Competition Composure

As of late, I seem to be doing much coaching work for those in pitch competitions or those in speaking competitions. And, I just completed a round of competitions myself. Whether the prize is a check or a trophy, there is an extra caveat on the line for us speakers. When the ante is upped, there is most always additional nervousness.

I agree with Mark Twain when he said that “There are two types of speakers – those that are nervous and those that are liars.” When you care enough to do a good job at anything, nerves come into play. It’s competition composure. Here are some things that I have found that work for me: Continue reading “Competition Composure”

Slow Down, you’re talking too fast.

I was working with this amazing client recently on an upcoming presentation. His talk was about living through the near poverty upbringing of his family of origin; about his laser sharp focus to graduate from college, with unbelievable odds – a first for his family; and about finding love and building a new family along the way. His story was powerful, emotional, and motivational. He told it beautifully with great sequencing and strong meaning. And he told it too fast. Every single word was delivered at breakneck speed. The challenge in working with this speaker was not lack of content, nor structure of that content but the unbelievable fast paced delivery of his story.

Maybe you fall into this category. You are an energetic person, an external processor who is stimulated and inspired by new things, new ideas. Your pace of delivery is fast because “you’ve always been this way” or perhaps you are time starved or perhaps there are so many interruptions to your day that you must a la carte each task and move on to the next one. Continue reading “Slow Down, you’re talking too fast.”