Monday, November 30, 2009

November falls for our top 10 tips

November was an active month on The Eloquent Woman blog, with posts about speaking challenges when Twitter's in the room, how to work with speechwriters or maneuver a room without a written speech, sussing out your event space and more coaching for Stephanie Benoit in our Step Up Your Speaking challenge.  Here are the highlights from this busy month!

  1. Audience members used Twitter to wonder whether to "do" her:  Speaker Danah Boyd had a disaster of a speech that included a live Twitter backchannel with snarky--and sexual--comments about her, projected behind her while she spoke. My post on this issue and what it means for women speakers flew to the top of this month's posts, and includes comments from readers, some of whom suggest those Twitter remarks were "not extreme." What do you think, women speakers?
  2. How to present naked--without technology and props, that is--was the topic of a popular guest post by Marion Chapsal, a speaker coach in France.  She walks you through her experience and that of other speakers who use focus, engagement and storytelling to pull the audience in without extras. A bold approach you should be working toward as a speaker!
  3. A checklist on how to check out your speaker space was our number 3 post, with questions to ask and ideas for how to find out what you need to know before you show up, including getting photos, video or other views.
  4. What can speakers learn from speechwriters? Two speechwriters tell you in this popular post, which offers advice on how to say what you want to say as well as effective ways to work with a speechwriter to get the best presentation possible.
  5. Jennifer Cohen's very first public talk was a runaway hit at the Ignite! Baltimore speaking event in October, with the compelling title, "Fired: Four Times."  I saw her deliver it and keep the oversized crowd engaged.  This guest post shares her perspective on speaking for the first time.
  6. Introvert alert:  My post on speaking up for introverts shared tips from a business coach who's an introverted speaker herself, with ideas for what it takes for introverts to prepare for speaking--or speaking up in meetings.
  7. As we near the final coaching sessions in our Step Up Your Speaking challenge, Stephanie took another try at conveying a message, using the tips she learned earlier in our coaching.  This month, she wowed me with this video of her progress--and I compared it to her original contest entry to show you how far she's come by the time of this week 12 (of 15) session.
  8. Working with the people who manage programs and book speakers was the topic of another coaching session for Stephanie this month.  In this post, she got my tips for what to ask those organizers--18 questions in all--to figure out the opportunities available and whether they work for you.
  9. One great way to make a message sing: Use an analogy.  I walked readers through the thinking behind an effective analogy for use in everything from a short message to a full-length speech.
  10. Got a speaker or speakers in your life or work?  My suggestions for gifting the speaker can work whether you're rewarding a colleague, friend, family member or the speakers you book for your events.  The right book, device or gift card can go a long way to encourage a woman speaker.
Finally, November saw us pass the 1,600 mark in fans of The Eloquent Woman on Facebook, a companion site to the blog that includes discussions, videos, tips and more.  I hope you'll join us as a fan or use Facebook's "suggest to friends" feature to share this resource with speakers in your own fan base.