By Luke Hannan
Today I’m going to share with you my top 5 delivery skills to boost your speech and presentation skills to have speaking like a Professional Master of Ceremonies or Paid Keynote Speaker in the shortest possible time!!!
In Fact, These are the exact techniques I use every day during Corporate Presentations, as a Conference MC and when Public Speaking.
Read on, take note and use these 5 essential boosts to take your Public Speaking and Presentation Skills to the next level.
1. Warm Up
1 . Warm Up
I love to read, and a great book I’ve recently read is one of Usain Bolts…
Did you know that Usain’s masseuse Eddie would work on his body to warm and loosen him up before every Training Session and Race - every time!!!
Public Speaking uses muscles in your abdomen, chest, throat, face, mouth, neck and so much more so warming up your body & voice is essential before every speech or presentation, loosen up those vocal chords, lips, tongue plus diaphragm and I assure you the words will come out of your body as smooth as silk.
So how can we warm up our voice ?? Here’s a great video that encompasses my MC and public speaking warm up.
I use these exercises before every Master of Ceremonies assignment - whether it's a Conference MC appointment hosting over 1000 people or leading a small public speaking training class.
I warm up every time - and so should you
2 . Tone
Each and every one of us has a natural ‘tone range’ (from high to low) within which we generally operate.
In general, when attempting
to verbally convey information a reasonably wide tone range can provide more flexibility, more options & a better toolkit than a range that is significantly compressed - WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
In the following video you’ll note that the very same sentence is repeated first with a wider range of tone, second with a compressed range.
Based on the 2 examples in the video imagine a keynote speech during a conference, a corporate event host at a function or a business professional in a meeting delivering a presentation or sales pitch for more than 5 minutes with a really compressed tone range and then consider this -
If we consider the overarching purpose of public speaking which I believe to be “the transmission of data” If you’ve a compressed tone range when Presenting or Speaking this can make it difficult to convey your key messages
WARNING: Beware of the last word in any sentence in your speech or presentation!! if you inflect your tone up on the last word in a sentence it can turn sentence into a question - when in fact it’s a statement - check out the talking tip below for an example
PRO TIP: Record yourself and listen back - how is your range?? To open it up more try these singing exercises and then bring that into your public speaking. Remember practice makes perfect so get out there, get recording or feedback and contact me for advice or feedback at anytime
3 . Pace
Slow and Steady wins the Race!!
There are certainly times when a fast pace serves you well, to rev the crowd up and get people really excited - however it’s not sustainable for the duration of a presentation, especially for your audience.
Imagine a Conference MC or Wedding Master of Ceremonies who every time they spoke did so at a thousand miles an hour… Cue the iPhones.
Pace has it’s place, take commentating a horse race where in lieu of significant action early on - the speaker will generally start out slow and build pace as the race evolves, reaching maximum energy & speaking pace as the race reaches its crescendo. Importantly any professional speaker will alter continuously adjust and change their pace throughout their perch or presentation - and so should you.
GO S L O W
If you slow things right down and I assure you, the audience will hang of your every word. So be courageous and slow it down - the results will surprise you.
3 massive reasons people rush when presenting or public speaking
It’s natural to get nervous when your presenting or Public Speaking - whether you’re speaking at a Business Conference, MC for a friendly wedding or hosting clients in business presentation, nerves quite often creep in and the nervous energy can lead us to race through our speeches - Keep an eye out for this!
2. Running out of time
For the self-aware speaker who is keeping tabs on time or when the Master of Ceremonies is guiding you towards your finish time and you’re running behind it’s a natural to think “I've got 15 minutes of material to cover in 5 minutes” so mathematically if you race through your material you might just get there…
Beware you might as well not speak as the audience will have a significant propensity to tune out if you begin racing and maintaining this over average speaking speed for too long.
IF YOU’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME -
3. Not enough practice
I would strongly suggest to practice, practice, practice (see the talking tip below on that) and nail your time - as a Conference Master of Ceremonies one of the questions I ask all my speakers is “you’ve got X minutes, how long will you use” and the professional speakers generally know this down to the minute - Know your timing.
To control your pace self awareness is the key - advice from trusted advisers in your audience, ask your MC, practice adequately beforehand, record yourself during rehearsals and whilst on stage presenting and know that you’ll likely speak faster on stage.
4 . Silence
Silence is Golden, and integrating silence into your presentation or speech can be as simple as pausing for a second or 2.
The irony is that when you’re presenting and keep quiet (not using filler words like um, or argh, more on filler words soon) the quality and balance within your presentation will sky-rocket and for you to bank this uplift in presentation quality all you had to say was nothing…
It is a real privilege as Professional Master of Ceremonies to see so many amazing speakers work their magic, work their crowds and work their butts off to deliver a riveting presentation, an inspirational speech or dazzling sales pitch using properly positioned pauses as a tool within their speaking arsenal.
Silence really does give your audience a chance to think, to ponder and to process your information. It also builds suspense among the audience - The next time you’re called upon to host an awards night or present an award - be sure to hold the room you are in silent just before the you announce the award recipient(s) - the audience will be hanging off your words to hear what you say next (this is a key strategy of mine with Master of Ceremonies responsibilities during awards nights!!!)
Beware - when you first integrate silence into your presentation it will feel like a lifetime between words, the reality however is that the true duration your silence will be less a than a second or two.
Importantly Silence will also give you a moment to reflect, you’re not talking, in theory you won’t be moving too much - what a great time to take a moment to relax and then after a moment of silence - soldier on!
Challenge yourself!! Add silence into your next speech to presentation.
When writing my MC or speaking notes I’ll add <> in between words where I’d like to integrate a pause - the more <<<>>> the longer the pause I’m like to implement!
<> Short Pause
<<>> Medium Pause
<<<>>> Long Pause
<<<<>>>> Super Long Pause
Drop a note in the comments below with how you indicate a pause within your speaking notes - I'd love to hear from you!
5 . Pitch
Pitch is such a vital tool within our speaking arsenal as changes in pitch and inflection within a sentence can entirely change the meaning of the words you say - same words, same order - different meaning.
Take this amazing sentence I’d heard recently whilst listening to Royston Guest (Royston is a key pillar behind my Professional Master of Ceremonies & Live event Hosting business - his business growth pathways tool is amazing - be sure to check out: https://www.growthpathways.com)
The sentence is
“I DIDN’T SAY HE STOLE IT”
In the video below we’ll see how pitch and inflection total change the meaning of this sentence.
As you can see that same sentence has so many different meanings just but altering our pitch and infecting on different words within the sentence.
Be sure to check your pitch and inflection when your presenting or public speaking and you'll have much greater control over the manner in which your key messages are received.
There's my top 5!!
There are so many amazing speaking tips and tricks, all of which have been integral in me taking the quality in my Master of Ceremonies opportunities to a higher level.
For more public speaking tips and training - check out the suite of video at:
And now I’d love to hear from you:
Which strategy from today’s post are you excited to try first?
Or maybe you have a question about something you read.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below and I'll respond ASAP!