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Make More of an Impact!

Posted on Wednesday, June 06, 2012 by Positivevoice

So, you’ve overcome your fear of public speaking and all you need to do now is engage your audience. What can you do to make your delivery more captivating?

The first thing to do is to make sure you are passionate about your subject matter. If it is dry and boring to you, it will be dry and boring to your audience. I was teaching a little boy last week and i was explaining how there is not a market for 'good speakers'... You have to be more than just a good speaker. There is a market for passionate people who have done amazing things and are willng to talk about it. One such person is Jeremy Gilly, of Peace One Day, who established World Peace Day in 2002. Like most British professional speakers, he is very natural and real. He doesn't appear to have been trained and this is his greatest asset.

Once you have established what the topic and angle are, there are plenty of very simple tricks that you can implement. I do a lot of them without thinking, so please do not fear that you will appear less natural. 

Here are just a few:


  1. Make your audience feel important by asking questions whenever you can:

-          ‘Rhetorical’ questions

-          ‘Raise your hand if…’ questions

-          Question tags


  1. Repetition: Yes, it is normally very boring to repeat yourself, but you can highlight that something is important by emphasising the second time:

‘It’s important. I'll say that again; it’s VERY important’


  1. Metaphors and similes: these bring your speech alive

‘He ran as fast as lightning’ 

‘She stood still like a rabbit caught in head lamps’.


4. Connect emotionally with the words. Really mean what you say and your audience will believe in you.


5. Pause, pause, pause: This is VERY important. When you pause, you give your audience the opportunity to digest all that you have said. Pause after questions, pause after emphasising something, pause after a big, important statement. Pause creates intrigue.

These are just a few things that you can do to leave a lasting impression with your audience. I will bring you many more tips in the coming months.


The Rhetorical Question Technique

Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 by Positivevoice

Yesterday I was teaching a 6 year old child to improve his voice and confidence. I don’t usually work with children this young, but he is home schooled and incredibly intelligent.

I taught him a couple of little techniques and gave him an impromptu topic to speak about. So, he had no preparation time, just the structure for a good presentation. I obviously had to keep it really simple, as he is only 6 years old. The process I gave him worked really well, so I thought I would share it with you.

Ask a ‘special question’: This is just a rhetorical question/ normal question/ raise your hand if…

He seemed to love the ‘raise your hand if’ option and beamed each time he asked the question, raising his own hand, as I had (Children like fun things and SO do adults)

“ Raise your hand if you like Spiderman” (one example)

A story about you and the topic. The more detail you can add in, the better.

A question about the audience and the topic- in the future.

“I wonder whether you will still like Superman in the future?”

As I said, this is so simple that even a 6 year old can do it. You can obviously add in more interaction and rhetorical questions or even quotes. Questions show a high regard for your audience and help them to relate the topic to themselves. This is my reasoning for placing one at the beginning and one at the end. This draws the audience in and then leaves them with something to reflect on.

For more detailed methods about public speaking, click on: Previous blogs

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