3 Lessons for Public Speaking from the Japanese Tea Ceremony

When I was in Japan, I was fortunate enough to take part in a tea ceremony. I don’t think I understood much of what I was doing then, beyond experiencing the simplicity and elegance of the occasion. Recently, I ran across The Tea Ceremony, by Seno and Sendo Tanaka, and this beautiful book both brought back the memory and filled me in with many of the nuances I’d missed. It occurred to me that 3 concepts from the tea ceremony in particular have application to public speaking and are good advice for Western minds trying to improve their own – and their audience’s – experience. => http://bit.ly/jE108C

Public Speaking: The First Question You Need to Answer

The first question a presenter must answer involves the listening audience. The composition of a group influences what and how one prepares. Determining the makeup of an audience involves certain considerations that can be broken down into two categories: Demographics and Psychographics. “Demographics” help us define “age cells,” while “Psychographics” inform us about “type cells.”

Demographics. Initially, it is helpful to determine the demographic composite of the audience. We start by determining the average age of the crowd. Are there children? If so, what age? If they are teenagers, are they young teens (13-16) or older teens (17-19)? If we find they are young adults, are they 18-24, 25-34, etc.? Now let me explain why this demographic analysis is so important.

The age of an audience influences the type of language, examples, and illustrations presenters use. For example, if I were talking to a group of young adults 18-24 years old about recent changes in the music industry, it would be more effective to drop names such as “The All-American Rejects” and “Green Day” than “Chicago” and “The Beach Boys.” Talking about the former would help me sound relevant and credible, while using the latter would date me and make me sound out of touch.

The key is to know the demographic makeup of your listening audience. Some audiences are demographically narrow in scope, but most are not. Generally, you will find that audiences are comprised of mixed age groups, and knowing this will help you tailor your examples and illustrations to impact the larger segments within the group.

Psychographics. Determining the psychographic profile of the audience is imperative as well. As previously stated, psychographics refers to “type cells,” and all audiences are comprised of them. These cells inform us of the audience’s inclinations and preferences, which is helpful information when addressing a group. Below is a short list of potential “types” you might find in a particular audience:

Males or females

Blue-collar workers or professionals

Senior-level or junior-level managers

Managers or employees

Post-grad students or undergrad students

Wine drinkers or beer drinkers

Conservatives or Liberals

Religious or non-religious individuals

Doctors or lawyers

Teachers or students

Early adapters or late adopters

Animal lovers or hunters

Suffice it to say that the age and type of people in any given audience will greatly impact the way you prepare to speak to them. But while the audience’s profile will influence your method, it must never compromise or cause you to water-down your message. Instead, the core message simply needs to be packaged in terms relative to the audience at hand. Consequently, it is highly beneficial to know everything you can about the demographic and psychographic nature of the audience you will be addressing.


Dr. Gary Rodriguez is President of LeaderMetrix http://www.leadermetrix.com and author of Purpose Centered Public Speaking http://www.amazon.com/Purpose-Centered-Public-Speaking-Purposeful-Presentations/dp/1450727085/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288971818&sr=8-1

Gary is committed to helping aspiring and active speakers improve their presentations skills. This is accomplished through Purpose Centered Public Speaking Workshop and personal one on one mentoring. He also offers a free public speaking phobia test and monthly newsletter to those who visit his website.

How to Increase Your Sales Even When You’re an Experienced Salesperson

I’m in the market for a new car. I want a small SUV in the Honda CR-V / Toyota RAV-4 class. I’ll use this car primarily for commuting and weekend errand running. Since I don’t see gas prices declining, I want a four cylinder with good gas mileage. Because I drive a car until it has 100,000 miles on it, I want it fully loaded with nearly every option available. I want something with cargo capacity so I’m looking at the small SUVs.

Yesterday I test drove an SUV in that class made by one of the smaller automakers. I walked in and said I wanted to look at their SUV. The salesman, about my own age (mid-okay-late 50s) was experienced.

Where He Failed

His first question: Do you know anything about the (Brand) experience? When I replied,”No,” he opened the hood and proceeded to discuss all the features and benefits of owning that vehicle and how it differs from the competition.

As I mentioned, this gentleman is an experienced salesman with years of experience. Yet, he made no attempt to identify my needs or why I was interested in that car.

Instead, he focused on the product, not my needs.

Read more … => http://bit.ly/e2snMD

Don’t Just Present: Inspire!

Everyone uses PowerPoint, but how effective is your presentation at meeting the goals you’ve outlined? A great presentation is more than just a slideshow–it’s about using PowerPoint to its maximum potential to get your message across to your audience. That’s the PowerPoint Predicament. Tom Bunzel reveals how to conceive, plan, develop, and deliver truly effective business, academic, and inspirational communications, not just PowerPoint slideshows.

Solving the PowerPoint Predicament: Using Digital Media for Effective Communication
by Tom Bunzel

=> http://bit.ly/hbkjFO

Frank Luntz on 5 Phrases that Maximize Results

I was asked to identify the five words or phrases that mattered more than any other. If I was limited to just five recommendations–and these phrases had to work in every aspect of life–what would I say?

=> http://bit.ly/gMK9Ts

Can’t-Live-Without Technology Tools for Speakers

Your life is complicated. You have your home life, office life, and travel life. How do you keep them all coordinated easily and with the least headaches? Simple things are daunting — like accessing files on your office computer while on the road; syncing key files with your smartphone, laptop, and office computer; and changing travel arrangements in seconds. . .from the plane.

Sam has researched and mastered important tech tools that every speaker needs to know about. He tells you how to get more out of your tools and introduces you to some amazing time and effort savers.

You will learn how to:

record teleseminars and key client interviews from your cellphone
access the Internet from anywhere
charge BOR sales through your smartphone
use headsets that are noise-canceling and with a mic for use with your phone
allow bureaus to see when you’re booked and where you’ll be
use simple apps to make your life easier

all the details => http://bit.ly/eWI5gh

Be a ROCK STAR Presenter (Pt 1 of 3)

Success in today’s world comes down to your ability to sell your ideas, expand your influence and enroll others into a worthy mission or cause. That means you need to learn to present. In this 3-part series I will outline some key ideas to help you become a ‘rock star’ at it.

By the way, EVERYBODY is a public speaker. Maybe you’re presenting your ideas at an office meeting, interviewing for a new job, pitching your argument for why a new piece of office equipment is needed or trying to convince your friends which movie should win the Oscar. Whatever the situation, being able to speak effectively in public is essential to success. => http://bit.ly/eaJF9Z

How To Respond To Inevitable Distractions in Public Speaking

Adam Hochschild once said, “Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful. And time is short.”

This is the truth in public speaking.

One of the craziest situations I was in happened during a keynote talk I was giving in Chicago. There were five meeting rooms that had been partitioned out that held about 300 each. Each room had a wireless microphone system. About a minute into my presentation, the microphone from two rooms down somehow overlapped onto the frequency of mine, and we all started hearing the other speaker. He sounded as if he were right there with us.

Talk about a distraction that’s impossible to ignore! I didn’t even try. Rather than fight it or try to shout over it, I began having a “conversation” with the other speaker. He would ask his crowd in the other room, “Can everyone hear me okay?” and I would answer to mine, “Oh yes, we can hear you just fine.” I did my best to turn it into something amusing and entertaining, and got a few laughs for it. This went on for several minutes until the technical support guy hurried in and fixed things.

This is just one example of totally unexpected things that can happen in a presentation. A kneejerk reaction to something like this is to get upset or just walk off the stage in helplessness. But having had much mileage on stage, I knew to roll with it in a positive way. Had my reaction been negative, that would have stuck in the minds of the audience more than anything else. It would have made them feel uncomfortable for me, and the last thing you want as a presenter is an uncomfortable crowd trying to watch you.

Know that both big and small distractions will always exist under all circumstances. For your own sake, try not to be in constant pursuit of perfect conditions. And don’t make the even bigger mistake of trying to force the perfect set of circumstances. If you do, you’ll experience more disappointment and frustration than satisfaction. Yes, in time, you’ll run into those ideal situations where everything appears to go perfect, but they’re few and far between. It’s better to simply be prepared for what can and usually does happen, and to look at it as opportunities for growth and experience. This isn’t negative thinking, which is when anticipating what could happen creates unhealthy levels of fear or tension. This becomes detrimental to your performance. It’s also negative thinking to view potential mishaps as a burden, or some sort of affliction that comes with the territory. If you have to just “grin and bear it,” then you’re looking at it wrong.

Some people anticipate a negative reaction from themselves. A person will think, if this happens, I just know I’ll get so annoyed I won’t be able to continue. Or, if so and so interrupts me again, I’ll get angry and snap at her. If you think and do the action in advance mentally, you’re going down the road of self-fulfilled prophesy. If and when the time comes, you’ll respond just as you imagined. As far as your brain is concerned, you’ve already done it anyway, so it’s easier the “second” time (or third, or fourth, etc.). And in the end, if nothing happens, all you’ve accomplished is wasting mental bandwidth.

The more you learn to deal with distractions correctly, the more professional you’ll be as a communicator. Unfortunately, though, we often react inappropriately. We stop and get flustered when a noise or disruption happens, especially deliberately caused disruptions. But if we blow these things out of proportion, the incident will overshadow the rest of the presentation. That’s what people will remember long after the performance. People can forgive almost any blunder, whether caused by you or not, if you simply do your best and maintain a positive attitude.

Even if you don’t have a lot of experience, there are techniques you can employ that will make it seem as though you’ve been doing it for a long time.

Remain positive and professional.
If things go wrong, don’t go with them.
Prepare a good outline with keywords; they will help you keep focus.
Make sure you’ve done a little rehearsal, but not to where you’ve memorized. Distractions can mean the death of a memorized presentation because your brain, which was depending on things going in a certain order, will lock up.
Finally, remember the purpose of your message, the big picture. That’s what matters, so focus on that. By keeping your mind on what’s important, you can avoid “forgetting” what to do.
Kelly Libatique is a professional speaker, technical trainer, and author. He has a Master’s in Education and a Bachelor’s in Psychology. He resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and Anne and two sons.

Visit http://www.Libatique.com or contact Kelly at: KellyLibatique@gmail.com

Speaking for the learned not the liberated

Loud speech, profusion of words, and possessing skillfulness in expounding scriptures are merely for the enjoyment of the learned. They do not lead to liberation.

— Adi Shankaracharya


Engage your Audience when you speak

How do you make your presentation more interesting to your audience? Perhaps the most important technique is to include them when you speak. You can choose your words to engage your listeners — or leave them out. If you leave them out, boredom is the probable result. In this article, I’ll give you some specific techniques for crafting your content in a way that grabs the attention of your audience.

=> http://bit.ly/faXAd4