Want to Read this Later? Download the PDF Now!One of the most challenging parts of speaking, at least for me and many of the new speakers I’ve experienced, is maintaining good eye contact with the audience so that everyone in the room feels included. Maintaining eye contact with a room […]
Tag Archives: eye contact
This episode of the Public Speaking Super Powers Podcast features Carma’s interview with Laurel Clark, a teacher, author, and speaker. Podcast Highlights Length: 15 minutes, 11 seconds When Laurel Clark was a child, she was very shy and quiet. However, through the prodding of her friends and her position with […]
Part 4 of 4 videos from Carma’s WMA presentation On October 22, 2013, I was one of three panelists sharing information about speaking in front of an audience at the Western Museums Association’s 2012 Annual Meeting in Palm Springs, California. In this excerpt from my part of the presentation, I […]
Over the past several posts, I’ve shared excerpts from a workshop I did on basic public speaking skills. In effect, I’ve created a mini-course in how to develop your first speech. To make it easy for you, I’ve organized these video excerpts into an eight-week course in basic public speaking. Enjoy!
How to use this mini course:
The information is structured as an eight-week course, with one module per week. Although it is possible to go through this material all in one day, I don’t recommend it. Take in one module at a time to allow yourself to absorb each piece of the overall public speaking puzzle. Do one module a day (or week) and you’ll be fine!
The core of each module is the Lesson video or videos. Each video is around 2 to 4 minutes long, so they won’t take up much of your time. Everything else is supplementary and there to enhance the lesson. They are there as additional supplementary material for you to use if you want to.
Tools you’ll need to get the most out of this course
- A spiral notebook to journal about your experience and write your assignments
- A digital video recording device to record your presentation for self-critique.
Would you like help moving through this course?
Carma Spence, author of Public Speaking Super Powers, is available for private and group training in public speaking. She can help you through these modules and provide you with feedback and accountability. Contact her for more information.
By Featured Speaker Arvee Robinson
1. Getting there late.
Walking frantically into a room full of people who have been waiting for you to arrive can be an embarrassing situation. Unless you are a magician, you might as well turn around and leave. It would take a miracle to get this audience to forget the inconvenience you have caused them. They probably have already passed judgment on you, deciding you’re an inconsiderate speaker rather than a viable expert in your field. Make the extra effort to arrive at least 1/2 hour before the event begins.
2. Apologizing before you start.
Starting off your presentation with “Uh, I’m sorry that I . . .” is the quickest, most assured way to lose your audience’s attention and leave them cold. Remember, YOU are the expert and true experts have nothing to be sorry for. The audience doesn’t care if you have a cold, woke up late, got caught in traffic, or tripped on a banana skin. All they care about is what information you’re going to give them that will benefit them in the shortest amount of time. Remember Love Story-“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
When I was competing in speech in high school I remember one speech very clearly: The young man got up in front of the room, faced the chalk board with his back to us and gave his entire speech in that position.
I remember being shocked. He was in a competition. What was he doing?
I believe he was not looking at us to help him deal with his nerves.
But I can tell you another thing he was doing … he was making his speech very forgettable. I have no recollection what his topic was. All I remember was spending 10 to 15 minutes looking at the back of his suit.
Eye contact helps bring your audience into your presentation. It helps make them feel engaged and, for some, validated. It helps your audience root for you and the success of your presentation.