1. Never speak with your back to your audience. Your voice carries in the direction you are facing, and if you are not facing your audience when you speak, then naturally, your audience cannot hear you. Always face your audience when you speak so everyone hears every delicious word you have to offer.
2. Never say ...
Educators find themselves insisting new students make the leap and behave differently, more responsibly, more seriously with regard to their academic ambitions once they enter onto our college campuses. As such, educators can also find themselves in a quandary, convening in the faculty workroom or in online educator forums commiserating with colleagues over new students not rising to the occasion as quickly as they would prefer.
By the time they reach college doors, though, they have been children much longer than they have been adults, and many may have come from the school of thought that children are to be seen and not heard when it comes to engaging in the learning process and education on a whole. How, then, can educators expect thirteen years of habits and expectations to become undone and reworked during the course of, say, one new student orientation session?
Here are three recommendations for educators to help students successfully make the leap and make it in a more timely fashion:
In May of 2018, The BOSS Network conducted a spotlight feature on me. Pretty cool, huh? Here's the post ...
Bridgett McGowen is a published author and an international professional speaker. Prior to launching her public speaking firm, BMcTALKS, LLC, she held positions as an educational technology thought leader and a faculty development consultant with an edtech company and a faculty member for the Texas A&M University System.
1. What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?
The number one obstacle I faced in the beginning process of starting my public speaking and presentation skills coaching firm, BMcTALKS, LLC, was knowing WHERE to start. Do I need a website? Should I speak for free? Do I form an LLC? The questions went on and on. I resolved I would take it one step at a time; engage with others who were once similarly situated and who succeeded; and learn as much as possible about business ownership, networking, and marketing. I quickly learned the following ...
"College is not the thirteenth grade."
How many of you can remember hearing something to that effect being announced at freshman orientation when you were a student, starting out on your college journey? You may have facetiously gasped in surprise. You may have rolled your eyes at the absurdity of the statement. (You were seventeen- or eighteen-years-old at the time, so that would have been totally normal, right?) You may have laughed it off.
Or you may have had a moment of clarity and a lightbulb popped on.
Think back to the last time you had a really good conversation. What did the other person do that made the engagement such a good experience? Did he have good (or even juicy!) information? Did she answer a big question you had? Did it feel like your listener enjoyed being there and was both physically and mentally present in the moment?
You grab and maintain audience attention - in-person and online - by immediately solving a mystery and giving the audience what it needs, by providing the audience something useful. The truth is you want to be able to hear a pin drop. Because you’ve researched and you know what the audience wants, you have people listening closely and ready to chime in as opposed to bored and waiting for the session to end. And it all starts with a shift in attitude.
If you are ready for a strategy that moves audience members from passive and disinterested to active, hot, and ready to do business in every single presentation, then you are in the right place and engaging with the right professional speaker and presentation skills coach who is going to keep it real and be totally honest with you.
Now believe me … there was some time involved with creating the full strategy … the strategy that has my clients getting in front of any audience with much confidence and much swagger and MASTERING their messages. It did not happen overnight, and it did not come in a dream.
Much of it came from ...
There is so much you want to cover and only so much time to do it. Subconsciously, you want your audience to fall as deeply in love with your topic as you are already in love with it. This tends to cause a problem.
But just a second … this is not to suggest there is something wrong with wanting your audience to find the same value in your content as you find in it. The challenge lies in this desire propelling you to share and share and share to the point you end up rambling, rambling, and rambling. By going off on tangents or losing your train of thought, you also lose your effectiveness and diminish your power with all of the spins and twirls and ups and downs and twists and turns you put in your message.
It's the line you dread hearing ... especially if you are just starting out in your industry or if you are new to entrepreneurship ...
"So ... what do you do?"
It's not that you do not love what you do or that you do not want to share your professional passion. It's the fact you have not properly prepared an answer to this question, so you defer to giving your title. WRONG! (It happens all the time. I'll ask someone "What do you do?" and I get his/her title, which prompts me to follow-up with "Okay. So what do you do?")
The key relevance of an elevator pitch is you narrow down to a succinct 30-second presentation the what, why, and how of your profession; you want to inform your listener in a focused way that makes the listener want to say “Really?! That’s what you do?!” and that makes the listener start thinking of either ways to do business with you or the connections he/she can make for you. In short, the elevator pitch must clarify what you do that helps others be better at what they do.
You must clarify what you do that helps your listener be better at what he/she does. Use this 4-part approach every time you pitch yourself or your business, and you make it very clear to your listener what you do, the results you bring your clients, how you're different from your competitors, and how you're on your way (or already there!) to the top floor!
You have prepared for what you believe is a killer presentation. You have your technology ready. You have picked the perfect setting. You are ready to make this live remote presentation one for the history books.
Okay. Perhaps that's a bit melodramatic; however, you get my point. You have invested time, energy, and research in designing a meaningful session to deliver to an audience of listeners who are located all over the country -- possibly around the globe. However, full calendars and busy lives can preclude your target audience from attending the session live, and you have more who opt to catch the recording at a later date that's more convenient for them.
While you can understand and respect those realities, it does nothing to make you feel better about preparing to present a live web-based presentation or a synchronous class session, right?
A friend and colleague once shared with me people make time for what's important to them. End of story. So with that, let's identify three ways you can make your session important to your prospective audience, so everyone's not putting it off until a later date but is showing up live and ready.
Um. So I am going to like tell you a little about a challenge in speaking that is sorta like a big issue. But like most people are like super annoyed by it. And ... um ... well ... I can understand why because it's sorta like a problem when it comes to - you know - sounding well like credible.
Now that I've sufficiently tortured you, let's cut to the chase.
Filler words, also called verbal segregates, are a part of everyday speech. We hear professionals use them ... even anchors and reporters use them. We use them all the time, and it's not that the mere use of them is a bad thing; it's problematic when you use them too often, which can weaken your message and, as a result, incredibly diminish your credibility. A repeated use of them makes you sound unsure and makes you look less confident.
It is not recommended that you completely eliminate all filler words from your vocabulary as you will learn in the first suggestion below. In all honesty, (and yes, that phrase is one of my fillers!), the use of filler words makes you sound human! Therefore, you have to decide how many of them is too many to have and use, which ones you want to eliminate, then how to go about doing just that. And this post has you covered on all fronts so your credibility is no longer getting crushed but is instead rock solid. Let's do this!