Posts Tagged ‘Public speaking tips’

Free Public Speaking Tips

Free Public Speaking Tips:

Eliminate Public Speaking Fear and Presentation Anxiety
Tips to Ease Public Speaking Anxiety and Presentation Fear.

Purchase BookThe following is an excerpt from Chapter One of the book Fearless Presentations published by The Leader’s Institute®. In this chapter, Doug Staneart, CEO of The Leader’s Institute®, reveals 10 Free Public Speaking Tips about how to Eliminate Public Speaking Fear and Presentation Anxiety. You can purchase the entire book from our website by clicking here.

You can also purchase this session in an online seminar for just a very small investment. The online public speaking seminar covers the ten tips below in a video of Doug Staneart delivering them personally to a live audience as well as a different version of the content in an MP3 format so you can download the seminar to your iPad or music device. To order the seminar, visit our online seminar store.

Public Speaking Fear & Presentation Anxiety

When I was in college, I had an internship with a large oil and gas company. While I was working there, I felt like I really impressed the people around me with my work ethic, determination, resourcefulness, and productivity. Many of the projects that I worked on were finished weeks and even months ahead of schedule to everyone’s surprise.

But at the end of the internship, I, along with a half-dozen other interns, was asked to give a presentation to the executive committee who created the intern program. In this meeting were not only my boss, but my boss’s boss, three vice-presidents, all of my intern peers, and various observers.

In the beginning, I didn’t think much of this presentation, but as the day moved closer and closer, I began to get more and more nervous. I was the youngest person ever to be accepted to this program—just 19 years-old. The next youngest intern was 23 and was in her second year of law school. So, I felt a little out-classed to say the least.

My boss told me that this would be a great opportunity to shine. He said that if I could just get across to this group how productive I had been to the company, then I would have no problem getting a generous permanent offer from the company upon graduation. That just made me even more nervous.

I wrote, memorized, and practiced my speech over and over. I had a flawless delivery. I realized that I needed a few visuals, so I created a couple of black and white cut-outs of topics I’d be covering.

Continue to Part 2 >>

VIDEO-Stories Reduce Public Speaking Fear

Public Speaking Tips Video: Stories Reduce Public Speaking Fear

One of the easiest ways to reduce the fear of public speaking is by inserting stories or examples to reinforce or back-up facts or statistics in your presentation. Stories are easy to deliver, and you don’t have to memorize them, so they reduce public speaking fear.

To Register for a Fearless Presentations Public Speaking Class, click here.

Dump The Data and Tell Me A Story

Fearless-what every presenter wants to be.  Overcoming public speaking jitters is often as simple as dumping the data, and telling stories.  Stacking your brain with statistics, or dumping them onto a slide guarantees one thing – your audience will disconnect.  However, when a speaker turns boring statistics into real life stories he or she makes the audience sit up and listen, “appreciate” not “tolerate” his presentation.

During our two day program, Fearless Presentations, one participant said, “I like how telling “the story” actually helped get the information out to the audience.  It made giving a presentation in front of a group easier.”  Using that technique, her stories brought out the best in her as a presenter – her personality.

My personal rule during presentations is – every set of data deserves a good story – a story that you can claim, and bring to life.  A really good story helps your audience understand the data.  Drawing on shared emotions and experiences, stories creates rapport, interest in your subject, and buy in.  The more stories you tell – the more persuasive your speech becomes, and the more relaxed and powerful you become as a speaker.  If you want the audience to listen and believe you – tell the story behind the facts.  I  learned this early on as a young news reporter, and practice it every time I speak.

Dump the data – tell me a story.

Statistics are just a bunch of easily forgotten numbers, unless you give them a face and heart

Example:  Pearl Harbor Day

I looked down at the assignment in my hands “Pearl Harbor Day – Veteran.”  I wanted to take a different angle.  I wanted to explain the data through the eyes of a Japanese-American, county commissioner.  My news director liked the idea, and after much persuasion, Commissioner George Shiozowa, agreed.  No data set could tell the

Soldiers with guns, searched our house, taking family documents and photos, all the kitchen knives and my pearl-handled pocketknife, a treasured gift from my uncle.  We hoped it was over.  We were wrong.  They loaded us like cattle into the backs of trucks and took us away.  I was so frightened I did not speak for days.  Finally we reached the Idaho desert.  We were penned like animals behind barbed wire in the Idaho desert, while my brothers fought the Japanese.”

If you call me twenty years from now I will not recall the facts, that 2,117 Americans died at Pearl Harbor, or that 120,000 Japanese-Americans, men, women and children, were locked behind barbed wire in the desert.  (I had to re-research those facts.)  I will, however, be able to tell you the story of a ten year old Japanese-American boy who was taken prisoner by his own country because he looked like the enemy.

Behind every group of facts, data set, or event there is a powerful story.  Look inside your “life catalogue” flip through the pages.  Whatever principle you want to express – there is a story or example for it, a human look at otherwise heartless information.

Your personal stories will bring richness to your presentation, and understanding to your audience.  You are the only one who can tell them, because you have lived them.  Your stories  are unique, interesting and a powerful way to make your point, and persuade your audience to your point of view.  If you want to “wow” your audience – tell more stories.  By Connie Timpson/ Sr. Instructor/Performance Coach/The Leader’s Institute

Power Point Tips

Power Point Tips: The 10 Biggest PowerPoint Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By Doug Staneart

The most frequently asked topic that we get questions on when we conduct public speaking training is always related to PowerPoint Tips. Because PowerPoint is so powerful, people tend to either get really good at all of the bells and whistles and overwhelm their audience, or they use PowerPoint as a crutch and rely on their slide deck too much making their presentation very boring. Below are the top 10 biggest Power Point Mistakes that we tend to make along with ways to overcome them. (By the way, we cover a whole section on designing PowerPoint Presentation in The Leader’s Institute Leadership Boot Camp.)

1) Designing a “PowerPoint Presentation”: Remember, a presentation is a verbal communication to your audience that may or may not use visual aids. PowerPoint is just ONE type of visual aid that can be used to further explain or clarify your presentation. If you focus entirely on this one type of visual aid without putting an emphasis on what you are actually saying, your presentation will tend to have a disconnected flow and will be difficult for the audience to follow. Instead, design your presentation and get good at delivering it first. Once you get good at delivering the presentation, then decide what visual aids you might be able to use to help you clarify your points.

2) Too Many PowerPoint Slides: Another big mistake is creating too many slides and using them as a crutch to make sure that we don’t forget anything in our presentation. Slide… Click… Slide… Click… Slide… Click… is a very boring way to deliver a presentation and makes the presenter look unprepared and uninformed about his/her topic. Only add a slide if it helps you better clarify your point.

3) Too Much Data on Your PowerPoint Slides: Your slide deck should be a visual aid to help you explain your point, so if you put too much data on a slide (too much text, too many numbers, or charts and graphs – gasp… Is he saying we can’t use charts and graphs?) you will overwhelm you audience. Your PowerPoint slide should convey a simple concept at a glance. A good rule is what we call 6X6, which means to limit your number of words per line to six and limit your number of lines to about six as well.

4) Overuse of Animation: PowerPoint will do some really cool types of animation, but remember that if you animate something, it should help you clarify your point. Bullet points that fly in, spin around, make sounds, and blink are just a distraction from your message. If you want your audience to follow you step-by-step, you can reveal your bullets one at a time. However, you’ll have more energy as a presenter if you just make your slide appear and physically move to your screen and point to your bullet point when you talk about it.

5) Too Many Busy Charts: (Gasp… He is saying not to use charts and graphs.) For the most part, charts, graphs, and pictures make terrible PowerPoint slides. If the charts or graphs are simple, they can be judiciously used in a slideshow, however if you are graphing total revenue of five different divisions on a quarterly basis for each of your ten major product lines, your graph will be way too busy to understand in a slide. Use a handout instead. If you need a visual aid for it, make a big poster of the graph but in most cases, you can just use the handout itself as the visual aid.

6) Improper Use of Pictures: A picture is worth a 1000 words, but only if the picture is important to your point. Often, we will look at our slide and think, “It seems a little plain…” so we stick a picture in to jazz it up a little. While that is not, in itself, a terrible strategy, sometimes the pictures that we choose cause confusion because it was an afterthought. You could set a small picture on the slide master so that it shows on every slide. That way, since the picture is always there, it doesn’t cause confusion when the text changes. By the way, making a poster of a good picture will add much more impact than a picture on a slide

7) Not Practicing Your Presentation with the Slideshow: Time is getting short, so you send your slide deck to marketing to jazz it up a little. They send you the final copy minutes before you go in front of the group. Everything is perfect in the slideshow, but because you haven’t practiced, your flow is off, and you have to keep clicking the next slide before you start to speak. It just makes you more nervous. Finish your slide deck early and practice with it.

8) Sitting Down to Deliver Your Presentation: The moment that you sit down and start clicking slides, the PowerPoint deck becomes the authority in the room on the topic and your energy will plummet. Stand between your screen and the audience, and you will be the expert.

9) Read… Click… Read… Click…: If you are doing this one, then I hate to be the one to tell you this, but… You’re Boring! Sorry. I know that hurt, but it’s true. The good news is that if you follow the prior guidelines, this one goes away automatically. So if you are experiencing this, go back and work on the earlier tips.

10) Letting Someone Else Design your Slideshow: Realize that if someone else designs your PowerPoint Slide Deck, it will likely have many of the earlier mistakes in it. You’ll also have a more difficult time delivering it and be more nervous. To combat this, you’ll need to practice your delivery a lot more than if you designed your own presentation, but it can be done. Over time, use the guidelines above to influence the person or people who are designing your slideshow.

Follow these simple guidelines, and your PowerPoint Slides will help you better deliver more powerful presentations. Violate them, and you’ll likely be more nervous and have a more difficult time delivering your presentation.

Doug Staneart is the creator of The Fearless Presentations® Public Speaking Class that is offered in major cities all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. Click the link here (https://www.leadersinstitute.com/public-speaking/fearlesspresentations.html) and request information about his presentation course, and he’ll send you a free copy of his book, Fearless Presentations®. His new program, the Entrepreneur Boot Camp, helps small business owners grow their businesses during difficult financial times like a recession.

Public Speaking Ideas – Audience Participation Adds Impact- Pt5

Public Speaking Ideas- Audience Participation Adds Impact
Part Two


Have you ever been in a conversation, heard something and interrupted with, “What was that?”

Many would say that sound is one of the most important senses we have. It allows us to listen, of course, but it also serves as an alert, or warning system. It is a special filter that our brains have the capacity to use to help us decide what we want and need to listen to, and what is not as important. Ever sit in a restaurant oblivious to the sounds around you until you catch a simple word from another conversation, your ears perk up, you motion to the person you’re with to be quiet and your strain to catch the conversation you were previously unaware of- all because one word you overheard?

Stop right now, sit back and make take note of all the things you can hear but were previously unaware of, quite interesting. When you are making a presentation your audience has many sounds going on around them, not just what you’re saying. So why not use that to your advantage. Besides your voice engage their hearing in activities that will help reinforce your message.

Hearing a speaker on time management, there was a continuous clicking sound that was almost distracting, until the presenter mentioned the seconds pounding away on a watch. We had all been hearing it, but when we discovered what it was, it reinforced the value of time and the crime of wasting it.

A song played before, during or after a presentation can be a powerful things if the words are displayed and there is an obvious emotional connection to the presentation (just be aware that long (or even not-so-long) instrumentals can cause people’s minds to wonder). A loud noise that rattles the audience can make a vivid point if used wisely and timed properly.

I attended a Good Friday service in which the pounding of a hammer against a nail could be heard in the background.

Once when talking about teamwork I would randomly bang a loud cymbal. At the end I made the point that as part of a symphony a cymbal can be a very valuable instrument, while by itself it simply is nerve-racking- it made the point well.

When you plan a presentation consider how to involve the sense of hearing beyond just using your words. It may get you message to your audience beyond the ears and into their imagination.

Fearless Presentations Success in Boston

Fearless Presentations Boston 2010Boston, MA was the sight for a small but successful Fearless Presentations ® workshop. There were only four attending, but the class was very good and received very positive feedback. In fact, 2 of the three companies represented mentioned they would recommend to their supervisors that class become one of their regular training modules. We’ll follow up on that and see what happens. All four men were experienced in presentations and already had some basic skills. some were looking at situations where they would be doing more speaking and wanted to hone their presentations skills, others were taking the class because they are expected to take continuing education classes at regular intervals, and another reason was it just looked like a good class. We had fun going through the material and there was good input from all of the class participants.

After the first session a coupe of the people agreed that they had already gotten their money’s worth. Of course fear is public speaking is a clear and present concern for most people. So in addressing how to overcome that fear, much was shared that helped the individuals for their first purpose in coming. So when we discussed that 90% of their nervousness doesn’t show up to their audience, they were relieved. When we reviewed the videos, all were certain and expressed that they were more nervous than the videos revealed. This just reinforced the point, they were nervous, but the audience was not aware of it. Just that fact allowed them, the next time they got up, to take a couple deep breaths and address the audience with confidence knowing that their nervousness didn’t show- so it was easier to display confidence in their message.

It was a great two days and Boston, although rainy the whole time, was a great experience. If your in the Boston area, or would like to spend some time there, check out the next Fearless Presentations ® in Boston.

For a Complete List of Upcoming Classes, Visit the upcoming presentation skills classes post. You can can click here for details about the Fearless Presentations ® class.

Persuasive Public Speaking (Video from Rome)

Persuasive Public Speaking.  One of the most effective ways to persuade your audience is to relay a personal story or an example that shows the benefits of your recommendation to your audience.  Religious leaders have used this technique for over 2000 years with great success.  This video explains how the persuasive public speaking technique works.  Fearless Presentations is a presentation training course offered in major cities all over the world, and here is a video from Doug Staneart, CEO of The Leader’s Institute, who gives a explains this technique in the courtyard of the Vatican.

Video-Where Does Public Speaking Fear come from?

I just finished a fantastic presentation skills class in Baden Baden, Germany, and I made a very interesting observation.  I’ve been teaching public speaking classes and presentation skills for years, and I realized a long time ago that fear comes from uncertainty about an outcome.  So, for instance, when people feel nervous about speaking in front of a group, they are nervous because they are uncertain about whether they will do well or do poorly.

In this particular class, though, just about every single person was a non-native English speaking person.  Studies show that 95% of the American population is nervous about public speaking — uncertain about the outcome.  Just think how much more nervous you would be if you were asked to give you speech in Spanish, or French?  That’s exactly what this group was asked to do.  And yet, within a couple of days, these participants were delivering Fearless Presentations!

The group was made up of participants from the US and UK (the only native English speakers) as well as participants from France, Germany, Russia, and China.  When diverse groups like this get together, more often than not, they speak English as a common language.  And that is what this group was doing.

What I noticed was that this group acted very much the same as participants in our normal US and UK classes. Sure, they were nervous, but as we progressed through the class, and each speaker had a new success in speaking, their self-confidence grew dramatically.

The key to eliminating public speaking fear is to have a series of fantastic successes, and the best way to do that is to get a good coach.  Failure causes uncertainty in future presentations, but success causes certainty that you will speak confidently and with poise.

Success to you!

Doug Staneart is the CEO of The Leader’s Institute®. If you are in Europe, and you’d like information about how to eliminate your public speaking fear, visit our public speaking class website in Europe.

Everything You’ve Learned about Public Speaking is WRONG!

By Doug Staneart

Many myths about public speaking have been passed along from person to person over the years, and the one thing that is consistent about these myths is that the people who pass them along are still nervous about speaking. After facilitating over 200 public speaking classes and never having a single person fail to significantly reduce his/her fear of speaking, I had a dramatic realization. Just about everything I was taught about public speaking while I was in school and from well meaning peers and coworkers – WAS WRONG!

Below are the top three myths that we have identified, and some simple tips that will help you reduce your fear or nervousness.

Myth #1: If you write out a talk and memorize it, you’ll be more comfortable.

This is the fastest, easiest way to make your presentation boring and canned and to make you more nervous. When you memorize a talk word-for-word, any slight hick-up or distraction can throw you off track. That can increase your nervousness. Instead, write out just a few key points and practice giving stories or examples to back up each point.

Myth #2: More facts/details will better clarify your topic.

Most of us believe that a little is good, more is better, and a whole bunch is just right in public speaking. If I can give you 10 reasons why my topic is true, then that is obviously better than two or three reasons, right? Well in public speaking, the more points we offer, the more confused our audience can become. A good rule of thumb is five or less. So, after you decide on your topic, narrow down the key points that support your topic to around five key points or fewer. If your talk requires more than five points, then it would be best to divide the presentation into two different talks.

Myth #3: Nervous habits make you a poor speaker.

Most people think that “Uhms,” talking fast, and nervous gestures are bad, but in fact, these things can make you very relatable to your audience. “Uhm” is a normal word in the English language. We say this word all the time in normal conversation. When it’s not there, the speaker can sound phony and forced. Plus, I’ve found that if you try to get yourself to stop saying “Uhm,” you’ll probably just start saying it more often anyway. Also, when people speak fast and move more, they show energy and enthusiasm. I’ve had many speakers come through my classes who were scared to get up and speak at the beginning of the program, but when they did speak, the audience thought that they were excellent speakers. The audience saw the nervousness and assumed it was enthusiasm.

Realize that speaking well is like learning to play golf. If you get a group of hackers together to coach each other, you’re just going to get a group of people very proficient at a bad golf swing. However, if you get a good coach, he can shave strokes off in no time. If you really want to get good at public speaking quickly, get a good coach who doesn’t buy-in to all the speaking myths.

Doug Staneart, doug@leadersinstitute.com, is a senior instructor for The Leader’s Institute. He has twenty-five years experience training and coaching. He has built and sold two successful businesses. To learn more about becoming a High Impact Leader visit our website at https://www.fearlessandpersuasivespeaking.com or call Doug toll-free at 1-800-872-7830.

Get off the Short List: Winning Bid Presentations

By: Doug Staneart

In past decades, the contractor who had the lowest bid typically got the job. And while low bids are still critical, today that same contractor is likely to be placed on a “Short List” where the contractor will have to sell himself and sell his company to the potential clients. This is usually done through a presentation.

There is no foolproof way to win a bid, but there are a few things you can do to hedge your bets. By using these simple tips, you may be able to increase your chance of getting the job pretty significantly.


Never go into a presentation with a standard, generic proposal. Each buyer is different, and each buyer will have different priorities in choosing a contractor. Remember, no matter what the buyer tells you AFTER the presentation, price is almost never the reason they didn’t choose you. The reason that buyers tell us this is that they usually have no other means to make a decision.

Let me explain. Let’s say we are writing a proposal for a school district. The buyer, the person making the ultimate decision (by the way, that is usually only one person, even though it may to appear to be a committee,) has a hierarchy of priorities that will influence the decision. This hierarchy will be different for different people, but let’s say this particular buyer is primarily interested in the job finishing on time, the safety of the children, the aesthetics of the building, and finally, price-in that order. If this buyer views three proposals all saying basically the same things, “We are the best at finishing on time. Safety is our priority. Look at how beautiful our buildings look.” Then the only criteria left to make a decision is price.

If any of the contractors in the above example could have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were indeed the best at any one of those things, then that contractor would have easily made it to the top of the “Short List.” Specific evidence that you can do what your buyer wants will set you apart. This evidence could be pictures, testimonials, exhibits, quotes, trade journal articles, and many other forms. The more dramatic the evidence, the more easily it will be remembered. One of my clients photocopied over 100 letters of recommendation and delivered a set to each of the committee members at the conclusion of his presentation. He was the only contractor who offered even one. He got the job and was $250,000 over the lowest bidder.

How do we know what our buyer’s hierarchy is? ASK. Call up or visit the people you will present to. Find out what, other than price, is most important and why. Many times, these buyers will tell you in great detail. Make notes and accumulate evidence that supports how you can do what they want.


Right or wrong, people form an impression of how competent we are in the first few seconds that they meet us. Are we nervous? Do we present ourselves in a confident, professional manner? Our confidence when we present is vital to winning over our audience to our way of thinking.

The buyers want to get to know the people they will be working with. They want to know if they can trust the contractor. The contractor who can present confidently and build trust and rapport with the audience has a great shot at getting to the top of the “Short List.”

Presenters who have received professional coaching in public speaking skills have a distinct advantage over those who have not.

Doug Staneart, is CEO of The Leader’s Institute® Entrepreneur Workshops. He can be reached toll-free at 1-800-872-7830.

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