Thursday, January 27, 2011

Get 'Good On Your Feet' as a speaker in our March 2-3 workshop


Whether you're making a focused business presentation or an inspiring speech, you want to do more than read your text or your slides. How will you remember what you want to say, without looking at notes? What if you get a question out of left field--and freeze? How can you look confident and relaxed, instead of pinned to the lectern?

Those are the skills you can learn when you attend our next Good On Your Feet! workshop on dynamic public speaking and presentation skills, March 2 and 3 in Washington, DC..  It's a small-group, two-day intensive training that will show you how to get ready, relaxed and resilient in dealing with all kinds of speaker situations--while looking and feeling more prepared and confident.

Here's what participants in the last Good On Your Feet! workshop had to say:
  • "I feel more confident in my ability to give presentations--thanks!"
  • "I found useful the Q-and-A response tactics and a pausing technique that I can use."
  • "Most valuable: practicing with feedback from Denise and the other participants."
  • "Most valuable for me were the graceful ways with Q-and=A, critiques, video recording and moving around (walking and talking)."
You'll get takeaway materials, plenty of practice and coaching and continental breakfast, lunch and breaks each day of the workshop. Subscribers to our newsletters get a 25 percent discount on registration. Use the links below to subscribe, then reserve your place in the next Good On Your Feet! workshop here.

And if you 're a speaker wanting to know how to use social-media tools to promote your next gig, check out a February 18 lunch-and-learn, The Networked Communicator, in Washington, DC. You'll learn about which online profiles help you promote your speaking gigs, and how to make the best use of them.

Clip to Evernote
Use the Evernote clip button, above, to save this post in an Evernote notebook. Go here to subscribe to Step Up Your Speaking, my free email newsletter that looks at a different speaking topic in depth each month...then become a fan of The Eloquent Woman on Facebook and join the conversation with thousands of other women (and men) about public speaking skills and confidence.  Subscribers also get a 25 percent discount when they register for our next Good On Your Feet! workshop on dynamic speaking skills, March 2 and 3 in Washington, DC.

What should I do with my hands when I'm not gesturing?

I often ask participants in my presentation or public speaking trainings where they think their hands belong when they are not gesturing. Most people immobilize their hands, gripping them together or grabbing both sides of the lectern. Some hold them together, lower than the waist, in what we call "fig leaf" and "reverse fig leaf" when they're behind your back. You know who you are. And others--mostly men--put their hands in their pockets, thinking this looks casual and solves the problem. In fact, they may be doing more harm than good.

Your hands will best serve you during a speech or presentation if they're available for your use at a moment's notice--and that means you should hold them at rest with your elbows bent, and fingers touching, but not gripping, those of the opposite hand. You can rest one hand on the other lightly, but don't grip.

This option helps you in three ways:
  1. Your hands and arms are now free to gesture up or down without having to travel a long way (distracting to you and your audience). If you're not immobilizing them, they're ready to move.
  2. On camera or when speaking behind a lectern, you'll need to be gesturing near your face if your hands are to be seen. Holding them at your waist keeps them closer to the place they need to be.
  3. You'll speak more fluently. If you grip your hands or otherwise hold them still, you're more likely to make a verbal error.
Once you practice this, it will help you look relaxed and natural, giving you the appearance of a calm, collected speaker. This technique also works for people with the opposite problem, those who gesture too much. Holding your hands at the ready can feel like a gesture and give your hands something to do other than flapping.

Related posts:  How gestures contribute to your message

Clip to Evernote
Use the Evernote clip button, above, to save this post in an Evernote notebook. Go here to subscribe to Step Up Your Speaking, my free email newsletter that looks at a different speaking topic in depth each month...then become a fan of The Eloquent Woman on Facebook and join the conversation with thousands of other women (and men) about public speaking skills and confidence. Subscribers also get a 25 percent discount when they register for our next Good On Your Feet! workshop on dynamic speaking skills, March 2 and 3 in Washington, DC.