I imagine that the recepient of ‘my true love’s gifts might be getting a bit surprised (alarmed?) now by all these gifts…
On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me..a heart full of confidence and joy
On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love sent to me..2 brilliant questions
On the 3rd dayof Christmas my true love sent to me…3 alternatives to err ( thank you Jan for this suggestion)
Lots of people have asked me how to stop the errs and the hmms and the arrs and I guess it is because when we think of confident speakers, we think of a smooth perfect flow of language. In reality that perfect flow consists of words…AND pauses.
So the first way of eliminating those ‘filler-in’ hesitation is to replace them with pauses. Go on, try this out next time you speak – doesn’t have to be in public (although it might seem strange to talk to yourself, or maybe not. I digress!) Catch yourself and then stop, breathe, put in a mental full stop and restart . The plus side to this is twofold. Firstly the audience get time to think about what you have just said and secondly your voice will have more energy about it for having stopped and restarted.
The second way of getting a flow is to build up for yourself a stack of ‘link’ words and phrases which take you and your audience to the next thought/comment/section without any umms. For example: ‘so, what happened next?..’ ‘that leads me nicely onto..’ ‘you might be asking …’ They are a little bit like signposts ( more of that later in Twelve Days of Christmas)
And the third way you knew already…practice, practice and practice. Not to get it rote perfect ( that just makes your presentations too stilted and squished of any life at all) but practice to hear , feel and experience what words come out when and how you can get it to sound natural and comfortable. Partly this is to familiarise yourself with content, partly to get the flow ‘right’ and partly it is to get the sound and the look of it right – intonation, body language, eye contact etc
So there you are…please post any other suggestions you might have in readiness for the fourth day of Christmas. Look forward to hearing from you.
Oh – check out our Speaking Club starting in January ( locations in Lancashire and Cheshire) A great way of regularly honing your presentation skills and learning tips and techniques that take you from novice to professional and good to great!