public speaking

Is it okay to use notes during a presentation?

Is it okay to use notes during a presentation?

Often people worry about whether they can use notes during a presentation and there are arguments for and against it. Having some notes to jog your memory can help ease nerves but it’s important to ensure they don’t detract from your presentation. This post covers several options for using notes and provides tips on how to use them effectively.

11 Presenting Mistakes That Make Your Audience Cringe

11 Presenting Mistakes That Make Your Audience Cringe

As presenters we are in the privileged position of being able to share our knowledge, experience, and passion with an audience. However, with this privilege comes responsibility – a responsibility to ourselves to ensure we don’t kill our credibility, but more importantly, a responsibility to our audience to ensure that our message is relevant and interesting to listen to. It is vital that you avoid these 11 mistakes that will make your audience cringe...

6 Reasons Women Need to be Confident Presenters

6 Reasons Women Need to be Confident Presenters

On International Women’s Day, I was reflecting on the importance of women’s voices in business, politics, the media and the community in general. It’s time more women took the time to develop the confidence and skills to speak in public, and in this post I share six reasons why...

Business Storytelling: Lessons from a Master

Business Storytelling: Lessons from a Master

One of the biggest buzzwords in business at the moment is ‘storytelling’. And for good reason. Stories make us think, and more importantly they make us feel. And they help us remember ideas and concepts far more effectively than facts and figures. I was privileged to have the opportunity recently to see well known Scottish businessman, Bob Keiller, delivering a Business Storytelling workshop and in this post I share his tips.

19 Benefits of Being Good at Public Speaking

19 Benefits of Being Good at Public Speaking

Though most of us have the ability to speak, many are not able to speak well when in front of a group people. Yet, being comfortable and confident when speaking in public has the potential to enrich your life both professionally and personally. Here are 19 benefits of being good at public speaking...

11 Things You Can Learn About Presenting from Ice Skating

11 Things You Can Learn About Presenting from Ice Skating

Recently I went ice skating for the first time in 30+ years. As I was endeavouring to get used to the feeling of being on skates again, I amused myself with the parallels between ice skating and public speaking and the lessons we can learn from them...

4 Speakers, 4 Countries, 4 Public Speaking Lessons

4 Speakers, 4 Countries, 4 Public Speaking Lessons

In one year I attended four professional speaking conventions in four countries on four continents. In this article I share the lessons we can learn from the stand out speakers at each event...

7 Vocal Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Presentation

7 Vocal Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Presentation

What does your voice say about you? Whether you like it or not, people will make judgements about you based on your voice. They’ll make assumptions about where you’re from, how well educated you are or how confident you are. Regardless of the words you speak, your voice will impact on how engaging a speech or presentation is for your audience and how well your message is received. 

3 Public Speaking Lessons from Edinburgh Fringe Festival

3 Public Speaking Lessons from Edinburgh Fringe Festival

At this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe I’ve watched mainly theatre, cabaret and comedy performances. As usual, I have picked out a few lessons we can take and use to improve our public speaking and presentation skills.

The No 1 Way You Are Sabotaging Your Confidence (and what to do about it)

The No 1 Way You Are Sabotaging Your Confidence (and what to do about it)

Why do some people feel confident (or not), in what circumstances do they feel confident (or not) and why are some people generally more confident than others? In this post I explore how you may be sabotaging your confidence and what to do about it.

Lessons from Hosting the Scottish EDGE Final

If you had an opportunity to compere the final of the UK’s largest funding competition, how would you feel? If you’re like most people, including me, you may feel a little daunted by the prospect!

5 Tips for Promoting Your Business Through Public Speaking

5 Tips for Promoting Your Business Through Public Speaking

Have you ever considered adding public speaking into your marketing mix? Many people shudder at the thought of standing up and speaking in front of an audience but giving a talk is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to promote your business. Find out my top five tips to help you to take advantage of this marketing opportunity...

Ten (More) Parallels Between Running and Public Speaking

Ten (More) Parallels Between Running and Public Speaking

Did you know that there are a number of similarities between running and public speaking? Following on from a previous post on this topic, here are ten more parallels between running and public speaking.

8 Reasons Why You Should Stop Presenting From Behind a Lectern

8 Reasons Why You Should Stop Presenting From Behind a Lectern

It often surprises me how many presenters are happy to stand behind a lectern and deliver a speech; it really doesn’t do them any favours when it comes to communicating their message effectively. In this post I share 8 problems connected with presenting from behind a lectern.

Why I can’t keep quiet about my latest project!

Why I can’t keep quiet about my latest project!

Have you ever come across something that is such amazing value that you can’t wait to tell people about it?

Well, that’s the way I feel about the upcoming Boost Your Business Speaking Online Virtual Summit which I’m delighted to be part of.

5 Ways to Appear More Confident When Presenting

5 Ways to Appear More Confident When Presenting

Nerves before a presentation are normal and important. Feeling nervous means you care and, therefore, you will put extra effort into ensuring that your message is communicated to your audience in the best possible way. Nervous adrenaline is also useful for giving your presentation the energy it needs to keep your audience engaged, as long as you use your nervousness effectively rather than allow it to overpower you. So here are five easy ways to manage your nerves and to look and feel more confident when speaking in public.

What Dolly Parton Can Teach You About Public Speaking

What Dolly Parton Can Teach You About Public Speaking

Dolly Parton demonstrated her incredible ability to engage a 180,000 strong crowd during her popular performance at Glastonbury. The more I watched the more I realised that her techniques could be implemented in many public speaking situations. So read on to find out what Dolly Parton can teach you about public speaking.

Public Speaking lessons from a Drag Show (Part 2)

Public Speaking lessons from a Drag Show (Part 2)

Inspired by an experience I had watching a drag show whilst on holiday, this is my second post about what lessons we can learn from drag queens when it comes to public speaking. 

12 TEDx Talks: 12 Lessons in Public Speaking

12 TEDx Talks: 12 Lessons in Public Speaking

On Thursday 18 February, the TEDx University of Edinburgh (TEDxUoE) 2016 Conference was held in Edinburgh’s Central Hall for an audience of around five hundred people. I was delighted to have the opportunity to coach 10 of the 12 speakers for this event and was incredibly proud of the way each of them delivered a clear, concise and engaging talk. So, from my perspective as an audience member, this post covers public speaking lessons inspired by each of their talks.

Why Improving Your Public Speaking Should Be Your Top Priority This Year

Why Improving Your Public Speaking Should Be Your Top Priority This Year

Are you one of those people who wrote ‘Improve my public speaking skills’ on your list of new year’s resolutions? If so, well done and I trust you are well on the way to achieving your goal (if you’re not, read on!)