Austin Vocal Lab - Austin,TX

Updated: February 3rd, 2009

"Guy Monroe's approach engages a person at the deepest level of their unconscious. His teaching style is not only fun, it is also growthful, healing, and empowering."
Caveh Zahedi - Actor, Director, Film Maker

Remember, you are the presentation. When you express yourself, whether to one person or 10,000 people, It's not just the lecture notes, or wonderful words you use. We see you. As a speaker, if you hide behind a podium, it says something about you. If you cling to your notes, hoping to avoid an embarrassing moment, we notice it. You are sending volumes of information about the kind of person you are. Your body posture, your facial expression or lack thereof, the tension in your voice, loudness, softness, what is important to you, your sense of humor, lightness, informality, formality, etc. Call 512.554.8771 or Request a Complimentary Consultation.

The words you use, are of no value, unless you are engaged with your audience. Unless you are committed to connecting to yourself and your audience. You will lose them. Why? Because people have heard it all. What they are seeking is authenticity and presence. This is mastery.

People don't know what data you are sharing. They don't know what your personal agenda is. If it turns out that your agenda is to connect with them in a meaningful way. This will be of great value to them.

1. Know Your Audience
Many people believe, in order to be an effective public speaker, you have to know your audience. This is where the ‘who’ of public speaking comes into play. Many believe how you would address a group of teenagers would differ greatly from how you would address a group of, say, lawyers. Is this true? Would you address a group of teens differently than a group of lawyers.? If your objective is to engage your audience, it would require an awareness of not only what topical content is deemed of high value to your audience, but also the mood of the audience in the moment of presentation. Is their energy lagging? Is their energy up? How are people feeling? Remember, your objective is to connect and maintain contact with them. You can do this by staying in the moment. Operate your presentation towards engagement, moment to moment.

You need to know your audience, who they are, what is topical and of value to them, and then target your presentation toward the majority of your target audience. Know yourself. Your timing, what amuses you. Present valuable, topical information. When you know your audience and understand where you audience’s perspective will be before you have to speak, you will be much more comfortable when the time comes to make your presentation.

2. Know Your Subject/Topic
What will you be talking about? What is it you will be presenting? Whenever you give a talk, speech, recital, presentation – you are presenting something to your audience. What is it? Figure out what your topic is and research and study it so you are prepared. Prepare yourself beyond notes. Prepare yourself to the point that none are required. While you may have a presentation already lined out and ready to just stand up and read, the audience may ask you questions, and you should be prepared to answer them. The more you know about your topic, the ‘what’ of your presentation, the comfortable the audience will be when you speak and the more knowledgeable you will be to your audience.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Write out what you want to say, edit it, read it, re-read it, and if necessary, rewrite it. Then, when you think you have it perfect, read it out loud to yourself, over and over, until it becomes almost second nature. Change the nuance of your voice, work on the rise and fall, so it sounds natural. Practice it in front of a mirror so you can see yourself while you speak. Continue doing this until you are completely comfortable with the words you will say, your body language, and the tempo you present in. Is our objective to not screw up? No. Our objective is to connect with the audience and have a great time.

4. Be a Winner - Don't con yourself or the audience
Many people believe you should get together a group of friends or family members and read the copy to them. Basically, give them the presentation just like you would when you present it for real. Let them give you feedback on it, listening to any suggestions they have that will make your presentation stronger. This is the best way to present yourself as a fraud. Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you saw an expert on any subject clutching to their notes? Never. The expert comes out from behind the podium to greet and connect and mingle with his or her audience. There are two classes of speakers: Those who hope they get it right and those who have a general idea of their content and desire above all else to connect not only with their audience, but also with themselves.

5. Relax - How do we do that?
Many people say there really is nothing to fear. Your life doesn't depend on public speaking, it’s just something you may have to do once in awhile. The very worst thing that could happen is you get up there and stumble through a few things, but honestly, there is nothing about public speaking that is going to kill you, so just relax and enjoy. This statement is a platitude. Public speaking can be horrific for some people. For others, a party. I happen to be a fortunate speaker creates a party, an opportunity to connect with the audience every time I'm fortunate enough to work with them.

Why do some experience horror and others experience pleasure? It's simple. The horror is created, manufactured. The pleasure is created, manufactured. In school, we were taught to focus on what is wrong to get it right. This is a definable recipe for disaster. When onstage, let's create pleasure. To do that, focus on what is right, in order to get it right. Focus on what propels you forward. Develop an ability to amuse yourself while onstage. Stop attempting to pleasure the audience. This is a new habit for many. A different approach. I assure you it will change your life. If you have a question on how to do this, call me 512.554.8771 or Request a Complimentary Consultation.

One more note on attempting to please an external audience. Remain connected to yourself and inclusive of your audience. If you amuse yourself, we will be amused. If you make yourself laugh, we will laugh. If you make yourself happy, we will become happy, and if you frighten yourself we will become scared. It works that way.

The main point here is, know your material, know your yourself, know your audience, focus on what brings you pleasure, what propels you. Be knowledgeable about your topic. Relax into the experience, but also explore how to excite yourself. Share your knowledge on whatever subject you choose or have been chosen to speak. The more relaxed you feel, the more fun you will have, and the greater the whole experience will be for everybody. Have a great time public speaking. Make it fun for you!

Guy Monroe is available for public speaking engagements, corporate and private training.
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Call 512.554.8771 or Request a Complimentary Consultation.