Could You Stand Alone?

Last Updated on Friday, 17 August 2018 10:20 Written by Pam Chambers Friday, 17 August 2018 10:20

“NOW we’re talking!” That’s what I said aloud when I recently watched a YouTube video of comedian Demetri Martin perform a hilarious routine without any bells or whistles. On the stage were three things: Demetri, a stool, and a glass of water. Oh, and about half-way into the gig he produced a flip chart which contained pages of simple drawings that accompanied his jokes.

It was a relief to not be distracted by somber lighting, power point images with too many illegible words, and confusing slides that didn’t direct the gaze. Our eye knew exactly where to be on Demetri. And to his credit, he was dressed as plainly as possible: ordinary shoes, non-decript pants, a plain t-shirt, and well-fitting unzipped sweatshirt. The only note-worthy element was his signature Beatles-style haircut.

As a coach, my goal for each student and client is to have them be ABLE to do it this way. If all your technical tools and devices were to be snatched away by fate, could you stand alone and deliver a memorable message? Become that kind of speaker.


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Presenters Who Go Overtime

Last Updated on Monday, 30 July 2018 05:11 Written by Pam Chambers Monday, 30 July 2018 05:11

Recently a well-respected man in his field was allotted 20 minutes for his remarks. He started by saying, “I can’t possible condense my message into 20 minutes. It will probably be more like 40. If you can’t stay until the end, feel free to leave.”

I don’t know how everyone else felt, but my three adjectives about him in that instant were: arrogant, self-centered, and disrespectful. Let’s add a fourth: undisciplined.

Especially in Hawaii, people don’t like getting up and walking out on a speaker. They are more likely to sit in quiet anguish, wondering how and when they can escape.

Please, speakers: You must learn how to be an accordion, gracefully collapsing and expanding your material. No one will know (or care about) what you left out. Learn how to express your message in one hour, half an hour, and five minutes. That’s what headlines are all about. A well-crafted headline lets us know if we should stick around for the rest of the story. Be that kind of speaker. Stick to your agreement and stay afterwards to chat with people who want more.


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The Crucial First Five Seconds

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 July 2018 11:02 Written by Pam Chambers Tuesday, 10 July 2018 09:03

The Crucial First Five Seconds

Picture this: You’re sitting on your sofa watching TV, remote control in hand, looking for someone who will captivate you. How many seconds do you give each candidate before you zap them away? If you’re like most people, two to five seconds.

It’s the same when you give a presentation whether to one person, to a small group, or before a large audience. Within seconds your audience makes decisions about your credibility, trustworthiness, attractiveness, and social standing. Instead of making a bad impression and having to claw your way into position, start off on the right foot.

Dress the way they expect you to dress.

What is the dress code of your audience? Dress that way plus a notch above, to show that this event is important to you.

Show that you want to be there.

Your presentation starts the moment anyone you’ll be speaking to sets eyes on you. From that moment on, you need to convey that you’re eager, purposeful, and confident. People will observe you long before it’s your turn to speak (and long after you’ve stopped speaking).

Match your audiences energy.

Each group has its own energy — apathetic, mildly interested, eager. Accept where they are. You’ll create a bond that will allow you to move people toward your intended result.

If you are with an apathetic group, pose a few rhetorical questions, and watch for their ears to perk up. Then move to some hands-up questions. This will give you what you want — an involved audience.


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