Hints for better videos in your speeches

Audiences expect visuals used in presentations to be as captivating as their favorite TV shows or movies. It used to be very expensive to add videos to speeches and business PowerPoints. Because high definition cameras are very affordable, using a great visual aid doesn’t have to break your budget anymore. Here are more hints on how to produce your own effective videos. These hints can be used for business videos as well as your home videos.

Posted by Jean Palmer Heck in Free Tips, Heck of a Blog, videos, Visual aids. Leave a Comment

Pre-Speech Beginnings Must be Planned

Want to make a great entrance when you are giving an important speech? Just ask Leslie Knope, political candidate for the city council in the fictitious Pawnee, Indiana, how to start a speech strongly…or how not to. Knope, played by Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation, was presenting to a crowd of 100 spectators and had a red carpet for her entrance to the speaker’s dais. But the red carpet didn’t go all the way to the stage; the floor, which was supposed to be a basketball court, had been changed to an ice rink; and her motivational music, “Get on Your Feet,” lasted 10 seconds and had to be replayed in spurts for her to reach the podium 90 seconds later. Watch this snippet for a good laugh, and then learn the lessons about the pre-speech details. Lessons to heed before you start speaking: You are in charge of everything involved in your presentation. That includes your introduction, any music or media used, any props, the seating of the audience. Make sure your introducer knows what you want him/her to say, can pronounce your name, and runs his/her words by you. In many cases you will have to make a few adjustments. If you use music or multi-media in your speech, you must make sure you have the rights to do so. Intellectual property rights apply. I use videos that I have shot and edited. And on occasion, I use clips from movies that I have licensed for use […]

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Getting your expertise noticed

Here are 5 strategies to use if you want to be noticed for your expertise: If you have one comment to make, summarize your point in one sentence and then go into detail for 30 seconds. This keeps you on track and shows your colleagues you can be focused and succinct. If you have several comments to make, start off by saying, “I’d like to address 3 points: point A, point B and point C. In terms of point A, …. ”  When you list the points, they should be phrases only. This will set the stage for expressing comments on each of the 3 points  at some time in the meeting, even if you only speak about point A before there is open discussion. Later on, you can chime in with,  “I’d like to go back to point B.  We might want to consider…..” Inhale deeply and then project your voice by speaking from the diaphragm (abdominal breathing). This is essential for those who are shy, because it gives more power to your words and persona and can eliminate any shakiness in your voice. Listen to others. All too often, people who are shy about speaking up at meetings spend too much time rehearsing what they will say and miss what others are contributing.  When you can tie your comments into something someone else said, it shows you are a team player.  Start your entry into the discussion by saying,  “I’d like to follow up on what Joe said […]

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Speaking up confidently

Do you keep quiet at meetings because you lack confidence speaking about the topic?  If so, you might want to read this article on CNN’s website. I was quoted in the  article about how to speak up with confidence at a meeting. I offered the hint about abdominal breathing. Here’s an excerpt. 3. Belly breathe: Public speaking can be nerve-wracking, but you don’t have to let it show. Abdominal breathing will make you sound confident by giving strength to your voice. To use this technique: “Inhale deeply and then project your voice by speaking from the diaphragm,” says Jean Palmer Heck, president of Real-Impact, Inc. “This is essential for those who are shy, because it gives more power to your words and persona and can eliminate any shakiness in your voice.” Here’s the full article with “5 tips for speaking up confidently at meetings.”

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PR Tips for small businesses: Get busy speaking

When a small business owner asks me how he or she can get more PR or publicity for their companies, I often suggest getting out on the speaking circuit.  Local service clubs are always looking for someone to speak to their group.  That doesn’t mean it’s just a free advertisement.  It means that if you have an entertaining, educational, relevant material, they’d like to meet you and hear what you have to say.

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What Business Speakers Say They Must Practice

When I conduct presentation skills training sessions for businesses and organizations, I always ask the attendees to share with me key points that they will work on after the session. I’m only with them for a short period. My sessions range from half-day training to four-day sessions spread over several months. So when I’m gone, they need to make sure they put into practice what they have learned about standing up in front of a group and making an effective presentation. Here are some of the things that they have told me: 1. Enjoy the process and look the part. 2. Speak more loudly. 3. Make the visuals much larger. 4. Breathe abdominally to relax. 5. Make better eye contact. 6. Use more stories and analogies. 7. Drink lots of water. 8. Don’t be afraid to be creative. 9. Get out from behind the lectern. I’ll go into more depth on these issues in future blogs.

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Leadership interview

What does speaking well in public have to do with leadership?  Everything!  This weekend I was interviewed by leadership coach Judy Nelson about good and bad speeches and things that leaders can learn to make their communications better.   Here’s the link.

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Great speaker still needs these 2 tips

I heard a very good speaker at a luncheon a few weeks ago, who gave us insights into the economy.  CNBC pundit, Joe Battipaglia, was the speaker.  A large man with a large personality, his energetic approach, even with the grim news, kept the audience interested.  Despite that positive assessment of his speaking style, I still have some comments that could improve his presentation … tips that you can put into use in your speeches, also. He started his presentation with a  joke.  I really don’t like speeches that begin with jokes.  They can put an audience ill at ease.  You never know whether it will be funny, edgy, offensive, or delivered poorly. And, unlike Jay Leno, David Letterman and Joe Battipaglia, not everyone can deliver jokes well.   Your own stories are better than a canned joke.  Later in his presentation he told about some interactions he had with his family about the economy.  They were much funnier and captured the audience attention better than his opening remarks.   The other public speaking tip that applies to everyone relates to the use of audio visuals. He did not use any, but I wished he would have, especially because of the topic.  Joe dealt with very heady issues about the economy.  Those in the audience with financial backgrounds were fine with his information, but those in the crowd who did not have that expertise got lost a few times.  Some visual aids would have helped the audience retain the information […]

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TelePrompTer Tips

There’s been a lot of talk regarding Barack Obama’s use of TelePrompTers.  Many are surprised that he actually uses them in places where it seems like he should be speaking off the cuff.  I’m not here to debate that. The purpose of this blog is to give you tips for how you can improve your presentations.  And there are times when you might use a TelePrompter. So how can you do it with style?  Here are some hints: 1.  Reading a teleprompter is like reading a book in many ways, but completely different in others. When you read a book, you occasionally laugh or smile at what you’re reading silently, but most often your face has no expression.  When you read a TelePrompTer, you must use expression.  It will help your voice and your comfort level.  You might pretend you are reading something of interest to a friend of yours.  That mental image will help.     2. You set the speed at which the TelePrompTer copy is moved.  You do, not the operator.  It’s a mistake of amateurs to speed up as the copy speeds up.  That results in the operator concurring that you want it to go faster, so they speed up even more.  It’s a never-ending process.  If the copy is moving too quickly for you, slow down.  The operator will adjust accordingly.  3. How do you handle it when a podium has 2 or more TelePrompTers?  You should keep your eyes on the first one for an adequate amount of time before […]

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On television? Here are some hints on how to look good

Television is everywhere.  If you are a leader, chances are you will be on TV or the video-pervasive Internet soon.  Here are some hints I’ve put together.  They’re the 5 Golden Rules for Being on Television.  I’ve recorded them so you can download it and listen to them on your iPod.  A video version, naturally, will be coming soon.

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