Wednesday, February 27, 2008

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Public Speaking : SPEAKER HUMOR

** You will remember our next speaker for life . . . if you get run over in the parking lot.

** Our speaker tonight needs no introduction. He / she did not show up.

** Our next speaker will talk about taking control of your life, mastering your own fate and asserting yourself in the world. That is what his / her agent told him / her to talk about anyway.

** When you don't know the answer to a question: I am glad that question came up. There are so many different ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right. ++Robert Benchley

** A closed mouth gathers no feet.

** Old programmers never die. They just terminate and stay resident.

** I went to school to become a wit and only got halfway through.

** The first rule of holes: If you are in one, stop digging.

** I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart.

** If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

** Work is the most unpopular way of making money.

** Honest Politician: One that when's he is bought, stays bought.

** Nothing is illegal if a hundred businessmen decide to do it ++Andrew Young

** The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up and does not stop until you get to the office. ++Robert Frost

** By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day. ++Robert Frost

** There is nothing wrong with teenagers that reasoning with them won't aggravate. ++Ron Howard

** Conference: A gathering of important people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done. ++Fred Allen

** If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

** A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

** Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.

** Sometimes I think I understand everything, then I regain consciousness.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Public Speaking : The Eyes Have It

Try this in your next five speeches. Hold eye contact with each audience member you look at for a full four seconds.When I am critiquing videos of even very experienced speakers sometimes I feel like the speaker is watching a tennis match or worse yet a ping pong match. They oscillate back and forth never really connecting with anyone. If you hold that eye contact just shy of the point where you would be considered staring, I will bet you find that more people want to talk to you after your speech. Try it and let me know how it works.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Public Speaking Training: Only $5.00 for $100,000.00 worth of training

Yes, that's right. You can get a $5.00 30 day trial to  for only 5 bucks. This site is the result of over 20 years of experience on stage. You will learn both how to be great every time you speak and how to earn money as a professional speaker.

Where did I get the figure $100,000.00? It would take me at least 100 hours to teach you all the things that are on this site and I charge $1000.00 per hour for consulting.

Check it out yourself and see if the training isn't the highest level you've ever seen.

Tom Antion

Public Speaking: New Shopping Cart Mini Articles

Public Speaking : TIME OF DAY AND HUMOR

The first speaker of the day for an early morning (7:00 a.m. to9:00 a.m.) program should not expect hearty laughter. People are not conditioned to laugh a great deal in the early morning. Many won't even be awake yet. Use more information and less humor. I was asked by a sales speaker to open up an early morning seminar. He said, "I just want you to get them laughing before I go on." I told him that it was not a good idea, but he insisted. I opened up the seminar with some sure-fire humor to test their responsiveness and got little response. I cut my material and brought the speaker on stage. He couldn't get them laughing either. I sat in the audience and watched. By 10:15 a.m. they were laughing at just about anything.

It's important for you to know when NOT to expect hearty laughter. It would be a waste of time to use your best material at a time when laughter normally wouldn't be expected. If you didn't know that early morning programs aren't the best for laughter, you could have your confidence shaken so badly that the rest of your presentation might suffer. Also, keep in mind that I am giving you general principles. You might run into a lively group sometime just don't expect it.

Many consider brunch to be the best time of day to expect a responsive audience. It is late enough that the folks who sleep late are now awake, but not so late in the day that early risers are starting to get tired. Lunch is generally a time for good response for the same reasons as brunch.

In the afternoon people are starting to get tired. Audience members will retain less because they are not listening as closely as they did in the morning. You can use more humor and less hard information, but don't expect laughter to be as intense.

The last speaker of a long afternoon or evening program should not expect a great response, again because folks are too wornout. Keep your presentation short and crisp and acknowledge the lateness so that the audience knows you care about them. One time I was the last speaker on a long program in Baltimore, Maryland, for a food service management company. I was being introduced at8:35 p.m. on a Monday night in the fall. What do you think the mostly male audience was thinking at 8:35 p.m. on a Monday nightin the Fall? Of course! MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL! I got up and said:

There are three things I would never want to be: 1. a javelin catcher; 2. the scoop man at a Donkey Basketball game; and 3. the last speaker on a long program. (I looked at my watch.) It's now 8:40 p.m. I'm going to limit my remarks to 15 minutes. I guarantee you will be in the hospitality suite in time for the kickoff. I kept my promise.

Do you think I had more of their attention than if I had not made the comment? You bet I did! Even though it had been a long day, they all had a good laugh during my talk. A little care for your audience will go a long way.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Public Speaking : I Get So Emotional Part 2 of 2

There are many emotions you can trigger in the audience just by your choice of words. Happiness, anger, sadness, nostalgia are just a few. Knowing your purpose for being in front of the group helps you to pick which emotions you want to tap. When your purpose is known, choosing words to get the desired emotional response is much easier.

Here's an example of a simple set of facts that a presenter might convey:

"There have been eleven accidents in the past year at the sharp curve which is two miles north of Cherokee Lake on Route 857. Installation of guard rails, warning signs, and a flashing light will cost approximately $34,000. Even though we have not balanced the budget this year, I feel that we should appropriate money for this project. Thank you."

Here is a little different version that uses emotional appeal to get the message across.

"On July 18th of this year John Cochran was found dead. The radio of his car was still playing when the paramedics got to his overturned vehicle. John's neck was broken. It was snapped when his car flipped over an embankment. No one here knows John Cochran because he did not live here, but he died in our neighborhood. Most of you do know of the hairpin turn on Route857 that has been the scene of eleven accidents this year alone and has injured many friends as well as strangers. We need money to put up guardrails, signs, and a flashing light. I know money is tight, but I hope you see fit to find the funds to remedy this situation before the unknown John Cochran becomes one of your loved ones."

Can you see the difference in these two appeals? The first was simply a set of facts. Facts are important, but they rarely stimulate people to action. The action comes when emotions get attached to believable facts. You can bet the second version of the above story would have the best chance of securing that $34,000.

To create the emotional appeal in the second version of the story, words and phrases were chosen that had emotional power. John Cochran was found dead. The radio of his car was still playing . . . John's neck was broken. It was snapped . . . His car flipped . . . hairpin turn . . . He died in our neighborhood. All these phrases were woven into the original set of facts to create the emotional response of horror about this terribly dangerous turn. (Ref. Wake em Up Business Presentations Pages 129-130)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Public Speaking : I Get So Emotional -- Part 1 of 2

If you want to get real action out of your audience, then tugging on their heart strings can help make it happen. This is where your storytelling ability can really make you shine. Great storytellers like my friends Maggie Bedrosian and Thelma Wells can take a simple set of facts and paint moving pictures in the minds of their audience members with carefully crafted stories.

You don't have to tell stories though to get emotional response. You can get another two-for-one happy hour special when you ask the right questions. Asking questions not only involves the audience mentally, it can also stimulate many kinds of emotion. "Do you remember when you were a child and you could barely get to sleep Christmas Eve because you just knew Santa was going to bring you that special something?" This question would stimulate fond feelings in most Christian audiences. It would not, however, connect so well with people who do not celebrate Christmas (remember: know your audience). How about this question, "Do you remember doing something really bad as a child? What kind of punishment did your parents give you?" These questions would cause the audience to remember bad feelings. "Did you ever have a pet that died, or did you have a friend who had a pet that died?" This would undoubtedly elicit sad feelings. If you want the audience to smile, ask them this, "Can you remember the most embarrassing moment of your life?" Most people will laugh when thinking back to an embarrassment that they felt was a tragedy at the time because one of the definitions of humor is tragedy separated by space and time.

So, tell stories and ask the right questions to move the emotional state of your audience. (Ref: Wake em Up Business Presentations Pages 128-129)

Part II will show you how to move people to action by choosing the right words.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Public Speaking : SPEAKER HUMOR

** A boring speaker: One who doesn't go without saying.

** With some corporations quality is their middle name.
The problem is that their first name is "lousy."

** America is a great country. Where else could a CEO
lose a billion dollars and get a 14 million dollar
bonus for it.

** I bought a dog that is a cross between a pit bull and
a labrador retriever. At least if he bites my leg
off, he'll bring it back to me.

** Health care executives are now wearing rubber gloves.
It's not for sanitary reasons. They just dont want
to leave fingerprints on your wallet.

** Im shooting for immortality. It is a long shot I admit,
but someone has to be first.

** I listened to my motivational tapes backwards and
became a failure.

** I always wondered when Im flying if the seat cushion
becomes a flotation device, why can't the plane
become a boat?

** Old Age: When it takes you longer to get over a good time
than to have it.

** Rhyme: Late to bed and early to rise . . . makes you baggy
under your eyes

** I was born during the depression . . . It wasn't the countries
. . . it was my mothers.

** One spouse to the other: "If you really loved me, you would
have married someone else."

** Childrens variations on the Lords Prayer:
"Harold be thy name" or "How did you know my name?"
"Give us this day our jelly bread."
"Lead us not into Penn Station."
"And deliver us from people."

** Economize: To spend money without having any fun at it.

** Original: Dont cross the bridge till you come to it.
New Millenium: Dont cross the bridge till you know its there.

** Customer service?
"Isn't there a smarter clerk to wait on me."
"No, madam. The smarter ones saw you coming."

** Success: Keeping your head up and your overhead down.

** Failure: The path of least persistance.

** Business etiquette: To listen with interest to things you
know about, . . . from someone who doesn't.

** Father to fighting boys:
"What's going on here?"
"Well Dad, it all started when Tommy hit me back."

Friday, February 08, 2008

Public Speaking : Cool, Custom, & Cheap, Content Sheets

Cool, Custom, & Cheap, Content Sheets

This technique has saved me thousands of dollars in printing costs and helped close more deals too. I print up a ton of two color letter size sheets that are blank except for a photo and a colored border. This is pretty cheap to do. I keep my program descriptions on my computer. When a meeting organizer calls me for information, I interview him or her and write down keywords that are said to me.

For instance, someone might tell me that morale is down and they need some excitement during the program. I'm jotting down the words, "morale" and "excitement." After we hang up, I go to my computer and alter my standard program description to include phrases like "this program is great for morale" or "this program generates lots of excitement." When I print out the program description on one of the two color blanks, I end up with a custom program description that LOOKS like it came from the printer.

When the meeting organizer gets it, I know they say, "Wow! This was just what we were looking for!" How do I know this? I know itbecause they tell me when they call to book the job!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Public Speaking : Gimme Three Steps

Do you remember that song by Lynyrd Skynyrd?

"Gimme three steps, gimme three steps mister, gimme three steps towards the door." I try to remember that song when I am moving on stage. When you are moving on the stage, make sure that your movement has a purpose. If you take a step, go at least three steps in that direction to cue the audience that you are moving for a reason. One of the biggest problems I see, even when coaching top speakers, is that many of them wander around or take a step here and a step there. This is extremely distracting to the audience.

When making an important point, move toward the audience.
Three steps forward from center stage would be a very powerful position that would command attention (especially if you walked right off the stage and fell on your face -- hahaha).

Upstage (away from the audience) left and right are weak positions. They can be used when you feel you are overpowering the audience or when you want to remove attention from yourself.
I use these positions when I direct the audience to do some task, such as talk among themselves. Upstage center is a strong position, but one that makes you appear disconnected from the audience. I usually avoid this position.

When I want to be playful and/or really get the audience involved, I'll go right into the crowd. I might have to come down off the stage, but to me it is worth it. I get really connected and I feel like one of them when I am out there. I am also sending a message that I really know what I am doing. I don't need any notes. I don't need any visuals. I don't need anything but interaction with them. They love it!

The main thing you have to watch out for when you are out in the audience is that in large rooms with lots of attendees many people can't see you, so they start to lose interest if you stay out there too long. This is counteracted if you are being projected on a large screen and you have an on-the-ball and well-rehearsed video crew. (If you don't alert the video crew ahead of time of your intentions, they will be scrambling to follow you and it won't look good on the screen.) You will probably be lit poorly too.

When you are being projected, think about toning down your overall movement because it's not easy to follow you wildly around the stage with a video camera.
(Ref: Wake em Up Business Presentations Pages 117-118)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Public Speaking : The Differences Between a Man and a Woman . . .

The Differences Between a Man and a Woman . . .
in the Audience that is . . .
by Tom is single Antion

There is nothing I like better than an all female audience.

All female audiences tend to laugh more easily and louder than all male audiences. All-male audiences are the toughest because the male ego gets in the way of laughter. They look around to see if anyone else is laughing before they laugh, and they won't laugh as loud because they think they will look less powerful.

If you present to an all-male audience it is more critical to bond and be "one of the guys" especially if you are a female presenter. I'm not being sexist here. I don't believe in sexist language. I'm just giving you the thoughts to keep in mind if you are a female presenter and you want to be successful in front of a general all-male audience.

You must realize: not all males out there in the business world are as sensitive as me (send all big hugs to me in care of the publisher . . . which is me). If your all-male audience is a general audience not from the same company or field, stick to sports, business, and money to best connect with them.

One of the hardest audiences to deal with consists of a group of executives from the same company when the CEO is present. If you say something funny, the executives will start to laugh, but they choke it off until they check to see if the CEO is laughing. If he or she is laughing, then they go ahead and laugh.This kind of audience will create timing nightmares for you. If you are the CEO and you are in the audience for a presentation, it is your obligation to laugh and at least act like you're having a good time to "give permission" to everyone else to laugh. As a Wake em Up presenter, you can sometimes take it upon yourself to gently explain to the CEO how everyone will look to him or her for approval.

Audiences that consist of more than 50 percent women are good too because Tom is single. The presence of the females provides a good buffer and makes it OK for the men to laugh, since so many other people are laughing.
(Ref: Wake em Up Business Presentations Pages 15-16)