Monday, December 15, 2008

How To Make The Right Impression

London, UK

Annoying things I find about presenters and public-speakers are that they can talk too quickly, have a nervous laugh and sometimes apologise. Why? Lack of preparation, over-confidence, lack of self-esteem? Alan Stevens the Media Coach gets to grips with "sorry" business

I've seen far too many speakers who make self-denigrating opening remarks. OK, the best person to tell a story against is yourself, but don't do it right at the start of your speech. Worst of all, in my view, is the person who wanders on, looking hunched and nervous, handles the mike as though it's a poisonous snake, and then says "I'm not very good at this, and my speech isn't very well prepared"
(see the entire blogpost here)

Nervousness and speaking too quickly, in my view go hand-in-hand. Here a piece I posted on my other site a year ago:
December 4th, 2007
Tips to improve your communication
Posted in Public Speaking, Personal Development, UK at 10:52 am by Jeremy Jacobs

Last night at Riverside Communicators, a member of the audience remarked on something I posted a few months ago on this site. The discussion we had in the Eel Pie pub after the meeting was centred around clarity of speech. Speaking at the right pace certainly helps as that previous post pointed out. How about that for an alliteration?
Here’s the article reproduced in full
20+ Tips to improve your communication

Depending on your line of work your rate of speech can vary. When I’m broadcasting on the radio, it can vary further still. A news bulletin can be around 120 to 130 words per minute. On the other hand, when reporting on a live sports event, that rate can go to 170 wpm or higher.
When conductiong a sales appointment or job interview, it’s very important you remain calm, collected and in control. In those instances, it’s a case of the slower the better.
Whilst I was working with the well known Japanese copier manufacturer in the 1980’s, I attended a special one-day course of the power of telephone sales. I’ve never forgotten these immortal words:
6 As a representative of your company
12 on the telephone, it is important
18 that you speak clearly. That means
24 you must articulate. It also means
32 that you must speak so that you can
38 be understood. Although there is no
44 set rate of speech, most expert
50 speakers talk at between one hundred
56 forty and one hundred sixty words
63 per minute. That is a good speed
68 for telephone communication. It is
75 not too fast to be understood and
82 it does not give the listener the
88 impression that you are under pressure.
93 Nor is it too slow.
100 The one hundred sixty word rate adds
107 an element of dignity to your voice.
114 The one hundred sixty word rate also
122 gives a sound image to the caller that
128 establishes both you and your company
134 as efficient and well-organized. To
141 give the caller the kind of impression
148 of yourself and of your company
154 you wish, speak correctly, speak at
160 one hundred and sixty - that’s one
165 hundred sixty words per minute.

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