Thursday, May 24, 2012

Speaking Lesson from IBM's Ginni Rometty

Watch this talk by Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM:

Rometty tells a story that taught her the importance of risk-taking. She explains that sometimes we are so self-critical, that it prevents us from having another experience.

As a speaker, this dynamic is particularly challenging. It is easy to fall into the trap of being so self-critical - and so concerned about what others will think - that you are unable to be in the moment. And being in the moment - being fully present - is the secret to having stage presence.

From the Green Room: Is self-criticism preventing you from being fully present when you speak?

One easy way to break this pattern to take a few moments -  right before you get up to speak - and your body into its most confident state. Stand with your feet grounded. Maintain an open posture. Breathe deeply. Smile.  Even if you are feeling less than confident, this simple exercise will help  quiet your inner-critic so you can be present.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Embrace Mistakes

Watch this 4-minute TED talk by start-up guru Renny Gleason.

Gleason shows us how you can turn mistakes into opportunities to connect:


Gleason ends his talk with the following message:

A simple mistake can tell me what you're not.

Or remind me why I should love you.

From the Green Room: Don't worry if you mess up. You will, and that's OK.What matters is how you respond. Sometimes your mistakes can end up being the part of your presentation the audience loves most.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

When Content and Delivery Don't Match: Speaking Lesson from the High Line

In the Digital Empathy, an art installation by Julianne Swartz, on display at the High Line park in NYC, listeners hear loving messages in computer-generated voices.

 The effect is supposed to create a dissonance between the warmth of the content and the coldness of the speaker. While this makes for an interesting and provocative art installation, it is exactly the opposite of what you should do as a speaker.

 From the Green Room: If you want your presentation to be both understood and remembered, make sure your delivery is in sync with your content.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coldplay/Beastie Boys Speaking Lesson

I love Coldplay's tribute to the Beastie Boys' MCA. This is a brilliant example of somebody stepping into the shoes of another speaker and being completely authentic.

From the Green Room: Public speaking isn't about having to become someone different in front of an audience. It's about expressing sometimes even someone else's words in your own voice. 

Find your voice and of course, fight for your right to party.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Great Improv Exercise

Here's a fun improv exercise that works on body language and can help you get out of your comfort zone when you deliver a presentation:

From the Green Room: The same words can have entirely different meanings depending on how you say them. Try rehearsing the opener of your speech using a variety of vocal tones and body language. The more you exaggerate this at home, the more free you will be to experiment with different forms of expression when it comes time to speak.