• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™


3 public speaking lessons you can learn from Amanda Gorman

3 public speaking lessons you can learn from Amanda Gorman 1709 2560 I Need A Speaker

Last month, Amanda Gorman stole the show during President Biden’s inauguration. She captivated everyone when reading her original poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

Three takeaways from her presentation can benefit all speakers:

  1. Have a clear purpose. Develop your central statement of purpose, and add relevant support material. Eliminate anything that’s redundant, and keep editing until you’ve created a powerful presentation.
  2. Speak with confidence. You’ll feel confident when you know the material well and have practiced several times.
  3. Add drama. Use pauses that emphasize points and allow your audience to keep up with you. Incorporate nonverbal language to create an emotional connection and demonstrate your passion for the presentation.

Amanda Gorman can and will teach us a lot. These public speaking takeaways reflect just a portion of her talent.

Channel your inner Amanda Gorman. It’s your turn to steal the show!



Photo credit: Pexels

Avoid these common Zoom errors (don’t be a cat)

Avoid these common Zoom errors (don’t be a cat) 2560 1700 I Need A Speaker

It’s been quite a week for virtual meetings! One lawyer appeared virtually in court with a cat filter in place, unable to figure out a way to remove the transformational effect.

In another part of the world, a professor in Singapore conducted an entire two-hour lecture virtually while on mute. According to news reports, students were unable to get his attention to rectify the situation.

How can you avoid situations like these? Here are some tips:

  • Become familiar with all of the settings on your virtual meeting platform before the meeting begins. If you’re unfamiliar with the platform, experiment with a friend or family member until you feel comfortable. Do an online search for tutorials if necessary.
  • Frequently seek feedback from your audience, whether through verbal communication, written notes in the chat feature, or non-verbal communication.
  • Monitor your physical background to ensure that it’s professional and suited for your virtual meeting.
  • If you need to share your screen for any reason, check your desktop for information you might not want people to see. Close any tabs you don’t need open. This week, I saw a thread on Twitter that began when a student posted the story of her professor sharing her screen during class. The professor’s desktop had a folder related to her divorce, and it was visible to the entire class.
  • Be aware of sounds that may be picked up by your microphone, and do your best to avoid audible distractions.
  • If you need to use the rest room, leave your phone or laptop somewhere private. Do not take it with you! (Yes, that has happened to too many people already.)
  • Dress appropriately for your virtual call – from head to toe! Some people dress more formally from the waist up, thinking that others on the virtual meeting will only see a partial outfit. But if the frame is wider than you expect, if you or the camera move, or if you need to reach for something, your audience may get an unexpected peek at your gym shorts or pajama bottoms.
  • Notify others in your home, dorm, or office when there is a live camera, so they know to dress, speak, and behave appropriately.
  • Avoid eating during the meeting.
  • And, as we learned from the mathematics professor, mute only when necessary.



Photo credit: Pexels

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