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Stories Connect

Training - Steve Adams
Published by in Public Speaking ·
Tags: Stories
"The audience won’t remember much about what you said, but they'll remember how you made them feel"
This is such a true quote, and a great maxim to apply to speaking. Using personal stories is a great way to make a real connection with your audiences. People will have had similar experiences, and as they connect with those experiences they will generate emotions, and strong feelings based around your story. The key is to make the story connect directly to your message. The technique is the same as story writers use to create films/books. There's a good guy, a bad guy, a hero, tragedy, redemption etc., and these scenarios can all be applied to your speaking sessions. Using metaphors is also a great way to connect, and to help audiences understand what might be a complex topic. Giving them a "real life example" of the "thing" in action is much more powerful than saying "This thing is great and you should all get one". A great way to introduce a story/metaphor is simply to say "Let me give you an example of that"....

Don't Go Over Time

Training - Steve Adams
Published by in Public Speaking ·
Tags: TimeSpeakingpresenting
NEVER go over your allotted time. It seems to be the one thing that will leave an audience with a negative feedback bias if you over run. Consider yourself as an audience member. You have turned up, with a view to being fully engaged with the presentation, but you have an important meeting to attend 15 minutes after the presentation ends. The closer the speaker gets to the finish line, the more anxiety builds. The threshold is when the speaker runs over time, even by a minute, as this is now having an impact on the your planned schedule. At this point, you will be more focussed on "Am I going to be late for my meeting?" than listening to the speakers final words.
It's better to finish at least a minute early, and remember, question time should be inside your presentation time, not added on.

Take your time!

Training - Steve Adams
Published by in Public Speaking ·
Tags: Pausingspeakingpresentations

One of the most common traits of nervous presenters is the speed at which they manage to deliver their words! It's like the formula 1 of the communications world, where every word, sentence and paragraph has to be delivers as quickly as possible. The reason is, the end game is to get it over with. Be done and be able to go back to doing the everyday things.
Unfortunately, it does the speaker a huge disservice. Audiences need time to process and think about what you are saying, and maybe think about questions they have, or how what you're saying matches their idea, or conflicts with their ideas. Giving them time to process the information is vital. You can achieve this if you:
Speak more slowly than you would normally. To practice, create your 2 minute introduction, grab your video camera/phone, and record the first run at normal speaking pace. Now, record it whilst counting 1 elephant 2 elephant between each word. This will be a challenge! What you will discover is that somewhere between these 2 methods is your ideal speaking speed.
So now, add 1 elephant, 2 elephant, 3 elephant, 4 elephant at the end of each sentence/paragraph. Repeat and video. Review and feedback.

Use Video!

Training - Steve Adams
Published by in Public Speaking ·
Tags: Publicspeakingvideo
It's a well-known fact that most people hate seeing themselves on camera, whether it's a still or a video. As a speaker/presenter it's absolutely essential to become comfortable with how you look and sound on camera. Your voice will never sound like it's you. This is because we hear ourselves differently to those externally, which means we will always sound different when we hear our recorded voice.
Most people now have a video capable smartphone, with good to excellent image quality. Use the video to record yourself delivering your talk. Once you have recorded the first "take", then review the video and give yourself feedback on what you could do differently the next time.
Because it's a live video, and you are delivering the feedback to yourself, it's way more effective than having a coach or trainer give feedback. A coach or trainers feedback will always be subjective, and based their map of the world, not yours. As a challenge, prepare a short presentation, about 2 minutes, (an introduction to yourself is always useful), then record it, review and feedback. Repeat 10 times. Finally, watch the 10th "take", then rewatch the 1st "Take" and notice the difference. This is a great way to really improve your presenting skills.

View the room!

Training - Steve Adams
Published by in Public Speaking ·
Tags: SpeakingVenues
It's always a great idea to visit the room where you will be presenting before the event. Sometimes not possible, but worth a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the venue. There may be visual obstructions, such as pillars, which would require you to speak from off centre, or noisy air con units, a busy bar next door. These are all factors that can be dealt with prior to the event, and will make speaking a much less stressful process.
A really important point is: NEVER TRUST TECH!
Venues will tell you how they are well equipped with projectors, microphones, P.A. systems etc., but often when you check them out, they either don't work, or are so old as not to be useful. If you are planning delivering a lot of presentations, then at the very least purchase a good quality radio mic system if you plan to deliver to audiences of more than 50.

Make it Difficult

Training - Steve Adams
Published by in Public Speaking ·
Tags: #Presentations
Distraction can be dealt with!
Once you have learned your presentation off by heart, with plenty of practice, try delivering your presentation with a radio and tv switched on at high volume, or whilst carrying out a physical task. The more distracting the better.
Anything you can do to make the delivery a little more challenging. This will result in the presentation delivery on the day being much smoother, and it also takes away the "fear" element of something not being as it should, such as environmental noises, or other groups in the same room.

NLP & Science

Training - Steve Adams
Published by in NLP ·
Tags: NLPScienceMasterPractitioner
NLP has been with us since around 1975, and still has it's skeptics. I  spoke to someone yesterday who said "There's absolutely no science  behind NLP". I didn't continue the conversation, as the outcome would  have not been worth the effort, and i'll likely not see that person  again any time soon. It always amazes me though, how people can dismiss  something based on lack of scientific evidence, but won't pay any  attention to anyone who has had great results through using NLP. I've  seen/facilitated hundreds of life changing breakthroughs on Master  Practitioner courses, and I couldn't honestly attribute any of them to  science.

Stage Vs Clinical Hypnosis

Training - Steve Adams
Published by in Hypnosis ·
Tags: stagehypnosisClinicalhypnosis
I've seen a number of FB discussions as to the benefits of using Stage hypnosis techniques in a hypnotherapy session.
Personally,  I think that stage hypnotists have a distinct advantage over pure  "clinical" hypnotherapists. I believe that there range of skills,  ability to manage trance states, react and respond to feedback is  developed to a much greater sense. There are 3 distinct areas to  consider:
1. The outcome. This is a really easy one to address. Stage = entertainment, clinical = therapeutic intervention.
2.  The ability of the practitioner. Again, stage hypnotists have to be  skilled to a high level, as initially they're dealing with possibly 20  people at once, and thinning them out to around 8-10. A clinical  hypnotherapist only has to deal with the person in front of them.
3.  The ethical and moral stance of the practitioner (Both stage and  Clinical). I personally have refused to work with clients who I feel  would benefit more from professionally qualified medical help. I know my  own limits, and stick to them. I trust my unconscious to tell me if I  can work with someone.

Some of you will disagree with me, (I hope so!). This is just my opinion and in no way meant to be factual.

Public Speaking

Training - Steve Adams
Published by in Public Speaking ·
Tags: PresentationSkillsPublicspeaking
So, here's a perfect example of the  synthesis of public speaking and NLP. I recently delivered a 2 day  presentation sills course to a group of 5 employees at a local company.  Skill sets ranged from already comfortable to pure terror!
The  student who told me at the start of the course "Whenever I have to stand  up and speak in front of people I panic. My palms go clammy, I get  bright red patches, my breathing rate increases. It's like a full blown  panic attack". (Not the exact words, but you get the idea!).
I  then delivered the section on the NLP communications model, about how  we process information, and how our behaviours are influenced by our  past experiences, memories, values and beliefs etc.
I then  used a very simple version of perceptual positions with the scared  student. I allowed her to experience what it would be like to be  confident, control her breathing, feel comfortable, etc. To be honest, I  was unsure how much of an effect the exercise would have. I knew it  would help, but no to what extent.
To cut a long blog post  very short, when she stood up and delivered her final presentation at  the end of day 2, not only did she appear 100% confident, she had none  of the symptoms she described to the group on day 1, and managed to sing  a few verses of a song she had learned as part of being a drama  student.
The group were so shocked, that it became quite an emotional event, and definitely a great result all round.

Rapid or not?

Training - Steve Adams
Published by in Hypnosis ·
Tags: Rapidinstantinductions
I'm delivering a 4 day intensive hypnosis training course in London  between May 11th to 14th. It's been running for about 2 years as a 4 day  course. What I've discovered is that what makes the course a success is  the balance between using/knowing/practising a wide range of inductions,  both progressive and rapid. I've made a few enquiries of other training  providers, who i'm not going to name, and 95% of them don't or wont  teach rapid inductions as they say they're not suitable in a therapeutic  setting. Why not?  I teach that if a particular method works for the client, then that's fine. And the more tools and techniques you have at  your disposal means you can continuously adapt to the needs of your  client, doesn't it?

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