60 interview tips

Checklist
When we leave our house or while leaving your desk before going home, we tend to wait for one last minute, look back once more. why do we do that? I do it because that’s the last confirmation call I take, to all the details needed are checked before leaving. there are a lot of detailed job tips, interview tips but to take one short look before an interview, we need to make a list of all the details. tried to make it shorter, here are 60 interview tips checklist.

Resume – Its your image in words helping the interviewer in selecting you.
1.keep it clear and truthful
2.Take you seniors, or our experts help in building an impressive resume
3.Don’t be a miser with words in expressing your achievements
4.Always keep few extra copies
5.Make sure they are neat and are not crumpled
6.Don’t forget to submit or upload them on the job sites etc.

Phone call – your voice taking the next step

Before
7.make sure the premises are clear and sound proof (look your room)
8.choose a place with good network connectivity.
9.keep your resume and notepad in hand
10.now calm down and hit the call button

While attending
11.let the interviewer speak completely
12.note all the details like the company name, person’s name and designation, job role and rest other details provided initially while introducing himself.
13.address the interviewer with his last name and with respect
14.be attentive, reply promptly and confidently
15.before cutting the call thank the interviewer formally.

After
16.make a note of the important points of the conversation

Now START Preparing

Research – what shows the interviewer your enthusiasm and interest for the job role.
17.research about the company, its views, goals and achievements
18.keep tab of recent updates about the organization
19.if you can find, look for the interview panel members
20.try to study what the company demands and looking in the candidates for the job role.
21.not to miss do your revision on the subjects required and the new development in you domine, not necessary you should learn them but its always good to know the updates.

On the i-day – Interview day

Interview Attire
22.interviews are formal affairs, so keep your attire formal
23.shades and neutrals are vice choice in colours
24.suits, and formal shirt and trouser with a neck tie if needed is smart
25.don’t forget to press them properly, its tidy and no stains or smears
26.interviews are a place to make a mark but don’t misunderstand it to make a fashion statement
27.skin show is a big no for both men and women remember interviewer is looking at brains for more information look into interview attire tips and related articles

Documents Check
28.check for all your certificates arrange them in order and properly
29.keep your portfolio or research documents intact.
30.If carrying laptop or other devices check for the accessibility, battery and place on the screen where you can find easily.(at this point keep your screen neat and clean)

Time
31.being late and stupid traffic reasons are not acceptable in interviews
32.take down the interview location properly, if you don’t know the place check on it the earlier day.
33.even while replying at the interview, there is no need to reply like a bullet fired but don’t take too long either.

Communication Skills
34.keep check on the negative terms like, i don’t, i haven’t, i won’t
35.try to get rid of MTI (mother tongue influence) something like “ok no”
36.try to fill the gaps in your conversation with “uhs and ok” but don’t let the conversation sound only of “uhs and oks”.

Preparation
37.brush your subject along with the basics.
38.revise your projects submitted in your resume, coz that’s where interviewer will probe with question to know more.
39.keep yourself updated with your expertise subject areas developments and others related around.
40.keep updates of the general day to day subjects also updated, it shows your attentiveness to the world around.

Etiquette-before entering the interview room, these are few things to keep in mind
41.keep your nervousness on hold (breath in breath out)
42.walk in confidently
43.great every interviewer properly
44.give a firm handshake
45.don’t slouch, sit straight or lean little front while answering showing your attentiveness.
46.keep an eye to eye contact
47.remember to have a warm smile while doing all there

Answering-your reply is one of the factor that sets you apart from rest of the candidate
48.no need to run the minute bullet is fired, take few seconds before replying
49.reply smartly, there might be tricky questions to confuse you.
50.be discreet while answering
51.don’t badmouth your previous employer.

Interview Types
52.Understand the interview, what type of interview you are attending.
53.one to one interview where you need to converse and impress one person
54.behavioral interviews will ask you to explain a situation and how you reacted to it rather than how would you react to it.
55.Group interviews, either the candidates are in a group or the interview panel will be in a group in any of the scenarios you need to stand out
56.Lunch interviews can be considered as informal interviews but the assessment will be as formal interviews. so, be prepared as if going for an office interview only at the same time be a little bit relaxed also.

Ending – Starting is always important, at the same time ending is also
57.Interviews are not only for the interviewer to ask, its for you to also get the information on your queries
58.queries show your interest and enthusiasm
59.thank your interviewer warmly for the time given and taken
60.send a thank you note mentioning to know the details for further rounds or the confirmation in the next procedures.

Interview Preparation Tips

In the present day, one needs to earn his living and jobs are one of the major sources for secured earning. So, better grab your opportunity at the campus interviews or fight yourself for the opening available after college. Out the competition is much bigger, without proper interview preparation you will be left with very few options to fit in.

Interview Preparation Tips

Be clear about your aims, goals, and most importantly yourself.

Research the market on the current trends and upcoming trends (next five years on jobs).

If you are learning extra courses to add on, learn something in the direction where you want to go. Don’t nail the entire wall thinking it will get stuck somewhere or the other. That’s aimless and childish. Keep it clear and make sure to hit at one precise point (this shows your commitment, passion and dedication).

Work on your RESUME. This needs your detailed attention keep your resume truthful coz this marks your first chance for interview. Don’t add resume with what you are not (especially freshers). If not a better liar your chances are drowned.

Communication skills, keep your response crisp and clear. Don’t stammer.

Work on your attire, make it sophisticated, appt for the company and of course it should be comfortable for you.

Take your time on

Study about the company its aims goals, achievements, assets and future plans, current projects, successful projects and upcoming projects.

Prepare general answers for the basic questions.

Practice mock interviews in front of mirror or friends etc….

Keep your documents check on what to bring for the interview and arrangement. Carry extra copies of your resume (panel might be more than one member).

Be confident, work on your nervousness, keep calm and answer smartly.

Keep smile on your face and work on your body language.

Most importantly be on time, if possible 10 minutes earlier.

After the interview make a professional exit. Don’t show or act abrupt out of rejection. There are still other companies for you.

The Science Of Selecting “The Right People”

The Mind-Set of Individuals conducting “Interviews” varies from situation to situation and hence the pattern invariably goes through highs and lows. As a result, the statement:

Good Candidate or Bad Candidate !

It has been taken for granted the process of conducting interviews is easy and one should complete the exercise in the shortest possible time. Thereafter, the onus shifts to HR to complete the joining formalities to get the new hire on board quickly.

“If we didn’t spend four hours on placing a man and placing him right, we would spend four hundred hours on cleaning up after our mistake.”

In picking people, we can use “Five Simple Decision Steps” in ensuring we are selecting the right people:

  • Assignment
  • The Fit
  • Performance Records
  • Informal Discussions
  • Appointee Understanding of the Assignment.


It is said: Don’t hire a person for what they can’t do; hire them for what they can do. Unfortunately, the tone of most interviews is to establish the weaknesses of candidates. This becomes a cardinal mistake as we eventually should hire people for their strengths. What are the scientific questions to determine the true strengths of a candidate? It is possible to categorize questions to determine qualities like Accountable, Attitude, Collaboration, and Motives.

“In looking for people to hire, you look for 3 qualities: Integrity, Intelligence, and Energy. And, if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” – Warren Buffet

Most interviewers can easily determine the intelligence and energy of a candidate. How many can establish the integrity in an objective manner? At the same time, when it comes down to two equally strong candidates, what are the grounds on which you will make the final choice? Using the help of advanced ‘Psychometric’ Tests; it is possible to use ‘science in selecting the right people.’ The more objective the process, the probability of making the right choice becomes very high.

“Make decisions on people: Selection, placement, and evaluation – your top priority.” – Peter Drucker


And, it starts with Selection. If you get the first step wrong, the next 2 are meaningless

The Hidden Factor (Attitude!)

Many times, we easily comment on the behavior of others. Most of the relationships we break are because we get upset with the behavior of others. We are also most easily hurt when others comment on our behavior.

What is this mesmerizing thing about behavior,which,seems to be the deciding factor in our life…on the surface…it is visible …but it seems to come from inside us.

ATTITUDE!


Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it-Lou Holtz

You might be very competent in your area of work and also clear on the reasons for doing something. But, if your attitude is wrong, all the ability in the world and motivation is not going to take you anywhere in your life.

In order to change your Attitude, what is the hidden source inside, you need to tackle? Or before, you attempt the same, is there a check to determine, what is your Attitude? The following test will determine your attitude:

If you are feeling glad, your Attitude is Positive.
If you are feeling
sad, mad, or scared, your Attitude is Negative.
If the feelings are the driving force behind your attitude, it is important to work on the causes behind our feelings. Our feelings are a result of our thinking. Hence, it is important to work on our thinking.

Unfortunately, the world is very negative. So, we are left with two choices:

Change the Negative World.
Change our Thinking.
You can decide which is easier….!!! Now, the negativity surrounding us does not allow us to switch on our mind and say: Let us do some positive thinking! Under such circumstances, what is our hope?

Using simple techniques, one can bring a sea change in our attitude. Are you ready to learn how to go about changing your attitude?

We have a right to choose our attitude. – Viktor Frankl

Not Good, But GREAT Manager

Every Employee waits for his opportunity to become a Manager. Some employees will do anything to get the title of a Manager. Some employees even change companies to get the designation of a Manager. If becoming a Manager is everyone’s priority, why are we producing only

Good Managers, not GREAT Managers?


A manager is not a person who can do the work better than his men; he is a person who can get his men to do the work better than he can. – Frederick W Smith

Reaching a Managerial position is a relatively easy task but what exactly needs to be done in a Managerial Role is totally a different ball game. The typical Manager is caught between trying to satisfy the expectations of the seniors who have given him the new responsibility and trying to manage below the team for delivering results and also meeting their expectations.

It is tough balance. Very few managers are successful in juggling both the balls in their hands! How can one strike the right balance between seniors and juniors to become a GREAT Manager?

Trying to do too much can destroy the most capable individual. One of the biggest mistakes made by managers is too attempt everything and as a result achieve nothing. Doing too little will not satisfy anyone.

There is an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job. – Peter F. Drucker

In order to avoid getting into the trap of being just a good manager, a manager needs to be clear on the “CORE FOUR” Functions of running the business. What are the clear “Do’s and Don’ts” to become a GREAT Manager? Finally, what are the “5” Share Areas to becoming a successful and effective manager?

Remember: Good Managers confuse activity with performance.
GREAT Managers distinguish between activity and performance.

Leadership By Choice, Not Chance

One of the most commonly held Management Fallacies: You need to be an Executive Director, CEO, COO, CFO, Vice President, Manager to be a Leader.

WRONG!!!


It is totally, the other way round: To be a successful and great Executive Director, CEO, COO, CFO, Vice President, Manager, or Supervisor – YOU NEED TO BE A LEADER FIRST and the rest will fall in place. Designations do not make Leaders. In other words, a Manager may not be a Leader but, a Leader can be anything – Manager, Supervisor, or Officer.

In order to get to the bottom of Leadership, it is imperative to understand the difference between Leadership and Management. The areas of differentiation will throw light on the importance of both Leadership and Management. To make “Leadership A Choice” does not mean, we need to abandon the virtues of Management. In a simple analogy, “why and what” decisions need Leadership Skills and “how and when” require the attention of Management.

To make the understanding of the concept of Leadership easier, it is important to relate to examples at the Personal / Social Level. After experiencing the journey at the Personal / Social Level, it is now easy to translate the understanding to Corporate Level. For any Leader to pass the “Test”, there are two simple but forceful questions to be answered. Do you know them? In one minute, you can judge, whether a person possesses Leadership Substance or not? Once the first test is passed, then, it requires additional probing to establish True Leaders.

What is the changeless core essential for any Leader? If this core is applied by human beings to all types of materialistic things, we need to place the same emphasis on the Leader in Public or Personal Role. From this core, one can easily manifest the Essentials of Leadership. It is important to understand the “4 Es ” of Leadership – Live By Example, Let Us Envision, Light The Energy, and Lead In Execution.

If you want to leave a mark in your life, personal or professional, it is imperative you make “leadership” become a central part of your day to day living.

So, you have a Choice to make Leadership happen to you and not let some Chance Event lead you to it!!!

Using Appropriate Words in a Speech

The selection of perfect words can be a challenge for some people. They get confused in the selection of different words during their speech. That is one of the reasons why they feel hesitant to speak in public. However, as a speaker, debater or a presenter, words play an important role in your overall speech.

They also act as tools for your impression while delivering a speech. If you are great at combining words together at the right spot, you for sure can achieve what is required in a best speech. It is not at all a big positive mark to avoid learning how to combine different words together. If you are good at combination of words, you could be more effective by learning them even in a more refined form. You need to learn some of the basics for how to use appropriate words in your speech.

Less Is More

If you want to remember your speech, you might go for having short sentences in your speech. Avoid long combinations of words that are separated by sentence connectors. Examples of sentence connectors include “and”, “so”, “actually”, “but”, “however”, etc. Such sentences are just too long to remember in their right order. You should know that long sentences just lose your audience’s attention towards your speech. Also, if you use long sentences, your audience gets confused whether to focus on the first part of your sentence or on the last part. Making use of short sentences in your speech helps you to interact with your audience easily. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you use short sentences to make your speech effective.

Avoid Jargon

Another important point to focus at is to avoid the usage of terminologies, slang, abbreviations and jargon in your speech. However, if it is absolutely necessary to include jargon, do explain a little bit about the meaning of the word in order for your audience to follow your speech.

However, if you are addressing a specific group of people who are familiar with the jargon you plan to use, then it’s perfectly okay to use it. For example, if you are explaining a medical concept to doctors, you will be expected to use technical terms related to the medical profession.

Avoid Pause Fillers

More often, speech deliverers have the tendency of adding casual words like “umfh”, “aah” and “aee”. These words are distracting towards the audience. Usually, these words indicate that the speech deliverer is either confused or is not feeling comfortable enough to deliver the speech. You need to try to exclude these words as much as you can in order to prevent your audience from losing attention. A simple way to eliminate these pause fillers is to speak slowly. The mouth has the tendency to speak faster than the brain can think. When this happens, the brain suddenly goes blank…and guess what…in come the speech crutches such as “ah”, “um”, “er”, etc.

Avoid Foul Language

Some speech deliverers think that the usage of foul words is supposedly “cool”. Trust me, the usage of such language only goes to show that the speaker has got bad upbringing. A well-schooled speaker will have an arsenal of refined vocabulary up his sleeve which can be utilized to convey any message effectively.

Your choice of words should ideally be generic in nature. This means that you should be able to deliver the same speech in front of your family, bosses, customers or friends without feeling embarrassed about your choice of words.

Usage of Homonyms

Homonyms are words that share the same pronunciation but may have different meanings. An example of homonyms are stalk (part of a plant) and stalk (follow/harass a person) and left (past tense of leave) and left (opposite of right).

If you have an accent which is deemed foreign to your audience, it is best to avoid homonyms as you will most likely confuse your audience with your pronunciation. If you really have got no choice but to use a homonym, make your message clear by using hand gestures or body movement to emphasize your words.

If you will follow these basic rules in your speech, you would definitely excel in your communication skills. All the best to you in your next presentation. I wish you well.

Four Different Ways to Reach Your Audience

There are four different ways in which your audience will assimilate information. They are: visual, auditory, auditory digital, and kinaesthetic. While your listeners will process information using all four of these approaches at different times, each person will tend to depend on one of these approaches more than the other three.

Therefore, if you want to reach into the heart and souls of everyone in the room, you will need to employ all four approaches.

Visual

Do you like to present with props, flip charts, PowerPoint or video clips? If you do, you are probably a visual presenter yourself.

Such people memorize and learn by seeing pictures and are less distracted by noise as compared to others. They will quickly lose concentration by long, verbal presentations as their minds begin to wander. They are fascinated in how your presentation appears. They like it when you use picture painting phrases like “see the blue sky, look across the room, envision standing on top of a hill, imagine driving a Ferrari, etc.” in your presentation as these words encourage them to make pictures in their minds.

Therefore, in order to reach out to these people, you will need to employ a lot of vivid imagery in your sentences.

Auditory

When I attend seminars, I hate to take notes. If I do take notes, I will most likely not refer to them anyway. I like to listen to the speaker. Guess which category do I fall into? You guessed right. I am an auditory person.

People like me are easily distracted by any noises occurring during the presentation. These audience members learn by listening. Your vocal tonality and vocal quality will be very important with these people. Phrases that resonate well with people in this class include “hear me, listen to him, the sound of rain, I could resonate with her ideas, etc.”

As such, in order to connect with such an audience, you will need to vary your speech according to the pitch, tone, volume and rate.

Auditory Digital

This kettle of fish spend a good amount of time in their heads talking to themselves. They memorize and learn by steps, processes, and structures.

They want to see a proper or logical flow in your presentation. Your presentation has to make “sense” to their sense 🙂 Words that will make “sense” to these group include “sense, experience, understand, think, motivate, and decide.”

It would be helpful to use Gantt Charts, Excel Spreadsheets or PowerPoint slides to help your audience along under such circumstances.

Kinaesthetic

These are the “feeling” guys. They often speak very slowly in order to feel their own words.

They learn by keenly doing something and deriving the actual feeling of it. They are attracted towards a presentation that “feels right” or gives them a “gut feeling.” Phrases that are effective with such listeners include “I felt happy, she touched my heart, I grasped his hand, they were elated, etc.”

When telling a sad story or speaking in a loving manner to your loved ones, it is a good idea to go into the kinaesthetic mode in order to “touch” the soul of your audience.

Now that you have gained a deeper insight into the visual, auditory, auditory digital and kinaesthetic audience, you will know exactly how to effectively deliver your message across to them.

All the best to you in your next presentation

Breaking Old Patterns & Building New Confidence

From time to time we need to build our confidence and self-esteem to a higher level. How we feel about ourselves internally plays a big role in portraying that confident image externally.

All of us have got unique talents and gifts. Henry Ford, the inventor of cars put it this way:

“All Ford cars are exactly alike, but no two individuals are just alike. All new life is a new thing under the sun; there was never anything similar to it before and there never will be again. Young people ought to grasp that concept about themselves; they should look for the single spark of individuality that makes them dissimilar from other people, and develop that for all he or she is worth. Society and schools may try to remove it from them. Society and schools will try to put everyone in the same mould, but I say don’t lose that spark; it is the individual’s only real claim to importance.”

As such, it is important to acknowledge our unique skills and talents. Acknowledging them will help us think like a winner. Here is an easy way you can train yourself to break your old patterns and build new confidence.

Create a ‘to do’ list.


Now, this isn’t an ordinary “to do” list. This is a simplistically stupid “to do” list. The purpose of this list is to get you out of your rut and move your forward towards becoming a winner.

So let’s look at this simplistically stupid “to do” list. Note that the words in bold is a compulsory action. It is compulsory because I know you’ll never normally do this. Doing something abnormal will help you break your pre-set patterns. Therefore, have faith and just do it.

  1. Roll out of bed.
  2. Check your emails, Whatsapp and SMS messages.
  3. Bathe.
  4. Brush your teeth.
  5. Shave. Yes, find something to shave and shave it.
  6. Eat something.
  7. Eat something else.
  8. Run to your car or to another room.
  9. Laugh.
  10. Deliver an inspirational speech.

Are you feeling weird? If you are, very good. The weird feeling occurs because you are about to step out of your comfort zone. These activities will help you break your regular thought patterns. This is a type of self-conditioning list. When you see all those check marks crossed off your list you will feel like you had a productive day. You will see yourself moving forward but in a different direction. You’ll acquire confidence in your abilities to achieve your desires. Trust yourself, you will begin to see yourself as a winner.

As ridiculous as this pattern breaking cum confidence building list making may seem, be aware that your subconscious mind doesn’t care about what is real or fake. All it will see is a list that has been checked off every day. In a matter of time, you’ll observe yourself feeling more confident. Then you can begin adding real tasks to your list and doing them with the similar ‘feel good’ vibrations you had when you made your simplistically stupid lists.

Don’t add too many, in the beginning. Camouflage the real items you want to achieve with your simplistically stupid ones. The reason you wouldn’t want to make a drastic shift in list writing is that feeling great is a crucial element of building your confidence.

Allow yourself the joy of having fun with life. You’ll feel like a winner!

Bringing Your Presentations To Life

Presentation skills are the tools that enable us to bring a page of written text to spoken life. They are the means by which we animate words, infuse interest and develop rapport with the audience. Master the following 6 presentation techniques and you’ll have your listeners clinging to every word you utter.

Speak To Their Ears

Generally, people are taught to write for the eyes. For example, when writing a book you are writing for the eyes. However, when writing a speech the writing style has to change. Remember, your listeners will receive your words through their ears. As such you should continually ask yourself, “how will this sound to my listeners?”

Specifically speaking, check for:

The usage of technical jargon. Avoid them. Technical jargon is best avoided when speaking to a general crowd consisting of people from different walks of life. When your audience does not understand a particular jargon, they will dwell on that word for a few seconds trying to understand its meaning. As such, you would have “lost” your audience for a few seconds.

If you “lose” your audience once too often, your speech would be deemed ineffective. On the flip side, when speaking to people of a specific industry, the usage of technical jargon is important to help them understand your subject matter better. It also helps to impress them with your knowledge on the subject.

Long sentences. Long sentences is another killer. As you keep joining your sentences with conjunctions such as “and”, “or”, “so”, “however”, “but”, etc, the sentence loses its power. By the time your audience grasp the last part of your sentence, they would have forgotten the first part. Therefore, KISS (keep it short & simple). In the case of a book, you can afford to have some long sentences because your readers can always re-read your sentences a few times if they don’t understand it. However, in a speech, they only have one chance to understand your sentence. You are not going to repeat your sentences over & over again, are you?

Be specific. “Next Monday” is better than “soon”. “Flowing white beard” is better than “old man.” Specific words have the power to paint a vivid image in the minds of your audience. The clearer the image, the longer your audience will remember your speech. The longer your audience remember it, the more impactful it will be to them.

Use Conversational Language

A dead giveaway of a speaker who lacks confidence is someone who depends heavily on their prepared text. Strive to speak directly to your audience. Trying to memorize your speech word for word based on your prepared text will make your speech artificial & stilted. Conversational language on the contrary is natural and flowing. By instilling the feeling of a heart-to-heart chat, the conversational style will help to enhance audience rapport.

Conversational language is clearly different from written language. It allows for a sporadic ungrammatical and incorrect use of a word and sentence, as long as the meaning is not confusing and sounds correct. For example, it is perfectly okay to say the grammatically-correct “For whom is it?” if you want to. However, it would easy on the ears of the audience if you say “Who’s it for?”

Make Sense of Everything

A pertinent point to remember about a speech is that written language does not always make the same sense to a listener as spoken language. When we read written text we go at our preferred speed. We can pause, “reverse” or “fast forward” as we like. However, when we are listening, we are dependent on the speaker to interpret the meaning for us. Let’s look at the example below on how to express the same sentence in two different ways.

Written version: “As the rays hit his raised eyebrows, he rose from his seat with a rose in his hand.” In this case, though there are a few homonyms (rays, raised; rose, rose) in the sentence, the reader will be able to figure things out themselves based on the spelling of the words.

Spoken version: “Rays of sunlight hit his eyes. He raised his eyebrows in surprise to see a red rose on his table. He clutched the red flower and rose from his seat.” In this case, the listeners are totally dependent on the pronunciation & enunciation of the public speaker. Therefore, it’s best that the sentence be re-written for the ears to avoid confusion.

Signpost Where You Are Heading

The concept of signposting comes from the yesteryears when we used to rely on signposts to drive from one place to another. Signposting, like the signs on a road, is a technique of letting your listeners know in advance what is coming next in your speech. It is used to inform the audience in advance what you want them to understand from it.

You can signpost your presentation before you start by saying “Today we are going to discuss three things. Firstly… Secondly… and finally…” You can also signpost your speech by giving it a non-confusing title. For example “Confront Your Fears” would make a better speech title as compared to “Take the Bull by Its Horns.” Another method of signposting is to give an example to reinforce a point. For example, saying “Let me share a story with you emphasize what I mean…” is a form of signposting as it reinforces a point using a story. At the end of your speech, summarizing your points also serves as a final signpost to help your audience remember and understand your speech better.

Your audience will appreciate signposting because it helps them follow your presentation easily without getting lost.

Use Humor To Create Rapport

Jokes can be used to amuse an audience while simultaneously slipping in the message you want to impart. The common ground is the shared laughter. If the joke works it gets you together; on the other hand, if the joke fails, it drives a wedge between you. As such, your humorous speech need to be befitting the occasion, tastefully presented and, of course, hilarious. Steer clear of jokes related to sex, politics, religion, gender & ethnicity.

Use Pauses Appropriately

Just like there are speed breakers on the road to slow a driver down, pauses serve as a speed breaker for public speakers. Some of the best moments in a presentation are, interestingly, those instances when you pause. Pausing slightly longer than you need to is a technique used to show you’re in total control of the audience.

Knowing when to pause is important. Pause prior to an important point to build suspense and catch the attention of the audience. For example, “Today’s price for this product is…”. Pauses are also useful before the punchline of a joke to build tension. Immediately after you have delivered the punchline, pause again to wait for the audience to settle after laughing.

Pause after an important point to let them to absorb, comprehend or reflect on your message.

Master these useful skills and you’ll take your presentation expertise to unimaginable heights!

I wish you well.

Delivering a Vivid Presentation

Your demeanor has a lasting impact on your audience. Preparation is important here, in order to grab the listener’s attention. How can you best put your message across? Here are some useful ideas for keeping your presentations vivid:

Use examples or personal stories to bring your points to life. People love stories and a personal story will enhance your credibility on the subject. For all you know, there could be others in the audience who share similar experiences like yours. They will be able to relate to your personal stories. You will be able to forge a stronger emotional connection with your audience if they share similar experiences as yours.

Keep your body language up-beat. Use your hands, face and other aspects of your physiology to describe your point. Don’t stay stuck behind a lectern unless the nature of the speech or the available infrastructure requires you to remain stuck there. Try describing “round as a ball” using your hands.

Your non-verbal cues will be picked up by the audience, trust me. In 1967, Professor Albert Mehrabian conducted a study on communication. The findings of this study indicated that an audience will be able to decode the intent behind the speaker’s words from visual clues 55% of the time. This is the importance of having proper physiology while speaking.

Don’t talk too fast. Less is more. Speaking too fast forces your audience to process your information at an accelerated pace. This will make them mentally tired too soon. Once they become tired, they will no longer concentrate on your speech. Pauses are effective. Pause before an important point to build suspense and get their attention. Pause after an important point to allow them to absorb, understand or consider your message. On the flip side, speaking too slowly will also put your crowd to sleep. So how fast should you speak? Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule on this matter. It depends on many factors. It’s interesting to note that if you want to create an audio book, your publisher will most likely ask you to speak between 150 – 160 words per minute. This speaking rate appears to coincide with a research done on the speaking rate of famous people here.

Use a variety of tones of voice like a radio deejay. Your voice is like a musical instrument. Use it well to enthrall your listeners. Some speakers are not willing to vary their vocal tonality because our vocal tonality indicates our emotional state. By not showing their emotions, they think they look more dignified or regal. Well, I leave it to you to decide. The more emotional blockages you have, the more you will be unwilling to provide vocal variety in your speech. The less vocal variety, the more boring you are going to be.

The same research by Professor Albert Mehrabian also concluded that an audience will be able to decode the intent behind the speaker’s words from the tone of voice 38% of the time. Therefore, your vocal tonality will play an important part in spicing up your speech.

Use visual aids if necessary. A visual aid could be a physical item, slides, flip charts or even yourself. If you are speaking on physical fitness or health, you better make sure that your body is a credible visual aid 🙂 The important thing about a visual aid is it must enhance your message or help your audience to understand your point better. Otherwise, the visual aid could work against you by either breaking the flow of your speech or distracting your audience. Therefore, use it wisely.

Public speaking, although daunting, can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, once sufficient time is taken to prepare and rehearse. An enthusiastic speaker who is confident with their material will make a memorable impression on their audience.

Better Public Speaking

How would you know if you are better at public speaking today as compared to last year? Can you recall the last memorable talk or presentation you attended? Now, did it come to you easily, or did you have to crack your brains to remember one? Sadly, too many presentations are easily forgotten. And that’s a big problem because the primary reason the speaker gave the talk was to impart something important to you.

If you were the presenter you might want to consider the three basic things that you can do to ensure that your future speeches are understood and remembered time and time again.

You’ve probably stumbled upon these principles before. As such, they may appear to be somewhat obvious and deceptively simple. Nevertheless, it works all the time. These three basic principles are:-

Be prepared

Have a theme for your speech

Keep your message clear and concise

Be Prepared

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. I suppose that you’ve heard this statement a million times. Nevertheless, it’s crucial that you understand the importance of preparation. A speaker who is well prepared is a speaker who respects his audience. It is like dressing well for your job interview or first date. The moment the audience detect that you are ill prepared, they will lose respect for you. Are you willing to risk losing the respect of your audience? You decide.

Preparation is probably the most important factor in determining your communication successes. When possible, fix meeting times and speaking engagements well in advance. This will buy yourself the time you need to rehearse your speech. As a rule of the thumb, a one minute speech deserves a thirty minute rehearsal. However, if you are well versed with the subject especially if you are a lecturer who delivers the same talk every other day, you may reduce your rehearsal time according to your discretion.

Then again, not all presentations can be scheduled. In this case, preparation may mean having a thorough understanding of the nature of the issue, which will enable you to speak with authority.

Have a theme for your speech

I.P.E.E
The acronym above stands for Inform, Persuade, Explain or Entertain. A combination of one or two of the above needs to be your theme.

While preparing your talk or presentation, it’s crucial that you understand what you want to say, who your audience is and why would they be interested to listen. To do this, ask yourself: Who? What? How? When? Where? Why?

Who are you addressing? What are their values, interests and beliefs? What are the common desires with the others in the room? For example, if you are addressing a group of diabetics during a health talk, obviously these people would want to know how to enjoy a better quality of life. They will most likely be looking for hope, solutions and encouragement to deal with their ailment.

Therefore, coming back to I.P.E.E, what message do you wish to convey? My gut feeling would tell me to use a combination of Inform, Persuade and Explain in this situation. I would prefer to leave the “Entertain” aspect out of this type of speech because it could backfire if I’m not careful with my choice of words.

Keep your message clear and concise

When it comes to crafting your message, less is more. However, this is easier said than done. In order to pull this stunt off, you will need to have a superb command of your spoken language. Your vocabulary and grammar has to be excellent. Only then, you will be able to shorten your sentences without losing its meaning.

Let’s come back to the diabetic talk again. Let’s assume that you are a doctor who is delivering this speech. Try to avoid too much information or excessive medical jargon. This will only serve to overload and bore your listeners. Once they are overloaded, they will mentally shut down. When you look into their eyes, you’ll get the impression that “the lights are switched on but nobody’s at home”. Remember, they are not expecting to become experts on the subject. They want solutions, hope and encouragement. Therefore simplicity is best.

If you’re using slides, limit the content of each one to a few main points, a single statement or a picture. Look at the picture on this page with the caption I.P.E.E. As you can see, I have used a picture to help you remember this acronym 🙂 If you really need to provide them with a lot of technical data, this data can be provided to the audience in electronic form for them to download and read prior to or after your presentation.

In conclusion while implementing the three basic principles you learnt today, ask yourself what your ‘success criteria’ is. How would you know if and when you have effectively communicated what you had in mind? If you presented in a formal workshop, distributing a feedback form to all participants would be useful. This questionnaire will serve as a good indicator of your strengths and areas of improvement.

Therefore remember the three basic principles which are:-

Be prepared

Have a theme for your speech

Keep your message clear and concise

All the best to you

Moving from Good to Great in Your Public Speeches

Kaizen is a Japanese practice of continuous improvement. Today, Kaizen is accepted worldwide as an important mainstay of an organization’s long-term competitive strategy. As a public speaker, you too need to “Kaizen” your delivery skills in order to remain relevant to your audience. Here are some tips on how to take your speech from good to great so that you continue to remain relevant.

Research Your Listeners

I am amazed at how some speakers will arrive for a speaking engagement without knowing anything about the audience they are about to address. I am fastidious about researching the demographics and desires of the audience before speaking to them.

Some complacent speakers feel that their message is so important that everyone would want to hear it. Therefore, they do not take the initiative to understand the desires of the audience. They couldn’t be more wrong. Your fundamental message may be about the same thing, but knowing your addressees will enable you to customise the information to suit the crowd. As such, your audience will feel that your talk was specially prepared just for them. Dale Carnegie called this “baiting the hook to suit the fish.” They will relate much better to your message and appreciate your initiative for creating something unique for them.

Practice

Rehearsals cannot be delegated, unfortunately. If you want to look polished while speaking you need to practice. For a five minute speech, I will normally rehearse for one hour. Don’t fall into the trap thinking that your PowerPoint / Prezi slides can do the talking for you. You are the master and your slides are your slaves. If you think that you can reverse this equation, you are courting trouble, my friend 🙂

There are specific methods used to rehearse that don’t take much time. One of these methods is called bits. You rehearse a short bit of material over and over again. You don’t rehearse it verbatim, but just speak your way through it. I normally do it in my car while driving. This way your mind won’t black out when you are distracted on stage.

Take Care of the Troublemakers

In some cases, I have noticed that the heckler is normally the senior executive of the organization who is craving for a sense of importance in front of his / her subordinates. On other occasions it could be someone who knows the subject better than you and therefore has got little or no respect for you.

Well, you’ve got to handle the situation whether you like it or not. This will be the ultimate test of your communication skills and people handling expertise.

Use Visual Aids

A picture paints a thousand words so does a visual aid. Visual people will find it easy to anchor a thought in their minds when it is linked to a visual object. Just like “seeing is believing” to them, “seeing is understanding.” Such people memorize and learn by seeing pictures. They love it when you use words that create vivid imagery like “see the dark clouds, look across the beach, envision celebrating your wedding anniversary, imagine driving a Volvo, etc.” in your speech as these phrases paint pictures in their minds.

You could employ a combination of large, small, weird or colorful props. PowerPoint or Prezi will also come in handy here. Always ensure that your prop serves to make your point clearer or more understandable.

Conclusion

One of the most interesting features of Kaizen is that huge results come from numerous little changes accumulated over a period of time. Today, you have embarked on Kaizen by implementing these four suggestions which are Research Your Listeners, Practice, Take Care of the Troublemakers and Use Visual Aids. In just a matter of time, you will see massive improvements in your presentations; trust yourself.

I wish you well.

Utilizing Body Language in a Speech

Your body language plays an important part in making your speech a perfect one. Normally, the tactics of verbal communication focus a lot on proper mapping of the body language. Body language has its instinctive impact on your speech as it involves non-verbal communication. Body language is all about conveying a message to another person without having an interchange of words. It is calculated that most of the messages that we interchange with each other are through body language.

From 1967 to 1971, Professor Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication. He discovered that when there is communication on a face-to-face basis, the audience would be able to guess the intention of the speaker accurately 55% of the time from his / her physiology. What’s important here is that the exact percentage is irrelevant. The crucial part is that most face-to-face communication is nonverbal.

Therefore, you must be aware of how to use your body language in your speech. For expressive people, body language is a very strong point in their speech and for the docile ones, it is not. So, if you do not have it as your strength, it would be a good idea to learn how to make it your strength. Flaunting your physiology appropriately will augment your speech deliverance.

Generally, body language is divided into 3 parts:

Gesticulation

Gesticulation is also referred to as “making proper gestures”. The different movements that we make using our hands are called gestures and the process is called gesticulation. Whenever a person delivers a speech, there comes certain points when he or she has to focus a bit to grab the attention of the audience. Proper use of gesture by making particular arm movements in the air can grab the attention of the audience.

In addition, the gestures are directly proportional to the size of the audience. If you are having a small meeting, you do not need to overly exaggerate your gestures. On the other hand, if you are a political leader or a person similar to that, you can have an audience of a million people in front of you. At that spot, you will need to focus on a powerful speech. Therefore, your gestures need to be exaggerated, deliberate, slow and accentuated. This is because you need to give adequate time for a million pairs of eyes to follow your movement.

Facial Expression

Facial expressions are indeed a very important part of your overall body language in your speech deliverance. Your audience will draw a conclusion or an idea of what you are talking about or what your mood is just by observing your facial expressions. So, if you want to deliver a successful speech, you need to focus on how to maintain the appropriate facial expressions during your presentation. Facial expressions of a debater or presenter greatly depends upon the lip and face movements. Many debaters and presenters are unaware of these facial expressions and just neglect them. Therefore it would be a good idea to rehearse your speech in front of a mirror or record your speech on video in order to observe your facial expressions.

Another aspect of your facial expressions is your eye contact with your audience. Eye contact is generally referred to as the point of confidence in your speech. If you are shy in making eye contact with your audience, you cannot deliver a good speech. You need to build inner self confidence to make eye contact with your audience. Your eye contact will help your audience connect with, like and trust you.

It will not be practical to establish eye contact with every individual in the room. So, a good way to deal with large crowds is to look at the people in the first few rows only. Beyond the third row, all you’ll see is a sea of heads with no eyes anyway. If the room had got a video camera which is projecting you on the big screen, lucky you. All you need to do is to look at the camera while speaking. Your eye contact with the camera will appear as eye contact with the audience on the big screen.

Body Posture

Last but not least is how you stand. It is also referred to as your body posture. Your body posture is very important as it will enable you to breathe well and portray a sense of confidence. If you have the inclination to sway or rock while speaking, spread your feet out almost in line with your shoulders, parallel to one another. Standing in this position will minimize any swaying or rocking motion and decrease disturbing heel movements. Feel free to move around and return to this posture, just don’t pace.

These are some of the non-verbal messages your audience may interpret when you do the following:

Leaning to one side – You are uncomfortable being on stage, you are trying to escape.

Pacing across the speaking area like a caged tiger – You are trying to break free, just like the caged tiger.

Rocking back and forth – Loss of power, you are nervous.

So there you go, my friends. Gesticulation, facial expressions and body posture will make or break your speech. While we all want to believe that it’s sufficient to be natural in front of a room, achieving this is easier said than done. It’s a strange and uncommon thing that produces strain, pressure, and ‘butterflies” in our stomachs. Being natural is insufficient. We need to be more dramatic, larger and more commanding. It takes additional determination and vigor. It also takes talent and rehearsal. With so much reliant on communication and communication contingent upon our physiology, it’s worth getting it right. Toil on your Gesticulation, facial expressions and body posture to make the most of every speaking occasion.

Good luck