Saturday, August 29, 2009

August's top 10 tips

August was a big month for The Eloquent Woman: We reviewed all the contest entries and picked a winner, but also featured guest posters and new tips and advice to help beginning and experienced speakers advance their skills. Before we get started with our winner's online coaching--coming up in September--check out the most-read posts from the dog days of August:
  1. My checklist for the whole speaker--not just what you want to say, but considering your audience, wardrobe, technology, presence and more--topped our list of popular posts this month. It's the list I use to make sure I'm prepared, no matter what. One reader said: "I'm printing it and hanging it in my office!"
  2. Beginning speakers flocked to our contest posts, and stayed to read this April post on the four stepping stones I suggest to get you started in public speaking.
  3. Eye contact was cited as an issue by several of our contest entrants, and many of you went back to this post with five tips to improve your eye contact with the audience.
  4. "It's not just a contest to me" said Stephanie Benoit of Florida, winner of our 15 Weeks to Step Up Your Speaking contest in this post announcing her win. Readers from all over the world have been checking on our winner and are ready to follow her progress--coaching online for her starts in just a few days.
  5. Handling an introduction is a one of my stepping stones to get speaking--but intros often lack, well, fiber and strength. This older post on ways to beef up your introductions was a winner yet again in August.
  6. All the contest entrants appeared in this video gallery, and readers checked them out a lot while our judges were deliberating. Check out their videos here.
  7. Speakers need to learn storytelling. But how? I have three great online resources that will help you watch master storytellers and learn their techniques, another popular post.
  8. Creating a tweetable presentation was a guest post that got lots of attention in August. It helps you with concrete ideas for helping your audience use Twitter to spread your message.
  9. Our contest winner sent you a message to test our her prize Flip camcorder. She wants your constructive comments and support as she begins her 15 weeks of coaching.
  10. Quick: catch your breath, then read these tips for doing just that when you run out of it in a speaking gig. Good breathing can calm the anxious speaker, and it's an essential skill.