You’re called on to deliver a presentation at work or someone asks you to speak at a dear friends funeral or maybe give a toast at a wedding reception. We’ve all been there. Our mind goes blank. What do I say? How do I start? I just can’t do this!! Relax. Learn to incorporate these three key concepts and you’ll do fine. 1. Just Be Yourself. I know it sounds simple, but I tell my college class at the beginning of each semester, the most important thing to remember when addressing any kind of audience is to be who you are. The legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey once said that if you try to be someone else, the very best you can ever hope to be is second best. There is only one you. Be the best you, you can be. (tweet that). 2. Share Stories. People relate to stories. It’s that simple. Pretend you’re sitting with some friends over a casual cup of coffee. Tell them a story that relates to the topic you’re speaking on. Doesn’t matter if it’s a serious occasion, a business presentation or toasting a friend at his retirement. Everyone relates to a good story.”Do you remember as a kid? … Have you ever? … It was a snowy evening and we decided to head out in the cold to pick up a pizza.” You get the idea. Stories engage audiences immediately. Begin with a story. End with a story. 3. Stick With The ONE. Whenever you speak, I don’t care what the occasion, decide the one thing you want to leave with your audience. Not three things, not five, the one. When all is said and done, what do I want them to remember? It could be: You only live once. Dreams can come true. Bob is the most loyal friend I know. Your audience has a limited ability to retain what you say. They will remember stories and the main point you emphasize. Once you decide on “the one thing”, find ways to repeat it. Drive it home several times during your talk. Follow these three steps and watch your presentation move to a new level. If you want more helpful tips like this, sign up for my blog. I’ll also let you know about more upcoming practical information I will be sharing in the weeks to come.
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Each day as we awaken and put our feet on the ground, we are at the same time turning the page of our life to a new chapter. The paper is crisp, white, unblemished, no marks, clean. You and I are writing today's chapter in our personal story. As you figuratively put pen to paper, what are you writing? Choose your words carefully. The twists, the turns, the decisions you make, the moments you hesitate; they become part of the greater story that is YOU. There are some aspects of this day you will have little to no control over. But be encouraged. You have more control than you may think about so much of where this day leads and how your chapter will end when your head hits your pillow tonight. Happy writing.