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Tips for Visual Aids in Speeches

Ever wonder why you remember some presentations and not others?  It could be because good speakers do more than just address what you hear. They address what you see.  Here are 3 hints for making the visual part of your speech memorable:

  1. Make your photos BIG on the screen. It’s easier to get an emotional reaction the crowd when you monopolize their visual space. Think like  Steven Spielberg. Your audience is used to not just good…but GREAT…visuals.
  2. Use close up photos. Wide shots are useful but your audience might miss what you really want them to notice.
  3. Use videos. Millennials expect action.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Good and Great Speeches, Heck of a Blog, Public speaking. Leave a Comment

Enjoying your own speech

An attendee at one of my presentation skill training sessions told me the thing he knew he must change: his facial expression. Because I video each speaker, he got a chance to see what his audience saw–that he looked pained and uncomfortable up in front of a group.  Frown lines were apparent.

What kind of message did that send to his audience?  It gave them the impression that he really didn’t like spending time with them and sharing this information.  However, that was not the case at all. He did feel confident that he knew his information well. He liked his colleagues.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Heck of a Blog, Public speaking. Leave a Comment

Being in the Spotlight is a Must for Bosses

Part of a boss’ job is to communicate to large groups of employees. But that work responsibility doesn’t come easy for some supervisors. In my book, Tough Talks® in Tough Times: What Bosses Need to Know to Deliver Bad News, Motivate Employees, and Stay Sane, I address the need for constant, two-way, open conversation between managers and their employees. In this discussion with Ron Culp for Chicago Now, I explain to him how one boss in particular handled the spotlight well.

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Hints for better videos in your speeches

Audiences expect visuals used in presentations to be as captivating as their favorite TV shows or movies. It used to be very expensive to add videos to speeches and business PowerPoints. Because high definition cameras are very affordable, using a great visual aid doesn’t have to break your budget anymore. Here are more hints on how to produce your own effective videos. These hints can be used for business videos as well as your home videos.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Free Tips, Heck of a Blog, videos, Visual aids. Leave a Comment

Good speeches demand great visual aids

Gone are the days when speaking publicly meant only that–speaking. Today’s audiences expect your presentations to include visuals that elicit emotions, give direction, clarify hard to understand concepts, and are easy to look at and comprehend.

Graphic artists can do amazing things to make your words come to life.

Another way to WOW your audiences is to use videos.

Here is Part 1 of a series I shot to demonstrate how to shoot good videos your audience will want to watch.  Enjoy.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Public speaking, videos. Leave a Comment

Fear of Speaking: How to Overcome It

If you are one of the dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions of people who dread public speaking, you know that knot-in-your-stomach, sweat-soaked feeling is nothing you can wish away. The more you speak in public, the easier it gets.  To speed up your learning curve and overcome your fear of speaking, there are specific techniques you can use. Here is a video highlighting public speaking tips that can be used in your next presentation.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in General articles, Public speaking. Leave a Comment

Speeches for an international audience

Do you get the chance to speak in front of an audience that is made up of people whose native tongue is not yours?  If so, you may get the chance to have a  translator for your presentation.  Here is a great article from a colleague of mine, Alan Stevens, who is a media relations guru and crisis management specialist from London. He is currently speaking in Beijing, China, and has these tips for working with a translator:

If you speak regularly, there’s a good chance that at some point you will speak to an audience that doesn’t understand your language, so you may require a translator.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Public speaking. Leave a Comment

Passion in speaking about a non-work interest

Are you passionate about something other than work?  If so, when you speak about it in public, you can improve the skills you need to stand up in front of group and make a presentation at work.  Learning to hone your ability to answer questions and develop sound-bites can help you become an excellent speaker in all areas of your life.

Jeff Saturday, future NFL Hall of Fame center, of the Indianapolis Colts, is passionate about football.  He is also very adamant about about eliminating the commercial sex trade. And he speaks publicly about what he is doing.

I was recently invited to Jeff’s Celebrate the City Super Bowl party.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Media Relations, Professional sports, Sound-bites. Leave a Comment

Pre-Speech Beginnings Must be Planned

Want to make a great entrance when you are giving an important speech? Just ask Leslie Knope, political candidate for the city council in the fictitious Pawnee, Indiana, how to start a speech strongly…or how not to.

Knope, played by Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation, was presenting to a crowd of 100 spectators and had a red carpet for her entrance to the speaker’s dais. But the red carpet didn’t go all the way to the stage; the floor, which was supposed to be a basketball court, had been changed to an ice rink; and her motivational music, “Get on Your Feet,” lasted 10 seconds and had to be replayed in spurts for her to reach the podium 90 seconds later.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Free Tips, Good and Great Speeches. Leave a Comment

Presentations in an NFL Locker Room = a Tough Talk

I would have loved to have been in the locker rooms of many NFL teams to hear the speeches given by the head coaches yesterday. What could be said to motivate the teams that were still in the hunt for a good post-season placement?  I’m sure those speeches were well-thought presentations. And they were talks given with passion. But motivating professionals at the top of their performance was probably not that much different than it was all season.

But consider the pep talk given to those at the bottom of the pile. Especially to the Indianapolis Colts. It had to be a very tough talk Jim Caldwell, the head coach, delivered.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Heck of a Blog, Motivation, Tough Talks. Leave a Comment

Good Presentation Impressions

I’m always on the lookout for good presentation styles.  It doesn’t have to be public speaking in front of a large audience. It could be a customer service representative, a sales person, someone or some organization I come into contact with in every day occurrences. I note what impresses me.  The good, the bad and the ugly of communication styles.

Recently, I was in Connecticut and had a few extra hours and decided to explore. I came across The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York. It was wonderful.  Great exhibits, no crowds, unbelievably cheap admission fees. For 2-3 hours, I was captivated.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in General articles. Leave a Comment

Real-IMPACT Presentation Hints

If you are one of the dozens, hundreds, thousands, millions of people who dread public speaking, you know that knot-in-your-stomach, sweat-soaked feeling is nothing you can wish away. The more you speak in public, the easier it gets.  To speed up your learning curve and overcome your fear of speaking, there are specific techniques you can use. Here is a video highlighting public speaking tips that can be used in your next presentation.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in General articles. Leave a Comment

Why Media Training Takes Time

Is there a possibility that someone in the news media might interview you in the future?  If so, here’s a look at what you can expect from media training. This is a repost of an article from one of my international colleagues, Alan Stevens, whose company is called “The Media Coach.”  He outlines his process for getting someone ready for an interview.

FIVE MINUTES ON AIR, FIVE HOURS PREP

There tend to be two different ways that people look at media interviews, Some people feel that since they know their topic inside out, they barely need to prepare, since they will able to deal with any question.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in General articles. Leave a Comment

Learning from The King’s Speech

Ever wondered what it’s like to work with a speaking coach? The Oscar winning movie, The King’s Speech, is an excellent example of how a person with serious presentation skill problems can overcome difficulties with the help of a communications expert. Although the king had a stuttering problem, many of the techniques his speech coach used with him are the same as those I use with executives in one-on-one coaching.

Here is an analysis of one speech technique exercise in the movie. You can do it on your own to improve your presentation skills.

Abdominal breathing exercises for speakers …or “Sit on him, Queen Mum.”

Most people breathe shallowly, expanding only the upper regions of their lungs.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Analyses of, General articles, Good and Great Speeches. Leave a Comment

Getting your expertise noticed

Here are 5 strategies to use if you want to be noticed for your expertise:

  1. If you have one comment to make, summarize your point in one sentence and then go into detail for 30 seconds. This keeps you on track and shows your colleagues you can be focused and succinct.
  2. If you have several comments to make, start off by saying, “I’d like to address 3 points: point A, point B and point C. In terms of point A, …. ”  When you list the points, they should be phrases only. This will set the stage for expressing comments on each of the 3 points  at some time in the meeting, even if you only speak about point A before there is open discussion.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Free Tips, General articles. Leave a Comment

Speaking up confidently

Do you keep quiet at meetings because you lack confidence speaking about the topic?  If so, you might want to read this article on CNN’s website. I was quoted in the  article about how to speak up with confidence at a meeting. I offered the hint about abdominal breathing. Here’s an excerpt.

3. Belly breathe: Public speaking can be nerve-wracking, but you don’t have to let it show. Abdominal breathing will make you sound confident by giving strength to your voice.

To use this technique: “Inhale deeply and then project your voice by speaking from the diaphragm,” says Jean Palmer Heck, president of Real-Impact, Inc.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Free Tips, General articles. Leave a Comment

PR Tips for small businesses: Get busy speaking

When a small business owner asks me how he or she can get more PR or publicity for their companies, I often suggest getting out on the speaking circuit.  Local service clubs are always looking for someone to speak to their group.  That doesn’t mean it’s just a free advertisement.  It means that if you have an entertaining, educational, relevant material, they’d like to meet you and hear what you have to say.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Free Tips, General articles, Heck of a Blog. Leave a Comment

What Business Speakers Say They Must Practice

When I conduct presentation skills training sessions for businesses and organizations, I always ask the attendees to share with me key points that they will work on after the session. I’m only with them for a short period. My sessions range from half-day training to four-day sessions spread over several months. So when I’m gone, they need to make sure they put into practice what they have learned about standing up in front of a group and making an effective presentation. Here are some of the things that they have told me:
1. Enjoy the process and look the part.
2.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Free Tips, General articles, Heck of a Blog. Leave a Comment

Tiger Woods Makes a Predictable Mistake

Here’s a great article by Jerry Brown, who is a guru on crisis communication.  Take heed:

Tiger Woods Makes a Predictable Mistake

By Jerry Brown, APR
www.pr-impact.com


Tiger WoodsSome stories feel incomplete the first time you hear them.  They leave you feeling like there’s a lot being left unsaid.  And, of course, the part that’s being left out is the juicy part – the stuff you really want to hear.

That’s the kind of story that makes reporters dig deeper.  And the kind of story the rest of us are likely to follow as it unfolds.

Tiger Woods’ weekend car wreck was one of those stories.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in General articles. Leave a Comment

TV News: Is it still relevant?

Karen Friedman, a communications coach based in Philadelphia, has an article on this subject.  She says the question should be, “Does TV news matter as much as it once did?”

Here are excerpts from her article. The link for the full report is below.

“Research suggests that it does not. According to data from Nielsen, viewership of the three evening network news programs has steadily declined over the past 25 years, falling by more than 1 million viewers each year — translating into millions of dollars in lost annual revenue. The 2009 Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism’s State of the News Media annual report says that local news staffs, already too small to adequately cover their communities, are being cut at unprecedented rates.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Analyses of, Media Relations, TV news. Leave a Comment