• What is the STORY of your business and why should we care?

    Date: 2014.10.13 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    As a professor, communication coach and trainer, I work with a lot of entrepreneurs who are vetting their business ideas to see if those concepts have “legs”. More often than not, the focus is primarily around personal vision aligned with a business idea, and, of course, can it make a profit based on the current market and trends. Something fundamental is missing from the equation: The absolute necessity of being able to articulate why your business matters…. (drumroll) to the CUSTOMER. Sure, we can describe our credibility through our skills and expertise. We can differentiate our features from our benefits, which is at least a start, and we can identify how we might stand out in the market. But this compelling WHY FACTOR is often omitted.

    Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why” and subsequent viral TED talk of 2009 is still being referenced today. He dared us to look at the “WHY” of we do before communicating “HOW” we do it and “WHAT” it is. When the WHY comes first, your concept is revealed from the inside out. The point is – we (the customer) have to believe what you (the business creator) believe. There has to be an essential truth we buy into. When we viscerally and emotionally grasp the way you solve our problem or meet our need, then HOW you do that and WHAT it is, become almost a given.

    So, how do you make it matter to us, your customer? One way is to have a really compelling business story. Here are some suggestions for crafting yours:

    • Share a unique discovery you’ve made that highlights a problem begging for a solution. Give us a character facing a challenge and depict him/her so well that we actually visualize it. Embellish it with some colorful, descriptive details (albeit, concisely!) so the scene is more vivid and somehow familiar.
    • Take that character on a journey to success that meets the challenge so well, we actually feel relief when you get us there.  Then it becomes an “I’ll have what she’s having” kind of moment.
    • Add a little surprise element because… well, who doesn’t like surprises. They help us to remember you and that is an essential part of customer retention.

    With a well-crafted, concise business story, you can gain confidence in your networking ability, have a clearer marketing platform and some compelling content and messaging. Once you’ve crafted your main story, you have a template with which to build a repertoire of ways to speak directly to the needs and wants of your customers.  Just be sure you keep listening to them so you stay current on what those needs and wants are.

    Create an unbeatable story with a big dose of an honest heart and we’ll find value that we can’t live without.

    WHY not?

    Wendy Scharfman is a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer. She is the founder of Coaching for Effective Communication, a business she created to help her clients become dynamic, confident communicators who can inspire action with unique style and a powerful strategy. She is an Adjunct Professor at the SUNY/Levin Institute in NYC where she teaches entrepreneurial business and at New York Institute of Technology where she teaches speech communication. Wendy specializes in LeadershipTraining and Team Building, Public Speaking Competencies, Message Refinement and Media Training.

    • Share/Bookmark
  • Tell It Well and Make it Matter

    Date: 2012.10.10 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 1

    My father was a tyrannical professor of medicine who seemed to relish humiliating his students – especially while making rounds in the hospital. The residents would hide behind each other to avoid being singled out to answer his impromptu questions.  And sure enough, one fated day, Charlie, a first year, came to rounds with little sleep and even less preparation.  Needless to say, my Dad nailed him. Charlie mumbled some feeble response knowing he was in for it and with laser focus, my Dad said, “You know, you should read more.” So, Charlie, hell-bent on redeeming himself, studied like a maniac and came to rounds the next time with the cockiness of an over-prepared medical genius. And this time, fortune smiled. My Dad called on him and Charlie, resolute and beyond ready, launched into an almost poetic diatribe replete with every bit of medical minutiae he could muster. “Sheer brilliance”, Charlie thought smugly to himself. My dad paused, stared right at him and said, “Next time, don’t read so much.”

    Ok, so you’ve got the floor, you’re prepared as all get out – what’s missing? A few essentials:

    1. Define your audience and what THEY want and need to know. I know, we’ve all heard this before but think of it this way. When YOU’RE in the audience what holds YOUR attention?  It’s not enough to be prepared and informed. You have to put yourself in their shoes and really imagine what matters to them. Then tailor your words to THAT. Oh, and don’t forget to add the spices. (We’ll get back to that.)

    2. Build a framework. Most great books, films, plays etc. have a beginning, middle and an end. And a point (or two). Your speech or writing really needs this. If you were to have a SUPER-OBJECTIVE what would that be? Write this out for yourself FIRST. Why are you telling this? What is the main purpose of this particular communication? And then, give it a TITLE! Brand it, so you can readily conjure its meaning. You’d be amazed how this can clarify the task at hand. Then, with your beginning-middle-end structure in place, create your “subset” talking points. In other words, how will you illustrate each segment? This leads to the proverbial packing of the suitcase:

    3. Furnish the structure. This is where you get to be creative. There are myriad ways to illustrate and reinforce a talking point. Here are those spices:

    • ASK QUESTIONS!!! (The best way to engage an audience is to start a dialogue! Oh, and by the way, questions are a GREAT way to cool your nerves.)
    • Tell a great SHORT story – every great speaker is a great storyteller. Bar none.
    • Use great visuals – we remember better visually, anyway. Case in point: think of any great advertising campaign.
    • Include a clever, insightful quotation – a smart chuckle works like gangbusters to make a point.
    • Be imaginative with your use of data or statistics – surprise us with some unique, memorable facts!
    • Add some Universal Humor  – NO joke telling! You run the risk of offending. Just simply illustrate the specific ways we all can laugh at life.
    • Give colorful examples from your own experience – concepts have a way of requiring additional explanation with a frame of reference.
    • Put YOURSELF into the content – I mean this. It has to have YOU all over it or it will come across as inauthentic. Trust me, an audience can smell a phony a mile away.

    4. Choose your medium. Is this communication a video, a PowerPoint (or PREZI, which I find more captivating), a Skype or teleconference, a teleseminar, a webinar, a keynote or a meeting, etc?  Each one has specific time parameters, styles, guidelines and audiences. So do your due diligence and ferret out the specs before you jump in. There is a big difference between filling up a large auditorium and speaking into a camera.Be sure you time yourself and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE until you’ve got it down well enough to come “off the page” and make it your own. The bathroom mirror is a good start. But after that, try it out on someone OTHER than yourself. A word of caution, kids are a tough crowd. Use bullet points or notes only if you’re really familiar with them. Otherwise they become a bad crutch. Make those notes a mere reference so you can soar with your material.

    5. Get fired up! I’m not kidding. We’ve just witnessed what can happen in a national debate when someone isn’t raring to go. It can cost you. You may know from whence you speak but if there’s no PRESENCE, as in ENTHUSIASM, PASSION and CONFIDENCE, you lose us.  Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard Business School talks about the “Power Pose”.  She says that for two minutes before you have give any important communication, sit or stand in a position that makes you feel powerful and open to energy coming in. Now this doesn’t mean you strike the Wonder Woman pose on the podium, but rather, find a quiet, private space before you start. Think about it, if your body is curled up somewhere checking your text messages, you are shutting down and not allowing yourself to raise your testosterone levels (power) and lower your cortisol (stress). Tiny tweaks like this can lead to big changes in your delivery. Finally, fake it ‘til you become it.  If nerves and self-doubt are keeping you from owning it, just keep going. Our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behavior and our behavior changes our impact.

    Oh, and by the way, Charlie, the redeemed medical resident, is my Mom’s cardiologist.

    Wendy Scharfman is a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer. She is the Owner and Founder of Coaching for Effective Communication, a business she created to help her clients develop powerful communication strategies that create real results. She is the Communications Consultant at Family Intervention Services, a New Jersey non-profit, and an adjunct faculty member at the SUNY/Levin Institute where she teaches entrepreneurial business. Wendy specializes in Executive Coaching, Leadership Training and Team Building, Public Speaking Competencies, Message Refinement and Media Training. www.wendyscharfman.com

    • Share/Bookmark
  • Win a chance to nail your business pitch or fine-tune that upcoming speech, interview or marketing video!

    Date: 2011.11.01 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Enter by Dec 15th

    Why we are having this contest?

    • Do you know your business better than anyone but can’t effectively talk about it?
    • Do you find that you just don’t have or make the time to be a better communicator when it comes to your business?
    • Wouldn’t you like to conquer your fear of speaking in public to become a more engaging and stronger leader?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this is the contest for YOU!

    Who should submit entries?

    • If you need to improve your public speaking competencies
    • If you own a business, work at a business, or are seeking employment where you need to articulate the value of what you do
    • If you become easily stressed or fearful when speaking in public

    What are the submission guidelines? (All submissions should be 500 words or less. Send your submission in an email, or attached as a file to Wendy@wendyscharfman.com )

    • Submit a SHORT story explaining your most embarrassing, funniest or just plain worst public speaking experience, or
    • Submit a SHORT description of the unusual or unique way you prepare for your public speaking experiences, or
    • Submit a SHORT explanation of why you deserve to win this contest

    What are the prizes?

    • 1st place wins a 1 hour phone consultation with Wendy to work on your choice of public speaking/or message refinement projects
    • 2nd place wins a 30 minute phone consultation with Wendy to work on your choice of public speaking/message refinement projects
    • 3rd place wins an introductory phone call with Wendy to help identify your speaking vulnerabilities and suggestions on how to strengthen them
    • Share/Bookmark
  • GETTING YOUR ACT TOGETHER AND TAKING IT ON THE ROAD

    Date: 2011.03.09 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0


    Some of us have to “wear more than one hat” for our livelihoods and on the occasion that one accomplishment or effort can fuel another, we get to truly witness and subsequently share the fruits of our labors.

    Some of you may not know this about me, but in addition to being a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer, I am also a professional actress. In fact, I chose to start my communication coaching business because of my acting background. I’ll clarify. Briefly. (My advice, always.) As an actor, it is your job to entertain an audience and to be confident and specific in your choices so that your performance is more dynamic, engaging and effective. The audience gets to relax because they trust your ability to do your job well; they enjoy your performance and hopefully come away with some real value. Inspiration comes, as we know, in a variety of packages.

    Oh wait; did I just describe the relationship of ANY speaker with an audience?  Aye, there’s the rub. All of the tools and techniques I have learned as an actor are the same for any speaker with any audience. No matter the medium.

    So, for these past 9 weeks with 3 to go, I have had the privilege of portraying Amanda in Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie”. We had a sold out run at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia and I am currently touring the East Coast. It is most certainly an iconic role in an American Classic and therefore challenging, daunting and at the onset, downright terrifying. As actors, we are always asked, “How did you learn all those lines?”  The answer is usually met with something like, “It’s part of the job”.  But this time, I must admit, I struggled. I was petrified not only of being able to hold all of those magnificent words in my brain, but also of being able to place my own stamp on a mammoth role played by a legion of legendary actresses before me. And during this whole process, which, incidentally, has been one joyful, happy dream-come-true, I kept hearing myself speaking to my clients about all of the ways you can conquer your fear by making a speech your own, creating something of value and forming a relationship with your audience. When that happens, it is magic. And that, my friends, is heaven. A win-win.

    I am beyond grateful for this opportunity, as it has made me braver and more confident in my ability. I consider it a huge battery recharge and an affirmation of what I believe is a key to success. You must certainly be prepared, but, more importantly; you must love what you do. And don’t let fear keep you from sharing it with the world.

    Wendy Scharfman is a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer. She is the founder of Coaching for Effective Communication, a business she created to help her clients become dynamic, confident speakers who can inspire action by delivering a message that matters. Wendy specializes in Leadership Training and Team Building, Public Speaking Competencies, Message Refinement and Media Training.

    • Share/Bookmark
  • AN OVERHAUL FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON – THE GIFT THAT TRULY KEEPS ON GIVING

    Date: 2010.12.15 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 1


    Thanksgiving came and went, and suddenly the media is flooded with sales and the race is on. “Buy gifts”! Is that it?

    December 15th, 2010

    I’ve been told I’m a Polly Ana, always seeing the bright side, a cock-eyed optimist, if you will. But I have absolutely no regrets about that – in fact, if it’s been at all infectious; I’m the happier culprit.

    I propose a poignant pause this season. A battery charger of the spirit. My partner most recently said to me, “What if each of us carves out some time to contemplate what’s good and difficult in the world. As sure as the days grow shorter and darker, conversely they will grow longer and brighter. Nature has designed the seasons to renew.”

    If we stop, even for a moment, to allow our consciousness to expand outward, to consider those less fortunate, to focus on those we love and those in need, perhaps one solitary action at a time can be born of this collective thought. I saw a man give up his lunch to a homeless fellow on the subway today. And moments later I watched a man take an elderly woman who was lost and anxious by the arm and escort her to her destination. Several friends have opted to give and receive donations to their favorite charities in lieu of gifts this year. That could indeed go “viral”, if we choose. What else can we do to alter the course of this commercial holiday cascade  – to renew the season?

    As my wise, funny and most loveable mother has said on occasion, “Get your nose out of your navel and take a look around.”

    Happiest of holidays and best wishes for a New Year filled with good fortune to you all.

    Wendy Scharfman is a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer. She is the founder of Coaching for Effective Communication, a business she created to help her clients become dynamic, confident speakers who can inspire action by delivering a message that matters. Wendy specializes in Leadership Training and Team Building, Public Speaking Competencies, Message Refinement and Media Training.

    Add to Technorati Favorites

    • Share/Bookmark
  • SOCIAL MEDIA-SCHMEDIA – WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE AND FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, SOMEONE TELL ME WHY?

    Date: 2010.11.24 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    November 24th, 2010

    Social meet-y-a. YIKES. It’s definitely here and apparently not disappearing any time soon. Does that mean we blindly succumb to the trends without understanding what’s in it for us?

    I say nay. There is an unparalleled individual in you screaming to be heard. And for that reason, the crazy influx of demanding pressures to conform presents an opportunity to… (Drum roll) differentiate. “Esplain, Lucy”. Don’t mind if I do.

    • You and your business will succeed without 1) a squeeze page, 2) putting your “call to action” in every social media message, 4) blogging only four of the best five of anything, so they’ll come back for the fifth, 6) subliminally inserting “buy my stuff” throughout your electronic communication 7) any or all of the above.
    • You don’t have to tweet to be heard, blog to be read, or linked in to make a connection to a human being. Numbers do NOT a relationship make. And Facebook is not a competition to have the largest number of “friends” you’ve never met.
    • Widgets, apps, CRMs, SEO, Google Analytics, YouTube et al are not determinants of anything… unless you design the criteria for their usage.

    There are certainly benefits to social media. The expediency of disseminating information and building relationships are infinitely greater. The ability to create meaning with brevity is certainly useful in this “instant gratification” society. (I recently read a suggestion that voice mail should be 140 characters!) Any invention is replete with ingenuity and creativity. But it is still our choice as to which invention we avail ourselves of.

    Your website is an ideal vehicle for providing the best benefits of the services you provide to your clients. A perfect tweet is a sweet freebee of worthwhile content and perhaps the start of a conversation. A blog is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field. Facebook is a wealth of useful, fabulous information and yours for the taking. Linked In can provide new colleagues and amazing business dialogue and YouTube can be the best message you’ll ever deliver. ALL of this noise is noise UNTIL you to make an informed decision as to what you need and what best serves you. It should resonate with your brain, your heart and the expression of who you are. You drive the communication train and you decide what is necessary and what truly matters.

    Wendy Scharfman is a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer. She is the founder of Coaching for Effective Communication, a business she created to help her clients become dynamic, confident speakers who can inspire action by delivering a message that matters. Wendy specializes in Leadership Training and Team Building, Public Speaking Competencies, Message Refinement and Media Training.

    Add to Technorati Favorites

    • Share/Bookmark
  • ET TU, YOUTUBE? HOW TO SHOOT YOUR BEST MARKETING VIDEO WITHOUT SHOOTING YOURSELF IN THE FOOT.

    Date: 2010.11.03 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    November, 3rd, 2010

    We’ve all heard this expression, ad nauseam. “Video’s gone viral.” Could be a bad case of the flu. Then again, your 15 minutes may just be what the doctor ordered.

    It’s downright painful to watch some marketing videos these days. Either the speaker is robotic or just plain boring, obviously reading a script (badly) and not looking into the camera (i.e. at the audience), or the lighting is so unflattering it looks like the poor guy could use a cup of coffee and some sleep, not necessarily in that order. If you’re going to invest time and expense in creating a video for your business, why not polish it to a real shine so that you and your product or service are bathed in the most flattering light.

    Here’s a few tricks of the trade:

    Create a dynamic, jazzy script.

    It’s not just how great that dress looks; it’s how terrific your message is. Don’t forget to give us value in the words. Design a grrrrrreat opening, fill the video with useful and amusing information and end with some pizzazz (and your offer, if it’s part of the deal.)

    Less is more.

    For heaven’s sake, don’t do yourself the injustice of yammering on too long. Leave us wanting more…. Of what you’ve got. Capiche? Five minutes is PLENTY long. We are the instant gratification generation. Say it with feeling, but make it snappy. That doesn’t mean you should rush through it – pace is important. SLOW IT DOWN! Use some variation in your vocal dynamic. Make it compelling to listen to you.

    Great lighting, please!

    Know this. Lighting can make the difference between your looking fabulous or freaky. Take the time to “find the light” and flatter yourself shamelessly. Get some help on this if you need it. LED vs. the light bulb. That’s all I’m saying.

    Bonus camera tips.

    Use a tripod. Movement, especially the wobbly kind, is not your friend. And that goes for excessive motion on your part. Stand still, relax and focus on talking to us, the audience. Never let them see you flail. And one little extra useful tip – let the camera roll 5 to 10 seconds before you speak. You’ll avoid the potential of cutting off that smashing opening of yours.

    Got any great tips you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear them.

    Wendy Scharfman is a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer. She is the founder of Coaching for Effective Communication, a business she created to help her clients become dynamic, confident speakers who can inspire action by delivering a message that matters. Wendy specializes in Leadership Training and Team Building, Public Speaking Competencies, Message Refinement and Media Training.

    Add to Technorati Favorites

    • Share/Bookmark
  • TO POWERPOINT OR NOT TO POWERPOINT – THAT’S NOT EXACTLY THE QUESTION

    Date: 2010.10.13 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    October, 13th, 2010

    It’s challenging enough to confidently and concisely get your word out, but technology can either be a great asset or simply a pain in your proverbial keester.  PowerPoint is your friend. Qualitatively speaking, as Glinda asked, “Is it a good witch or a bad witch?”

    That depends on how you use it. I have seen some remarkable examples of what NOT do to with PowerPoint and, conversely, some terrific ones that succeed beyond expectation.  Here are my suggestions for the “good witch” version.

    • Assume that everyone to whom you are speaking can read.  Pretty safe assumption. That being said, you do not need text on your PowerPoint. Your spoken words are more effective than written text on a screen and the image or visual displayed is therefore a COMPLIMENT to what you say.

    • You don’t want text on the screen competing for your attention. You are in the driver’s seat, not the PowerPoint. If you absolutely need to have words on a page, give them a handout. It’s a take-away for your audience and less scrambling for them to take written notes. They’ll LISTEN better. If that is not practical, make ANY words on your visuals minimal, very concise and tied to an image, graphic or easy-to-decipher chart or graph. That is much more memorable and retainable as information. And for heaven’s sake, the font has to be LARGE enough to read… in the back row!!!

    • If possible, have some variety on the same slide. You can combine several images to convey a sequence of ideas. There are easy techniques to even have some movement on the screen with one visual leading into another.  A student of mine introduced me to one such program called http://prezi.com. It’s a great way to capture and hold the attention of your audience. And if you’re feeling particularly spunky and creative, a short video can be magical. But I digress…

    • As for statistics and those “numbers” you need to impart – how about telling a great story or provide an example of the facts you are about to show and then, instead of a whole table of boring numbers, show only the TOTAL along with an image or graphic. It works like gangbusters. You may even share a chuckle if done with a bit of professional flair.
    • Time your slides to appear with your words. You are the primary focus, so bring on the visuals to dramatically enhance what YOU are saying, not the other way around. And be sure to let me know what works for you. I’d love to hear your ideas.

    Wendy Scharfman is a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer. She is the founder of Coaching for Effective Communication, a business she created to help her clients become dynamic, confident speakers who can inspire action by delivering a message that matters. Wendy specializes in Leadership Training and Team Building, Public Speaking Competencies, Message Refinement and Media Training.

    Add to Technorati Favorites

    • Share/Bookmark
  • FOSTERING ENTHUSIASM 101

    Date: 2010.09.29 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 1

    Do you wake up and hit the ground running these days?  You haven’t even had your morning java and your mind is already swirling with your day’s “to do” list, emails are flooding your mailboxes and the phone is ringing much too early for a civilized conversation. The morass of stimuli coming at you is enough to dampen any spirit.

    One hundred years ago, the maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.


    It stands to reason that the opportunity to stop and smell the roses is exponentially greater when life slows down. But in addition to finding the time nowadays to get back in touch with what “jazzes” us about our work and our lives, we need some “imagine” time. Just a little bit of quality daydreaming.  An article in the Science section of the New York Times (June 28, 2010) suggests that your mind needs a chance to wander. Even in just five minutes a day, a little daydreaming or mind wandering can fire a few synapses for creativity and productivity.

    Your enthusiasm for your work life comes from your ability to think beyond borders and if you don’t allow yourself the time and space to refill your energy coffers, you set yourself up for stagnation and the “overwhelm”. In order for your ideas to blossom, they need to be tested by you to see if they are in harmony with your own core values. Find a few minutes to step off the treadmill and get back in touch with the juice of creative imagination. Take a short walk, a bike ride or sit and listen to the birds sing. They are amazingly beautiful.  Listen to some expansive music and see where it takes you.  Think of a time when you felt blissfully happy and recognize the essence there. Reintroduce yourself to your best self and pat yourself on the back for reacquainting with your best friend.  And invite that person to join your day.

    Ultimately you want to be seen in the world as an expert in your field because of your infectious enthusiasm for what you love to do and its value to others. Seth Godin says, “Please don’t hire someone who just thinks it’s a job. This category represents the majority of our options, and this category is what gives work a bad name.”

    “Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll

    Wendy Scharfman is a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer. She is the founder of Coaching for Effective Communication, a business she created to help her clients become dynamic, confident speakers who can inspire action by delivering a message that matters. Wendy specializes in Leadership Training and Team Building, Public Speaking Competencies, Message Refinement and Media Training.

    Add to Technorati Favorites

    • Share/Bookmark
  • HOW TO TACKLE YOUR FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING WITH GUSTO

    Date: 2010.09.15 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 5

    September 15th, 2010

    I get emails all the time asking what to do with the green-eyed monster of fear when speaking in public. I decided it was time for a pep talk. We could all use one now and again. Consider this the locker room rally before the game.

    First and foremost, your audience, whoever they are, is NOT the enemy. I repeat, those people sitting out there watching you are NOT the enemy.  Believe it or not, they WANT you to give them great information, to inspire them and, yes, even make them laugh a little.  And though this may seem daunting, at least you can remind yourself they are on your team.

    Secondly, and this is where you give yourself a good talking to, you are there because you have something of value to impart, and the folks out there listening to you are invested in hearing it for a variety of reasons. This is a GOOD thing. With me so far?

    Thirdly, the more you are enthusiastic, prepared and concise about what you have to say, the more the audience LIKES hearing it. There is a perfect, symbiotic correlation. Pay attention. As a result of your being enthused, prepared and concise, you become more confident. This, in turn, makes the audience relax and enjoy you even more. How about that!

    Notice I haven’t mentioned the word “fear” until now. The “fear” you anticipate when you have to speak in public, that little diabolical voice in your head that causes panic, an inability to salivate, and your sweat glands to work overtime is… (Drum roll)…. mere ENERGY.  And the trick is to convert fear-based energy into a positive anticipatory energy, which in turn becomes a powerful energy of well being that is the direct result of your sharing great information with your audience. How do you actually make this conversion, you ask?

    Here’s a few suggestions:

    • Don’t feed your doubt, feed your imagination and your desire to share valuable information.
    • Before you speak, dedicate this speech to someone you really care about. Do it for them. And mean it.
    • Don’t open your mouth until you know exactly what you’re going to say and pace yourself as you go (slow down!!!) so that the content comes easily and “trippingly off the tongue”.
    • Structure your speech or interview with only 1or 2 major talking points and have the rest of your material support those points. An audience retains much less information than we always want to provide. Less is more. Keep that in mind.
    • Be sure to add some universal humor. We all love to laugh at life and you will have succeeded in winning over most of the crowd. That will definitely help to relax you. Find a smiling face out in the crowd and say the next sentence to them.  As you proceed, continue to make eye contact with other attentive faces and share a full thought with them. Trust me, it makes them feel included, which will make them trust you.
    • Fill your speech with concise, valuable content, interesting visuals (NOT power point with too many words in small fonts!!!), quotations, surprising statistics, analogies and one good short story that ties to your talking point. Make sure you have an emotional investment in your material. The audience will viscerally respond if the content of your talk matters to you. “Never lose your capacity for enthusiasm.” Gordon Dean said that.
    • Record yourself if you can and get feedback from colleagues or friends on your delivery techniques. Then record it again.
    • Have a unique beginning and a smashing close. Don’t dissipate the energy with a weak ending. Start by surprising us, or ask us a good question and you will suddenly see how we feel connected to you. Connection is the fear conversion factor.  Once you know the audience is with you, the fear just melts away.

    Oh, and don’t forget to breathe and drink some water.  It prevents cottonmouth.

    Wendy Scharfman is a professional speaker, communication coach and trainer. She is the founder of Coaching for Effective Communication, a business she created to help her clients become dynamic, confident speakers who can inspire action by delivering a message that matters. Wendy specializes in Leadership Training and Team Building, Public Speaking Competencies, Message Refinement and Media Training.

    Add to Technorati Favorites

    • Share/Bookmark

Calendar

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Categories

Search