Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring forward: Our top 10 April tips

April's a transitional time for the weather, the seasons and sometimes, for speakers. In this month of changes, here are the most sought-after tips from the Eloquent Woman blog, to help you make adjustments to your speaking skills:
  1. I took a seat in the audience for a change, to come up with this month's most popular post, "Persuade me: 21 ways speakers can." Persuasion's a key element in eloquence. What's on your list of persuasive tactics? This post got kudos from audience members and speechwriters.

  2. For novice speakers, how do you get practice without doing a big speech? I've got 4 "stepping stones" that will give you the practice you need--and let you start small, then move up in terms of length and level of difficulty, while building a reputation for good, solid delivery.

  3. Am I too old to learn good speaking skills? Age bring pluses and minuses to older speakers who've never been trained, but, in my experience, it's never too late to learn. Check out my advice on what older speakers need to keep in mind.

  4. Caring for the speaker is a job for...the speaker. Read this summary of my tips for "the healthy speaker" to make sure you're boosting your speaker-power. Then focus on your state of mind when speaking as a key element in your success. Check out Olivia Mitchell's post on varying states and how to use them to advantage, before or after you speak.

  5. Pride goeth before a fall, they say. But here's a new view from psychologists who suggest that a healthy level of pride can help you in social situations like speaking.

  6. Women still have trouble getting on the program at professional conferences. I've started to highlight speakers' bureaus that feature women speakers to raise awareness for program planners and help women speakers put themselves forward. Please, send me your entries for bureaus that collect and promote women speakers!

  7. Lucky enough to have lots of speaking gigs? Then remind yourself to cover these bases, backups and breathers when you're a frequent speaker.

  8. Young speakers have their own version of American Idol in the UK. Check out the BBC website for the show "The Speakers" for ideas, tips and advice.

  9. There's a new online "Public Speaking Community" where you can find lots of advice from this and other blogs on public speaking. Let us know how you're participating in this social network!

  10. Women, anxiety and speaking were considered in this Diane Rehm Show interview with the author of a new book on anxiety and why women differ from men in approaching it. The post mirrors topics we've discussed on the blog before, so share your reaction.