A Presentation is always the combination of 2 things: WHAT is being Presented and HOW it is being presented! Often there is an imbalance in the attention given to these two aspects and it is weighted in the direction of Content.
Over-focusing on Content (trying to be exact, perfect, or overly thorough) leads to a couple of common Public Speaking Mistakes that disconnect Speakers from their audiences such as: Death by Powerpoint, Death by Memorization/Forgetting and Death by Voice/Non-Verbal!
In THIS post, I want to elaborate a bit more on how important Non-Verbal Communication is to the Public Speaker. It seems a bit ironic on surface that “speaking” is so influenced by “non-speaking” but it is!
In the 1960s Professor Albert Mehrabian (UCLA) conducted studies that ultimately concluded communication is only 7 percent verbal and 93 percent non-verbal. While the existence of a “7% rule” is debate-able (see, for example Philip Yaffe’s debunking), AND while I am certainly NOT suggesting that any given speech be “dis-organized or confused” from a content perspective, I DO dis-agree with Yaffe as to the “primary vs. auxiliary” impact of non-verbal communication in Public Speaking.
Be clear that no matter how exact, profound or important your content is, you cannot ignore the importance of the following Non-Verbal aspects of Delivery:
- Eye-Contact: If you fail to make eye-contact (sustained not shifty) with large portions of your audience…or if you ONLY make eye-contact with one person in/portion of your audience…and especially if you are only making eye-contact with your notes, script, teleprompter or powerpoint…your Speaker effectiveness will suffer!
- Posture: If you are facing the screen your powerpoint projects onto instead of your audience or if you are leaning, slouching, “rocking/swaying” or incongruent with your posture when you ARE facing your audience… your Speaker effectiveness will suffer!
- Movement: If you stand in one place for most of or, worse yet, the entire speech when you have space to move around and increase the intimacy with various portions of your audience (center, middle, right, front or back)…your Speaker effectiveness will suffer!
- Vocalics: If your voice is mono-toned or “stripped” of natural emotional inflections due to the “reading” from a powerpoint, notes/script or teleprompter…or, worse yet, if you speak with the tone of “an instructor” of your information speaking down to your audience (vs. “a promoter” of your information speaking with your audience)… your Speaker effectiveness will suffer!
- Gestures & Expressions: Beyond “appropriate gestures”, if your hands and face are not animated in a way that reflect your own excitement for and knowledge of the content… your Speaker effectiveness will suffer!
- Time: It is easy to forget that time and our usage of it is a form of non-verbal communication. If your rate of speech is off-putting to your audience (too fast OR too slow) OR if your speech is running long and you fail to manage the time properly OR if your audience wants Q&A but you either don’t notice or choose not to make time for it (in favor of delivering more content/getting through your slides)… your Speaker effectiveness will suffer!
For over 17 years I have been teaching an 8-Step Process for preparing to speak conversationally, without fear and with a balance of attention paid to Content AND Delivery…specifically a conversational delivery that creates the greatest connection between speaker and audience.
Download my FREE E-book: The 5th Step to Fearless Public Speaking TODAY to begin preparing for fearless Presentations that allow you to be yourself, confident and engaging Non-Verbally!
To Your Success…Be Fearless, my friends!
Jeffrey Klubeck, M.A.
Perhaps you have heard (and perhaps you believe) the various?reports or studies suggesting Public Speaking is the #1 rated fear?ahead of Death! While I personally do not believe we should be afraid of Death, I DO believe we should DEFINITELY be more afraid of Death than Public Speaking! And, trust me, we are!
?But if I am dead,? you might argue, ?no one can laugh at me or see me make mistakes?there?s essentially no pain to deal with if I am dead since I am already dead.? This is a great part of the mindset of people who claim/answer in a Census Data Survey that they would ?much rather die than give a Presentation.?
But, how do you think we respond if, instead of a clipboard with a printed survey attached and a pencil, the Census Researchers approached us with a loaded gun pointed at hour heads and THEN asked if we would rather die or give a Presentation? Exactly, ?What would you like me to speak about?how much time do I have?can I go twice?? 🙂
When we compare the ?vulnerability? of Public Speaking to the true pain/loss of dying?when we REALLY compare, there simply is no comparison! Vulnerability means we ?could? experience pain or loss?but it doesn?t mean we are guaranteed to (as we are in death). In exchange for the ?potential? pain (mistakes, disapproval, failed purpose, etc.) of Public Speaking we get the opportunity to empower our selves and others; something we obviously cannot do if we are dead.
While we are speaking in public to targeted audiences we can inform, influence, inspire and even motivate behavior that is taken based on our presentation. We can establish ourselves as Subject Matter Experts, advance our careers, lead our teams, shape our communities, solve social issues, build more and greater relationships and, let?s face it, make more money!
Despite all these wonderful outcomes of Public Speaking, somehow ?fear? of giving a Presentation has become acceptable and popularly accepted to the point that we are willing to believe (however falsely) that we would rather die than Speak.
But here is where Death and Public Speaking are exactly the same: If you are PREPARED you are less likely to be afraid! When we look at differences between Death and Public Speaking it is easy to remain ?scared? of both?but seeing them as similar, we can easily understand that preparing for both will make us less afraid.
At Get A Klu, we don?t teach people how to prepare for Death (not on THIS blog, anyway) but we DO teach people how to prepare to Speak without Fear?to be ?ourselves? when giving Presentations?to approach Public Speaking with the same communication style AND confidence we have in every day conversation.
Download my FREE E-book: The 5th Step to Fearless Public Speaking TODAY to get ?all you need? to begin to chip away at your fear of Public Speaking?trust me when I tell you that it?s REALLY just a fear of Preparation!
To Your Success?Be Fearless, my friends!
Jeffrey Klubeck, M.A.
The “Be Fearless” Series of Blog Posts targets the “fear of public speaking” but its “range” includes EVERY FEAR that prevents personal or professional growth! Thank you for reading… BE Fearless, my friends!
If you have NO FEAR of Public Speaking or NO DESIRE to get better at it in ways that advance your career, grow your business or make a larger impact on your communities, then you are NOT reading this article! OK, maybe you are afraid of something OTHER than Public Speaking and are reading to see if these tips might “also work” for whatever it is you ARE afraid of. OK, you got me there…
“Meanwhile”, and for those of you that would claim that you ARE afraid of Public Speaking…get real…get honest…get to the CORE! What are you really afraid of? Seriously…specifically, literally…WHAT are you afraid of? Click here to email me right now EXACTLY what you are afraid of when it comes to Public Speaking and I PROMISE to email you a reply within 72 hours.
“Nicewhile” I am going to tell you what I believe we are REALLY afraid of: Preparation! That’s right! I am saying that you are more afraid of preparing for your Presentation than you are of actually presenting it! If I am wrong, again, email me RIGHT NOW to correct me with what you are REALLY afraid of…I hope to learn and/or help and promise to reply no matter what!
If I am correct, however, that it is NOT THE MOMENT that you are actually “on stage” in front of an audience that you are REALLY afraid of…but, instead, it is PREPARING FOR THAT MOMENT that is something you either:
- Will not ENJOY doing (there’s a FREE solution to this…)
- Are not GOOD at doing (there’s an AFFORDABLE solution to this…)
- Do not KNOW HOW TO do (there’s a SLIGHTLY LESS AFFORDABLE solution to this…)
- Are not MOTIVATED ENOUGH to do (there is an EXPENSIVE solution to this…)
- or, YOU SHOULD NOT BE DOING (and there is a MOST EXPENSIVE solution to this…)
Be clear, however, that you really have NO BUSINESS Speaking in Public if you have NO INTEREST in:
- Advancing your career
- Establishing yourself as a Subject Matter Expert
- Generating more “leads”
- Closing more sales
- Growing your business
- Getting people to “vote” for you (endorse, support, like, refer, recommend, remember, refer to, etc.)
- Influencing members of your communities (neighborhoods, schools, volunteer organizations, political/religious committees, etc.)
See? You DO have “business speaking in Public”…but perhaps you feel you are afraid of giving Presentations?
When people say, “I’m afraid of Public Speaking” WE believe that either:
a) they are not really afraid of speaking, but they are unaware of how to prepare or unwilling to do the work of preparing or
b) that if they are really afraid of speaking, a proven system of Preparation will reduce if not completely eliminate the fear!
Either way, we’re pointing to Preparation…and we believe we will make Public Speaking FEARLESS for you by helping you prepare well for any Presentation!
Download my FREE E-book: The 5th Step to Fearless Public Speaking TODAY and get “all you need” to begin to chip away at your fear of Public Speaking…trust me when I tell you that it’s REALLY just a fear of Preparation!
To Your Success…Be Fearless, my friends!
Jeffrey Klubeck, M.A.