Presenting tips

From Spongebob to Beckett – an Irish actor’s insights on vocal impact and diversity

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing the actor and voice-over artist Marcus Lamb.
Marcus has extensive experience of screen, theatre and voice-over work in both English and Irish.  So, when it comes to using voice – Marcus is a bit of a guru.
From the voice of Spongebob (in the Irish version) to Terence Andrews in ‘The Dublin Murders’, to Dessie O’Malley, whom he played in the historical drama broadcast on RTÉ Television in 2015 and numerous Beckett plays – Marcus has an incredibly wide range of vocal diversity he has had to utilise for his characters.  Believe me when I tell you – he knows a lot about the voice and can do amazing things with his own voice!
In this blog I share just a few of the many insights he shared, that can help anyone who needs to add more diversity and texture to their vocal impact.
Preparing your Voice
I asked Marcus how he prepares his own voice.  He shared a technique that originates from Stewart Pearce.  Stewart is associated...
Group presentation

6 tips to help your group presentations be a dream – not a nightmare!

A large proportion of the presentation skills masterclasses we carry out in-company tend to be for individuals within a team.  These individuals want to give their presentation skills a serious overhaul to bring them to the next level.  Or in some instances, individuals on the team are giving their own presentation at a conference, all hands, quarterly business review or other internal or external event and want to be at their absolute best.
However, more and more, we find clients approaching us to work with teams of people who would not ordinarily present.
Why so?
Well, the main reason is that quite often clients, or prospective clients, want to see more than a salesperson.  They want to see the people who they will deal with, day to day and week to week, in the course of transacting their business.  Whether that is an outsourced IT team, auditors or a creative team.
Presenting as a group raises certain issues that you need to address so that your team comes across as a cohesive T...

Leo, leading by example, staying calm under pressure!

On 17th March at 9pm, like many other Irish families we sat, with more than a touch of trepidation as we waited for a speech from our Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar.
As the Taoiseach himself noted, this was a St Patrick’s Day we would all remember, with no parties and no parades. However, his speech was also a part of this St Patrick’s Day that we shall always remember.
So, what made this speech so memorable?

1.  Opening and immediately connecting
Being St Patrick’s Day – it was appropriate to open with a greeting in Irish to wish everyone a Happy St Patrick’s Day –  Lá Fhéile Pádraig shona daoibh.
However, he immediately connected by moving swiftly on to what was on all of our minds. Namely, it is St Patrick’s Day, and here we were sitting in front of the TV watching him, as opposed to either partying ourselves, or watching highlights of the parades and other people partying.
So, from the start, he had us hooked in to what he had to say.
Takeaway: When we have to de...

10 ways to build rapport when presenting

Have you ever sat in a presentation nodding along to the presenter, feeling as though they are talking directly to you?
You hang onto their every word and feel like this could be the beginning of a great professional relationship, maybe even friendship?
Some presenters are naturals when it comes to building rapport with their audience.  They have a natural presence, a really good energy that the audience picks up on and reacts positively to.
Others may struggle in this area.
The good news is that anyone can build rapport when presenting, it just takes a bit of time.  We share below our top 10 tips to help you build rapport the next time you give a presentation.
Firstly, what exactly is rapport?
Wikipedia states that:
Rapport is a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned are “in sync” with each other, understand each other’s feelings or ideas, and communicate smoothly.
Tony Robbins sums it up in the following quote:
“Rapport is the a...

10 TEDx tips from idea to delivery

Many people have an ambition to deliver a TEDx talk – it is a wonderful ambition to have!  It was an ambition I had, and managed to fulfill in October 2016.  I was thrilled to be able to share my message that “you probably are more intelligent than you think you are” in my talk.  This is a personal topic that is about my eldest daughter Katie.  She struggled academically and yet was super intelligent in other ways.
You would think that, as a TEDx speaker coach since 2014 and a high impact presentations facilitator since 2001 I would have found it super easy to put together my own talk.
Not so!  I have to confess, I did struggle to hone my talk – typical of the shoemaker and shoes!  This talk is so different to training or speaking at an event, areas in which I am totally within my comfort zone.  Many of the speakers I coach say the same thing, it really is a different type of talk altogether.
Recently I did a Live Stream with Lottie Hearn of  #LIVEWithLottie ConfidenceO...

5 key areas of body language to keep in mind when presenting

What is the first thing you think of when you are preparing to give a presentation?
I bet it’s not your body language!  And yet how we come across to an audience plays just as important a role as what we are saying.  Your facial expressions, your hand movements, your stance all have a vital role in communicating your message to your audience.
Overall body language is an area a lot of our clients struggle with… “it doesn’t feel natural when making hand gestures”… “I feel self-conscious moving around the stage”… “I don’t feel comfortable making eye contact”.  These are all acceptable feelings when it comes to delivering presentations.
Below are our tips to help you focus positively on your body language the next time you present or speak in front of a group.
1. Posture / Stance
Standing up straight is one of the main presentation skills to learn and good for 3 reasons: the first one is we can look more confident when we stand tall; secondly it also help...

3 tips to handle a Q+A session effectively

Do you or your sales team give great presentations but fall at the Q+A session?
Many years ago, when I was consulting for a major telecoms company, I was asked to sit in on a sales pitch being delivered by a global vendor of computer software.  It was a household name back then and still is now.  I mean, this was a BIG multinational.  The 2 sales people arrived late, yes late!
However, they delivered a very professional company presentation.  They had beautiful slides and it was obvious that they were well rehearsed and well prepared.
Well prepared … until it came to the questions and answers session.
Within less than 1 minute it became embarrassingly apparent to everyone in the room that they only knew the content on the slides!  It was embarrassing for them and to be honest, for all of us in that room.  They left shortly afterwards with their beautiful slides and their tails between their legs.
Nobody wants that to happen to them or their sales teams.  It is not surprising t...

5 tips to help boost your confidence when presenting

Did you know that a fear of public speaking cuts wages by 10%?  We believe that statistic alone should bump you into action! However, one of the things that could be holding you back is confidence when presenting… or lack of.
Ask anyone how they feel just before they are due to give a presentation and we guarantee the answer will be NERVOUS! So, how do you cope with it? How do you reduce the nerves whilst appearing confident?
To begin with, there is a misconception about nerves.  The “nerves” you feel is actually adrenalin and is a good thing.  It shows you are excited and is completely normal.  The adrenalin running through you, before or during a presentation, is your body’s way of getting ready for the big event.  Believe it or not, stress and excitement are, at the basic level, neurologically the same.  So, change your language and tell yourself you are excited.
When you tell yourself that you are excited and passionate, rather than nervous, it changes your demeanour...

Preparation tips before presenting

We are huge TED fans here at On Your Feet.  We’re constantly reading the TED blog, watching their talks and picking up tips on presenting, speaking and communication which we then share with our own clients, and you!
One of the TED speaker coaches we admire is Gina Barnett.  Gina has been a TED speaker coach since 2011 and is the author of Play the Part: Master Body Signals to Connect and Communicate for Business Success.
She shares her tips on preparing for TED Talks and communication techniques.
In this blog post we thought we would share the link to one of our favourite articles by Gina… in case you hadn’t come across it:
A TED speaker coach shares 11 tips for right before you go on stage.
We hope you pick up some useful pointers you can use next time you give a presentation, and if you want further tips check out our earlier blog where Barbara shares her tips following her own experience of giving a TEDx Talk....
Barbara Moynihan TEDx talk

Top tips for TEDx – or any talk for that matter!

Over the past 10 years or so TED has become a global phenomenon. TED is the global stage where speakers get to share their big idea.  TEDx events (as defined on TED) are organised by curious individuals who seek to discover ideas and spark conversations in their own community.  As a TEDx speaker coach, my role is predominantly to help the speakers in the physical delivery of their talk.  After all, it is their idea, their talk and their job to put it together.
I have been a TEDx speaker coach since 2014 and have loved every minute of coaching speakers to deliver at their very best.  However, when I did my own talk in Dublin in 2016 – “You probably are more intelligent than you think you are” I picked a few insider insights which I now share with the speakers I coach.
While these tips are primarily intended for TEDx speakers – they can be helpful for any talk.

Get clarity on your idea.

This might sound pretty basic – and it is!  You have to get absolute clarity on your...