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January 24, 2024

Episode 19: Public Speaking Tips

As a follow up to the last episode on Permission to Speak by Samara Bay, Pam and Sarah discuss tips for public speaking and using your voice effectively.
They emphasize the importance of investigating your stories about speaking so you can change your personal narrative and suggest building confidence by focusing on past successes.

  • Change the narrative around speaking and focus on past successes to build confidence.
  • Connect with the audience and speak with passion and emotion.
  • Modulate your pitch to add impact to your message.
  • Thoroughly prepare and practice to deliver a more impactful presentation.
  • Stay connected with the audience throughout the presentation.

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This transcript was generated by AI so please ignore any weird errors. If there is anything really terrible, let us know.

[00:00:08] Pam: Today we are doing what is sort of part two of our book club episodes on Permission to Speak by Samara Bay. But we’re kind of departing a little bit from just the content in the book and moving into some of her tips for public speaking or just using your voice in general and then adding in some of our own.

And you really took the lead here and organized this episode into, um, our five like top tips for. Thank you so much for speaking and using your voice, and I appreciate that because I was trying to think about my tips for this topic, and I realized that the number one thing that I used when I used to do public speaking was that I would do a shot before I went on stage, and that is really probably not the best advice to give people.

[00:00:54] Sarah: Like a shot of alcohol.

[00:00:57] Pam: Yeah, a shot of vodka.

[00:00:59] Sarah: Vodka, to be precise. Okay.

[00:01:01] Pam: Yes, it was extremely effective, but I’m probably not very healthy. And now that I don’t drink anymore, I can’t give that advice to myself and with good conscience, can’t give it to others either. It’s probably also not appropriate in most industries. In the marketing world. It’s, um, sometimes, uh, not only accepted, but, um, expected that people have been drinking before they went on stage, so maybe not at an accounting conference or something like that.

[00:01:29] Sarah: Yeah. Well, I’m glad we’re talking about it. Um, I have a lot of ideas, and opinions, , and experience with providing suggestions and tips on public speaking because it’s something that I do in my role and it’s also something that I teach. So as an instructor, I’m working with professionals from all different industries on a regular basis who have excelled in their career, often have attained leadership roles, a lot of expertise, and one of the skills that they are continuing to work on is public speaking.

So I’m supporting folks whose relationship with public speaking tends to span from Not totally comfortable. I want to upskill a bit and be as competent as I can to completely terrified, would rather do anything. And I’m going to stay up the whole night before a meeting that I’m chairing because I’m freaking out about public speaking.

So anywhere along that spectrum is where I’m supporting people and helping them with suggestions and a structure to practice in order to feel more confident and feel more excited about speaking powerfully.

So I’m excited. I was glad to give it some structure and dive in with you because I know that your relationship with speaking has evolved and you have experience hosting different podcasts and you speaking as a, is a, something that you… I’m making an assumption, but that you enjoy doing now.

[00:03:13] Pam: Hmm. That’s interesting. Yeah. Um. I’m going to come back to that because I think I want to make sure that when we’re talking about speaking here… you just did a really great job of outlining the spectrum of feelings that people can have about speaking. And there’s also a spectrum of what speaking people are doing. Because this could be anything, like you said, from chairing a meeting, to asking your boss for a raise, to getting up on a stage and giving a speech, to hosting a podcast.

It’s literally anything that you’re doing where you’re using your voice and you’re speaking up and you’re having to present yourself, even if it’s only to one other person, that is public speaking.

[00:03:56] Sarah: Yes, and I share the same definition, and I’m glad that you brought that up. This isn’t a set of five tips to go and do your TED Talk, right? You can use them and they’ll support you with that. Um, and these tips are applicable to, as you said, any kind of conversation that’s public. So any conversation that’s not with yourself or, um, you know, with somebody with whom you’re so comfortable that there’s no nerves.

So a conversation in the workplace or in a social environment where you’re in public, you’re public facing, and you want to have some more confidence when you show up for that.

[00:04:36] Pam: And so you said that you feel like I enjoy speaking and I think that that is something that I have evolved on quite a bit. I used to do everything to avoid a phone call. Like, I, I didn’t want to do anything really other than send an email.

And I work from home. I work for myself. I do everything online. And so that was pretty easy. Like I could limit the number of meetings and the number of phone calls. And then the pandemic really changed that. Everyone started using video calls… more than they ever did before.

Even people who were always remote and always relied on email, it felt like video calls became a norm that was used so much more by everyone. So over the last few years, I have had many more Zoom meetings than I ever did before, and it’s actually been a really positive change.

I have enjoyed getting to know my clients better. I’ve enjoyed being able to interact with them on a, you know, face to face basis and having deeper communication with them. And, and if you had told me that three years ago, I would have said absolutely not. Because as I’ve said many times, I’m, you know, not a social person . I don’t do a lot of socializing. Um, I’m a hermit by nature.

But there is something about speaking to people and developing that connection. And through that process, I have started to enjoy it. But I’ve also built confidence in myself and in my ability to have an off the cuff conversation and to know that I am an expert in my field and I can answer questions on the fly and I don’t have to go.

You know, take an hour to think about the response that I’m going to send in an email. Like I’ve built that confidence in being able to respond on the fly and that has made me enjoy the interactions more.

[00:06:48] Sarah: I so appreciate what you’re saying and I am all for the quick responses to emails versus agonizing over it for an hour. Um, getting back to what you just shared. It’s great because you’re a great example. You’re becoming our case study of the fact that we can develop this skill. So if any listeners are listening and thinking I’m not that confident with the sound of my own voice, or I don’t trust myself, whether it’s in impromptu conversations, or in more formal settings, for example, facilitating a meeting, leading a discussion…

I have some nerves around that. Pam is our case study of somebody with practice, uh, with just that sitting down and the practice and the routine. You just shared with us that not only have you experienced better connections with many of your colleagues, which is a huge win. This is what we’re after in life, is more connection. Better connection.

But also those experiences, what I heard you say became evidence for you to Trust your own knowledge and trust your expertise. Wow. I just had this conversation with this person and I explained X to them. I really know about that. Right? So it becomes a really self affirming loop of, of, of trusting ourselves and thinking, I don’t need to necessarily spend hours planning what I’m going to say, there is a knowledge and a wisdom inside of me that I can access effectively.

[00:08:24] Pam: Yeah. It’s definitely been an interesting process and I hadn’t even really considered it until I started thinking about this. Because there’s so much that you just do in your day to day life and you’re, you know, you’re just in it. You’re not thinking about how you’re changing and how you were two years ago, three years ago.

So I think that maybe that is one thing that we can start with as a tip is thinking about times when you have used your voice effectively and thinking about growth that you have had already in developing confidence in your voice or thinking of examples when you do use your voice effectively. So you can kind of start changing that story that you may have about your ability to use your voice or your ability to speak up. Because we do focus so much on the negative or we get stuck in this story of I’m not a good public speaker or I can’t stand up for myself or whatever that is.

So if you can consciously focus on times when you have used your voice effectively and when you were proud of how you spoke up, then you can start to build some confidence in using your voice.

[00:09:32] Sarah: I love that. And as usual, you and I are beginning, uh, at a place of looking at your mindset and looking at the stories that you have, right? So step number one is really examine and question the own narrative that you have about your voice and you’re ability as a speaker. And I love what you said, find examples of when you are proud of how you spoke, how you connected, how you communicated, track those.

And so if you don’t feel yet that you can say to yourself, I’m a confident public speaker, maybe you could say something along the lines of, “sometimes I’m a confident speaker”, or “in the past I’ve been a confident speaker”. “In the right conditions, I’m a great speaker.” And practice reminding yourself of that because you’re right, our negativity bias can really latch on to this narrative of I’m not good at it. And I hear that from a lot of my students and clients when I’m coming to see you because I’m just not good at this, this is a gap. And I’ll say to them, well, my, in my experience with you over the last hour or however long, you’ve been a great public speaker.

You’ve been super clear, articulate, expressing yourself, and you have a lot of skills and qualities. So often what I find will happen is folks will latch on to one experience, one memory. Oh, I really blew this interview, or I didn’t show up, or I didn’t prepare, and then it was a complete disaster. And then hold on to that and construct a whole story around it.

So step one is really looking at what stories do you have around public speaking? Are they helpful? Are they true? And how can you find some evidence of times where you’ve done a great job, where you are proud of yourself and start building up that bank of positive stories?

[00:11:27] Pam: And remember that. As you said, or as we’ve said multiple times in here, these things are a spectrum. So you can develop confidence in one area and still be nervous in another area. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Like if I had to get on a stage and speak in front of a hundred people tomorrow, just because I can sit here on camera and record myself speaking to you, or talk to my clients and answer questions on the fly, and I’m completely comfortable and confident doing that, that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be nervous and anxious and worried about how I would perform in a different situation of speaking. There’s no point that you get to where you’re like, I’m a hundred percent. I can speak in any moment and never have any anxiety and never worry that I’m going to screw up.

Like there’s no perfection here. It’s, it’s a spectrum and you’re going to be, you know, developing these muscles in different places, depending on the experiences that you have and the things that you do get to practice.

[00:12:27] Sarah: Very good point. I agree completely.

Um, all right, I want to move on to another suggestion that you brought up that resonates with me a lot. It was actually the first one that you mentioned in your notes. Which is, if you’re having trouble connecting with your voice or feeling confident in your message, instead of focusing on yourself, put your focus on your audience. So tell me why you started with that.

[00:12:54] Pam: That one really came up when I was watching a documentary, um, and there was an investigative reporter that was looking for information about victims who had been prosecuted for false reporting when they were actually real victims.

[00:13:10] Sarah: Hmm,

[00:13:11] Pam: And it was happening all over the country. There were women who had been assaulted, who were being sent to jail for false reporting because the police didn’t believe them and couldn’t prove that the assault had happened.

The reporter was starting to discover this and going around the country and looking for retired police or victims who had experienced this. And she was having to go and knock on strangers doors and ask them about either the worst day of their life or, um, things that they probably did wrong in their job.

Like these are all the, everyone that they were trying to talk to, it was not going to be a good interaction when…

[00:13:51] Sarah: so, so vulnerable.

[00:13:53] Pam: So vulnerable.

[00:13:54] Sarah: Whoa. Mm

[00:13:56] Pam: And she was about to go knock on the door of a police officer who had charged this woman with false reporting. And she was really nervous.

And she said, this is the worst part about my job. I hate doing this every single time, but I have to think about the people that I’m helping. That’s what makes me go forward with it.

And while that is a very specific example and a very intense example, it’s the same thing when you’re trying to accomplish anything, when you’re trying to deliver a message, when you are providing value to people. Anything that you’re doing, where you’re expressing yourself. You know, you’re not just getting on a stage and talking to hear yourself talk.

If you’ve been invited to give a speech, or if you are chairing a meeting, or if you’re, you know, on a committee at work, whatever that is, you’re there for a reason.

[00:14:50] Sarah: Mm hmm.

[00:14:51] Pam: you have to tap into that and kind of, um, almost set aside your feelings about it and your anxieties about it and, and think about the value that you’re providing and the people that you’re helping by doing what you’re doing.

[00:15:07] Sarah: Yes. Three cheers for this because it can completely shift your emotion going into the presentation or meeting when you hone in on why you’re doing it and how you’re being of service. And thank you for clarifying in, you know, in that example, there was a very clear why there was a very clear purpose and benefit for, for this, person, conjuring up the courage to speak.

And at the same time, as you said, in every meeting, if you’re chairing a meeting, ask yourself, well, why is this meeting important? How is the conversation, the information going to benefit or change the lives of everybody sitting here? For example, if you’re helping provide clarity on a process, is that going to help them do their job better, feel less stressed out at the end of the day, be able to save 20 minutes a day so that they can go for a walk or go home a bit earlier. What’s exciting about that? Because sometimes my students or clients will say, well, this is pretty boring. My, my role is pretty boring. My meeting’s not exciting. And you’re telling me to go in with all this energy. And I say, well, you have to find what’s exciting about it. Something is.

There’s some benefit and if you can tap into that and tap into the emotional payoff for your audience, then you can remember you’re of service. And your delivery will be a lot more compelling and you’re going to simply feel a lot better as you’re sharing the information as you’re speaking.

[00:16:51] Pam: I love that I’m, um, sitting here smiling because you’re talking about finding excitement in mundane things, which I love, right? I, I talk all the time about like menu planning and cooking and budgeting and these things that people think about as being drudgery and stuff that they don’t want to do.

And they’re things that I get really excited about because I can connect to the outcome. Like, why am I doing this? And the outcome that I get from putting the work into these mundane things is really exciting. So I love that idea of applying that if you’re going into a budget meeting at work, you know, you’re not just going in there to talk about where you can cut dollars.

It’s how can we work on this budget to ensure the success of this business and keep the employees here and, you know, offer them better benefits. Like whatever that is, like take yourself out of the mundane, actual, like. Thing that we’re doing here and think about what are the ramifications of this, what, what is the positive that we’re trying to get out of this?

[00:18:00] Sarah: Even go a step further. And communicate to the other people sitting at the table with you what those benefits are and why they should listen to you. What is in it for them? Be very, very clear. Don’t wait for your audience to connect the dots. Connect them graciously for your audience.

[00:18:22] Pam: Yeah, absolutely. Get buy in, get them to be on your team so that you are working towards a common goal.

[00:18:28] Sarah: Okay, so this, so that was our second suggestion, which was to really think about who we’re helping with our speech, ground into what the benefit is for our audience, use that to motivate us, and also use that to motivate them to listen, to motivate our audience to listen. This connects well with our next suggestion, which was to speak with feeling. People will respond more when we are speaking with passion. Often what I see happen is folks in a one on one conversation… even they’ll be speaking with me in class before they present, dynamic, really comfortable, at ease, some suitable drama in the storytelling, maybe using their hands, using their voice, they’ve got a pause, and then it comes the moment to present, and all of a sudden It’s robotic.

The body is still, the voice becomes flatline and the delivery is suddenly missing the life. And that’s happening for a couple of reasons. Number one, when we get nervous, we tend to flatline. And number two, somewhere along the way, we’ve been taught we need to sound quote unquote professional. And we don’t want to have too much emotion.

We talked about this a bunch in the previous episode, but we want to keep our emotions in check, etc. The problem is when we’re speaking without any emotion and we’re too robotic and we’re too quote unquote professional, our message isn’t landing. People want to hear emotion. People want to see us alive. Just as we’re, we’re talking right now with ease and comfort, finding a way to translate that in a more formal conversation or presentation is really what we’re going for.

[00:20:25] Pam: And remember that, again, you’re there because of who you are.

[00:20:32] Sarah: Mm

[00:20:32] Pam: So if you have been chosen or asked to give a speech or put on a committee at work or whatever, You know, you didn’t just drop out of space and end up on that stage. You were asked because of who you are and interactions that you have had with people. You’ve been asked to be on that stage as your whole being, as your whole person.

So by tamping that down and all of a sudden becoming a robot, you’re not being you. By not, being who you are, you’re doing a disservice to your audience and to yourself and to whoever asked you to be in that position to use your voice.

[00:21:12] Sarah: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And to provide a simple example of the power of the voice, a reminder to the listeners that our voice helps convey the message. Right? So for example, if I’m saying, this is fantastic news, and as a member of this team, you are going to benefit from this.

[00:21:36] Pam: Or I could say, this is fantastic news.

[00:21:39] Sarah: Right? Thank you.

[00:21:41] Pam: different…

[00:21:41] Sarah: Completely different! So our, yeah, our voice matters. The intention that we put into our voice and the freedom that we give ourselves to express the word fantastic matters. So use it, practice it.

Okay, so that was our next tip. Connect to your passion and speak with feeling. And if you’re not comfortable doing that yet, that’s okay.

I know many people, I work with many people who are not that comfortable with that. With practice, you can absolutely work that muscle. And it’s very freeing and has a great impact when you, when you have more comfort with a range of emotions in your voice. So it’s worth practicing. It’s not that hard and it’s worth doing.

[00:22:28] Pam: That’s really what the shot of vodka helped with.

[00:22:31] Sarah: Or, or just start drinking. You get to pick,

[00:22:35] Pam: So the next tip flows in line with that, uh, with using your, your emotion and your feelings, and it was to learn to use pitch to your advantage when needed. And what I found fascinating in Permission To Speak was that humans might be the only mammal that can modify the pitch of their voice.

In every other mammal, pitch is correlated to size. So, small animals have high pitched sounds, big animals have low pitched sounds. But humans are, we can control our pitch.

And I just find that fascinating that for some reason, we’re the only ones that can, you know, go really high pitched. Hey, how’s it going? And then, you know, I’m mad at you and, and be able to express that emotion so easily just by changing how high or low our voice is.

[00:23:26] Sarah: Yes. So nature gave us this ability for a reason to express ourselves and connect. And so to, to dampen that, to squash it is doing a disservice to our full ability to express and connect.

[00:23:44] Pam: And I think people can recognize some examples of when we changed the pitch in our voice. If you’ve ever done service industry work… I’ve waited tables, you go into like your nice voice and, Hey, how can I help you today? You know, and that is a way that we adjust our pitch to achieve an outcome.

Now, obviously you don’t want to use that type of pitch if you’re asking for a raise, but you can, um, practice harnessing the full range of your voice and, you know, making a little bit higher when you’re getting excited about something and bringing it down and making it a little bit lower when you wanna like draw people in so that they’re really paying attention to what you’re saying and, and just really experiment with it. Because it is such a valuable tool and something that can really, it’s a tiny little change and it can really have so much power in changing the impact of your message.

[00:24:43] Sarah: Great. Great point. Agree. And again, the reminder here is to broaden your range, feel more comfortable, and work on your instrument, your instrument of your voice. It’s yours, so work on it. Sing, get some coaching, practice speaking with friends, record yourself, find some exercises on YouTube to, to play with your pitch. Because it becomes one of your tools that you own, that you can play with and, and leverage in different ways. I love that, that it’s already yours. You don’t have to go out and buy it, or it’s just working, just working with what you got in a way that maybe it’s been ignored.

[00:25:31] Pam: So the next one we have on here is prepare. And I like your note in here about how some people think they can wing it and that preparation will muddy their message or make them more nervous. I’ve definitely been that person. I would say, um, with at least the first two speeches that I gave, I threw together the PowerPoint and got up on stage without… like, maybe I ran through it once.

Like, I really did not practice it. That can work in instances where you’re already an expert and everything that’s on that PowerPoint, um, it, it’s. Definitely not something where you have to, like, memorize every single word in your speech. But, in your notes you say the exception to, um, the rule of that not being true, that you can wing it, is when you get lucky, and I definitely got lucky,

[00:26:28] Sarah: hmm.

[00:26:33] Pam: Preparing and organizing and, you know, doing all the things that we’ve talked about up until here, which is figuring out your purpose and why you are doing this talk and outlining the key ideas is paramount to you being able to deliver your message.

[00:26:51] Sarah: To build on what you’re saying, knowing in advance, why am I speaking? Why am I speaking? What’s the purpose here? What do I hope I’m going to get out of this? And what information do I want to share? So I’m typically not talking about a word for word speech to be written out.

There are some instances where we want word for word and memorization, but those situations are very rare. Typically we want point forms, so clarity from the beginning of a purpose statement, the energy I’m bringing into this, who my audience is. So a bit of prep work, and then an organization and a flow. What are the key points I want to hit on? I mean, depending on the context of the conversation or the speech, um, the, the amount of detail would, would differ. Knowing in your own brain what you want to say and the order that it makes sense to say it in will allow you to be more grounded and deliver a more impactful message.

And so if you don’t know how to prepare, because that’s also something that I hear from people… well, I would put the work in, but then I end up twiddling with the PowerPoint for 3 hours, adjusting the fonts just so, and that’s not effective use of their time. Of course, you want a clean PowerPoint. That’s not what I’m saying.

I’m saying there’s more effective ways to prepare. And that would be, to bottom line with, that would be getting crystal clear on what’s your purpose. Why are you talking about this to your audience? Have you considered what your audience needs to hear? What their goals are? What their concerns are? And have you tailored?

Your key points. And are you clear in your own mind about why this makes sense? So that if your audience looks confused, you can say, here’s why I’m sharing this with you. And, and have a conversation about it. So when I say preparation, that’s what I mean. Almost like that big thinking bird’s eye view perspective, more than the granular nitpicky.

Some granularity might be important, but it’s that big picture, deeper thinking about the context. Your purpose and your role that will allow for a more fruitful conversation.

[00:29:26] Pam: So what’s my goal? Who’s my audience and how does that impact what I need to say? Um, what are my key points? What did they need to understand to get my message? And, where might there be sticking points that if I see people getting confused, I can interject with more information or help them connect with that part of the speech better.

[00:29:52] Sarah: You got it.

[00:29:53] Pam: So once you have all of that, you have to practice.

[00:29:57] Sarah: Mm hmm.

[00:29:58] Pam: And, like you said, it’s not about memorizing a speech word for word, but it’s about really knowing your message, internalizing your message, so that You can go off script. You know what, you know what these key points are that you need to convey. So if you’re seeing that your audience is not really connecting with it, you can adjust, you can try a different tack and it will help you get your message across because you’ve got all the information, you’ve got all the markers for where you need to go, and if you just stick with, well, this was my plan, here’s what I had, here’s the speech that I wrote out, and your audience is going, what?

Like, I don’t even know what she’s talking about.

[00:30:45] Sarah: Yes.

[00:30:46] Pam: Yeah, you’ve got to be able to be comfortable enough with your message and with what you’re saying that you can adjust on the fly if needed.

[00:30:54] Sarah: A hundred percent because your message is bigger than the specific words you’ve chosen. So practicing it will allow you, as you said, to internalize it. I’m a huge fan of practicing, and it depends on how high stakes the presentation is, how comfortable you are with the material, so many factors, so there’s not a specific rule as to how many times you need to practice. But I would say in practicing, you will feel more confident with the material.

So if it’s a situation, for whatever reasons, you want to feel more comfortable, it’s very simple. Prepare and practice. Stand up. Deliver it to the mirror, deliver it to your partner, deliver it to your dog, deliver it to your mom or your parent over Zoom, your colleague. Just get comfortable, get intimate with the material so that when the moment comes you can deliver it with more presence.

[00:31:55] Pam: And I find that practicing with an audience helps if you have people that will sit there and listen to you do whatever you’re you’re practicing. But even more so recording yourself is so valuable. You know, you hear something in your head and you think that you nailed it. And then you go back and watch a video of yourself and you’re like, what was I doing?

Like I was staring at my feet the entire time. I wasn’t making eye contact, like whatever it is, like there’s there, you kind of have this out of body experience where you, when you’re saying something that’s maybe high stakes or, um, that you’re, you know, a little bit amped up about. And so, being able to actually see yourself and see what you’re doing and, you know, maybe like what you’re doing with your hands or like, you know, how you’re holding your body and when you get nervous and when you kind of shy away. Like all of those things you don’t notice when you’re in the moment, but going back and seeing yourself, it really, really helps. So if it’s, if it is something big, like giving a speech on a stage, I think that recording yourself and watching it is very, very valuable.

[00:33:00] Sarah: Now you lead us very well to our sixth and final tip, which is bringing us back really to where we started, which is around the audience. So we, we began this by talking, uh, about the importance of knowing the value that you’re bringing your audience, staying in service to your audience and how that will help manage nerves and help you deliver a better presentation. And I want to end by saying that this, this relationship with your audience doesn’t just happen before you go on stage or before you start the meeting.

Ideally, you’re keeping it up through the whole time. And what I’ve noticed over facilitating so many hundreds of sessions on public speaking… and I can feel it in myself too, when I’m teaching or facilitating. The difference between when you’re quote unquote on, versus when you’re in the flow with someone. And so sometimes when we have a PowerPoint, for example, we immediately become separate from the group and we’re suddenly in a relationship with the PowerPoint.

[00:34:12] Pam: Yes. Yes.

[00:34:17] Sarah: It’s very hard because it’s, because I think it’s hard for our brain to be doing everything. And then something is lost. Now, that’s not to say you never use a PowerPoint. It’s to know the impact, right?

If we’ve got a bunch of important notes and we’re looking down at our notes and we want to really stick to the script or stick to the ideas, again, that might be important and we might need to do that and that’s fine. When that happens, our connection with the audience is diminished, and that’s a loss.

What I suggest is in a meeting, in a presentation, build in moments where you’re intentionally reconnecting with your audience. So let’s say, for example, I’ve chosen to use a slide deck for a certain portion of my presentation because it’s going to be of value to my audience to use it at that time. I’m going to show it, and then I’m going to deliberately have a break after that and have a moment of check in.

And ask a question, right? Maybe I’m going to do a poll as to what people think about what they just saw or, or with, if I have their permission, call on one person to ask what they thought or, um, have everybody give me a thumbs up, something just to break that mode and be in connection again. That’s when your voice will change, your whole physicality will change. And there’ll be a different kind of connection and impact. So building those … sometimes folks will do just the beginning of a presentation and the end, they’ll have a moment of audience interaction. I would say building in moments intentionally, where you’re going to really be in, almost more in conversation.

[00:36:03] Pam: Yeah, I like that. I like the idea of just checking in, like, is this making sense? Are you all with me? You know, because if they’re not with you, then everything that you say for the rest of the, like, you’ve lost them. So checking in, making sure. You know, we’re on the same page here and I can continue because, back to what we were saying earlier about, you may need to adjust if your audience is not connecting with your material.

That’s a great way to make sure that you don’t get to the end and there’s just a bunch of blank stares and people are like, what? I don’t like, you know. I’ve been in that situation where, um, a speaker is talking about something really technical. And their audience is not at that level that they are, and they’re giving what is, I’m sure, really excellent information, but no one has the base knowledge to understand what they’re talking about.

And if they had taken a minute and been like, hey, like, you know, who is my audience? What’s their technical knowledge level? Or after they got a quarter of the way in, if they were like, is this hitting for you guys, and everybody was like, no, we have no idea what you’re talking about.

Then you can take a step back and reconnect with them and adjust your message.

[00:37:14] Sarah: Yes.

[00:37:15] Pam: So, think about your audience, connect to your passion, learn to use pitch, prepare, practice, and in the moment reconnect to your audience. And always keep your mindset in mind.

[00:37:29] Sarah: Keep your mindset in mind. Yes. And final word for me is practice makes progress. I’ve seen so many people practice public speaking and every single one of them progresses. So if this is on one of your lists of goals, I encourage you to pursue it and find a structure, a coach, a teacher, an accountability partner, whatever it is that speaks to you and get some support to practice so that you too can feel more confident.

[00:38:02] Music: {Music}

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