2-Minute Tip: Take a Beat
Have you ever noticed that a speaker will step up to their speaking spot (fancy technical term there), look down, then up, scan the room silently, and then start speaking? They’re taking a moment to prep themselves for the talk they are about to deliver. While that whole ritual may be a little much, there is value in taking a moment to take a breath and plant your feet before speaking.
It gives you the opportunity to shift from prep mode into speaking mode. When you are prepping for a talk, you are reviewing what you want to say, making last minute adjustments based on the audience, double-checking your gear, reviewing site lines, going through sound check, turning off your phone, emptying your pockets and more. When it’s time to speak, prep time is over. You have to put aside all the to do items of prep and now let their value come through. It’s time to focus on delivering your message.
Taking a moment at the very start to clear your head and change your thinking allows you to do that.
You don’t have to do it literally on the stage. You can take your beat in the wings just before you go on stage. Make your walk to your speaking spot part of your presentation. Be in speaking mode the moment you come out.
Regardless of exactly where you do it, take that deep breath and take that moment because now it’s showtime.
Post Tip Discussion: Tips on Apologies
Sometimes an apology is all it takes to fix a problem. Many times, someone who has been wronged simply wants the transgressor to acknowledge they were wrong and validate the reality of a situation.
Too often, though, we apologize ineffectively or inappropriately and we do so from the stage. To be a more effective speaker, consider these 5 tips to apologize from stage:
- Don’t say, “I’m sorry.” Say, “I apologize.”
- Be sure you actually need to apologize.
- If the audience doesn’t know something went wrong and they got a less than perfect experience, don’t break their illusion by apologizing.
- An apology-nerves spiral can be painful. Avoid apologizing frequently from stage.
- Substitute the word “and” for the word “but” whenever possible.
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Call To Action
- I recorded this on World Stroke Day. Get your blood pressure checked and manage it appropriately. Issues with blood pressure are a leading cause of stroke and long term disability. Learn more about stroke at http://strokecast.com.
- Visit other articles at 2-Minute Talk Tips for more tips to be a more effective speaker.
- Take a beat before your next talk.
- Don’t get best…get better.