Thursday, February 28, 2013

What Every Beginner Speaker Needs to Know

Today I’ve got a guest post called “What Every Beginner Speaker Needs to Know” at Circles of Faith.  Click here to read the post and comment for a chance to win a great prize for speakers.


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013


She Speaks registration will be open this Thursday the 28th.  I hope to see you there!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Travel Tips for Speakers

One of the things that delights me most about speaking is the travel.  My grandmother once said I have “wanderlust”, and she’s right!

Even though I love to be on the go, I’ve had both good and bad travel experiences.  Here are a few travel tips for speakers:

  • Travel light–When I’m driving I don’t worry so much about packing light, but I’ve gotten so I just hate lugging overweight luggage through airports.  Last year I did a two week trip to India with a small, carry-on suitcase, so I’ve decided I can definitely do a retreat weekend with a carry-on.  Building all my outfits around 2 pairs of shoes (one on my feet) really helps.  My neutrals are usually either black or brown, and I pick one to build everything around so that everything can mix and match.
             Note:  At She Speaks, all bets are off!  You will see me dragging in everything AND the kitchen sink.  I just need options and all
             my stuff for comfort there, so don’t remind me of my own rule.  :)  BTW–SHE SPEAKS registration is OPEN!
  • Take a few extras–I love, love, love Hollywood Tape and have a small addiction to it.  It’s double sided tape that sticks on fabric and your skin to hold everything in place.  (No shoulder slips, bra straps peeking out, cleavage showing, etc.)  It will also fix unraveling hems, etc.  I’m also planning to buy some skin-colored medical tap to pack.  So often I have trouble with over-the-ear mics staying in place.  I’m going to be prepared to stick that thing to my neck or face next time!
  • Carry all your necessities on your person–I have a mortal fear of my notes being in checked luggage that doesn’t show up.  I will always clasp them close.
  • Take a snack–There’s nothing worse that making a close connection only to sit very hungry (none of us Americans are starving–just sayin’) on a plane.  Or in a car, you know there are long, rural stretches without a single golden arch.  A little bag of nuts  is great for tiding me over without eating junk.

These are just a few simple tips, but we’ll have more on Facebook and Twitter this week.  What’s your best travel tip?


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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lessons from Speakers Who Have Been There

Last week, my friend Cathy sent me a link to an article written by a professional speaker in the Harvard Business Review.  I don’t love the title , but I did love lots of the wisdom shared for speakers. (Sorry friends!  Please don’t let it offend you.  The content was so great that I decided to share despite the title and one colorful word. If you think you will be offended, you can skip the article and just read my thoughts on it.)  Click here to read the article.

I realized that 2013 is my 10-year anniversary of my first official speaking event, and these are the things from the article that resonated with me.

  • Speaking is something that you grow into.  Although you may start with some natural talent, we all have to invest in growth.  Some growth comes the hard way as we live through dreadful mistakes.  Other growth can come from being taught through books, conferences, coaching, listening to other speakers, etc.  It’s hard work to become a great speaker.
  • Your best speaking will come from your greatest passions.  Being a speaker isn’t the same as being in a speech class.  In speech class, you’re given a random assignment and required to develop a speech.  True professional speakers understand that we’re not experts on everything nor are we passionate about everything.  Authentic passion transforms a message from mundane to outstanding.
  • You’re at your best when you’re the most yourself.  My greatest struggle is to avoid “on stage shutdown”.  It’s my self-protective mechanism that dulls my personality, my movement and my energy.  “If they don’t know the real me, then their criticism doesn’t hurt as much.”  That’s my subconscious thought.  I loved this article, because the author emphasizes unleashing  your true self.  It’s the fastest and truest way to connect with our audiences
  • You have to persevere through painful failures to become a better speaker.  One of my favorite parts of the article is the author’s sharing of the feedback from one of his first events.  It was painful even to read!!  I have some stories just like that.  As a speaker coach, I’d love to pretend that I’ve never flopped, but it’s just not true.  I loved this author’s reminder that failures are an integral part of the process.

What are some of the best lessons you’ve learned along the way?

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