Plan for improv in your communication

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

I just stumbled across an article with three solid, specific bits of advice to make conversation easier. This may sound strange coming from a speaker, but honestly, conversation is tougher for me than is speaking on stage. What I do in front of an audience, I’ve a chance to think about and plan for it, rehearse it, and smooth out. I’m in control.

Conversations, on the other hand, are unpredictable. Continue reading “Plan for improv in your communication”

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Lean into the flinch

Do you have to have difficult conversations sometimes? Perhaps with friends or family, perhaps with coworkers, perhaps with subordinates?

I will be speaking next week to a gathering of executives, managers, and business owners who are members of Executive Women International about difficult communication situations. Whatever else we’ll talk about, a key skill here is the ability and willingness to lean into discomfort rather than avoid it. Continue reading “Lean into the flinch”

photo by: robspiegel
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Taking your face-to-face confidence on stage

I hear this from students all the time: “I can talk with people just fine one-on-one. In fact, I consider myself an extrovert! But when I get up in front of a group, it’s different.”

Here’s my response: “It’s only different if you think about it differently.” Continue reading “Taking your face-to-face confidence on stage”

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Eye contact helps overcome stage fright

I’ve read a few posts lately mentioning that eye contact is hard for a speaker, even experienced ones. (One place I just saw it is in the very good article “5 Public Speaking Tips that Build Relationships.”) I agree! But I also want to push a little beyond the initial resistance we have to it.

As Dr. Michelle observes, “Making eye contact allows you to connect with your audience.” The emphasis here is on genuine contact. The old saws about picking out a spot on the back wall or looking at their foreheads do not work simply because they don’t establish contact. While the idea of contacting a stranger that intimately seems threatening at first, once you do you’ll discover something very pleasant: there is no such thing as an audience! Continue reading “Eye contact helps overcome stage fright”

photo by: @Doug88888
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