5 key public speaking tips

Public Speaking Course
Public speaking is a major fear for most people. Without knowledge of the tips and techniques of successful public speaking, you can feel naked on stage. A leading online course is helping put the clothes back on by going back to proven techniques.

The Master Communicator course at SpeechSchool.TV is one of the leading online video courses on the internet that teaches successful public speaking techniques through providing detailed examples and opportunities for assessment.  This week at the Speech Success blog we caught up with 5 key public speaking tips taught in this course:

1. Capture audience delight in your opening
The most important part of your speech that you will craft is your opening gambit.  This is powerful because it is from that opening that most of your audience will decide whether they want to go on listening to you!  This first impression is vital as the audience gains a sense of whether they will be entertained or bored.  Get a laugh or a little warm appreciation from your audience at this point and you’ll also gain the confidence you need to deliver the rest of the speech well.  Use your opening to get attention with a story, question, major promise or surprise.

2. Generate credibility immediately after your opening
Once you have relaxed, entertained and got your audience on your side right from the start, the question that then goes through people’s mind is “what do you have to do with this topic and why are you the best person to be sharing with us about that?”  Now that you have your audience’s attention you need to build credibility and provide your back story or credentials so they continue to trust you to tell them the rest of the story.

3. Build from points of lesser value to higher value, reaching a climax
Like a good story, the energy, intensity and power of your speech should build as you go.  For example if you were talking about your involvement with a fast growing business, you would begin with the simple, early days processing radio orders from a garage, then build up to the growth through TV advertising and the employment of hundreds of people – through to the terrible collapse and bankruptcy – and the remaking of your life.  The technique is that the points become more hard hitting as you build to the climax, building and intensifying audience interest as you go.

4. Ensure you come down from the climax with a denouement (explanation and unravelling of what happened)
Once you have built the climax toward the end of your speech, it is then important to unravel and explain what this means for you audience.  This is the part where they are hanging on your every word to gain the moral of the story and the key piece of ‘take home’ information.

5. Finish your speech by making it clear what action your audience should now take or what changes they should make
This is important.  The aim of any speech is to take an audience emotionally from their existing thinking about a subject (A) to new thinking (B) about that subject from your speech.  At the end you must explain what you need the audience to do to embrace thinking ‘B’.  It could be to take some action, or to change their mind on some issue.  This is the chance to capitalise on all the arguments and material you have made in your speech.

The SpeechSchool.TV Master Communicator course provides further online video training and demonstrations on how to use and implement these tips for more effective public speaking.

The process of staff development with speech

Professional Development Communication
Professional development in speech can empower employees to be and feel their best, delivering productivity gains for companies.

SpeechSchool.TV is one of the largest online providers of speech training on the internet.  In recent times they have found a growing market with organizations looking to provide a simple and cost effective form of professional development for communication training.

According to Management Consulting Firm Accenture, when a survey of executives were asked to rank which 3 skills were most valuable to their success in business: 61% identified communication skills followed by 40% technical and 30% analytical skills.

SpeechSchool says that communication skills training is the fastest, most effective way to help boost a team’s performance and online communication courses are a very efficient and cost effective way to do this.  The School cites recent findings from the US Department of Education who reported that online learning environments actually lead to higher test performance than face to face environments.

The SpeechSchool system uses online video training and interaction with speech and voice coaches through an assessment system to drive learning outcomes.  Currently their most popular program is their Master Speaker – English Accent course which has been proven to dramatically reduce foreign accents that may be impeding communication.  This is particularly useful for call centres, customer service staff and personal relationship managers.

The School has provided professional development programs using their online courses to a variety of organizations around the world, from HSBC Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to Massey University in New Zealand.

For more information on SpeechSchool.TV’s online communication courses and professional development in New Zealand, the UK and around the world please visit the SpeechSchool site.

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The difference between elocution and accent training

Elocution Accent Margaret Thatcher
Elocution lessons used to be most popular with native English speakers. The late Margaret Thatcher was one such beneficiary of elocution lessons. Nowadays, learners of speech pronunciation are just as likely to come from other languages seeking accent training.

Go back thirty years or more and elocution lessons were popularly taught in schools and through private classes to help native English speakers speak the language better.  Elocution focused on training learners to speak with the clearest possible pronunciation.  Often it was seen as a way to change speech toward a more upscale or powerful sounding tone.  Either way, many prominent people have used elocution training to develop strong speaking voices.  (Margaret Thatcher, Samuel L. Jackson, Cate Blanchett and Vanessa Redgrave to name a few).

According to SpeechSchool.TV (the leading speech training site on the internet) elocution students today are just as likely to come from other languages seeking accent training as they are native speakers wanting elocution lessons.

While elocution and accent training have different types of focus, the subject material taught is much the same.  Elocution focuses on teaching clear, pronunciation in a neutral accent covering all sounds in the language.  Accent training comes from the point of view that to learn clear spoken English, the learner must do so by adjusting their accent to the clearest and most neutral form of English.  It is not easy for students to improve English accent.

The old art of elocution is thus being transformed to work with second language learners coming from a wide variety of different accents.  The focus is not to remove a native accent completely but rather to give the speaker clear and neutral pronunciation that will put them in good stead to speak English well wherever they travel in the world.

SpeechSchool reports that about 70% of their students in their highly popular English Accent program come to English from another language.  Their focus is on acquiring a Standard English accent to make their own speech clearer.  However still 30% are native speakers and there focus is more on elocution, learning to speak the language more clearly or in some cases resolving a speech impediment such as mumbling or stuttering.

More information on the elocution and accent training program from SpeechSchool can be found on the accent training course page.

How to write a good public speech

public speaking school
The techniques of public speaking go back thousands of years to the teachings of Aristotle.  A little knowledge and appreciation of these techniques can go a long way in helping you structure a powerful speech.

Aristotle broke public speaking down to 3 key forces – ethos, pathos and logos.  According to SpeechSchool.TV, part of training your own mind to do successful public speaking can be greatly assisted by understanding and planning for the role of each of these in your presentations.

Ethos is who you are.  Ethos is how your character is revealed through your speech.  It’s important because the audience decides how they feel about you based on your ethos.  One of the main things holding back good ethos is fear, because it’s fear that stops you from being relaxed and being yourself.  Conquer fear by understanding your ethos and character and be comfortable in it.  Use your introduction to establish yourself, get your audience on your side and build credibility from your background for your subject.

Pathos is the audience reaction and feeling to your speech.  Remember, it is made up of the emotions felt, emotions you give rise to as you speak.  Pathos can change a lot depending on the type and mix of audience your speaking to.  Allowing for pathos in writing a speech, means being willing to change your material and stance as you sense the emotions of your audience changing.  For example this can be as simple as building on a powerful story that is clearly moving an audience rather than going to the next point.

Finally logos is the words you use as a speaker.  It’s what you say.  It’s the result of your verbal skill and artistry.  The ability to form interesting phrases from words and ideas can be developed through experience and wide reading.  That’s valuable because the right words are memorable.  Being able to come up with words that delight and express ideas clearly will keep your audience interested and help them remember what you say.  Spend some time developing interesting turns of phrases.  Wide reading on your subject can help.

These 3 key components each need to be considered in a successful presentation – ethos, pathos and logos – as devised by Aristotle.

Start considering these three components when you put together an effective speech: ethos – communicating your character, pathos – connecting emotionally with your audience (remember that’s a two way thing – output and input) and logos – the words that make the show.  It’s about – you (being a confident but likable character), them (caring about your audience and how they feel) plus the words that allow you to make the whole performance memorable!

Learn more about public speaking

Improve your sales skills by using tactical persuasive speech

Sales Presentation Training
In sales, the Pareto principle turns out to be very accurate, with 20% of salespeople producing 80% of the results. But this can be turned around by providing simple and effective speech training to the entire sales team.

A top advertising Creative Director has just stepped out of the SpeechSchool.TV studio where he presents a regular show.  “The beauty with the training provided here is that the videos and materials are online so students and companies can access them around the world 24/7,” says Simon Angelo.  “In developing my lessons for the Master Communicator program I was asked to condense everything I’d learnt about persuasive communication in over 15 years, not to mention many seven figure budgets in the direct response TV advertising industry.  This information for salespeople is potentially very, very powerful as it is what’s at the heart of persuasion.”

“Usually the difference between success and failure is what you know,” he goes on to explain.  “Those who succeed simply get there because they know, understand and use techniques the rest do not.  That is certainly true with television advertising and for salespeople giving sales presentations day in and day out.”

Simon would know a thing or two about persuasive presentations on TV as some of the long format direct response TV ads he has written have set industry records, successfully selling products for 7 years or more when most start to falter within a year.

“One of the first things I cover in the course which is of direct relevance in sales training is how to open a presentation.  This is the part that lets most people down.  They often feel they need to establish rapport first through greetings or personal remarks, not realising that in this fast paced world, rapport is best established by starting with The Big Idea.”

What is ‘The Big Idea’?  It’s the part of the message that is most powerful and will instantly get attention and interest.  In the Master Communicator course some graphic and detailed examples are given.  According to SpeechSchool.TV, a Sales Manager in the Magazines industry had his entire sales team trained online through the Master Communicator program.  During this time they pitched to an ad agency and using the techniques taught were able to sell in a deal that grew business for that year by 40%.

Start increasing your sales

Can persuasive speech be taught to people speaking with an accent?

Persuasive Speaking
Ever found yourself listening to a speaker who is trying to be convincing but a strong accent just keeps getting in the way?

Persuasive speaking can be extremely powerful when you believe in your message and have learnt to use the techniques.  It can sway audiences, close deals and get people on your side.  SpeechSchool.TV has been providing one of the leading online courses on the internet for many years in the form of their Master Communicator program, using many of the techniques from the presenter’s own career as a top Advertising Creative Director.  However, for many English speakers nowadays, English is not their first language and that can mean strong accents when speaking.

According to John Curtis, Course Director at SpeechSchool.TV, the first question is whether the accent impacts on the message and being understood.  “People have to be honest with themselves,” he says.  “You may think your accent is not that strong but in fact listeners may be struggling to understand your message, let alone be convinced by it.”

He gives the example of one particular presentation where a speaker with a strong Italian accent was trying to persuade an organisation to take an important and difficult decision.  “First, I looked around the room and could see that people were having to concentrate extra hard just to understand what was being said.  That means people can’t relax and enjoy the message initially as there is effort involved in processing it, which in turn reduces the persuasiveness of it,” Curtis says.  “Second, the main message wasn’t getting through.  As one of the other participants remarked in private afterwards – ‘I couldn’t really understand all of it and found myself sort of enjoying the Italian accent and thinking about Tuscany and Chianti rather than the subject at hand!'”

To help students like this, SpeechSchool.TV has developed an accent softening and pronunciation program to ensure students are speaking English as clearly as they can before going on to learn to become advanced and persuasive public speakers.

The School’s Master Speaker English Accent program teaches Standard English Pronunciation which works to give all speakers the clearest form of pronunciation possible so that they may then go on and achieve great results in their speeches and English communication.

All speakers of English, no matter their language background, can develop a style and mix that works for them and is persuasive.  Find out how

How easy it is learning English slang online

Learning English Slang
When learning English you want to be able to speak the language like a local. More and more English learners are finding the secret weapon is learning English speech online.

Many people around the world learn English but not so many second language speakers can speak the language with the same zing and flair as their local tongue.  One of the reasons for this is that up until now, much English language learning has been prescriptive, focused on vocabulary and grammar.

Of course English is a living and breathing language and most native speakers don’t always use perfect grammar, adding interest and humour to their speech with a wide range of local slang and colloquial expressions.

It is this aspect of the language that is often the most time consuming to teach as it requires ongoing, personalised instruction and ideally complete immersion in an English speaking country.

A service that is helping many learners advance their grasp of native English speech faster is SpeechSchool.TV, one of the largest providers of online spoken English training.  The School offers an English Accent course which not only teaches correct pronunciation but provides ongoing and economic learning of British slang and English expressions used in the global English speaking world.

Most importantly for the student learning English as a second language, the system uses video training with an engaging presenter that allows the learner to develop confidence.  The fees are low enough that the video training sessions can be accessed, used and practiced on an ongoing basis anywhere through the worldwide web.

One student using SpeechSchool.TV, Aurelien Gasc from France, says that the SpeechSchool.TV programs have helped him in learning native English and given him the confidence he needs to converse more readily:

“I’ve been really happy working with SpeechSchool.TV because I found the course is really easy to use,” says Gasc.  “There’s a manageable amount of work each week. The main outcome of this course was that to some extent I softened my accent but the main point is I improved my confidence in English. Now when I talk to people, I don’t think I’m that French guy in their face. Now I’m as able as anyone to speak English and to be honest, that’s changed my life.”

The SpeechSchool.TV English Accent program is available from the School’s website.

Improve accent by speaking publicly

Standard English Accent
The late actor, Edward Mulhare was known for playing cultivated English accents such as that used by Devon Miles in Knight Rider. Yet he grew up in Ireland and developed his accent through acting and practice.

In this multicultural world there are more people who speak English as their second language than their first.  A little accent helps add variety and celebrates different cultures.  However, many speakers find that a very strong accent can impede understanding and their ability to work or do business.  So how do you develop a natural English accent that works for you?

According to SpeechSchool.TV your accent is something that changes over time depending on how you develop and practice it when you speak English.  An excellent example of this comes from the acting world, where many actors start out with regional accents but develop more standard or sometimes prestigious accents through working on different characters.

The late Edward Mulhare for instance was Irish but through developing his accent in different roles he gained a reputation (and a career) playing debonair and sophisticated Englishmen.  In his role as Devon Miles in the highly successful TV series Knight Rider, his perfect English accent was rolled out in some 90 episodes.

Similarly Patrick Stewart, an actor originally from Yorkshire, managed to blend his native accent with Received Pronunciation through years of Shakespeare training.  He later played Captain Jean Luc Picard in the Star Trek series.

For those wanting to change the direction of their accents, SpeechSchool.TV recommends blending local accents with Standard English to create a clear, refined and unique voice that can be understood anywhere in the world.  One of the fastest ways to achieve this is to take a voice coaching course and then use the desired accent publicly wherever possible.

SpeechSchool.TV offers a Standard English accent course for this purpose and has found students who are able to combine practice of the exercises with the opportunity for public speaking are those most likely to develop their speech and voice successfully.

How to remove the fear of public speaking

Presentation Skills
Anthony Robbins estimated $30 million annual income has been built on his abilities as a public speaker and motivator. However, most people fear public speaking which restricts their income and opportunities. (Photo: Randy Stewart)

According to motivational speaker Anthony Robbins, if you believe in yourself enough you can achieve anything.

Public speaking is one activity that requires a great deal of self belief.  It’s also a form of communication where you can reach a lot of people with your message.  For that reason it’s a key success factor in many fields.

Public speaking covers anything from a talk to a small group, through to a presentation to hundreds of people or a TV or radio broadcast to many thousands.  Typically it involves ‘concepting’ or copywriting a speech and then successfully delivering it.

Award-winning advertising Creative Director, Simon Angelo, who helps teach SpeechSchool.TV’s Master Communicator course says that public speaking has been critical to the success of his clients.

“I’ve been involved in Direct Response TV advertising for more than 15 years and it has been a very powerful way to launch and grow new product lines,” Simon says.  “Rather than selling to people one at a time, we use passionate presenters to speak in our ads.  Over the years they’ve reached millions of people and produced substantial sales.”

SpeechSchool.TV is the world’s leading online speech school.  It developed the Master Communicator course because public speaking and presentation skills are critical areas for people in business, the professions and many other walks of life.  Yet, according to  the School, public speaking and presentation skills are often taught poorly with too much focus on delivery, rather than how to successfully structure a powerful enough message that speakers and audiences can believe in.

“When you conquer the fear of public speaking,” Simon says, “you conquer the fear of communicating to lots of people all at once.  To conquer that fear you must also believe in yourself and the value of your message.  This course helps you learn to structure and deliver powerful messages to achieve that.”

The Master Communicator course takes a different approach to Anthony Robbins’ focus on motivation.  “Usually by the time students enroll in this course they are already motivated to remove the fear of public speaking,” Simon says.  “Success and confidence comes from the most part in developing knowledge and skill.”

SpeechSchool.TV aims to remove the fear of public speaking for its students by teaching the proven techniques and approaches used by the world’s most successful speakers and influencers.  It takes much from the television advertising industry.  Lesson 1 of the Master Communicator program for instance is titled “The Jaws Opening” and looks specifically at how to deliver an opening that is guaranteed to get attention and then establish the credibility needed to make an audience follow a speaker.

“People fear public speaking,” Simon says, “because it’s not something that’s really taught.  If you were asked to take control of an airplane but had never had any training, that too could be extremely frightening.  By simply taking a course like the Master Communicator program that teaches the techniques (that up until now have been left quite hidden) you can start to break down fear and get a level of results you may have previously only dreamt of.”

The online Master Communicator course is available from www.speechschool.tv

Call centers use speech training to lift service quality

Call Center Speech Training
One of the effects of globalization has seen the international contact centre industry move capacity to offshore locations where operator costs are lower. However this has been creating problems with understanding between callers, and that’s where online speech training is coming in.

Chances are if you call your bank or telephone provider’s customer service line, the call won’t be answered in your local country, but in India, the Philippines or a host of other countries where large offshore call centres operate.  One such example is Barclays Bank in the UK, which forwards thousands of such calls to operators in India.

Generally the operators selected have a good grasp of the English language but one of the difficulties in facilitating calls is the accent of the operator.  This causes frustration to the caller who finds it difficult understanding what is being said.  The process doesn’t do anything for the reputation of the organisation as ‘coal face’ customer support is seen by the customer to be limited.

SpeechSchool.TV is the largest provider of online speech training and has been working with a number of local and offshore call centres to help them streamline spoken English on the phone so it can be easily understood and the operators are respected.  According to SpeechSchool.TV, the demand has not only come from call centre managers but also from HR managers to provide communication training to more senior personal bankers, account managers and those whose spoken impression to the customer is vital.

The School has worked with employees from large organisations such as the HSBC Bank, the Google Contact Centre, telecommunications companies and law and accountancy firms worldwide.

SpeechSchool.TV’s Course Director, John Curtis, says studies have shown that some speech styles and accents are trusted more than others. “When you are able to communicate with the customer in a voice they respect, the communication will be more efficient and effective, delivering better outcomes for your customers.  Throughout international call centres, studies show that a Standard English accent has the lowest rate of errors and highest level of customer preference worldwide.”

SpeechSchool.TV provides an online video based program that teaches the Standard English Accent.  It has been used by call centres, banks and other firms for streamlined and cost effective speech training worldwide.  Students taking the course report they are being understood and respected much more when speaking.  They also report positive results with their accents and in some cases an increase in their incomes as a result.

The speech training program for corporates, call centres and other organisations includes the option to do assessments online before starting and then once every few months.  These speech assessments are graded and sent on to supervisors who can gauge clearly the level of progress that staff are making in terms of their clarity and effectiveness in speech.

The School also offers a more advanced sales training program – the Master Communicator course.  This is a sales and presentation training program based on years of experience in the television advertising industry.  It is designed more for native (or stronger) English speakers and improves confidence and presentation skills to provide a lifelong communication advantage.  According to the Course Director, it is perfect for professionals looking to get that extra edge.

SpeechSchool.TV is currently working with several organisations to roll out pilot speech and communication training programs for their staff.  Further enquiries may be directed to the SpeechSchool.TV website.