AMANDA GORE Taking Action! ~~ ‘Monthly Endorphin Injection!’

(Or secrets of a 25 year veteran speaker!)
Part 2

“There are 3 things to aim at in public speaking: First to get into your subject; then get your subject into yourself; and lastly to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” Alexander Gregg

 Thank YOU to all the people who took time to write to me and ask for Part 2! I have 19,000 people on my mailing list and I never even know if you read them let alone get value – so it was really encouraging for me to learn you found it useful! Thanks again!
Hopefully you will be excited to learn that there are now THREE parts to this newsletter! It was just too long and too rich in content to send it all to you in part 2! Forgive me those of you who aren’t in the slightest bit interested in this – although they are great skills for anyone who has to speak at a meeting anywhere!
For those who were not really interested in reading THIS much info about speaking – maybe you could pass it onto others who could use it! I think the information applies to almost every person though as it is relevant for one to one communication as well!
So if you never plan to speak or present in front of more than 2 people – which really is a conversation – then the ideas still apply in one to one communication!
Here we go with rules 8-12!
8. Tell stories to deliver your messages
Lou Gerstner said ‘facts and figures will not change peoples behaviours”, I added touching their hearts will. You can change someones behaviour in a heartbeat if you give them an “ah ha’ moment or touch their hearts.
Steven Covey in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People tells a story of one time he was catching a train at the end of a long day. Tired and wanting to relax, he was frustrated with a young man who had boarded with his 3 small chlldren. After a period of time when the children were running all over the carriage disrupting people, Covey leans over and asks the man to control his children.
The man is startled and comes out of a daze and apologises saying ‘ we have just come from the hospital where their mother died.’ In a heartbeat, Covey changes. He becomes full of compassion rather than irritation and plays with the children rather than glaring angrily at them. That’s the power of a story.
Tell stories to illustrate all your main points. Or give people an experience around them. Create characters and act out skits on the stage to make a point or tell a story.
By the way, what stories do you tell your self about your presenting? Are you telling yourself you are terrible at this stuff? That you are probably going to make a fool of yourself? That your mind will go blank? There are all going into your subconscious mind and you will program that behaviour in! Is that what you want?
Do you judge yourself along the way as you are speaking? Which of course immediately disconnects you from the group and you disengage from them which makes them disengage from you! They have no choice.
9. Internalise your message and come from your heart.
I have heard so many young speakers talking about ‘rehearsing’ their ‘keynote’ in front of the mirror or other people and while this may be something useful to do a couple of times, it is not the best way to be a great speaker! Ron used to tell me to ‘internalise’ my messages – to find a way to have the concept resonate within me, to make sense to me and then I could deliver it to others without notes and with heart.
In the early days of my career, I would wake up the morning of a presentation and MENTALLY rehearse. I would imagine me delivering the content and the audience interacting, and see and hear and feel the positive outcome. I would picture the sequence of the content and them remember it- looking at my notes if I forgot the next point I was going to make in my imagination.
I would do this for an hour and then get up and exercise to integrate what I had memorized. Here is the key though. I would LET GO of that as soon as I went on stage! I had faith that what emerged from my mouth was in the right sequence for what this group needed – if I didn’t follow my ‘script’ then it would be ok!
I would pray before I went on stage for God to give these people – through me – what they needed and that allowed me to be in my heart connecting with them, trusting that He would put the right words in my mouth!
If you go on stage with a spirit of serving – a desire to help these people in some way, to give them what they needed, they will notice! Remember – it’s not about you – not even a tiny, weeny little bit!!
10. Preparation does not equal rehearsal!
Rehearsing in front of a mirror or others, crafting the perfectly worded keynote or attending a course on speaking does not constitute preparation!
In my opinion to prepare for a presentation you need to:
• consider the objectives/outcomes for the meeting
• put yourself inside the minds of the people you will be addressing and imagine how life is for them so you can frame the information in a way that is relevant for them
• find out all about their current situation, stresses and challenges
• learn the right language and phrases used in this company – eg IBM lives on acronyms and if you don’t know a few of them, you are not part of the group! Some people talk about customers; some, clients.
• in other words, know your audience and how they think and feel right now
• ask yourself what information would help them and how can I deliver it so it’s relevant to them and their situation and needs.
• find stories and exercises that will illustrate the points in the best way for this group
• sit in on any previous presentations of meetings before you on the day so you can relate to what has been said and modify what you say based on what they have already heard
• make sure you know your content before you are on stage and then let go of it from the minute you walk on stage
• pray to give them what they need before you go on stage
11. Room preparation
Where you can, have people sitting theatre style – it makes them connect much more. If you sit people at round tables, you split them into clumps or separate groups of 8 or 10 and the group dynamics is very different.
If you are trying to make people become more of a team – separate tables is the worst thing you can do – you will split them into teams of 10 or how many tables you have! If you must have a table then have them sit classroom style rather than rounds.
In my opinion, it’s best to have them sit theatre style and give them clip boards and gather their chairs into circles if you really want people to connect!
Always have bright music playing fairly loudly as they walk in – if you play relaxing soothing music they will be in a coma before you start!! Van Morrison or disco music is always a good way to lift the mood! It sounds bad but it really works well! People will talk much more to each other when there is music playing at a reasonable volume in the background.
The lighting is critical as well – the brighter the lights they more the connect. Make sure you are well lit on the stage – it’s very difficult to watch and listen to someone who is in the dark! Do not stand on the stage in a dark patch – this is where checking the room out at least an hour before you speak is an important first step!
And at that time check out the microphone and how it sounds – set up an audio visual check with the AV people during a break where there is plenty of time.
12. Always start with an activity, icebreaker or questions.
I think the most boring way to start a presentation is to say ‘ thank you’ or ‘I am glad to be here’ or it’s great to be here’ etc. Anything in that genre is so ordinary!! Instead change the energy of the group from the minute you start by engaging them.
Ask them a question – or better still – 3 questions with the third one something that makes them laugh – for example, I sometimes start with this series of questions:
How many people wake up every morning full of energy and vitality? (raise your hand as you ask the question indicating to them that they need to raise their hand – if you don’t do it, they won’t either!)
How many people go home every night full of energy and vitality?
Pause – laugh at how few people put their hands up and then ask
How many people just want to remember what it was like to have energy and vitality? HAHAHAHAH (remember to raise your hand each time you ask the question and you want an answer)
Perhaps you can start by asking them to turn to the person next to them and introduce themselves or tell each other one thing they learned from the last presentation…or one thing they would like to learn from yours. And acknowledge them and then start with yours with a transition statement like “if I don’t cover what you wanted to learn then feel free to connect with me afterwards so we can cover it then.”
Buy a book on icebreakers and use one of those – there are millions of activities that work really well out there – and they set you apart, wake your audience up and engage them! In fact, you can keep doing icebreakers all the way through if you have very dry content – people will remember it much more!
ZOOTIES FROM ME! And thanks for reading and being on my list!
PPS Sign up for Ken’s newsletter on his website below! On a completely different topic! If you are a leader who wants a more engaged and productive team then another book you can look at is my husbands! He wrote The People Pill after 40 years of leadership excellence! And it was awarded a Gold medal in the leadership category of the Axiom awards over Seth Godin’s book Tribes and Peter Druckers posthumous book!
Needless to say I am very proud!

I will be in the USA in February. If you or your company are planning an event I would love to see if I can book some more work. I have a job on the 3rd February and can work either side of that!
Please recommend me or contact me and tell me who to contact!
Thank you for any help you can give me with that!

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 More than 20 years ago, Amanda launched her speaking career by talking about connections that count, leading with the heart, motivating with laughter, and bringing out the best in people.

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