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Out of Your Comfort Zone?

Do you have to speak in public, but you don’t know where to begin? Public Speaking Scotland help business professionals deliver confident presentations, especially when speaking out of their comfort zone.

And it’s not just presentations, it’s any kind of business speaking situation you’d like some help with.

There’s No Magic Secret

We believe that everyone is capable of:

✓ Delivering an effective presentation

✓ Conducting a good 1-1 appraisal

✓ Managing a meeting

✓ Encouraging a team discussion

ACCA4

Helping a group of ACCA Global members with confident presentations Dundee 2017.

The negative feelings that individuals often have, in regards to public speaking, largely come from not knowing how to prepare. We help our clients create a model of preparation that is repeatable and that allows everyone to apply it to any speaking situation.

The model is straightforward and jargon and gibberish-free.

Why Our Service Is Successful

Questioning

✓ We focus on you. We know that every client has different needs. That’s why the one approach for all, that is characteristic of the one day workshop, doesn’t work. We spend time with you to clearly establish what your individual issues are.

✓ We use your own context so the subject matter is of direct relevance to you. We insist that any client works with material and/or situations that are real to their own work situation. This is in contrast to the public group workshop where everything is theoretical.

✓ We deliver our sessions over time. Typically, three+ sessions with a week or more between each. We know that changing how we feel about speaking takes time and practice, which simply can’t be done in a one-day-session.

For details of our charges and answers to other questions, please go to FAQ.

More tips

More tips

So Who's Listening?

It's Vital to Think About Your Audience: Here's How.​

You can always tell when a speaker hasn't given his audience any thought. That's when he/she delivers a load of company stuff - often starting with a not so brief history of the business  - and then lists all the services/products they provide. You don't actually have to pay much attention to know it's boring - you just have to look at the audience. Or of course listen to the tone​ of the speaker's voice - that will sound boring too.

So it's vital to put as much thought into thinking about your audience as it is to ​all the other aspects of preparing your presentation. You might argue that you don't know the identify of all your listeners but you can usually make reasonable assumptions or make enquires beforehand. So here are the five main aspects I recommend you think and amass as much information about.

  • ​WATT otherwise know as "Why Are They There"? Think of yourself as a member of your audience and ask what you would be expecting from your presentation. . Once you've answered this - are they seeking information? solutions to a problem? looking for a deal? etc  - use your answers as the basis of your content. Try to resist the temptation to include material that doesn't fit what you've assumed, even if it involves details about your latest company achievements. Sometimes the answer to this question may be that they''ve been instructed by the boss to attend. In these cases consider cancelling your presentation!
  • Attitude. What do your audience feel about you, your business or your subject?  Will they be interested in the topic? Will there be any negative feelings about your business? Will you have any credibility in their eyes? It's always important to state or create your own credibility early on. Essentially the audience have to believe you know what you're talking about.
  • Knowledge.  How familiar with your subject matter will your audience be?  This is vital because if you start off at too high a level they will quickly switch off and it will be very hard to regain their interest. I have seen speakers very effectively check out their listeners awareness of a topic at the start of their talk and then shape the content according too the response. This of course demands a high degree of confidence and knowledge on the part of the speaker. It is therefore easier to check out beforehand - perhaps contact the organisor or some audience members.
  • Language. Not so much whether it's English or not but whether you use too much jargon. This is especially the case with dare I say any topic related to technology but also often creeps in when speakers are referring to their own business or area of knowledge. It's amazing how easy it is to use abbreviations that you understand but that your audience don't. One way to test this is to listen to one of your rehearsal talks (yes - you've used your phone to record this!) and listen for any possible difficulties. If there are you have basically three ways to deal with them: 1 leave it out; 2 find a substitute; provide an explanation (technical term is gloss) as you speak.
  • Preparing Your Audience ​You can make life easier for yourself if you let the listeners have some information in your introduction that will help them listen better. For example always give an indication of how long you will be speaking, let them know how you're going to deal with questions (any time? at the end? penultimately? after each section?); how you are dealing with handouts. Think about these aspects beforehand and let them know.

I always advise clients that they need to allow much more time than they think for preparation. Dealing with the points above is only part of it and you still have to consider your purpose, content, structure and delivery.​

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Speaking Tips 1

Word Cloud Anxiety


5 Tips to Make You feel Comfortable Speaking

Before we start remember there’s a difference between feeling nervous before speaking and being so tied

up with nerves you can’t actually deliver.

It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous beforehand and almost all regular public speakers will tell you they feel that way too.

 These tips are for people who find themselves so affected by nerves they think they can’t perform. So look at the list and if you experience any of the fears then find out how to deal with it.

If you experience any of these......

  1. Self-consciousness in front of large groups. ​This is probably the most common feeling of discomfort people have when speaking. I often am told: "I'm OK talking to small groups like my team but when it's 40..80...350 people I get really anxious. There are two things that can help. A) remember that the people in a large audience are just the same collection of individuals you would talk to talk to outside the talk; and B) focus on speaking to individuals within the audience and having a conversation with them. If you can picture this happening in your mind you will feel much more comfortable.
  2. Fear of Appearing Nervous. Some people worry about looking worried or nervous. You then think that because the audience will see you're nervous you'll think  that they will think you don't know what you're talking about and your credibility wuill be undermined. But people aren't generally like that. If we see someone looking nervous our response is to feel sympathy and want to support them. never forget that audiences are people like you!
  3. Concern that the people in the audience are judging you. There's a simple but somewhat brutal fact that people don't really care about you as an individual. They are listening to you because of what they want to get out of your talk or presentation. So make sure your content is focussed on what your audience is expecting to get out of their experience and don't worry about being liked!
  4. Worry about Body Movement and Gestures. ​Think about it. When you're with friends you're at perfect physical ease with them - you don't feel self-conscious about how you're standing or moving etc. Part of the problem is that we become vey self aware when we are the centre of attention, especially when we are standing up. One simple trick is to practise with a group of  friends/family by standing up and getting them to remain seated while you're talking. This will help you become accustomed to being the centre of attention.
  5. Poor or Insufficient Preparation We've all done it - tried to "wing" the presentation or even the 60 seconds intro at networking. It simply doesn't work and in fact shows disrespect for your listeners. More to the point it places us under great stress when we are standing there and don't know what to say next. Conversely, putting in the preparation time brings you confidence. How good a feeling is it when you absolutely know you're prepared! So don't skimp on the preparation and in particular don't assume that because you know your subject that you'll be able to talk effectively about it. Remember you need to look at it from the audience point of view. WIIFT? (What's in it for them?)


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Resources

Resources

Need help with the details? Try these short guides.

Each of these downloadable documents will give you specific help with a different aspect of presenting.


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