Sunday, May 31, 2009

May blooms with our top 10 tips

May burst forth with lots of speaking engagements on my calendar, and a new series on the blog about top women speakers of today (about which more below). Among the other blooming topics on the blog are introductions, pauses and silences, listening to questions, and making the case for speaker training and practicing on video. I also share with you an experience in speaker flexibility from one of my own speaking gigs this month! Read on to find the most popular posts from May:

  1. When you have to introduce a speaker, it's an opportunity. This month's most popular post gives you 5 ways to boost your intros of others. Don't forget: An introduction is just a brief way to show your speaking skills.

  2. Wonder whether you're talking too much as a speaker? Pretend I'm in your audience, and hear the 7 reasons I want speakers to talk less.

  3. When the speech hands you lemons....You can plan and practice, but a top speaker has to be ready for conditions on the ground to change. I got that reminder firsthand in May, a busy month in my speaking schedule. Read about how I made lemonade out of a lemon of a speaking situation, with lots of help from my hosts and audience.

  4. Do you dismiss video practice? Some trainees in my group sessions do, thinking they don't need it if they won't be on TV. They, and you, may be missing 9 opportunities to improve as a speaker using video, and it's easier to access than you think.

  5. Need to make the case to get training as a speaker? Give your boss (or yourself, if you're the boss) these 6 reasons why training makes even more sense in these tough economic times.

  6. Where are the top current women speakers? A reader wrote in this question after finding plenty of video and text of historic woman speakers, but few for current-day speakers. Join the many readers who have responded to my call for video of today's top women speakers, and vote in the poll on my blog. So far, the candidates suggested by readers fall into these categories....

  7. Women in politics who are top current speakers: Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and First Lady Michelle Obama are among the candidates suggested as top women speakers. I've got video and analysis of three of their recent speeches at the links underscoring their names, so you can learn from their gestures, language and approaches.

  8. Inspirational women who are top current speakers: Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefforts Schori and Stacy Allison, businesswoman and mountain-climber, are frequent speakers with different presentation styles. Learn how they use them to move their audiences from the pulpit to the profit-making world.

  9. Women in science, technology and health who are top current speakers: Scientist Carolyn Bertozzi and disability advocate and athlete Aimee Mullins, an amputee, take us into explorations of our bodies in very different ways--from how sugars help the health of your body in Bertozzi's case to how 12 types of prosthetic legs help Mullins move. At the same time, they demonstrate how technological topics can create personal connections with an audience.

  10. Active listening to audience questions: Via the Power Presentations blog, here's a tip from President Obama on an effective way to listen intently to your audience's questions--all the while buying time to think of an answer.