What I learnt by attending The Voice Australia Blind Auditions

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The Voice is an exciting , performance based selection process for singers seeking to be the new, hot star. My family happened to get some free tickets to one of the blind auditions. We are under strict guidelines not to give away details – we are not allowed to say anything about the performances that got through or take photos of the auditorium or any part of the performance or performers – understandably – this is to keep the program a surprise for when it is broadcast. Still, audience members tried to snap that secret photo!

However, my interest is in what were the judges looking for? What helped the performer get through? It was gruelling for the performers and the standard is very high – they only had 2 minutes to grab the judges attention – what is it that made some performers stand out?

Whether it is singing or delivering a presentation at work – to get and keep your audience’s attention in whatever forum is the challenge for the presenter.

The Speakers Practice presentation skills training, the SpeakersTrainingCamp program ,details three very important areas that impact on the performance of a presenter.

Steak – the information and the way the information is structured during the presentation has a great impact on the overall ability of the audience to take in the content of the presentation.
Sizzle – the parts of the presentation that make us listen – examples like stories , photos, statistics – all sorts of methods to keep the audience watching and listening. For singers – it may be the highs and lows of the song and making some parts soft and some very loud – For presenters – it may be a story with a lot of emotional connection , using a pause to capture attention , a prop or some statistics and data that are presented in a clear, concise manner. You get to decide what works best and really gets your message across.
Style – this is the way the presenter delivers the content – eye contact, vocal variety, body language, and the list goes on. The important thing here is that the presenter needs to be authentic –

So what I learnt from attending The Voice Blind Auditions was that whether you are trying to get ahead on a top rating television show or you need to make a great impression with your next presentation to the boss, learning to develop these three major areas of your presentation – the Steak, Sizzle and Style , will really help the success of whatever your next presentation is.

Good Luck!

How to Prepare Your Business for the New Year

The Friday Forum is for business people – we discuss many topics and hear how our guests have included speaking to groups as a marketing strategy – today Julie Ashton of Dynamic Business coach is detailing some great tips on “How to Prepare Your Business for the New Year”.

Julie has a unique talent for simplifying complex processes and concepts while identifying and implementing practical strategies for her clientèle. She is known for teaching people how to work quickly and efficiently while happily delivering great service, whether it be by phone, internet or face to face.

Adrienne McLean interviews Julie Ashton on how to prepare for the approaching new year – there are some great tips and advice for being prepared and ready for a successful year ahead.

Champion Speaker’s Recommendations

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Champion Speaker’s recommendation

On the 18th April,2011, I had the opportunity to meet Lance Miller, Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking 2005. Lance Miller was a wealth of information and he had these recommendations.

When putting a speech together, the critical items are:

Be a Champion of your ideas
Look at what the winners are doing
Put behind any regrets
Public Speaking is not acting – Public Speaking is about connecting with your audience
Public Speaking has everything to do with Keeping the attention of your audience. A perfect speech keeps the attention of the audience right through the whole presentation.
Use Series of Threes – 3 main points to get your message across
Use of Pause – this allows your audience to lock into the last phrase said. If you want to make your point important – then Pause!
To make a point – tell a story. This is because we are not computers.
**You have to touch the heart of your audience,
to change their minds.**

When you speak to your audience, lay the concepts to the audience and let them absorb your ideas. Start with a story everyone agrees with then personalise it, put yourself in the story and then add a message to the metaphor.

Lance Miller speaks on ” Finding Your Voice”
The areas one needs to look at when wanting to Find Your voice are-

The message has to do with the speaker
There has to be 100% Conviction – NO doubts
Passion – when you are passionate about something it is much easier to get the message across
Sincerity and humility = There is no place on a stage for “Swollen Heads” – Your stories don’t have to be sensational. They do need to be sincere.
Life Force – 20% Mechanics, 30% Message and 50% Energy
You’ve go to be honest with the audience – sincere!
Touch the heart and change the minds of the audience. Be humble
80% of the Mechanics is to do with Preparation – See our last Blog on The Power of Practice.
Be yourself, Your Philosophy and your values
We all have defining moments that change our lives – talk from your heart – create the extraordinary from the ordinary things of life – what I’m struggling with and add an inspiring message
Your topic doesn’t have to be a sensational concept – you just have to be sincere and look at changing the lives of your audience.
Ask yourself – ” What’s my attention on? ” That’s what you speak on.

Lance Miller finished the evening with these points –” The world is controlled by people who are heard. The Skills that are needed are – Speaking in Public and knowing how to run a Meeting.”

It certainly was a pleasure to meet Lance Miller. He is such a generous gentleman with his time and information. From this presentation, the audience learnt so much.

The Power of Practice!

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For The Speakers Practice’s Opening Blog, it seems appropriate to look at the Power of Practice.

It’s through Practice, that people who give presentations can work on their presentation to give maximum impact to their audience. It’s one thing to talk about what you want to speak about, its another thing completely, whether your audience understands the points you are delivering.

Even the most experienced presenters practice their speeches, fine tune their messages, understand the timings of their presentations so their audience really gets the most out of attending and ultimately wants to hear more and wants to do business with the presenter.

So , what is the Process of Practicing a Presentation?

PREPARE – this is where you gather your information, write your presentation, look at your objectives for giving the speech and what your message is. Use stories that are yours , this will help you to remember what goes next. This is where most of your time is spent. The SpeakersTrainingCamp® has a wonderful structure that can really help you to look at every aspect of a presentation.

REHEARSE – you have your presentation ready, now to get your delivery smooth and confident, you need to rehearse a number of times so that you really feel that you know it inside out. Then you can present your speech not relying on notes, you can have them there ,however, it really helps your presentation if you are not glued to your notes and you are looking at your audience.

AUDIENCE
– you are delivering your presentation to inform, inspire and guide your audience. You can make a difference with your presentation – whether it’s an important presentation to an executive committee , a work group or its a social presentation. Your presentation is for your audience.

CONNECTION
– Practicing your presentation will give you the opportunity to maximise your connection with your audience. The more confident your presentation, the more you know your message, the more authentic you are, the more eye contact you have with your audience, the more you know about your audience – the better your connection with your audience and the more you will be successfully able to get your message across.

TIMING – Always ,and I mean , Always respect the timing of your presentation. Know your presentation, and by going through this process you do now, Know how long it takes and suite the timing to what is expected. You may be given 20mins, then , have your presentation going for 20minutes. This point is really important. Speakers that think they can go on for hours instead of minutes loose their audience’s respect as well as credibility. By practicing, you can fine tune the timing and increase your confidence.

IMPROVE – Professional speakers practice and improve their presentations so that they can confidently present their speech and achieve maximum impact. Don’t wing it, practice and Improve then you will get maximum impact from your presentation.

CONSOLIDATE
– Now you have Prepared, REhearsed , thought about your Audience, built a Connection wtih your audience, worked at the Timing, Improved – all these tasks have Consolidated your presentation so that you can really achieve what you would like from your presentation – and that is Impress them!

EXCEL – when you follow this process , you will Excel and do your best. Ok, there’s always areas to work on ,however, by continuing along this path of Continuous Improvement and Practice of your Presentations , you will Excel! this is the Power of Practice.

Consider joining The Speakers Practice – Speakers Forum. Attendees are like-minded Business People who are wanting to promote their businesses by speaking to networking groups, associations ,etc. We discuss presentation skills , present current speeches and get audience feedback on delivery, objectives , on how we understood the message, and so on.

Enjoy your Presentations, Practice your Presentations and appreciate the Power of Practice!!