.”
~Charlie Brown (Charles Schulz)
Are you enjoying your summer? Are you taking time off to just goof around? Well, I’m not!
I’ve been writing up a storm (because of Jeff Herring’s Article Marketing Class, re-doing my blog (as a result of being in Yaro Starak’s Blogging MasterMind, performing a lot (that’s me in the photo singing with my jazz boys at Upper Fourth) and preparing for several speaking and singing gigs coming up in September.
But I’m not complaining. I’ve been having a great time with this summer madness. And I’m really looking forward to refining my confidence chops in September when I’ll be speaking and singing for some pretty important audiences. Ah, piece of cake, right?
Speaking of confidence, I’ve got some “hot” tips for you on how to spice up your summer speeches, plus an article on how your audience can be your best ally when you feel like you’re melting into a pitiful blob on stage. Not that that will ever happen to you, but just in case.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Public Speaking and the Kindness of Strangers
Have you ever had a speaking disaster where you felt you were losing your mind in front of an audience and there was nothing you could do about it?
â€œWow, there are so many eyes looking at me!â€ That was the first thing she said, our speaker for the morning. She was obviously nervous. She shifted her weight from foot to foot, fidgeted a bit, and then started talking about her subject. She didnâ€™t get very far before she stopped and said, â€œGeez, Iâ€™m nervous. I had no idea there would be so many of you.â€ At this point, she seemed to lose her train of thought. She looked down at her notes but it was as if they werenâ€™t there. â€œMan. Okay, letâ€™s see if I can figure out what Iâ€™m sayingâ€¦â€
Just when it seemed that she would unravel before us, her audience rescued her. They jumped in with questions about her subject, even though she hadnâ€™t said much about it yet. Any time she reached a place where she didnâ€™t know how to proceed, someone from the audience would ask another question.
She got through her 20-minute presentation by answering questions. If the audience hadnâ€™t swooped in like they did, who know what would have happened. And because they swooped in, I left that meeting thinking, we really can rely on the kindness of strangers.
We forget all too easily that people are basically kind. Audiences are generous and pretty easy going. They want you, the speaker, to do well and feel comfortable. So much so that they are willing to help you out in any way they can.
But only if you let them.
Add Some Summer Sizzle to Your Speech
Hey, since itâ€™s summer, why not add a little sizzle to your next speech?
Now, I don’t normally give you suggestions on content â€” on what to actually say in your speech â€” because I feel strongly that that needs to come from you. It’s your message, not mine. But here are a few “accessories” to add a little spark and fun.
Add the 7 â€œSâ€™sâ€ of Spicy Speech Writing to your speech and have some fun!
Even if you donâ€™t like surprises your audience will. How can you surprise them as they sit there listening to you patiently? It can even be something simple like giving away a prize. You could even conduct a mini game show where you ask a question and the first person to answer wins a prize. Use props, sound effects or movements that are wacky and unexpected, but still fit in with the â€œthemeâ€ of your speech.
How can you engage all the senses of your audience? A friend of mine does this by taking her audience on a visualized journey in which she describes a certain scene in vivid detail, including the sounds, smells, textures and sights. Another way is to actually have something they can touch or even smell. Kind of like show and tell. Their sense of hearing and sight are engaged by listening and looking at you, but can you spice it up by including props, photos, or by wearing an elaborate costume? Use music. If youâ€™re telling them about your trip to Brazil, can you cue up some Brazilian music?
3. Simile & Southern Sayings
You know what a simile is, donâ€™t you? Itâ€™s a figure of speech in which two very different things are compared in order to describe something. For instance, â€œher hair was like silkâ€ or â€œthe news hit me like a bucket of cold water.â€ The use of simile can spice up your speech because it adds imagery and the unexpected. Another form of simile shows up in southern expressions, like, â€œHe was dumber than a sack of hammersâ€ or â€œI was a sober as a preacher on Sunday,â€ or â€œshe was two fries short of a Happy Meal.â€ These add a little humor and fun.
Being a singer myself, I love to just throw in a song or a phrase of a song if it is relevant to what I am saying. People love it because it breaks up the monotony of talk, talk, talk and audiences appreciate anyone who has enough guts to sing a little, even if they canâ€™t sing in tune. In fact, the worse you are, the more entertaining it can be for your audience. Just be sure to give it your all.
5. Self-Effacing Humor
My friend Jim always starts his speeches by making fun of himself in some way. It could be about how heâ€™s dressed or some embarrassing thing that happened to him that day. He does this because it breaks that initial tension he feels when first gets up there and starts talking, and it gets the audience laughing right away. Besides, audiences tend to engage with someone who is not afraid to laugh at himself in public.
6. Significant Moment
Can you share a moment in your life that holds a lot of significance for you? Something that woke you up or changed your life? By sharing these moments or stories, you create an atmosphere of intimacy and trust, and people love to feel inspired by the experiences of others.
7. Story, Story and More Story
Stories are like salt and pepper. They should be your most dependable and highly used spices when it comes to creating your speeches. People love hearing stories. It must be in our DNA because we have been fascinated with story forever. Use stories to illustrate your points and your audience will be enraptured.
Let the 7 Sâ€™s of spicy speech writing zip up your speech this summer.
Want to read some more articles like this one? Check out my blog.
Fun Stuff From My Fabulous Friends
The Public Speaking Blog
Eric is a professional speaker who writes with passion and honesty about EVERYTHING related to public speaking. Now, Eric and I have our differences of opinion from time to time, but even when we’re arguing, it’s clear to me that his heart is always in the right place. He only wants to be of service to people who want to sharpen their public speaking skills.
The best way to get a taste of what Eric is all about is to sign up to receive his email newsletters (http://blog.ericfeng.com/). I’ve been reading and enjoying them for months now, and I’m very impressed by how prolific Eric is when it comes to sharing what he knows. You can sign up at his blog. Let me know what you think.
If You Are Interested in Skyrocketing Your Internet Businessâ€¦
Okay, I donâ€™t’ normally talk about business stuff in the e-zine, but if you are wanting to attract more business through the internet, you will want to know about this.
Take it from me. I have spent thousands of dollars in classes, coaching and other education in an attempt to build my business online. Most of it has been a total waste of time and money.
But now I have found a program that is paying off! It’s the Article Writing and Marketing telecourse by Jeff Herring, The Article Guy. Ever since I started doing what Jeff taught me, I’ve experienced a significant increase in the number of people signing up for my e-zine as well as people contacting me to ask about my programs and products.
I only wish I had found Jeff sooner!
Jeff teaches you how to radically boost your business by writing and submitting articles to article directories. Then he shows you how to take those articles you’ve already written and turn them into information products that you can sell to your clients.
So, if you like to write and want to discover a fun, rewarding way to attract new business and create some valuable information products, sign up for Jeff’s Fall course, Article Writing and Marketing Secrets.
As always, I sincerely appreciate you making room in your emailbox for this e-zine. I hope you find it valuable and fun to read.
Hey, what would you like to see in this ezine? What do you want to know? If you could ask any question about speaking or performing in public and receive the perfect answer, what would that one question be?
Let me know by dropping me an email at nancy[at]unconditionalconfidence[dot]com.
Or if you’re having too much summer fun to even think about such things, that’s okay. I’ll catch you in the Fall!
P.S. If you know someone who might enjoy receiving the “Becoming Fearless” ezine, would you forward this ezine to them? Or better yet, tell them to hop on over to my website and sign up for a copy of their own.
I appreciate your help in spreading the word.