When you first begin your presentation, telling a story about yourself and your connection to the topic is a good way to inject warmth and personality into your presentation. What you tell your audience about yourself and your topic does not have to be important or deep. You are the star of this show, and even unimportant information if it is specific becomes interesting. Even a professional presentation will be enriched with an opening story that relates to the topic of your talk.
Before we plunge into creating a story that will kick off a professional presentation, let’s practice by writing a short entertaining personal anecdote (approximately 200 words) about yourself or someone you know.
- Be as specific as possible. If you are naming a college, or a restaurant, or a dish, or an animal, or a person, identify whoever or whatever you are talking about with a name, like my school Columbia, my car BMW, my wife Joan. Never present a general title or phrase.
- Leave your story for a few hours or until the next day and then return for some editing. Do this as many times as you need to until you are happy with your creation. Now you are ready for a performance.
- In preparing to read your story out loud, be sure that you have privacy. No TV, no phone, no texting so that you can really concentrate. Sit in a chair and do 20 slow ‘belly-breaths’ described in Lesson 1, then stand up and walk to the front of the room, turn around, face your chair, squeeze your toes three times and read what you have written out loud.
- Walk back to your chair, sit down and rest for 5 minutes.
- Then stand up and read the same way again.
- Walk back to your seat and rest for 5 minutes.
- Finally, stand up, walk to the front of the room, turn around and face your imaginary audience and try to tell your anecdote without reading from the page.
Practice this rehearsal, beginning with diaphragmatic breathing then reading from your script in your chair twice and then speaking without a script on your feet two times a day for five days before the presentation. If you have a very understanding, non-critical friend, wife, husband or person who is supportive and will not criticize you, try to present it to them.
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TalkPower Inc. for Exceptional Communication and Writing Skills
Using an active systematic mind-body approach, this course teaches the correct way to breathe for reducing anxiety (diaphragmatic breathing), speech writing skills for all occasions, and techniques for remaining calm and in control when facing an audience.
In addition, an Assertiveness Training segment will help you to develop a new self-esteem as you overcome your compliant behavior. This will help you to eliminate the guilt and shame you feel when saying ‘no’ as you discover the difference between aggressive and assertive behavior. Achieved with an Assertiveness Chart, included in the lesson, you will record your non-assertive behavior, systematically learning new behaviors based on your personal rights. Developed by Natalie H. Rogers, MSW, Psychotherapist, Actress, Published Author (TalkPower Inc: The mind-body way to speak without fear), and performance trainer.
- Reduce stress and anxiety with correct breathing techniques
- How to inject warmth and personality into your presentation
- Assertiveness training to enhance self-esteem
- How to make an engaging toast for any occasion
- Creating a warm eulogy for a loved one
- How to give or accept an award with charm
- Preparing for a confident job interview
- When Testifying in Court: How to Reduce Anxiety and Speak Sincerely when Testifying in Court
- Enjoy your wedding by eliminating self-consciousness when you walk down the aisle
- How to introduce yourself to a group comfortably plus follow-up participation