From a space visionary to your organization, this has been a year of great speaking. Here are readers' favorites: the top 10 Speak for Success! blogs of 2017.
It's been quite a year, hasn't it? With political bombast, tweet-storms, and vitriol from all sides clouding the message landscape, it's a wonder we've been able to hear anything at all.
Yet 2017 was a year in which pitches, meetings, keynotes, panel discussions, telepresence, and media appearances continued their job of creating influence with others. We're still speaking and saying important things. And the people we need to reach are listening.
Whatever venue you speak at, one fact is as true now as it's ever been: if you want your message to resonate, you have to craft an effective presentation. You need to grab listeners' attention from your engaging opening to a memorable conclusion. So how do you combine great content with outstanding delivery skills? Download my free presenter's guide, "7 Key Components of Successful Presentations" to find out!
My Most Popular Public Speaking Blogs of 2017
How successful have your talks, lectures, speeches and presentations been over the past year? Or, to ask a much more important question: are the people you spoke to better in some way because of your efforts? As always, forgetting about yourself in your desire to serve others is what makes you the speaker you wish to become.
Every year at this time, I share with readers my most frequently viewed blogs. By that measure, the articles below are the ones people found most helpful. If you haven't yet read any of these pieces, I hope you'll find something useful in the recaps below. I've provided links so you can easily find the blogs themselves.
So, here are my Top 10 Speak for Success! blogs of 2017. I'll start with the 10th most popular blog, and move up to this year's winner.
#10 Richard Branson on Public Speaking: The Secret You Need to Know (July 9)
What's his secret? It's speaking from the heart. Because Sir Richard is nervous about speaking in public, he prefers to simply share his ideas conversationally without much preparation. That's where I differ with him, though. Public speaking is a strategic activity—so here's how to find your wings with well-planned and formulated remarks.
#9 The Voice of Authority: How to Sound Like a Leader (January 22)
To lead others, you need to give the impression that you mean business. And that requires literally getting the sound of leadership into your voice. There's absolutely no doubt that your voice impacts how people perceive and think of you. In this blog, I offer three ways you can attain the voice of authority for professional success.
#8 How to Be a High-Energy Speaker with Great Stage Presence (March 5)
To be a great speaker, you need to generate some high-energy stage presence. That's not surprising, since public speaking is literally an exchange of energy between the speaker and his or her audience. This blog features 12 ways to be a high-energy public speaker. Discover how to take charge when the stage is yours to command!
#7 5 New Habits to Be a More Successful Speaker in 2017 (January 1)
Got your 2018 New Year's resolutions in place? Is improved public speaking skills among them? As always, your ability to speak with impact will be a key factor in whether you're the speaker audiences remember throughout the year. To break out of the pack, develop these 5 habits for more powerful and persuasive public speaking.
#6 Body Language and Power: How to Command the Stage (May 14)
If you want to go beyond body language to gain true presence as a speaker, you need to venture into space. I don't mean the space of planets, galaxies, and Hollywood aliens, but the place you occupy when you give a speech. Learn these actors' secrets of commanding a stage. These are tips on powerful physical expressiveness that will help you own the room, and make you a star every time the curtain rises.
#5 How to Introduce Yourself in a Professional Situation (October 29)
You know this moment in meetings that devours time and light like a black hole:
"Before we get started, let's go around the table and have everyone introduce themselves."
Uh-oh. Can anything turn a poised professional into a quivering slab of jelly more quickly than a roundtable where that suggestion is made? If introducing yourself in a professional setting makes you anxious, here are four ways to remain calm, focused, and on top of your game. They're easy, practical, and surprisingly effective in helping you survive The Introduction Gambit.
#4 Four Easy Ways to Be a More Exciting Speaker with Charisma (May 7)
Think charisma is a mysterious quality you just don't own? Learn these four simple approaches for more remarkable and exciting speaking. Memorable speakers go far beyond informing or even persuading audiences. My tips focus on forgetting about yourself and connecting with audiences. Meet listeners' needs and secure their full engagement, and you'll gain a high level of believability, trust, and authenticity. In a word: charisma.
#3 How to Make Your PowerPoint Presentations More . . . Well, Powerful (July 2)
Face it: you're competing with some powerful technology in many of your presentations. PowerPoint is a tool virtually guaranteed to reduce your influence with audiences, because its visual nature seduces attention away from you. In this blog I ask the question: Are you a slave to PowerPoint—or its master? If it's the former, you'll benefit from these must-know techniques for my system of 'Performing PowerPoint'.
#2 Gestures — How to Look Good and Feel Strong as a Speaker (January 29)
Do your gestures support your message or call attention to themselves? It's no surprise that my second-most popular blog of the year concerned the ever-present question, "What should I do with my hands?" In this piece, I offer four bedrock principles for gesturing while you speak. Practice them, and you'll come across as a comfortable and natural presenter—as indeed you will be.
#1 How to Speak as a Leader: The Power of Performance (March 26)
When you go beyond the need to deliver information and aim instead to change people's lives, you're speaking for leadership. And not surprisingly, that comes down to effective performance. After all, in the drama observed by stakeholders in your industry, you have the starring role. This blog, the most popular of Speak for Success! in 2017, offers four action-oriented ways to raise the bar on communicating for leadership. If it suggests that your best guide to demonstrating power in the public arena is to take a page from the actor’s art . . . well, can you blame me?
Here's to great performances in 2018! Please subscribe to my blog if you want to develop your natural talents as a speaker. And feel free to spread the word. Be sure to watch this space for more tips, tools, and techniques you can use to inspire audiences while moving them to action!
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