Professionally Speaking

Professional speaking is a craft that revolves around the use of ideas and words to meet buyers’ objectives. The outcome of a successful presentation should be overjoyed the buyer. You manage and guide this process by focusing on the outcomes, understanding the overall value of the process that culminates in your time on time, dealing with people who make investment decisions based upon value delivered, not minutes spent.

Professional actors aren’t speakers. While it is important for you to be thoroughly prepared, it’s sterile to be so tightly orchestrated that the audience perceives an off-the-shelf performance rather than an engaging interaction. People choose the plays and professional performances that they attend, but they usually have their speakers chosen for them. If you do a thorough job at the front end, understanding the audience and basing your value on the difference you can make in the members’ personal and professional lives, then you’ll be positioned to reap huge rewards. Ego-needs fulfillment, product sales, and adulation will follow as by-products. They should never be pursued as primary goals.

The genesis of a successful speaking career is: “The Value.”

Focus on how the client’s condition will be improved as a results of your contributions. Once you understand that, you can both attract people to you and reach out to form relationships with them.

Keep it simple. Your market approach and dealings with your clients, as well as your delivery should be simple. Keep your focus on your value how you can improve your clients’ conditions, the true economic buyer who can pay for that value, how you will pursue such buyers, and how they will be attracted to you.

One primary requisite is to be concise. Tell people what they need to know, not everything that you know. A speaker who tells the same tired stories and uses shopworn examples year after year may land some jobs, but he or she won’t build a career.

Your greatest asset is between your ears: intellectual capital. You must instantiate this so that it is manifest as intellectual property. Intellectual property takes many forms, speaking merely being one.

You can increase your business in diverse ways, and you should follow the best practices for doing this, not attempting to reinvent cold beer. That increase will add to your reputation as a professional speaker and leader, which enhances viral marketing.

Working With Wonderful Words

Many of us would think that in this high tech, instant-communication, and instant-gratification world of ours, that getting our point across would be a snap. Not true! In fact, our messages have become diluted. Speaking, writing and language skills aren’t what they used to be. With technology, it has hurt the way we relate. Studies show that many of us have tougher time than ever relating to one another with words. The good news is that, if you realize and recognize the situation, adapt to it, and learn those wonderful words and phrases that can push through today’s communication clutter, you set yourself apart from others and have a much easier time getting your message over and win your audience over.

Admittedly, there’s more to effective communication and presentation than simply having a healthy vocabulary or the gift of the gab. It also involves relatively clear-headed attention between you and your audience, proactive listening skills, genuine interest, and open-mindedness. Once you’ve gotten the point where someone is listening to what you are saying or reading what you have written, grabbing your audience with a strong word or phrase helps keep the communication open and hits both your listener and reader with an impact that allows for important and desired follow-up from both sides of the message.

Knowing how to use words well wins your audience over and gets you things while not knowing how to use them keeps things out of your reach.

Some examples we can learn together:

Weak : “With a few simple steps, we can improve our situation.”

Strong : “To improve our situation with a great future, here’s how we can get there.”

Weak : “It’s a good opportunity, filled with lots of possibilities.”

Strong: ” We have discovered a fantastic path to a new world of marvels.”

Weak : “Dear Sir or Madam, I am writing to complain…”

Strong: “Dear Mr. Chief Executive Officer, I am shocked, frustrated and outraged over my recent visit at your…”

Weak : “We have an important decision to make.”

Strong : “We have reached a historic crossroads.”

Weak : “Here are my goals.”

Strong : “Here is a vision for our future.”

Weak : “What will people think?”

Strong : “How will history judge us?”

Weak : “Let’s concentrate on results.”

Strong : “Let’s focus on the dream.”

Weak : “I’m the best person for this job.”

Strong : “I’m here specifically to make things happen for you and your company.”

Weak : “You’re making mistakes.”

Strong : “You have got what it takes to make this right.”

Weak : “You’re in charge. Now get it done.”

Strong : “Everyone has entrusted you with this responsibility. Don’t let them down.”

Weak : “This plan will improve productivity.”

Strong : “This plan will increase the output of each worker by 50 percent.”

Weak : “Here’s what you did wrong.”

Strong : “Here are the adverse results of your actions.”

Weak : “Those new employees seem very enthusiastic.”

Strong : “That’s what I call highly motivated.”

Weak : “When are you going to turn this bad situation around?”

Strong : “How can I help you make things better?”

Weak : “Not my problem.”

Strong : “How can we go about fixing this?”

Weak : “This will never get better.”

Strong : “This is just the downhill part of the rollercoaster.”

Weak : “Please do not hesitate to call.”

Strong : “Thanks so much for all your good faith. I will check up on you in a week or so.”

In this world of poor social skills, insecurity, high-paced, short attention, and high-volume transmission of irrelevancies, the gift of understanding words and using them well and correctly puts you ahead. If you engage in the craft of utilizing wonderful words and phrases, you make yourself more superior, more important and more influential. Using words well helps you gets what you want in life.

Whether you are presenting, writing a speech, an email, or an article for the local paper, you will have a tough time convincing your audience and readers if you can’t get past the first sentence. The problem these days is that people are flooded with stimuli – much of it designed to garner the attention of the audience and readers to sell them things. A great hooking sentence – a clever opening line catches your audience’s interest – at the beginning of any written message will help you push through all that stimuli and increase the chance that audience will delve into what you have said.

The Powerful 6Vs In Presentation

My mentor once asked me: “what makes you successful in Asia as a speaker for the last 15 years?”

There are plenty which I have learnt and still learning. I have done many research and come up with a power 6Vs to power up your presentation skills which create Champions in presentation.

From the research done by Professor Emeritus of Psychology for UCLA, Albert Mehrabian on the percentage given to Verbal, Vocal and Visual which add to a total of 100%, not many can achieve that 100% as there are no perfection in this world. But I can increase and/or double up your percentage to make you a more powerful speaker.

The 6 Vs which I have been sharing are:-

Verbal – Words used as well as language used holds 7% of the 100% according to Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Albert Mehrabian. If one lives in a country which only has one language, it is very important for them to master that language. But in Asia, most of us can deliver in two or more languages. Therefore, if we make some mistakes in your grammar once a while, your audience will forgive you. Language is more important to teachers and lecturers for they need to use it to teach and educate their students correctly.

Vocal – This receives 38% of the 100%. Vocal variety is important to enhance on the verbal language used to add feeling, authority, and connecting with the audience. Many don’t understand what is vocal variety. They thought that with the right pronunciation of every single word is vocal variety. But are they? Vocal variety consists of the rate, pitch, volume and the quality of the voice. The rate for international speakers is within the range of 120 to 180 words per minute. Most people in Asia and some caucasian speak within the range of 80 to 120 words per minute.

Some think that 120 to 180 per minute is too fast, but the truth is, if you love listening to the news on radio or television, these people are speaking at the range of 120 to 180 word per minute.

The ability to speak with different pitch and tonality can make your speech lively. With every pitch and tonality for every character you would like to act during your presentation will bring life in your animated speech.

Sometimes, we need to speak at higher volume while at times, we need to speak at a lower volume to draw the audience attention. The right practice will allow you to engage your audience instantly and make your presentation more interesting.

Visual – 55% goes into this category. How you think and how you feel will create the action you will do. Therefore, body language is the most important. It comprises of eye contact, facial expression, gestures, body movement, postures, and positioning. It will take time for one to master their body langauge. The right practice will allow you to be better and better everyday.

Next, I am about to share with you te next 3 Vs to increase your performance instantly. May it be double or increasing the possibility of a greater presentation. Here goes:-

Vision – It is only with vision that you will have the objectives and passion to achieve what you want in life. Your vision will gear you up to who you want to be, where you want to be in 5 or 10 years down the road. If you have a vision, it is easier for you to achieve your dream as it is also your goal. You will know how to navigate towards your objectives. Hence, it will increase your performance.

Views – You need to have your own views. Never take the views of others without thinking carefully and understanding them. If you don’t believe in their views, you will not be able to deliver with passion, conviction and confidence. Doubts in your mind will disable your performance. Therefore, your must have your views. Give careful thoughts, concentration, and understanding on everything you learn before you present it to anyone.

Value – This is the sixth V and it is important as it is the one that creates everlasting results which your audience will remember you for. Audience likes learning and they want to take home some values. Your presentation is of no use to anyone if there is no value at all. No one will remember you and no one will remember your speech as well. With the values, your audience will learn and able to practice your teaching, allowing them to remember you and/or your speech.

If you are preparing your next presentation and wanted it to be a speech with impact and unforgettable, remember to apply the powerful 6Vs presentation which I have just shared. It will increase your performance and recognise as a better speaker any time. If you want to learn more about the 6Vs in Power Presentation 1.2.3…, contact us by emailing or call for meeting arrangement for workshop to be conducted at your premises. We would love to share with more people and nurture more Champions in the world.

Creating Great Leaders

Many would say that leaders are born but today, leaders can be created.

Skills of great leaders can be learnt and it must be learnt from the right leaders. Do give careful thoughts on what you have learnt before using and building it as part of your skills.

Recently, I attended a convention and I see and learn more as I enjoy the whole proceedings. It was fun and funny although there was fire from the audience.

The convention meeting started with fire on a member being unlawful dismissed. The chairperson is a jovial and submissive man to the organisation. Let us name him as “Leader A”. While sitting beside him, there was a crude and unreasonable person who thinks that he is a great leader. Maybe for his own kind. Let us name him “Leader B”.

Proposal to put the privilege motions as the priority to the meeting but Leader B suddenly wanted to take control as he was afraid that fire will broke out and it will not show their capabilities as leaders, especially with the presence of the Executive Director from World Headquarter.

The audience brought up 8 motions to be discussed but somehow, they were only taken as 1 and later 2 motions. Leader B kept wanting to prevent the audience from bringing up the additional motions while Leader A sat there was opened to listen what grievances the audience has.

With Leader B trying to prevent the 8 additional motions to carry on, it wasted more than an hour and the meeting had to end abruptly with lots of dissatisfaction. There were no solutions and conclusions to the whole meeting.

During the questioning from the audience, Leader B kept snatching the microphone from Leader A without even asking a simple “Mr. Chairman, can I answer to that question?” and it was not just once or twice that Leader B was snatching. I was surprised with the kind of leadership skills which I personally witness with the hundreds of people at the meeting.

Leader A was cool and neutral but doesn’t know how to control the situation when fire started and questions were like arrows shooting at the board of executive committee.

Leader B clearly shown us how a man can turn into a chameleon instantly. With face turning green when felt scared, turning red when furious, black when angry, blue when threaten and white when he was in great fear. Yet, the snobbish and arrogant leader made a fool of himself by trying to show how great a leader he is. (He still thinks he is the greatest leader today.)

The Executive Director needed to help them to put out the fire by standing up, asked the chairperson for permission to speak, getting the audience to allow him to speak with no disturbance and addressed the audience and put out the fire. A diplomatic person with no direct answer or power yet proved his leadership skills with style.

Crooked stick produce crooked shadow and therefore we must learn with great concentration, understanding and thought.

Leader A and B have their strengths and weaknesses which we can learn to become a better leader. Know what you should and should not do while learning. It would be dangerous to learn blindly without serious thinking of what you learn.

There are two side on everything including laws. What you read and thought may not be what the lawyers interpret. Therefore, it would be great to ask if you are not sure and learn the truths and the rights in whatever we are learning everyday.

How a person does anything is how he does everything.

Looking at Leader A when in the meeting. He is jovial, a happy-go-lucky person and never take most of the things happening around him seriously enough. A person who just enjoy his life and whatever comes to him.

While Leader B thinks he knows everything and always want to be in control. Thinking he is the best, he has no respect for anyone around him until he is threaten with authority. The child in him wants to showcase his leadership skills with the wrong skills he had learnt all these years.

All these show us that we are only human and we make mistakes as we learn everyday. The most important is to be able to correct the mistakes correctly to become a better person, a better leader.

Leaders lead by examples and the right examples are important. How a leader project his leadership skills and abilities is how he is going to nurture his followers in becoming great leaders. Therefore, one needs to understand the truths and facts of being great leaders.

The eight skills leaders must learn is the Right Concentration, Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, and Right Mindfulness. Master these skills and you will become a great leader to follow and learn from.

There are plenty for us to learn and once you have these skills, you will be able to change your life and the life of others. Touching and blessing the life of others and make a difference.

Writing and Presenting Great Speeches

A spark can create into a great idea for a fantastic speech. Sometimes, we are so confident that we can deliver our speech with ease as it is something that we already know. Yet, after our presentation, we always feel that the speech can be better crafted and presented.

Time after time as we present, we know that our speech can be better and we just don’t understand where have we gone wrong. How can we write great speeches and presenting powerful speeches?

The fact is a great speech is like a lady wearing a mini skirt. Yes, the speech needs to be like the mini skirt. Short enough to arouse the interest of the audience and yet, long enough to cover all the vital points.

When we have an idea for a speech, we would definitely have the opening and conclusion for the speech in mind. Therefore, to give your audience powerful facts that support your speech, we need to build a great body for the speech.

For example, if we are meeting some friends and we reached the venue early and we have to wait for them. As we looked around, we spotted some people and by the look of the body structure, we know if they are the friends we are waiting for. Then, we will double confirm by looking at the faces before we concluded that they are friends.

In another view, a speech as I have said that it is like a lady wearing a mini skirt. The lady in mini skirt will capture attention specially from the men. Imagine, if the lady take of her jacket and pop off a button at a time in front of the audience. Their eyes will pop and their jaw will drop. Each button popped the audience will get much more interested to see and want to know what’s next.

Having the idea on how to write your speech, it is now about practice, practice and practice your delivery. Rehearse and make that speech again and again to make that speech part of you. Every time you need to present that speech again, rehearse it over and over again so that it can only be better.

The art of writing a great speech and presenting a fantastic presentation is not about what you wants to deliver but what your audience wants to hear as well as how you can add additional values to empower your speech and presentation.

Hence, if you are planning to write you next speech, do take some of my sharing into consideration. Having some careful thought, understanding and concentration in the preparation, orgainisation, and ultimately your way of presentation is important.

“Thinking without doing is dreaming. Doing without thinking is dangerous.” – William Lim T.C.

It’s in The Mind.

We may witness happening with our eyes but sometimes our eyes can deceive us. At times, our mind play tricks on what we thought we saw but it may not be true sometimes.

The mind can only start thinking correctly if we keep our mind clear. We can only start seeing the right picture when we clearly understand what had actually happened. With the right concentration, we can then make the right choice on what to do and how to do things right.

Whether we think we are right or wrong, we are right. The speed of our brain waves is so much faster than the speed of lightning. Hence, we can imagine things, see imaginary images, or sometimes dream.

Therefore, it’s a double-edged sword which either give us success or failure.

Whatever the mind thinks, we project thru our facial expression, gestures and body language. If you don’t believe in yourself, others around you can see, feel and know it because it shows. A sales person who doesn’t believe and sold to the products they are selling will not have confident to sell the products at all. People with lack of beliefs and confident will not be able to attract friends and opportunity.

Therefore, one need to learn how to believe before one can achieve anything in life.

Yes, it is hard to think positive, feel positive and act positive. Our mind will always question ourselves if what we are doing it right or is it wrong. Hence, we go no where in life as we are not sure of where we are heading in life.

Life is meant to be this way unless we start understanding what life is all about. As the word spell as L-I-F-E, L stands for Living and E stands for Ending of Life. What’s left behind is I-F which is the remaining of the word LIFE. The IF which confuse us, that creates uncertainty and therefore creates procrastination in life which in turn creates the road to nowhere.

Unless we learn to control our life by focusing on the positive in our life and take positive actions to achieve our dreams, we may not achieve anything. Successful people don’t do different things, they only do them differently by seeing the different perspective in achieving their goals.

Likewise, many love explain things, make excuses on why they are not successful or even blame others for causing their failure in life. Sometimes, people even blame the government of all their wrong doing but what about those things they did right? Are they commented by you publicly?

John F.Kennedy once said: “Ask not what the country can do for you but ask what you can do for the country.”

Explaining, giving excuses and blaming will not help us progress instead it will only create a door for us to run away from the truth. Pushing the wrong doing, and everything wrong to others will only make us more irresponsible.

Take the courage and face every problem that comes to you. That is the only way we grow and become wiser with everything problem we solved and conquered.

Your mind can make you successful or make you a failure with the kind of message you sent to your mind. Therefore, so long as your mind can conceive and you believe, you can achieve.

Christopher Columbus had made up his mind that he would want to be a successful seaman since 7 years of age. He learnt the art of sailing and managing when he was 21 and master the art after years of sailing. With all the persistency and perseverance he managed to organise his own fleet of ships at the age of 41, to sail for the first time to the West on 3 August 1492 while others who didn’t believes in him sailed only to the East.

Learn the art of positive thinking and you will be able to achieve your dreams. It’s all in the mind. Once you believe whatever your mind conceive, you can achieve and conquer anything in your life.

Right Focus creates Right Future

How you think is how you feel and so, your body languages show what is in your mind.

Remember that how you do anything is how you do everything.

If you want a great future, then you need to start focusing on the right things now. What you have done in the past has created the current you and if you want to change for the better, then start thinking and doing the right things from today.

I was at a food centre some years ago having dinner when I noticed a fly kept flying around me and my dinner. It was irritating as I saw it stopped on the leftover food and dishes left by the last patron. The fly kept coming closer and closer as my eyes kept following the trial it was flying. Thinking of how I can kill that irritating flying creature.

Then I suddenly started to use the pair of chopsticks in my hand to wave around so as to warn the fly to go away but it kept coming back. It was disturbing and I started waving my hands more aggressively with the hope that I would hit the fly so that it will not be back again.

Suddenly, I hit on something and I heard a loud crash. I looked down and found that I had swept my dinner on the ground together with some other plates and bowls that were on the table. I was embarrassed as the crowd in the food centre looked at me thinking that I may be crazy.

Lesson learnt in a worst moment. If I focused on my dinner and finished it faster instead of focusing on the distraction from the fly, I would have filled my stomach and walked off happier. But sad to say that I had focus on the wrong thing.

I was so focused on the fly that I forgotten about my food which was just in front of me and I had forgotten that the people at the food centre was looking at everything I did. I was distracted, embarrassed, hungry and feeling shameful as I walked away.

A little fly can put a giant like me in shame by distracting my attention and mess up my life. It’s a lesson needed some attention to learn and change for the better.

Nowadays, I usually put my mind in a clear state. By first to concentrate and understand, then give some thoughts before I speak or act. My livelihood, efforts and mindfulness need to put into consideration because anything I do will determine how I do everything.

If you want a great future, focus on the things you need to do on your “To Do List” and not be distracted with the things that suddenly popped up. Do get agitated with what doesn’t concern you. Focus and concentrate on what will change your life for the better.

Some of us may have lots of unsolved problem, may it be family, career, money, or etc. If you focus on the problem, it will only gets BIGGER and it will also demoralise you to move forward. Hence, you are unable to move forward with your dreams to achieve a better life.

Don’t listen and get distracted by the fly that fly around you and giving you all the negative remarks.

Follow your heart and think careful with the right concentration to understand and take the right actions to achieve your dreams. Everyone is given a purpose to come to earth. We are here to serve and make it a better place for you and me to live in. Therefore, the right focus and action will give the right results we are looking for and hence, create a great future.

The Mirror of Life.

We have seen and heard many speakers and sometimes we try to model them. But are you learning the right skills from the right masters.

There are many great speakers in the world and as we listen to their speeches, we are impressed with the way they put their words across. We are persuaded, inspired and aspire to be like them.

Since the birth of radio many decades ago, we have been listening and learning thru hearing. Until today, some people still learning thru listening to the MP3, MP4, radio, CDs and etc. Hence, we build in our mind that language is the most important in any presentation. We need to perfect our language before we can use it. But is there perfection in this world?

The late Dr. Albert Mehrabian did a study to find out the differences and effectiveness of Verbal, Vocal and Visual in presentation and found out that the Visual (Body Language) take up 55% while Vocal 38% and Verbal has only 7%. It was a great surprise to everyone when announced to the public. But time after time, when a simple test has been done, the audience get to understand instantly how true the findings are.

But some people still thinks that language is the most important in presentation and because they focus so much on the language usage, they neglected the importance of vocal variety and body languages.

Therefore, when we attend any seminar, we can easily judge the speaker with their performance on stage, the kind of skills they possesses and how effective can they be. It mirror their life.

I always say that how you do anything is how you do everything. How you do anything on stage is how you do everything in your life.

If the speaker focus on the language so much, they are only focusing on the smallest part in the whole presentation. It is just like when a mosquito bite you and you kept scratching the small little part of your body that was bitten. There are plenty of things you can do and with other part of the body but you insisted on scratching the part that was bitten. Aren’t you wasting time and efforts on things that are minor in life and forgotten that there are plenty of things should have been done if you would have not concentrate on the wrong part at the wrong time?

The usage of vocal variety is not just about the ability to pronounce the words properly but it is all about creating excitement, feeling and authority at any moment of time during presentation. It is how you make the audience feel when you get that message across to them and winning their heart.

Many speakers aren’t able to trigger the emotion of the audience because they focus too much on the right usage of the language that they forgotten even to use the right word at the right time with the right vocal variety and the right body language during presentation.

If you focus only the small things, these small things will be the biggest thing in your life. If you focus of the bigger things, the bigger things will create the world in your life. Because I focus on the bigger things in life and they creates the world for me and I am invited to many parts of the world to share my experiences and knowledge. If one only focus on the smaller things, than they will only be invited among the smaller circle of certain group.

The mirror of life is powerful as it reflects you to life, your efforts to what you will achieve in life and your understand to what others can see you as a master in life.

So, if you are looking forward to become a greater speaker and a greater leader, learn from the right speakers and the right leaders. Change your image and adopt the right understanding and you will change your life. The reflection of your life will be changed so long as you change yourself now.

Attracting Audience Attention

Knowledge on the topic alone is insufficient. You must have authority. Until you have convinced the audience that you are an authority on the subject you are delivering, you will not have their complete attention. Your task then is to impart your authority (experience, qualifications, etc.) as soon as possible via a brochure, a flyer and etc. Therefore, the introduction is important to arouse the interest of the audience and create the desire for them to listen to you. The introduction is the bridge connecting the speaker and the audience. It sets the tone and creates the environment best suited to receive the message of the speaker.

A good speech starts with a great “attention grabbing” introduction – an introduction that generates curiosity as well as alerts the audience. For a successful speech, it is important to attract your audience early in your talk. An inattentive audience suggests that the speaker and his message are not important. If the audience isn’t listening to what you are saying, the purpose of your speech will never be achieved. If you plan to motivate or inform or sell your ideas and people are not paying attention, you won’t achieve your goal.

First Things First

Before you start to write the introduction, make sure you know the steps for giving a great presentation. Make sure you know the purpose of your presentation, understand who the audience is and research the topic thoroughly. Once this is done, start thinking about how to organize the presentation.

The Four Simple Ways to Start your Speech

After the first things are done, start writing an attention-grabbing introduction. Given below are some ways to grab your audience’s attention. These tips, if used properly, will improve your speech by a great degree.

Here are the four simple ways to attract your audience’s attention –

1. Ask them a Question – Asking questions is a great way to start a speech. Questions engage people. Questions start our thought process as we tend to find answers for questions. One thing to keep in mind – questions asked should be appropriate to the group. Keep your audience in mind and ask the right questions.

2. Tell them a personal story – A personal story connects the speaker and audience. When the speaker talks about a personal story or an experience, it creates a sense of belonging and the audience will be attached and attentive.

3. Use a Quote – A quote from a famous personality is a great way to attract attention. Most famous personalities have made some comments that have become famous quotes. People can relate to those quotes. They are moved by these quotes because the quotes force them to redefine their perspective. Quotes are thought-provoking. This technique is especially useful when used in motivational speeches.

4. Present Interesting Facts – Presenting statistics and facts tells people that the speaker has done some research. Data are perceived as more authentic than most other methods. Everyone loves surprising facts. People like to be surprised and this makes them more attentive. Facts are very useful in informative and persuasive speeches. Once you have an attentive audience by delivering good introduction, next step is to keep the attention.

To keep the attention of your audience, present an equally good body and end with a punch. There are seven more ways to grab your audience’s attention.

We have briefly talked about what makes a great speech and how to organize your talk. We also discussed the importance of a good introduction. Let’s see some more ways to attract attention.

1. Show a Picture – The first tool in this list is using pictures at the start of your presentation. Using pictures as an introduction is a powerful way to attract the audience. A picture generates curiosity. It makes people wonder, what will be this speech about? They say “A picture is worth thousand words”, when used in introduction, people tend to ask “Which words?”

2. Draw on a Whiteboard – Whiteboard, flipcharts or the old blackboards, using them for introducing your speech is another unusual and uncommon way of starting your presentation. Draw or write something relevant to your topic and interesting for your audience.

3. Tell a Joke – Jokes ease tension and stress in almost any situation. Telling jokes during the first 30 seconds of your presentation can relax the audience and you – the speaker. Everyone likes to laugh, people like things that are funny and in general, people like people that are fun. But remember, choose jokes that are clean and appropriate, or this technique might fall on face and you might hamper your credibility. This technique works great for humorous speeches.

4. Share some News – Sensational news or an unexpected news interests people. If you start your speech with a recent news report on a related topic, audience will turn their radar on for more similar content which interests them. Alternatively you can also share some interesting facts, as discussed in previous post.

5. Create Drama – Dramatizing openings make a presentation very lively. Even before you greet your audience with a formal “Hello”, if a little drama is created, it will grab attention instantaneously. This is often a good start if your speech is a storytelling type.

6. A video – Just like showing a picture, a video can also do magic too. A short video about the topic, something that will generate some questions in the audience’s mind. Asking questions is one of the basic tools that was discussed earlier. Videos are very helpful in building a foundation of the talk and when used effectively, can make a speech successful.

7. Give a Freebie – This last tool, in this post, is the most uncommon of this list. This technique involves declaring that there are some freebies at the end of the speech for anyone who meets a certain criteria. I have seen this trick mostly used by people in sales. The criterion set for getting the freebie is usually answering a quiz, question or something similar to that.

8. Involve Your Audience – Engage your audience as and when you can to keep them involve in whatever you are delivering. Do some exercises, play some games or to sing a song are good ways to involve your audience. These will interest your audience by having hands-on on the things they are about to learn. On the other hand, it also allows your audience to remember what you had shared with them.

“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” – Proverb

The doing is much more powerful. Therefore, it is wise to involve your audience to do something together with you to drive the message into them.

9. Use Gesture Effectively – Gestures are like words. Use them only when they mean something. Experienced speakers use gestures to: o Emphasize o Elaborate points o Describe o Express emotion, etc. Don’t flap your hands when there’s nothing else to flap. Best to let your hands follow your line of thinking so as to gesture naturally.

10. Vocal Variety – Speak fast, slow, high, low, loud, soft, clear and most importantly, speak to be heard – don’t ramble in a monotone. Your voice can be trained. You can emphasize a point by raising your volume or by whispering. Sometimes a whisper well executed is much more effective.

For further information on how you can power up your presentation skills, get your personal copy of Instant Guide for Instant Speaker today…

The 3Vs in Presentation

Albert Mehrabian (born in 1939 to an Armenian family in Iran, currently
the Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA) has become known best for his publications on the relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages. His findings on inconsistent messages of feelings and attitudes have been quoted throughout communication seminars worldwide, and have also become known as the 7%-38%-55% rule.

In his studies, Mehrabian came to two conclusions. First, there are basically three elements in any face-to-face communication:

  • Words/Language (e.g. English, Mandarin, Malay)
  • Tone of voice (e.g. pitch, rate, quality)
  • Non-verbal behaviour (e.g. facial expression, gesture)

Secondly, the non-verbal elements are particularly important for communicating feelings and attitude, especially when they are incongruent. This means if words disagree with the tone of voice and nonverbal behaviour, people tend to believe the tonality and nonverbal behaviour.

Please note emphatically it is not the case that non-verbal elements in all senses convey the bulk of the message, even though this is how his conclusions are frequently misinterpreted. For instance, when delivering a lecture or presentation, the textual content of the lecture is delivered entirely verbally, but the non-verbal cues are very
important in conveying the speakers’ attitude towards what they are saying,
notably their belief or conviction.

Attitudes and Congruence

According to Mehrabian, these three elements account differently for our liking for the person who puts forward a message concerning their feelings. Words account for 7%, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and body language accounts for 55% of the liking. They
are often abbreviated as the “3 Vs” for Verbal, Vocal & Visual.

For effective and meaningful communication about emotions, these three parts used in expressing the message need to support each other – they have to be “congruent”. In case of any incongruence, the receiver of the message might be irritated by ‘two
messages’ coming from two different channels, giving cues in two different directions.

The following example should help illustrate incongruence in verbal and non-verbal communication.

  • Verbal: “I do not have a problem with you!”
  • Non-verbal: person avoids any eye-contact, looks anxious, has
    a closed body language, etc.

It is more likely that the receiver will trust the predominant form of communication, which according to Mehrabian’s findings is non-verbal (38% + 55%), rather than the literal meaning of the words (7%). This is known as “the 7%-38%-55% rule”.

It is important to say that in the respective study, Mehrabian conducted experiments dealing with communications of feelings and attitudes (i.e., like-dislike) and that the above, disproportionate influence exerted by the tone of voice and body language
becomes effective only when the situation is ambiguous. Such ambiguity appears
mostly when the words spoken are inconsistent with the tone of voice or body
language of the speaker (sender).

Non-verbal communication is usually understood as the process of communicating through sending and receiving wordless (mostly visual) messages – i.e. spoken language is not the only source of communication. There are other means too. Messages can be communicated through gestures and touches (Haptic
communication), by body language or posture, by facial expression and eye contact. Meaning can also be conveyed through object or artifacts (such as clothings, hairstyles or architectural designs).
Speech contains non-verbal elements known as paralanguage, such as voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation and stress. Dance is also regarded as a form of non-verbal communication.

Non-verbal communication is the most important skill that a presenter needs to develop to enhance his speech quality and make it to be easily understood. The results of Prof. Albert Mehrabian’s study shows:







During a presentation, a vast amount of information is visually conveyed by your appearance, manner and physical behaviour as you deliver your verbal message. Your body lanuguage is an effective tool for adding emphasis and clarity to your speech. It is the most powerful instrument for convincing an audience of your earnestness, sincerity
and enthusiasm.

However, if your physical actions are distracting or they contradict your verbal message, your body language can rule over your words. Whether your objective is to inform, persuade, entertain, motivate, or inspire, your body language and the personality you project, must be appropriate to what you want to say.

If you want to be a better speaker, you must understand how your body can speak. You must learn how to manage and control your body language.

For more information on how you can be a better communicator or presenter, click and get you copy of Instant Guide for Instant Speakernow.