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Outside the Speaker's Bubble

a newsletter about speakers and speaking

The Speaker's Bubble is that wrinkle in the time/space continuum you experience whenever you speak, and experience even the slightest bit of pressure to perform. It's that place where your heart rate speeds up, just a little. Where you hear your blood pounding ever-so-slightly in your ears. Where you turn various shades of crimson, or feel short of breath. All these are purely normal physiological responses to the stress of "the-one-versus-the-many." There are ways to control this stress; excellent speakers know this. So do experienced leaders. My Communications Conditioning practice teaches speakers of all skill levels how to deal with stress and present like pros! I can give a practical road map of strategies to make anyone a better communicator for life.

Click here for a schedule of my upcoming workshops.


February 2018

It's not just the notes!

Read this month's blog to see what the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (pictured here rehearsing at Carnegie Hall) can teach us about communicating effectively without any words!

Join me for upcoming events in March:

Communications Skills One-Day Blitz! on March 5th, info here.

Staged Reading of my newest play, It's My Party!, on March 26th, info here.  

Tips you can use!
Yes, they are looking at you!
Maintain your centered and grounded "leadership persona" when you get offstage. Even if you return to the audience, active listening and attentiveness reinforce your credibility and authority.

Can the uptalk
It's time for this annoying habit to go away! Aside from being incredibly grating to the ear, it's hard to take someone seriously who can't even make a declarative statement.

Practice with a stopwatch 
Whether you're putting together a keynote, panel presentation, or status update, find out how much time you have. Plan accordingly, but don't rely on the old "words-per-minute" formula. Delivery speed varies greatly, even for the same speaker in different situations. The only way to avoid running over is to practice your speech and time it. Do that and everybody's happy

January 2018

The hard truth about the easy way

Let's start the New Year off on the right foot and banish to the trash heap of 2017 the notion that there are easy shortcuts to speaking success! My blog this month discusses why, but offers the good news that you don't need superpowers to become a Super Speaker.

More good news: you can work on achieving that 2018 "improving my public speaking"  goal before Q2 by signing up for my Executive Communications Skills One-Day Blitz! Details here.

 Tips You Can Use!

Going back through my archives, I have found lots of oldies but goodies. Here's the link to my January 2012 newsletter. You'll find some tips at the bottom about eye contact and avoiding shiny things. Tips that are evergreen. Good for this time of year!


December 2107 

Ann's Top Ten

It's that time of year: I am pleased to give you my Top Ten list of the most popular (and useful) Tips You Can Use! You can read them on my December blog. Feel free to share!

I wish you all peace this holiday season, and hope you will make some time to really connect with those who are closest to you.

In January I'll restart my popular monthly One Day Blitz! Executive Communications Skills workshop. You can find more info here.



November 2017

Put down the megaphone!

I had a busy October prepping clients for a wide variety of speeches. But one thing all these preparations had in common: we started by framing each speech as a conversation, no matter how formal the setting. Read about how and why in my latest blog.

 Tips you can use!

Little word does big harm
"Just" and the words that often follow it ("I just wanted to see if you had time to look over...") need to be eliminated from your vocabulary. They dilute your intention and make you seem unsure. Get to the point. If you have a question, ask. If you have a statement, make it. Don't beat around the bush. Saves time, too!

You need to eat
Many folks right now are dieting in preparation for the Holiday FoodFest. And most of us could benefit from more awareness about what we're eating. But the truth is your brain needs glucose to work. If you get too hungry your thinking may become fuzzy or muddled and your communications will all suffer.

Practice may not make perfect, but. . .
It sure helps you feel more present, more connected, more in the moment. But you know this. So do it!

October 2017

 These myths have got to go!

I spend a lot of my time debunking myths about public speaking. I can't believe that in 2017 some of these are still being passed off as "conventional wisdom" to unsuspecting clients. But they are. Read my blog to find out the two things you need to stop doing TODAY to become a better speaker.

Another thing you can do is work with me at my fall Executive Communications Skills: One-Day Blitz! More info here.

Tips you can use!
Three points or you're out!
Make only three main points per speech. Any more and the audience won't remember or follow what you're saying. If you have several points to make, see how you can chunk them into three broader categories. Your message will be "stickier" that way!

Get the words in your mouth
Practice might not make it perfect, but it helps a lot!  You need to say what you're going to say: get in in your mouth. It sounds obvious, I know, but how many times have you heard speakers stumble over or mispronounce words? These things get cleared up by actual physical practice, not just reading your speech over in your head.

Don't fade into the background
If you will be giving a speech where you'll be on a stage or a dais with a backdrop, ask what color it will be. You don't want to show up in your signature black outfit only to realize you'll be standing in front of a black drape, do you? Add this question to your list as you gather info about other venue specifics (size of room, podium vs. lectern, type of mic, etc.).