WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2016-2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/745407

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Page 25 of 211

24 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 6 / 2 0 1 7 M E D I A B A K E R Y SOURCES: n SUZANNE BATES, CEO Bates Communications, Inc. 800.908.8239 www.bates-communications.com n LAU LAPIDES, PRESIDENT lau lapides company 781.489.5371 www.laulapidescompany.com 10 tips nervous for you and they become disengaged. Instead, just plow through the nerves and focus on what you know and why people should care. And speak slowly and deliberately as if what you're say- ing really matters — because it does. Whether or not you believe it, the nerves will subside. And don't forget to pause every once in a while and take a sip of water (room temperature is best for the vocal chords) to give both you and your audi- ence a chance to regroup. nine Remember it Isn't Bungee Jumping While public speaking may be more frightening to you than launching yourself off a cliff, nothing about it is dangerous. Sure, your pulse quickens and your stomach flutters, but it's unlikely you'll break a bone or get rushed to the ER. All the danger is emotional— so remind yourself at all times that you're in safe hands . And you'll feel an incredible sense of accomplishment when it's all over. ten Know Your Audience Wants You to Succeed Unless you're a trial lawyer trying to get a criminal off or a politician in a heated debate, chances are, your audience is going to be rooting for you. They want to hear what you have to say. They want you to say it clearly. And they don't want to worry about you keeling over. So let their positive energy fuel your success. Still, if all these tips fail, grit your teeth and remember not only will it be over soon, it will be easier next time. so in public speaking. Take the time to rehearse, warm up your voice, and train yourself the way a top athlete would. You cannot just wing it. The good news is, the more you speak, the easier it gets. Still, you'll want to run through your talk at least several times, even ten, to ensure that you can internalize it. But not necessarily memorize it. Rote memorization can trip you up if you miss a word — but if you inter- nalize your talk, it becomes part of you. If possible, step on that stage or in front of that room beforehand to get a sense of what it feels like to be in the spot- light. The more familiar you are, the easier it will be. five Pick Something or Someone to Focus On You'll want to look up at your audience instead of down at your notes when you present, so try pick- ing a few things at the back of the room—a clock, a door—to force you to keep your head up. Ideally, you'll want to find a few friendly faces who can give you a head nod or a smile to provide the encour- agement you need to be brave. Your goal is to make a connection with your audience so that it feels more like you're having a conversation, not giving a lecture. And remember, your presentation is not about you, it's about leaving your audience with something they can benefit from. six Try Index Cards When your paper notes are rattling in your hands, everyone knows you're nervous, which only makes things worse. But index cards can help you remem- ber your key points without fluttering. Try keeping them in your pocket or leaving them on a table just in case you want to refer to them. And unless you physically need the podium to hold yourself up (or if you're in a more formal setting) try walking around the stage or the room to make for a more engaging presentation. seven Tap Into the Experts Because the fear of public speaking is so perva- sive, there are many resources to help. Dale Carnegie and Toastmasters have step-by-step lessons that can help get you out in front of an audience. Or try local Wellesley experts. Suzanne Bates, founder and CEO of Bates Communications, is the author of How to Speak like a CEO: Secrets for Commanding Attention and Getting Results (McGraw-Hill Education), among other helpful business books. Suzanne and her Bates Communications team offer communicative leadership training and executive coaching to business professionals locally and globally. Lau Lapides, president of lau lapides company, is a coach and trainer who works with professional voice-over talent, actors, and executives to improve their public speaking skills. She teaches acting lessons to business executives to help develop important presentation skills such as creative storytelling, thinking fast on one's feet, and connecting with an audience. eight Never Say You're Nervous When you admit you're terrified, your audience may empathize with you, but it also makes them

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