This is a Weekly Coffee Share hosted by: Eclectic Alli.
Alli manages a weekly list of posts from a small group of bloggers who want to just stay in touch, chat about blogging, writing, travel, photography, children, pets, work, life hacks or just about anything else that might be of interest.
Hiya! Glad you stopped by. Please come in, find a cozy spot by the fire. Hopefully you didn’t have to take a “scenic” route to get here through the flooded streets nearby, but it is still cold and wet outside, but we’re taking a nice break from all that for a few minutes.
Last week I was struggling with a couple of work projects and watching the month wind down. One big effort suddenly got easier and is almost ready for this Tuesday when it’s show and tell time. And my story blog, depending on which metric you look at, February was either my best month or second best in terms of readers, visitors or traffic.
I don’t want this effort to be about the numbers because I prefer that the stories be good writing and reading, but I have to admit, I do love sharing these essays and hearing back on how much fun someone had reading them.
This last week I crossed the threshold of my 5000th confirmed read (as opposed to someone clicking to and through a menu) and for a rank beginner, I’m pleased with this accomplishment. 16 months ago, when I began my blog in earnest, I would not have believed someone telling me I’d have this many reads by the end of Feb. 2019, but it happened.
My two newest stories both did well:
Yes, I know that jeans photo doesn’t appear to have anything to do with a cave story, but it really is key, and that cute little girl in the frilly dress looks so charming and so harmless, but she actually became the cause of one of my most embarrassing moments ever. Guys, this will make you cringe. Gals just get to laugh at me. . .
My most popular story for the month was a reprise of a funny but true tribute to my mom about a time when I was in both the 3rd grade and in a bike v car spacial co-existence attempt that failed pretty badly and set my mom against an insurance company. This story honestly feels like a TV story plot in how she pulled it off and it proved to be the hot spot of my blog for the month. Interested in a super-mom story? I call it:
A blogger I follow was talking about public speaking, which brought something to mind that I’d like to share in case you too are one of those folks who fear public speaking and avoid it with every ounce of strength you can muster.
Years ago, I had to conquer my own fear of public speaking and somehow managed to become a coach for how to give a great speech. Because any of us might find ourselves pushed into a public speaking situation and you might find yourself fighting the brain-locking of fear that can come with it – I can help you with just a few points.
|Gary’s Easy Tricks to Great Public Speaking|
- Don’t try to create a new you for public speaking. You most likely don’t know how to act like someone else, so don’t try. If you and I were standing in a crowd just talking, you would have no fear of this. Be that person. That person is already smart and charming. You might have to speak a bit louder or learn how to use a microphone, but that’s no big deal.
- If we were just talking as friends, you would barely think about the exact words you would use to explain something to me. You would just do it and (because I’m like this) I might interrupt you to ask questions. This rarely happens in public speeches but does when teaching a class but, either way, it doesn’t matter. If it were just you and I talking, you wouldn’t care. You might even tell me to let you finish and then you’ll answer my questions. All would be well because you (most likely) already know your topic and we’re just talking. You already know how to do this.
- Finally to keep your longer speeches or lessons from being boring (and who wants to be THAT speaker?) use my simple 3 point technique to keep your audience’s attention. I call it my SUV (yes, just like the car) technique. SUV is an acronym for 3 things to do while up there and – you already do each when chatting with friends, but most people freeze up front and suppress most of their personality leaving a shell of a speaker. Here are my 3 SUV points for being a great speaker.
|Your SUV to Great Public Speaking|
- “S” is for speed. You need to vary your speed of talking. Hurry through things of lesser importance, but – slow – down – and pause slightly between the words of your most important points. One speed of speaking is a form of monotone speaking and it is duller than dull to listen to.
- “U” is for urgency. This will make perfect sense to you. If you and I were just talking, you would do this without thinking about it. You would automatically “sound” more urgent when your point was the most important. Your tone of speaking would be clearly more relaxed when you were filling in the details of what you were telling me. I don’t think the speech has been written where every word is exactly the same degree of “urgent” and you’ve most likely experienced speakers who never got urgent or stayed urgent for 30 minutes straight. Your voice, and face and body language all come together to help you communicate how urgently you needed me to pay attention. If you use only one tone of urgency – this is just another form of being monotone which equates quickly to “ZZZZZZZZZ”.
- “V” is for volume. This can be your most powerful way to keep your audience both engaged and entertained. If your voice volume barely changes when you and I are speaking – I quickly start wondering about what I’ve done to scare you rather that attend to what you’re saying. Obviously, if you suddenly raise your voice from your “inside” voice, I’m sucked back into what it so blasted important but if you use all your time to yell at me, I’ve mentally found a way to abandon you within 10 minutes no matter how good your content is and even if everything else is perfect. Have you ever experienced a good speaker who is going along okay, but suddenly drops her voice to a near whisper? Just that drop in volume has the effect of pulling your audience back in. You can actually use a whispering voice to audibly underline how important something is. If you do this, you should pause and say it slowly twice to make sure those who just returned to paying attention get a chance to hear, process and understand your point. Just like you and I were speaking and you really really wanted me to understand something critical, you might pause and repeat the same sentence to make sure I heard it correctly.
Anyway. If you have a chance to give a short speech soon, give some of these tricks a try. They’re fun. Because you have a great personality – they’re authentic. Because you already are an interesting person – these tricks will make sure you don’t throw stuff in the way of your audience attending to and enjoying every moment of your presentation. But be warned, these steps, once mastered may make you a target for making more speeches because you will be so good at it. You have been warned.
I hope you’re having a great weekend. I’m off to checkout more of your coffee shares. Thanks again for stopping by.