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What was the worst speech you’ve ever delivered and how did you get over it? We all have the time in our lives that we deliver a speech that floundered, that fails, that is absolutely horrible. Let me tell you the story of mine.

Mine happened when I was 14 and I was in high school and I was going for a job on the student representative council (SRC).

The SRC is a group of students in highs school who discuss matters relating to the students with the teachers and principal. The students of your year elect you to be their representative on the council and you have to give a speech before voting occurs.

My Worst Public Speech Ever

I get up and I decide I want to talk about some things that I disagree about at the school and I give this horrible speech. Absolutely horrible about how we shouldn’t tuck our shirts in and how we shouldn’t wear ties and all very menial things which as a 15 year old boy I thought were very important.

But then to top if all of, when I get down from the stage and we leave the hall, all my friends start laughing at me. And I am like “Why? I understand the speech probably wasn’t the best speech ever given, but what’s so funny?”

The fact was, I was so nervous that the entire time I was giving my speech I was rocking back and forward on my toes and I was actually thrusting my groin back and forth towards the audience.

Not something you want to be doing when you are standing up in front of 150 of your peers.

It was a very horrible situation for me. So there was my worst speech ever, and how did I overcome that, how did I come back from that?

Worst Public Speech Ever

My Next Speech (Almost As Bad)

Well, the next speech I remember was 3 years later and I was a 17 yea old and I was getting up and again speaking in front of the entire class going for school president and

I have written the speech the night before. I had no idea what the class president needed to do. I had just decided that I may well just run for it…why not?

So I am sitting there and people are getting up before me and actually talking about legitimate things and am thinking; ‘Oh what I have written about it is just horrible. I think I have a better chance if I just wing it.’

So I throw my cue cards away, I don’t use them, and I get up in front of the audience, 150 of my peers again, and make a fool of myself.

I stumble; I forget what I had to say. I say that they should elect me because I was good-looking. I got a laugh out of that (but it was kind of a bit of a pity laugh).

And so I backed up my horrible speech with another horrible speech but somehow I came out of that to be a confident public speaker today.

We All Have Bad Speeches From Time To Time

Look, we are all going to have bad speeches.

To quote from Seth Godin ‘Anything that is worth doing, is worth doing better.’

Anything That Is Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Better Seth Godin

 

If you want to become a public speaker, if you want to become a good and effective public speaker then the fact is that you are going to have some of those times you are fall on to your face and you do the worst public speech ever. But how do we get over that?

We pick ourselves back up again and we learn from our mistakes. Prepare more in the future, take the feedback we got back from the audience and we look forward to create better speeches in the future.

My best speech to date is probably from my wedding, and again this was a speech that I winged, I just didn’t prepare.

But I didn’t prepare because I knew that I would be speaking from my heart about the woman that I love and that I could come up with something very good.

See, I learned back in year 12 that maybe winging it is bad when you don’t actually know what you are talking about. But when I was at my wedding and I was giving my speech I blew everyone away. I did so because I gave a speech that was from the heart, it was funny and engaging but because I’ve learned from my previous experiences I didn’t thrust towards the audience and I spoke about a subject that I knew a lot about.

So what’s your worst speech ever?

Have a think about it and try to get some lessons from that. Don’t just think ‘that was so horrible; I am never going to speak again.’

Because anything that is worth doing; and public speaking is worth doing is worth doing better!

So take the worst public speech that you have ever given, learn some lessons from it and go forward and speak again.

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How To Start A Speech In Public Speaking

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Most people start their speeches in a horrible way, so boring. I want to show you how to start a speech in public speaking. There are 2 things you want to do:

1) You want to establish with the audience what’s in it for them.

Why should I give my attention to you? Why somebody should even bother listening to you. And let’s face it, not many people establish this during these speeches.

2) You need to establish some credibility as to why are you talking about what you are talking about.

How should we start a speech in public speaking?

There are 4 ways that are quite effective in starting a speech and there are some ways that are horrible.

Let’s start with a horrible one.

The most common one is people getting up there and starting with something along the lines of

‘Hi, my name is Ryan McLean and I work as a internet marketer and I am married with 2 kids and I live in blah blah blah.”

People don’t like that and they don’t engage with that. It doesn’t present anything of value to the person listening. They want to know what is in this speech for them, not your resume facts.

That is the most common way that people get it wrong.

Here are 4 ways you can get it right.

4. Start With A Quote

Start with a quote or a proverb or with a verse and tie it in with your speech.

What you are doing is you are taking a quote from a reputable source that people may find interesting and you tie it in with your speech.

You are saying this is important to you because of this quote or because of this proverb. People love quotes and proverbs.

3. Ask A Question

This can be rhetorical or can actually be asking the audience a question.

‘Do you want to be a millionaire?’ that’s probably a rhetorical question. But if you say “Put your hands up if you like sausages” that is a question seeking a response from the audience.

Asking questions brings engagement from the audience and helps draw them into your presentation.

2. Present A Shocking Factoid

Start a speech is with a factoid or some shocking fact.

For example, ‘Did you know that the amount of energy that earth receives in 2 minutes from the sun could power the entire earth for a year? How does that make you think about energy and about energy moving forward?’

So you are taking a factoid, something that might be a bit shocking, and you are asking the audience to rethink something they have always thought was true.

You are asking them to rethink. ‘Ok, I have never thought of that before.’ And then; ‘Hmm, let me listen to you some more.’

1. Tell A Story

Probably the most affective way to start a story is the same way as a parent I put my kids to bed every single night. I read them a story!

And how did the stories start when you were a kid? “Once upon a time”

Kids are trained that when we say ‘once upon a time’ they know it’s a story, they lean in to learn some more.

But we are not going to start an adult speech to a group of adults with ‘once upon a time, in a galaxy far away’. We are going to use an adult way to start and establish a story.

And that’s simply by creating some contect ‘When I was 25.’, ‘In 1985.’ ‘Two years ago.’ you can start with a time frame of when the story happened.

Then you go into your story, ‘this and this happened’. But you need to be careful to tie it into them.

How To Start a Speech Quote

 

Stories can work so well is because you are creating an open loop. You are creating stories that people what to hear the end to.

But you also need to get the audience involved with the story. They need to be able to draw a comparison to how the story relates to them. (more tips on storytelling)

So remember, next time you are starting a speech don’t start it with the boring statement of ‘hi, I am blah blah blah blah blah.’

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Imagine the most non-funny persons you know. That boring person who sits in the corner never says anything interesting and just has no excitement about them at all.

Now imagine that person came to you and say: “I am going to become a professional comedian. What do you think, hey?” You would think that person is crazy!

That is exactly what your audience is thinking when you are opening with a joke that you found of the internet.

Today I want to talk to about why public speaking opening jokes always fail.

I am going to cover 5 reasons why public speaking opening jokes (almost) always fail.

Failure Reason #1: The Jokes Are Never That Funny

They are not that funny.

The jokes that you get off internet are like that jokes that come in a Christmas bonbons. You pull the bonbon apart and you get your hat and your Christmas joke and it says something about a snowman.

And you are like: “huh, there is a bit of a play on words there, but it’s really not that funny.” That’s the same with jokes you find on the internet. They are not that funny.

Failure Reason #2: Too Much Hinges On The Joke

The introduction to your speech is very important and if you are opening with a joke, and that joke fails, well your presentation has basically failed from the get go.

Your introduction needs to establish with the audience why it is important to them and why they should be listening to the speech. It should also explain why you are credible and why they should listen to you.

If you tell a joke that fails then they are not going to want to listen to you and they wont want to respect you.

Too much hinges on that opening, so to tell a joke and have it fail… well it’s just not worth the risk.

Failure Reason #3: The Audience Doesn’t Know You

Jokes are so much funnier when you know the person who is telling it.

If you know me, and you know my situation and you know who my kids are, and I tell a joke about my kids. Well, that’s going to be funnier than if I go get up in front of the crowd and just go straight into a joke about what happened to my 3 year old.

They don’t know me, they don’t know who I am they don’t know my personality or the people I am talking about in the joke then it’s not going to be funny. So, because I don’t know you it’s probably not the best thing to do.

Failure Reason #4: You Are Not Going To Be Genuine

One of the things that I push for is that we be genuine public speakers.

We are who we are not who we think we should be because we learnt some public technique.

You want to be yourself and be genuine and some joke from the internet isn’t going to be about you (or from you) so isn’t going to be genuine.

Failure Reason #5: There Is Nothing In It For Them

So I spoke to you about the fact that interaction is so important because you need to establish with the audience what’s in it for them.

Why should they listen to this? Why should they bother listening to your speech? If you are telling a joke then there is nothing in it for them.

Public Speaking Opening Jokes Quote

If you are giving a business presentation then people don’t necessarily want a joke. They see a joke and then they write off the rest of your speech because they don’t think you are going to give them any useful information that I can use for their life.

So think about the context of your presentation. If it’s formal, if its one where you are delivering educational content and you want for people to get something out to improves their lives then why are you opening with a joke?

So, next time you are get up in front of an audience try not to tell a joke. Because they are not that funny. Not at all.

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7 Ways To Teach Public Speaking To Kids

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So many children grow up in this massive fear of public speaking, they don’t want to get up in front of a crowd because they are scared of speaking in public. In this article I am going to discuss 7 ways you can teach public speaking to kids.

These tips will help make kids more confident and will help them grow in their skills as public speakers and presenters.

Who knows what exactly what kids are scared of when it comes to speaking in public. There are so many different fears about public speaking that it could be almost anything.

However, I believe if we get them practicing (and enjoying) public speaking early and build up their confidence as a public speaker then as they grow in their teenage years and as they go into adulthood then they will be confident in public speaking.

We know that benefits of public speaking are huge. They can help you advance in your career. Help you been seen as a thought leader and help you in so many other ways.
And public speaking is extremely important as we go into adulthoods so it’s a great to teach our kids more about being effective public speakers.

7 Tips For Teaching Public Speaking To Kids

Tip #1: Don’t Call It Public Speaking

Don’t call it public speaking? Why not?

We create this importance around public speaking.We hold it up as such an important moment and important event that we scare the heck out of our children.

So how can we making more fun. Well, why don’t we call it drama, why don’t we call it “giving a monolog” or “playing speeches”?

Make it a game don’t make it an activity that kids are going to get marked on and be frightened of failing at.

We want to make it fun for our children and if we take the emphasis away from public speaking and move it more towards to having fun then kids are less likely to be afraid of it.

If we can minimise fear by changing the name then I believe we should do whatver is necessary.

Tip #2: Less Study, More Practice

When I was in high school we ‘studied speeches’ and it didn’t do me any good. I didn’t learn speaking technique just by studying it in high school. I learned it by incorporating study with lots of practice.

What do you do when you learn about public speaking? You sit down and you watch some of the greatest speeches of all time.

You watch Martin Luther king Jr – “I have a dream”. You watch all these great speeches and then what you do, you go through and you analyze the technique.

Then at the end of the class you have to get up in front of everyone and you have to deliver a speech. This is mayhem to me.

We sit down through multiple classes and study the best, the best speeches in the world. The speeches that changed the entire world. And then we don’t give kids any practice, and we expect them to get up and be confident in front of a crowd.

Then we get them to give their first speech in front of the class and to top it all off we are going to mark them on this one speech. Talk about fear inducing!

So take away some of the study. And put in more practice. Let’s get them out, let’s get them speaking.

Let’s study once they are already confident at speaking, because then they can actually apply technique.

Teaching Public Speaking To Kids

We put way too much focus on technique. I wrote an article on how public speaking rubric (which is a measuring scale that measures technique) is actually hindering our children. The rubric scale often stops our kids becoming confident public speakings and instead makes them so worried about getting something wrong they develop a fear of speaking in public.

So by doing less study and by doing more practice kids are going to get there. They are going to get more confident and more excited.

I found it very helpful to think of public speaking like riding a bike – you need to get out you need to do it in order to get it better.

Tip #3: Break Children Into Smaller Groups

So we get kids to do their study and then get them to get up in front the entire class and give a speech. This is going to create fear in a lot of children.

Break your class into smaller groups or have kids present to just one person. Have them present to these small groups who can give then a positive feedback.

Then they can fail in front of few people rather than fail in front of everyone. By making the groups smaller we get more practice and its less confrontational, so we are more likely not have that fear of pubic speaking as we are growing up.

Public Speaking Practice

Tip #4: Play Fun Impromtu Games

You need to be careful with impromptu games and you need to choose the ones that are fun and people need to be in comfortable situation so that they can have a laugh if they don’t get it right.

So create impromptu games that start off really easy to built confidence. Only get into harder impromptu games as your kids become proficient public speakers.

Impromptu games are great to help kids learn to think on the spot. I believe the fear of public speaking comes because we are scared we won’t know what to do if we make a mistake. We are scared that everything is just going to fall apart.

But  by teaching kids to think on the spot then we cans start to get over that fear.

Tip #5: Teach Reason and Message Before Technique

Often we rush into teaching kids public speaking technique (because it is easy to teach). But they haven’t even tried to speak in front of a crowd yet.

Public speaking is like trying to learn how to drive a car. How do you learn?

You go to a car park where there is no cars at all and you just kind of drive around a bit to get use to driving. Then you start indicating, looking in you rear view mirror and then you start doing all these other things as well.

We start slow and we build up the technique as we go.

If you want to be a race car driver then you obviously need to learn a lot more car driving techniques than someone who just drives everyday, just around the place, like I do.

So with public speaking let’s use the same strategy to teach our students.

Let’s get them to practice. Let’s get them to learn how to create a message that is worth listening to. Get them to deliver it and then as they improve then (and only then) we focus on technique.

Don’t let the technique be first, let the message be first.

Tip #6: Give Lots Of Positive Feedback (Lots)

How To Teach Kids A Skill

There are so many people in this world that are going to give your kids negative feedback. They are going to give them “constructive criticism” or they may downright insult your children.

But there are not enough people who are building our children up and who are giving them positive feedback.

Yes we are trying to help our children by offering them constructive criticism but often positive feedback works 10 times better.

I find the best way to teach my kids is just to tell them how awesome they are doing and encourage them to keep going. Then they learn naturally!

Public speaking can be learned naturally if you do it over and over again. But if you don’t have somebody encouraging you telling you that are doing a good job then you are unlikely to continue practicing. So positive feedback is massive.

If you absolutely HAVE to give constructive criticism then try this.

Try to sandwich it in 2 positive comments. “You did this awesome, you were so good when you got up and did this. You just might need to tweak this a little bit and look at the crowd a bit more, but your conclusion was awesome, the way that you said blahblahblah. That was amazing.”

So what are we doing is giving a positive feedback, squishing in a little bit of constructive criticism and then ending on positive feedback.

Tip #7: Use Video

Video is about to overtake text as the main way people consume content. 

So video is about to overtake text.

My generation and people older than me think that this is not that important but it’s is going to change everything. So if you want your kids to be successful then it’s a good idea to start to teach them how to be comfortable in front of the camera.

It will help them when they are going for a job (more and more interviews are now done over skype). It will help them conduct and be involved in conference calls.

They may even want to upload stuff on YouTube or create training videos and we need to help them be confident doing that.

A video camera is a great way to teach people how to get up in front of a crowd. It is a stepping stone to the stage.

We can then get them at an early age to watch themselves and listen to themselves. And you know how we think: ‘oh gosh I sound so creepy, that is totally not me.’

If we can get them used to listening to themselves, then their confidence is going to grow.

That’s are my 7 tips for teaching public speaking to kids.

Tip #8: (I almost didn’t include this) Don’t Mark Our Kids

I believe we shouldn’t mark kids on technique. That’s something for another post but public speaking is something that improves with time something we get better at over time.

I think we mark technique way too much and we don’t look at the message that the kids are giving. We don’t teach them to think about the message, We don’t teach them to create a message that’s worth listening to.

We focus so heavily on the technique that our kids are getting so scared because we haven’t even taught them what to say yet, let alone how to say it.

By removing the marking system and making public speaking a game and not something we are going to mark you on and test you on kids are more likely to enjoy it and more likely to practice.

Why don’t we just make public speaking something that we do, something that’s fun, not something that’s tested?

Because I think if we make something engaging and we motivate them to do it without a use of a test then they are going to be more confident at it.

There are my tips about teaching public speaking to kids.

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There is so much fear around public speaking that I want to discuss how you can gain confidence in your speaking skills. These five techniques will help you improve your confidence in your speaking ability.

The most common questions around public speaking all revolve around topics such as nervousness about public speaking, fear, being afraid, having anxiety and not being able to get up in front of a crowd.

These are very common concerns, but it is possible to grow your confidence and become an effective public speaker (without the sweaty palms and fast racing heart).

How Can You Gain Confidence In Your Speaking Skills?

How Can You Gain Confidence In Your Speaking Skills

Here are the 5 ways you can gain confidence in your speaking skills.

1. Study

The first way which is actually probably the least effective way and that is to study.

Public speaking is a lot like swimming or surfing – you have to get wet in order to get better. By that I mean you have to practice the skill by speaking in order to get better at speaking.

By studying swimming it’s very hard to become a great swimmer. But studying is still important because we still need to learn technique. So study by reading about public speaking or watching a video (just like the ones on this blog). There is another blog called 6 minutes which is worth a look also.

You can also look at some of the greatest speeches of all time. Go to TED.com and look at some of their best speeches, look at what these people do well and what make a good speech.

2. Just Practice

Practice getting up in front of people, or if you can’t do that just practice in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

By creating speeches, by practicing speeches and by doing public speaking activities that are designed to improve your skills you will gain confidence and you will get better at speaking in public.

3. Get Positive Feedback

encourage public speakers with positive praise

Whenever you give a speech try and ask someone you love and someone who you trust, to give you some feedback. Ask them specifically; in what areas did you do well? And in what areas are there to improve on.

Don’t just ask them for areas on improvement because it is going to deflate you. Constructive criticism is great but when it’s all constructive and it’s all criticism, sometimes it can get you down.

When it’s something as emotional as public speaking, ask for praise before you ask for criticism as well. There’s a lot of people out there who are willing to criticise how you speak in public, but there’s not enough people to praise you for getting up there and having a go. So make sure you get some positive feedback.

4. Make Mistakes, and learn from them

One of the biggest ways that I’ve gained confidence in public speaking is that I’ve made mistakes, and then recovered from those mistakes.

I think is one of the biggest fears about public speaking is that if something happens or if something goes wrong, you need to be able to think on the spot, you need to be able to correct that and roll with that otherwise it’s going to be a very embarrassing situation for you.

So by being in a situation by making mistakes where you stumble and when you have to recover, then you become better at thinking on the spot. Then your confidence grows because you know “well if another mistake happens in the future, if another situation comes about where I might not know about what I’m doing or might lose my place, I might get interrupted, well, I know how to handle that and I know I can handle that.”

By making mistakes, you can learn from those mistakes and that will grow your confidence, probably more so than anything else.

5. Record Yourself On Video

Number five is to record yourself on video preferably or if not on audio.

This is great because it trains you how to think on the spot, how to present in front of people, and you can do it from the comfort and privacy of your own home. By recording yourself on video you get that added benefit that you get to watch yourself back.

This builds your confidence in two different ways.

Firstly and probably the more obvious way, is the fact that we see the mistakes we can make and correct them. So if were watching ourselves on video and listening to ourselves we can see when we’re saying things we shouldn’t be saying or making actions we shouldn’t be making. We can then change that in the presentations.

But secondly the reason that this builds confidence is because you know that feeling they have when you listen to yourself and it just sounds so horrible?

Because we perceive the world from inside our mind when you listen to your voice it sounds different and when you’re watching yourself it’s a mirror.

By watching yourself and by listening yourself you get used to the way you look and sound and that builds confidence because you realise; “well hey I don’t sound like a complete idiot and I look quite normal.”

By becoming comfortable with watching yourself and listening to yourself your confidence will build naturally from that.

So there you have five ways that you can gain confidence in your speaking ability without actually getting any better.

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Is Public Speaking The Number 1 Fear?

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Pubic speaking is commonly stated as the number one fear, above everything else, even death. But is public speaking the number one fear?

Is Public Speaking The Number 1 Fear?

Well, recent studies say that no, it isn’t.

Public Speaking Number 1 Fear

Yes, maybe public speaking used to be the number one fear above everything else, but now the number one fear is running out of money in old age, or running out of money before we die.

More people are now afraid of running out of money in their old age, because we don’t have the government left to support us if we want to live a wealthy life. Often we can’t even rely on our family or can’t rely on the company that we have worked for.

So, that now has gone to the number one fear.

I couldn’t find out exactly where public speaking sits, if it now sits as the number 2 fear. There are a lot of different studies out there, so if you really want to know you can go looking for yourself.

But, if you getting up and you are talking about public speaking and you want to say that public speaking is the number one fear. Well, technically it’s not going to be true anymore. And I have said it in past videos and past podcasts and I will have to stop saying it.

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15 Fun Public Speaking Activities

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Much like riding a bike public speaking is a skill that is best learned through practice. And what happens when we enjoy doing something that we do? We do it more often.

So here are 15 fun public speaking activities that you can do, either by yourself or with a group of people or if you are running a class you can use this using with your students as well. (more public speaking activities here)

Making Public Speaking Fun Quote

What Are The 15 Fun Public Speaking Activities?

I truly believe that making public speaking fun is one of the things that are going to take an average public speaker and give then enough practice to turn them into a good or great public speaker.

1. My Friend’s Fictional Life

In this activity, what you do is you get up in front of people (you can do it home by yourself as well) and you take one of your friends and you introduce them. However, instead of introducing them in the normal way you make up a fictional life for them.

So you say, hi this is Jane Smith, and she actually moonlights as a jazz pianist for the underground mafia. And you talk about her life, whatever it may be.

So this is fun because it makes you been creative, it’s very easy to think of these things on the spot and just roll with it. It’s generally pretty funny as well.

2. Impromtu Game

You basically just get up in front of people and somebody gives you something impromptu to run with.

It might be a topic, it might be a sentence or it might just be a single word or anything like that. But generally we run with just a certain topic.

For example: They need to talk about climate change or they need to talk about what makes a great teacher, or they need to talk about social media changes or whatever. So that the impromptu game.

3. Funny Image Game

This is similar to the impromptu game, but basically what you do is you give the speaker a funny image; you can find these easily just searching through Google and you get them to talk about that image.

You can pretend it’s their life experience and how this impacted my life or they can talk about why this image is important and what this image means or what’s the story behind this image.

4. Continuous Story

This is best done with a group of people. Each person gets up and might speak for anywhere from 20 seconds to a minute and they start telling a story.

And when their time is up, the next person has to get up and they have to continue the story.

So, obviously each person doesn’t know what the person before them is going to say and so they have to continue the story.

The goal of this is to make the story make sense. This game helps people engage in listening and learn to be creative enough to make the story continue on and make sense.

5. Something In My Wallet

You can use your own wallet or (if people are comfortable enough and happy to do it) you can get the person sitting next to you’s wallet.

Take an item out of the wallet and discuss what this item is and why its important and obviously you are trying to elaborate and make it funny as much as possible.

6. Action Story

This can be done in 2 ways.

A) You tell a story that has a whole great of actions in it and as a speaker you have to do these actions yourself whilst speaking.

B) Or the audience has to do the actions themselves while the speaker is giving their speech.

So you could say; I did a big stretch when I woke up in the morning. And everybody has to stretch. And then you say, I put on my hat, and everybody has to do the actions in line with that.

7. Make A Commercial

Get a bunch of things from your room or from your house, bring them in and you need to make a commercial about these items.

Someone is giving a random product. It might be a deodorant, might be an iphone, it could be anything. And then they are required to give a 30 second to 1 minute commercial on this product and talk about why this is so awesome and why people should buy it. So that’s a really fun one as well.

8. A Fake Holiday

This one is done with images primarily and a set of images that are related to each other.

So it could be a farm where you have images of animals, or the barn house or something funny happening on the farm.

The speaker is required to tell maybe 1, 2 or 3 sentences for each image and then you click forward to the next image.

Then they need to use the next image to continue the story.

So you are using these images as the key cards, as to where the story needs to go so the person needs to adapt the story based on the images that are given.

9. Alternative Ending

You take a well known TV show or a well-known movie. And what you do is you create an alternative ending for it.

10. Connect The Nouns

Connect The Nouns Fun Public Speaking Game

This is really a fun one, I really like this one.

You can do this by either putting nouns on key cards shuffling them up and picking 2 up at a time or you can use this random noun generator.

You get 2 nouns and you then have to create a story that connects that 2 nouns.

So it might be ‘a sheep’ and ‘a mechanic’ or it could be ‘friend’ and ‘shoelace’.

Then you have to create a story that connects those 2 nouns together.

11. How It Got It’s Name

Take an item (for example: packing tape) and you need to create a story around a packing tape and why it’s got its name that way.

You have to make it exciting.

12. Oink Substitution

When you are giving a speech you must allocate one word that you have to replace with word ‘oink’. Or you can use ‘moo’ or you use ‘woof’ or whatever it is that you want.

So you can use the word ‘I’ and replace it with ‘oink’.

So you would say: “Oink went to the movies and oink bought some popcorn.” And so you replace that word ‘I’ with ‘oink’.

This challenges your mind, and it makes that little bit harder to deliver a presentation. And it’s pretty funny for the audience, as well.

13. Which Is A Lie?

Which Is A Lie Public Speaking Game

This one is generally pretty easy to out work and a lot of fun as well. And you will find that some students do it really well, but then some students just fumble when they are tying to lie and its quiet humorous to watch.

A person gets up and tells 3 truths about themselves, but 2 of them need to be true and one of them needs to be a lie.

So they get up and they tell 3 things about themselves and then the audience needs to choose which one was a lie and they see if they were correct.

So this one is really quick, really easy and you don’t have to go into a great detail about it but it can be really fun.

14. Definitions

Make Your Own Definitions Speaking Game

Get really big words that nobody really knows what the meaning is. You can do this using this big word generator or another tool (just Google it). Or you can just go through the dictionary and pick some strange ones yourself.

The speaker has to get up – they are given this strange word and they need to with confidence tell the class what this word means.

Obviously they are making it up, but they need to do it confidently.

15. Endings

You give a person an ending. It could be a saying: “Diamonds are forever” or an ending to a story ‘and the man cried for 3 days’.

You give them an ending and they have to create a story that matches up with that ending.

A lot of being a great pubic speaking is about story telling. Teaching people how to creatively think up stories on the spot is going to make them a better public speaker.

I have previously talked about how public speaking rubric actually damages the progression of public speaking skills. We need to continually practicing public speaking (like riding a bike) and have it be fun if we want to teach people to be great public speakers. Technique comes along with that.

So keep that in mind, keep public speaking fun and I hope that you enjoyed these activities.

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Public speaking rubric is a document or measurement scale that is used to test and measure a student’s public speaking technique. However, this form of measurement actually hinders people becoming better public speakers.

Today I’m going to talk to you about why Public Speaking Rubric is failing our students, and what we can do to ensure that our students become better public speakers.

PUBLIC SPEAKING RUBRIC ASSUMES PUBLIC SPEAKING IS LIKE MATHS

Public Speaking Rubric assumes that public speaking is like mass. It creates a scale where we can measure public speaking technical ability.

We look at things like fluency and clarity, pace and flow, eye contact, posture, enthusiasm, length of speech, memorization etc.

We look at all of these different techniques of public speaking and we’re trying to find out whether the person is a good public speaker or not.

But as you would know from your own life and the talks that stayed with you, great public speaking isn’t necessarily about pace and flow, or about enthusiasm or the smaller techniques, it’s more about everything together and the message the person is trying to get across.

Public speaking is more like riding a bike than it is like math.

With math we can learn technique and we can learn that a certain problem has a certain solution and has a certain way we should get to that solution.

But with public speaking, just like riding a bike, there’s not this one problem with one answer.

Public speaking is more about the message than it is about the technique. If you don’t have anything meaningful to say, what’s the point of speaking anyway?

Rarely does the public speaking rubric measure message, audience engagement or the value the person brought to the audience. It just measures technique and stuff like that.

By treating public speaking like math we’re actually pulling the focus away from what public speaking is all about, which is getting message across and communicating effectively to our audience.

AN EXAMPLE WHERE PUBLIC SPEAKING RUBRIC FAILS

Below I’ve two examples of public speaking. One is an example from a toastmasters competition by very famous public speaking author/blogger (for whom I actually have a lot of respect). This is one of his toastmasters presentations where technique is basically flawless but when it comes to the overall speech and the depth of the speech and the way that it impacted your life it is actually not that significant.

Great technique, but not such a great speech when it comes to how it affects your life.

But, then I’ve got a speech from a guy named William Kamkwamba who speaks broken english.

His speech is about how he was so poor he had to drop out of school. But he use the local library to learn about physics and the local scrap yard to get materials to build a windmill. This windmill revolutionised his life and his town.

Listening to his story gets you so inspired about what he achieved and what can be achieved in your own life.

So, two different speeches – one with flawless technique andone with the boy who can barely speak English who doesn’t use flawless technique. You can see a dichotomy there where flawless technique doesn’t necessarily equal a better speech.

WHAT WE SHOULD BE TEACHING OUR STUDENTS

Public speaking is all about communication and when students obviously have major communication flaws (eg. you can’t understand what they’re saying or they keep saying ‘um’ and ‘aaah’) then those things can be dealt with over time

But they’re not the biggest issue in the world!

I think that the major issue is that we’re making the focus the technique rather than the communication.

So it’s not that the technique’s not important. It’s that we need to take technique away from the focus.

We shouldn’t bother measuring people on technique and say: “Well, your technique is flawless, therefore you’re a good public speaker.”

We need to look at the message that the students are bringing and teach our students to use critical thinking, to think outside of the box.

Teach them to take a topic and create a speech around that topic that inspires people, that engages people and that makes people think in different ways.

I believe that the field of public speaking exists to move the world forward and to move ides forward.

And if we are just teaching our students technique, but we’re not teaching them how to look at things from different angles, how to critically analyze things, how to present ideas in ways that stimulate their classmates.

While their public speaking technique might be great, their impact as an effective communicator will be poor because they don’t have anything meaningful to say.

So what should we be teaching our students?

We shouldn’t be measuring them on public speaking rubric and scales – we should be teaching them to create better messages to speak about.

What you’ll find is that the technique flows with that, and flows after that.

WHY TED TALKS WORK BETTER THAN TOASTMASTERS

Just want to close this off to say that I want to draw a comparison between TED talks and Toastmasters.

So TED talks are conferences that are held with thought leaders in their industries where they talk about what they’ve been doing. The Toastmasters organization is a public speaking organization to teach people how to become better public speakers.

The reason that TED talks have more attraction online, more of their videos are watched every single day than the Toastmasters presentations is because TED talks have something to talk about.

These are people who are leaders in their field, who are approaching the world in a different way than anyone else and thus they have a message worth saying.

When you look at Toastmasters, these are people who are technically great public speakers, but whether or not they have something worth talking about, whether they’re thought leaders or not, that’s left to be said.

Even though the people at TED might not be as great speakers they get more engagement because their message is more important.

So, think about that next time you go searching on the internet for Public Speaking Rubric Scales, and think about how you can better train your students to become a public speaker – not by teaching them technique but by teaching them how to deliver better messages.

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An icebreaker is an activity in public speaking that is designed to engage the audience and break the ice to get them ready to hear what you’re about to say. However, many of the icebreakers out there that the internet sites recommend are pretty average at best and in most cases downright awkward to use.

So I wanted to compile the list of 10 icebreakers that actually work.

So what are these 10 icebreakers that actually work?

Now I’m going to break these into two distinct categories:

1) icebreakers for larger groups of people

2) icebreakers for smaller groups of people.

Now I’m going to assume that you’re in a more formal public speaking setting.

When you’re in a more informal, maybe a really small training group, where it is very hands on then these icebreakers might not work as well and you might need something that is more interactive.

But I’m assuming we’re at corporate meeting or a conference,or a church event or something like that Where it’s more formal public speaking engagement. So what are some of the icebreakers that we can use?

Public speaking ice breakers for large groups

1. MAKE A JOKE AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE

 

Now, I want to say – avoid making really lame,very generalised jokes that don’t have to do with you. Definitely avoid jokes that might offend someone as well!

You don’t want to make a joke at the expense of anyone in the audience, a joke at the expense of the company, or a joke at the expense who’s introduced you, but the joke at the expense of yourself tends to work really well because you’re pointing at yourself so people can just laugh along with that.

Jokes like…

“Before coming here tonight I was discussing my talk with my wife and she said to me: ‘Don’t try to be too charming, too witty or too intellectual, just be yourself.’”

Don’t expect full blown laughter with any of these jokes, but it’s just kind of a teaser, just kind of warms it up.

If you’re at a formal dinner setting, and everyone’s getting the same meal or they have two alternating meals, you can say:

“Don’t you think it’s amazing that 200 of us all came together tonight and we all chose the same meal?”

They’re corny but sometimes they can work.

You could say: “Look, I have a bad feeling about this, I was talking to [whoever introduced you], they said they were going to tell a joke before I spoke but instead they just introduced me.”

So you’re implying you’re the joke.

These are some ideas for a couple of jokes that you can do, obviously one that you come up yourself is probably better.

Tie in the context of the company you work for or the situation you’re in. The more personal and more appropriate to the situation, the better are the jokes going to work.

2. OPEN WITH ‘RAISE-YOUR-HAND’ QUESTIONS

You want to do a couple of things before when you’re doing raise your hand questions.

Firstly, you want to be positive with your raise your hand questions. Like: “Raise your hands if you want to be happy in life!” “Raise your hand if you want to make a million dollars!”

You don’t want to create negative raise your hand questions, because then you’re going to create a negative environment. So you’re saying: “Raise your hand if you don’t have much to show for the last year!” It’s not going to make people feel very good about themselves.

And when you’re doing raise your hand questions try to ask questions that most people are going to raise their hand to.

The whole idea of the raise your hand questions is to get audience’s engagement, and to get group involvement, so the people on the outskirts who aren’t really getting into your talk feel like they should get into your talk.

So if you open with a raise your hand question to which only person in the room can raise hand to, it’s going to be pretty awkward for that person. But if you ask a question where 9 out of 10 people raise their hand, that one person that doesn’t raise their hand kind of feels awkward because they’re not doing it.

It’s like using positive peer pressure.

3. START A STORY BUT DON’T FINISH IT

So when you get there, just say: “I just want to tell you a story that I think it is very important for my speech today.” Or you go on and tell your story, but you leave the conclusion out and you say: “I’ll get back to that towards the end.”

And so what you’re doing – you’re drawing people in with stories, but you’re not finishing your story so it keeps them engaged.

4. GET AN INTRODUCTION

A lot of people wouldn’t classify this as an icebreaker, but it really is. Get someone to introduce you and talk you up a little bit and get people warmed up for you as you come on to the stage.

Then the audience is anticipating your coming and you don’t need to break the ice as much because it’s already been a little bit broken for you.

5. BREAK SOME NEWS (BIG OR SMALL)

I was recently reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Retire Young, Retire Rich. And he talks about an investment talk that he did, and he couldn’t think how to open his presentation.

As he was reading the morning paper, he came across a story about a couple who had retired about 10 years early. But he then used that news to tie into his story.

So when you get up on stage and you say: “I’ve read this really interesting article in the paper today,” or “Something really interesting or strange happened to me today.”

We are inclined as a culture to want to be ‘in the know’ so when something is happening in the news and people are talking about it we want to hear what it is.

So that’s a good way to get people engaged – to break some sort of news, whether it’s news that’s happened in your country or on the globe or whether it’s just something new that has happened in your life that’s a bit odd and a bit interesting.

6. ASK EVERYONE TO COMPLETE A SIMPLE TASK

Get the audience to say to the person next to them: “I’m so glad you’re here today.”

So everyone in the audience has to say that. Or tell them to give the person next to you a high five or give the person a handshake or turn around and say hello to the person behind you or in front of you.

So you get people to complete this small menial task that engages them with people around them and just kind of opens them up and gets them a little more engaged in your presentation.

7. OPEN WITH A QUOTE

Probably not the best icebreaker in the world but it can work especially if it’s a great quote and if it’s very specific to what you’re going to be talking about. Keep it specific to the context or make it a little bit funny.

So surf the internet and look for some quotes and potentially open with a quote.

PUBLIC SPEAKING ICE BREAKERS FOR SMALLER GROUPS

So public speaking icebreakers for smaller groups.

8. GET EVERYONE TO INTRODUCE THEMSELVES AS A SUPERMARKET ITEM (OR SOMETHING ELSE)

Get everyone to introduce themselves in a strange way.

You could say: “I want everyone to go around the room and I want you to introduce yourself, introduce your name, and then tell us what item in the super market you would be?” or “what item in a hardware store you would be?” or “what kind of fruit you would be?” or “what kind of dish you would be?”

Or you could even do something like: “What is your porn star name?” (which is the name of your first pet, and then your last name as your porn star name is the name of the first street you lived in). So use these sorts of funny things, funny ways for people to introduce themselves.

9. GET EACH PERSON TO INTRODUCE THE PERSON NEXT TO THEM, GIVING THEM A FICTITIOUS LIFE

This can work if the group doesn’t know each other at all, but it can also work if the group does each other and so you just say: “Look, this is Bob, and he’s actually a super hero at night, he moonlights as a super hero, and his super power is that he can spit fire,” or you make up whatever it is and people are inspired to use their creativity.

10. DO A QUIZ

This can be something like you just asking questions to the audience and they have to raise their hands if it’s yes or leave it down if it’s no.

You can have it in such a way that people stand up and if they’re wrong, then they have to sit down.

If you’re at a conference, you can do it based on previous content that they should have heard and remembered. Or you can do it based on anything.

Ice Breakers That Actually Work

So there’s some icebreakers for you – 10 icebreakers that aren’t too awkward.

They aren’t mindblowingly amazing but they do work. They are very effective and I hope that gives you a starting place to look out where you’re going to open up your speech.

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Public speaking is an extremely valuable tool that can help you achieve great things in life. In this article I am going to discuss how public speaking can help you.

Public speaking is stated as the number one fear above anything else. But learning how to master the art of public speaking can be extremely beneficial to you in many different facets of your life.

So let’s break it down and look at some of the areas that public speaking can help us in our lives.

1: Further your career

Your career or your business is one of the places where public speaking is more beneficial than almost anywhere else.

Using strong public speaking skills can give you a great leg up over your peers and over people you’re competing against for different positions.

Public speaking can help you impress your boss. You can make a great impression if you’re confident in giving presentations in front of a crowd. Your boss might choose you to give more presentations in future because they know that it’s going to make them look good.

You can be seen as a thought leader and a stand-out performer. Be confident and capable of getting up in front of a crowd and you could be seen as one of the best workers in the company.

Standing up and talking about what you’re doing will make people perceive you to be better than other people because they know you.

2: Create context in your networks

It is important to create context in your professional network and for the people above you who are more likely to promote you.

You’re more likely to be seen by upper management if you’re able to speak in public and get up in front of a crowd. This creates context and a relationship – even if not a one-on-one relationship – so they can now interact with you.

They understand who you are. So when a job comes up and they’re looking through résumés yours will stand out because they know who you are.

Public speaking also helps you expand your professional network. You can inspire greater change and be seen as management material if you’re an effective public speaker.

And you will likely get more of those opportunities to present and be seen by your peers and by upper management.

3: Improve your self-confidence

Public speaking is great at building your self-confidence.

It’s difficult at first because public speaking is so scary. You feel so awkward or you don’t like the way you sound.

But you will build confident in the way you present yourself over time. It allows you to be confident not just in a public speaking situation but in a variety of social situations. You can be prepared for things like job interviews or business meetings.

You can also learn to think and act on the spot. Being good at thinking on the spot and “winging it” when you go into social situations will make you feel less stressed because you’ll know that you can handle whatever happens.

Build your self-confident and get positive feedback or constructive criticism from people. You can then continue to grow and become better at communicating.

4: Improve your social life

Public speaking can be very beneficial to you in your social life as well.

It allows you to react on the spot and not get so worried about what’s going to happen because you’re an effective communicator. It’s not going to be awkward.

You’ll become a good story teller as well. A great deal of public speaking is about being able to tell stories. That’s what keeps people engaged.

Experience with public speaking will teach you which stories get a good reaction and which ones don’t. You can then use that in social situations to keep the conversation flowing.

5: Become a better thinker

Public speaking is good for your mind.

It can improve your critical thinking skills and make you a better and faster problem solver.

I believe that the best way to learn something is to teach it. I myself am not some award-winning public speaker. But I am learning about public speaking through teaching it.

Public speaking will stimulate your brain to learn topics even better than your peers. It will help you clarify your own thoughts and beliefs. Being confident to speak to people about your passions will also stimulate conversation.

Your ideas can sound very different when they’re thought and when they’re spoken. And so it helps you clarify your mind. And it helps you think at a higher level to your peers and improve your thought processes.

6: Become more influential

Public speaking will also help you with your influence.

You’re almost always are going to need to learn how to speak in public if you want to be influential. I think the only exception to this is people who run very successful blogs or newspaper articles where they have gained their influence through writing and not through speaking.

Video is soon going to take over text as the main form of content on the internet. This just shows that people who are happy to get up and speak – whether that is in front of people or in front of a camera – are going to gain more influence than those who are hiding behind a keyboard.

You’re more likely going to be able to lead a team. If you can speak to a group then you can almost always lead a group as well. You’re going to get more opportunities to lead teams and have greater influence there.

You can also have your thoughts heard. If you’ve got these great ideas but you never speak them out then no one’s going to hear them. Being a good public speaker means you can have your thoughts heard and make the world around you a better place and build up your influence.

7: Better your relationships

Public speaking is all about communication.

Some people believe that it is 70% body language, 20% tone and only 10% what you say. I think this is complete nonsense.

It’s about getting a message across from one person to another. Sometimes it won’t matter if you have the best structure or the best abilities in the world. If you’re talking about something that just means nothing to me then I’m not going to want to listen – no matter how good you are.

Communication is so important when it comes to your marriage and your family. Public speaking can help you become a better communicator within all of your relationships.

It will allow you to get the family to work together towards a common goal. It’s a big thing with public speaking. You’re rallying an audience towards one key message. You can do that with your family as well.

And because you’re going to become a better story teller, you can maintain attention in conversation at the dinner table.

8: Become a better everyday communicator

And public speaking will help you become a better everyday communicator.

Speaking in public will help you to remove a lot of poor communication habits. You will come to recognise your stutters or your hand moments or whatever awkward thing you may do.

Removing poor communications habits allows you to replace them with better ones. You can become better at communicating on the phone or via email and just in your everyday life.

So there you have some of the different ways that public speaking can help you become more successful in your life.

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