Category Archives: Presentation Skills

03 
Dec

wat’ er yow sayin’

I’ve been in Hong Kong for two weeks now but before I left I picked up on an amusing local news story which I thought you might enjoy.  Birmingham City Council have recently installed a new automated phone system provided by a northern company.  The automated voice speaks with a Northern accent which would be fine except for the fact that it not it doesn’t always recognise callers with a Brummie accent! Even City Councillor’s have been frustrated and after half an hour of repeating words and phrases and getting nowhere they simply gave up and contacted a real person instead.

Being understood is a fundamental part of communication and you might also be surprised to learn that accents affect us subconsciously.  Certain accents have a negative connotation.  For example, a Black Country accent has been scientifically proven to be off-putting.  There is a reason for this, it’s because it comes down the nose and we don’t like nasality when we hear it.  I am constantly working with business people to soften their accents.  If it makes you more likeable to a potential customer or client then it could be a good move.

You may know that I am working as an adjudicator in Hong Kong at the moment.  I don’t get back until 20th December so they’ll be no work in the UK for me until 2013.  Thank you so much for continuing to read and enjoy my blogs. You can keep in touch with what’s coming up at Loud & Clear voice coaching here.  I would particularly recommend Voice Matters in Business at Solihull on 24th January still at only £40 and the only West Midlands course available for the first half of 2013.

Have a really wonderful Christmas and raise your glasses to a prosperous New Year.

Speak wisely

Speak well

                              Speak   Loud & Clear! 
Contact:
Email: info@loudandclearuk.com
Phone: 0800 083 4082
Mobile: 07779519388
Twitter: @VoiceExpert
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Published Date: 3rd December 2012

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01 
Oct

SPEAK FOR YOURSELF – a beginners guide to self-promotion

How often have you attended networking event and listened to 20 or more one-minute presentations without remembering anything that was said?

An Idiot’s Guide to Elevator Pitches

  1. MAKE THEM LISTEN i.e. be loud enough to be heard
  2. DON’T SAY EVERYTHING – intrigue your audience with a bit of info that makes them want to ask questions later
  3. TELL A STORY – we all like a good story don’t we……
  4. LOOK AT YOUR AUDIENCE – make real eye contact
  5. TAKE YOUR TIME – say less with control rather than showing panic mode
  6. SHOW A WARM PERSONALITY – we buy a person not a business
  7. DON’T APOLOGISE – flag up your name and your company name
  8. SMILE – do look as if you are pleased to be there

Remember that if you do lots of elevator pitches you can gain the confidence to move on to full-scale presentations.

STILL SCARED?

You might be interested in this

Many people are waking up to the power of audio and video on websites. Think about whether you can market a service or product in this way. If you want to have a go consider:

AUDIO RECORDINGS
Your voice is all there is here so:

  1. BE CLEAR
  2. DON’T RUSH
  3. SOUND INTERESTING
  4. FLOW NATURALLY

This is easier said than done but record yourself first and see how you come across.

VIDEO RECORDINGS
MUCH trickier…..

  1. You need to look at ease in front of the camera
  2. Use good equipment
  3. Make sure light is sufficient
  4. Try to have a visual prompter by the camera
  5. DO LOTS of practice as you should aim to sound spontaneous
  6. You need to relax the body and have an animated face without overdoing it

This is highly simplified advice but hopefully it might give some of you the courage to give it a try.

You can take a look at my YouTube channel to see what I’ve done so far.

Now is your last chance to do a low-cost training course with me in 2012.  On 1st November in Leicester I am running my ‘Voice Matters in Business’ workshop which will show you how to INFLUENCE and PERSUADE and give your sales a boost in this competitive marketplace. See details of course here

Well, that’s it for now don’t forget to join me on Linkedin and don’t forget to

SPEAK FOR YOURSELF!

Contact:
Email: info@loudandclearuk.com
Phone: 01455 230317
Mobile: 07779519388
Twitter: @VoiceExpert
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Published Date: 1st October 2012

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02 
Sep

It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it!

When we hear someone’s voice, we immediately respond to the sound. On the phone it becomes our only link to the speaker and we can be directly influenced by the tunes we hear. Is this important? Well, yes, because a negative influence may result in no sale so it can directly affect your bank balance.

Intonation, (or the tunes that our voice plays on a phrase),  can make sentences do somersaults. The pitch contour can make words mean different things. If asked, “How are you”? We may use the words “not bad” but the tune can infer “pretty awful” or “absolutely great”.

As a general rule, we respond best to tunes with a lot of different notes. You will relate to this if you have ever sat through a presentation by a speaker who had a monotone voice! We become emotionally connected with a sincere tune and we can be influenced in a positive way.

You cannot disguise this and your feelings will be conveyed in the sound. The blind politician, David Blunkett, says he can tell whether his interviewer is bored or interested from the tone and vocal tune. I was particularly amused to read that the famous American writer and critic, Dorothy Parker, when faced with mindless small talk, used to put a smile on her face and say “I’ve just killed my husband with an axe and I feel fine”. Most people smiled back and moved on……. the words hadn’t registered at all!

So my whole point in focusing on this is to make you think about how you and your business is heard. Listen to your answerphone message and make sure your face to face staff and phone receptionists are thinking about how they speak. If you need help you might like to consider my low-cost half day course on 1st November see here for details.

I’m starting September on a theatrical note with my production of the black comedy ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ which opens at the Concordia Theatre, Hinckley on 4th September.

Do connect with me on LinkedIn and follow my tweets @VoiceExpert.

I look forward to seeing some of you on 28th September and 2nd October. Many thanks for your bookings. Remember:

Speak wiselySpeak well
                                       Speak   Loud & Clear! 
Contact:
Email: info@loudandclearuk.com
Phone: 01455 230317
Mobile: 07779519388

Twitter: @VoiceExpert

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Published Date: 2nd September 2012

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