How are your speaking skills on video? Online meetings are the way you create influence now! Here are my Top 10 Public Speaking blogs of 2020.
Well, 2020 certainly was the year that was! Many of us, of course, wish that it had been the year that wasn't.
But even now amid the fear, the tragic loss of loved ones, and widespread economic destruction, we are surviving. More, we're learning. We're even innovating. Fortunately, we have robust virtual meeting platforms to do it on. From March onwards, we may have been scrambling and innovating, but we're getting better at speaking via video every day. Call it the season of video, then.
Speaking with poise and presence online matters more than ever now. Learn how to excel! Get my Free eGuide, "Essential Speaking Tips for Video Conferences."
So, here's to our success in continuing to learn and thrive in 2021. Of my Top 10 blogs this year, four have been on speaking in online meetings and video conferences, including the #1 and #2 spots. Not such a surprise, of course.
Here are the readers' favorites—your favorites—from the 52 blogs I published in The Singular Year of 2020.
My Most Popular Public Speaking Blogs of 2020
#10 Can You Read a Speech and Still Be an Effective Speaker? (January 26)
Notes, a manuscript, and PowerPoint slides have no life in them. (Read any speech in a flat monotone and you'll hear the truth of this immediately.) It is your job as speaker to take dry lifeless words and provide blood to pump through their veins. Yours is the task of making a speech come to life! The secret is to grab IDEAS not sentences, then share them with the audience. Read this blog, then try it. This article also includes how to use acting skills to bring any speech to life.
If you're not thinking about how your voice sounds on the phone, you're ignoring one of your best business opportunities. Cell phone calls, conference calls, leaving voicemails: they all help you go beyond data to convey your relationship with customers and how you feel about matters . . . and about them. Here are four ways to improve your phone voice. After all—you don't want to give people the wrong impression about you, your company, or the value of your services.
There's a striking paradox literally staring us in the face these days—remote communication is helping us to be more intimate. Public speaking has always been about speaking to a group while sounding like you're addressing each individual. With virtual meetings, an intimate style of speaking is even more important. Discover the trick of being more conversational online. Allow the emotional connection between you and others to flow.
#7 How to Deliver Bad News Successfully (October 25)
I have some good news for you. There's a way to deliver bad news that doesn't change the information you need to get across, just how successful you are in doing it. You see, it isn't what you say. It's how you say it. For instance, here's an actor's device for deemphasizing bad news by "throwing it away" vocally. This solution even helps when you're dealing with difficult people in meetings!
#6 Becoming More Personable in Virtual Meetings (August 30)
Speaking of meetings . . . here's how to become more personable and likable in those ever-present Zoom meetings. (And here are my essential speaking tips for video conferences.) This blog is all about how to be at your best in the virtual environment. It includes advice about how to "warm up" to a webcam. If you want to know how to be a top performer in the video world, this is the blog for you.
Are you a speed speaker? And do you have the voice of authority . . . or are you lacking in gravitas? Your vocal style affects everything from your credibility and authority, to your persuasiveness and likability. Here are two essential ways to achieve vocal authority, in person or online. Don't risk losing sales and vital relationships because people are turning off to your voice!
#4 Too Emotional? How to Handle Yourself in an Argument (December 20)
Whether it's due to Covid-19 mask requirements and lockdowns, or the 2020 election, it seems that people are really interested in knowing how to handle themselves in an argument. Just published last week, this article already places in my Top 4 blogs for the entire year. There's no doubt that emotions are both powerful tools of argumentation . . . and risky territory. Here, I share how to succeed with both strategy and tactics in an argument while maintaining emotional control. Doing so may not change your opponent's point of view. But it will absolutely make you appear more thoughtful and in charge.
#3 Becoming a Strong Speaker in the Minds of Your Audience (February 9)
Do you have stage presence when it comes to public speaking? Here's how to speak with power and influence to any audience. When it comes to soaring to the heights of great speaking, you need your feet on the ground—literally. (Get my Free ebook, High-Impact Speaking: The Leader's Guide to Presenting With Integrity and Influence.) You might also be interested in the essential body language skill I discuss in this article.
#2 How to Be a Star in Your Next Video Conference (June 21)
This spring, and again this fall and winter, the world has been temporarily closed. But not, thank goodness, virtual meetings and conferences, where we've been able to carry on business. Fortunately, speech coaching and training is able to thrive in the virtual environment. In this blog, I discuss four actor-based techniques to help you excel in your next video conference. Learn 'em and be a star when the virtual curtain goes up!
And this year's winner in terms of the blog you thought most worth reading . . .
When you're conducting business online, you'd better know what works best in terms of dynamic presentation skills. After all, you're challenged every day now to speak to an unblinking camera. This article discusses how to be more personable and conversational online—two key skills you need when presenting virtually. Discover how to come across more naturally and with greater impact when a webcam becomes your best friend!
Here's hoping for a better year ahead . . . especially when it comes to public speaking. God's blessing and felicity to you in 2021!
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Gary Genard is an actor, author, and expert in public speaking training and overcoming speaking fear. His company, Boston-based The Genard Method offers live 1:1 Zoom executive coaching worldwide. In 2020 for the seventh consecutive year, Gary has been ranked by Global Gurus as One of The World's Top 30 Communication Professionals. He is the author of How to Give a Speech. His second book, Fearless Speaking, was recently named as "One of the 100 Best Confidence Books of All Time." Contact Gary here.