Tag Archives: Public Speaking

Speakers Don’t Always Know What to Say!

“Joyce, please report to Mother Superior” (my name was still legally capitalized then). I was in the eighth grade getting ready to graduate. 

My first thought was, Who told? and my second thought was, How much did they tell? (laughing)

I was always getting others to do daring or sometimes, slightly dangerous things with me, just to see if we could do them. The thing is, since I looked so completely innocent, I pretty much never got busted for them, and my classmates never told on me for some reason. Just lucky I guess!

Anyway, between homeroom and the Principal’s office, I had to get my face and expression right. Surprised innocence worked with just about everybody except Mommy… she was never swayed and always knew when the antics were the result of my influence (sigh).

“Yes Sister,” I replied and rose from my seat, headed for the door. She smiled at me. Oh boy, this is not good I thought. Sister and I had a mutual dislike fan club of two… This is going to be so bad… trickled through my mind as I left the classroom and started down the hallway.

I reached Mother Superior’s office and stood in front of the clerk. “Hi Joyce,” she said with a smile. “Go right in.” “Thank you,” I replied and knocked on the office door, waited for the response and stepped into the room.

You know those moments where everything seems to shrink into a long tunnel and you only see a part of the room or area? When it feels like the room and the people in it come zooming toward you, only you know in some part of your brain that they aren’t? …I was having one of those moments. I watched, mouth getting dry; hands getting clammy, as Mother Superior and our Parish Pastor seemed to zoom in for a close up. Oh gosh! Wait, Mommy isn’t here, it can’t be expulsion yet, I thought. Breathe, Joyce. Just breathe.

“You wanted to see me, Mother Superior?” I said breathlessly.

“Yes, Joyce. We did. Please sit down,” she replied.

I looked up at her beautiful brown face and thought, as I always did, that she should have been a mother for real instead of a nun. I loved this woman… at least I did before today!

Doing the only thing I could do, I sat. Gone was the surprised innocence. The only defense I had for this inquisition was confession. Mother Superior, I could pull off. Father Regan, not so much. He could see through ten feet of reinforced steel, let alone one 13-year old girl!

Father leaned forward in his chair. “Joyce, as you well know, graduation is in a few weeks.”

“Yes, Father,” I replied. Then waited.

He glanced at Mother Superior, then back at me. They both were looking way too serious for my comfort level. Whatever it was is it going to keep me from graduating? I thought frantically. I was ready to confess to everything I’d done throughout elementary school… the broken window at the Rectory, the food fight in the auditorium, using the holy water to wash blood off of Vinette’s scraped knee, trading communion wafers for candy, all of it! I just couldn’t not graduate. Mommy would kill me!

Clearing his throat, Father said, “We have never had a speaker at the graduation ceremony; however, in your case we are making an exception and would like you to deliver the class response before I confer the diplomas.” He stopped and looked expectantly at me.

Wait, what!!!

Give a speech? At graduation? Me? Why?!

“Joyce?” Mother Superior asked. “Did you understand Father?”

“I think so,” I managed to whisper. “You want me to make a graduation speech.”

“Exactly,” she smiled. “You will be the perfect person to address the class and parents and express all of the thoughts, experiences and emotions of the day.”

So it was, that on graduation day May 30, 1971, I gave my very first speech… and received my first standing ovation. More important, I discovered that I could make a difference in the lives of others. I discovered my mission!

Dr. joyce gille gossom-Powerful Communicator, Keynote Speaker, Author. No, this is not a misprint! Dr. joyce gillie gossom has spent her life going against the grain and blazing new trails for others to follow!  At the age of 16, joyce felt so connected to the poetry and style of e.e.cummings, that her mother let her legally change her name to all lower-case letters; which is frequently met with resistance!  joyce says: ‘if you are looking for a dramatic, entertainer, I am not it!”  What joyce is: since her first speech as an eighth grader to now delivering keynote addresses and facilitating workshops and retreats for corporate executives and educators; passionate about making a difference in the lives of others and inspiring her audiences to ACTION! To book Dr. joyce for your next event click here:  Book Dr. joyce gille gossom


How to Master Public Speaking- Infographic by Lydia Bailey- Mastersprogramsguide.com

Thanks to Lydia Bailey- Content Creator with  Mastersprogramsguide.com  for finding me as she was doing her research for this great Infographic, and then reaching out to me to share it here with each of you!  Let us know what you think! Just drop us a comment!

You can do this!
“Simply” Sue Falcone

How to Master Public Speaking
Source: MastersProgramsGuide.com     by Lydia Bailey – Content Creator

It’s Freelance Friday with “Dr. Woody” Woodward

5 Tips to Getting Over Your Fear of Public Speaking

Small-Business-MeetingComedian Jerry Seinfeld once quipped that most people attending a funeral would rather be in the casket than give the eulogy. As ludicrous as this may sound, that’s a reality for many people.

Fear of public speaking is common, but it’s an important skill to develop to help advance your career.

For anyone out there looking to hone their presentation skills, whether it’s for a speech on stage in front of a large audience, in a formal executive meeting or a casual presentation for your own team, here are a few tips to consider:

Know Your Points COLD. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse! The best way to build your confidence is to be prepared. Try rehearsing your talk in a variety of environments and under different conditions. I sometimes practice with my TV on to help me prepare for potential distractions. Don’t worry too much about memorizing your talk line for line. People aren’t as interested in the particular words you choose, it’s more about your overall message and energy.

It’s important to be comfortable enough with what you are trying to convey so you can be flexible in making changes on the fly. You never know when things are going to go sideways during a presentation. Your progression can get interrupted by questions, a fire alarm could go off, the location might be moved or the format could get changed, so be sure to have your message points down cold. The one constant you can maintain is knowing your message and being ready to deliver regardless of what comes up.

Avoid Scripts. Many people will disagree with me on this for a variety of reasons, but anyone who saw Hollywood producer Michael Bay’s meltdown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January after his teleprompter failed will understand the importance of not relying entirely on a script.

Instead of just speaking from the gut, Bay fought to recall his lines and then panicked, which made matters worse. As mentioned above, the best way to prepare for a talk is to know a set of talking points, but scripts can be hard to recall word for word in the spotlight and you risk coming across as unnatural or too rehearsed.

Know the message and don’t worry about the words and lines. The more you are able to understand what you are talking about the easier it will be to recall the message and convey it in a genuine way that will be relatable to your audience.

Don’t Rely on Technology.  We have all been there. Laptops, projectors, and internet connections will fail from time-to-time and those times are never convenient. Always prepare as if you are going to have to go old school and actually stand up and talk to the crowd with nothing but your body and voice.

For peace of mind, I always have a copy of my presentation on my laptop, on a flash drive, and in my e-mail. And if all else fails I always bring a hard copy of my slide deck. Regardless of what happens with your technology, remember the audience is there to hear you. Everything else should be a sideshow.

Never Admit You are Nervous. It drives me nuts when speakers open with “sorry, I’m a little nervous today.” More often than not, the audience can’t tell, so don’t make them aware of your nerves. When you get on stage your job is to deliver, nerves or no nerves. Admitting to being nervous won’t endear an audience to you. It will more likely give them pause about your credibility as a speaker. Whatever fears you may have, just roll with it. 

Relax… Pause… Reset. We all stumble, it’s really a matter of whether or not you fall. If you find yourself getting tripped-up or losing track, the last thing you want to do is panic because it can have a snowballing effect. Instead, just take a moment, breathe and step back. Remember, the audience doesn’t know your lines and their expectations usually aren’t as high as you think. A moment of pause if far less memorable than a moment of panic.


Sebastian's First Birthday PartyMichael “
Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and the new on-line course The YOU Plan for Career Change on Udemy. Dr. Woody is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership. To book Dr. Woody for your next event contact Sue Falcone at sue@simplysuespeaks.com or call 1-888-766-3155. 

10 Presentation Trends for 2014

Post ReBlogged via diresta.com

2014In 2014 presentation skills will reign supreme. Leaders and entrepreneurs will need to be more visible across different media platforms. Speaking is the new competitive advantage and the bar has been raised. Here are the trends in presentations that I predict for 2014.

  1. Broadcasting skills – Whether you’re an entrepreneur or employed by a company, expect to have your 15 minutes of fame.Today’s presenters need broadcasting skills.Media training will become a vital success skill even for those who do not speak to the press. I’m currently coaching a client to lead quarterly webcasts. Five years ago this senior executive wasn’t doing any broadcasting. This client has since been filmed for executive promotional videos. Video presentations will increase in popularity. I useeyejot.com to send quick video emails. Videos can be very effective or very detrimental if you have weak presentation skills.
  2. Mobile presentations – Mobil technology is exploding and the number of apps is growing. This will require adjustments in the way we communicate. Slide shows and websites must be adjusted for mobile devices.The key word in presentations is portability. On a personal note, I now videotape my coaching clients on the ipad. The quality is as good as a video camera and it’s easier to transport.
  3. Increased Need for Speaker Training – The need for excellent presentation skills will increase.due to the competitive nature of the market. Products and services can quickly become commodities and in order to be persuasive, presenters will need to know how to capture and hold the ear of the listeners.
  4. Self marketing presentations – Personal branding will become even more important. In a crowded market place where good jobs are at a premium. Job candidates will have to master marketing and selling. That means understanding what makes them unique and how to position themselves, their message, and their value with clarity and impact. Lack of confidence will be the deal breaker. Speakmarketing will be a growing factor for small business success. Presently, I’m coaching  small businesses to developwebinars to grow their businesses.
  5. Storytelling – Telling stories will no longer be the domain for the talented few. Leaders will be challenged to learn the art of storytelling to develop trust, express their vision and to lead their teams. And storytelling skills will be the differentiater in the job interview.Certain companies such as Pepsico, have a culture of storytelling. The best interviewers will invest in public speaking coaching to learn to tell their story instead of presenting their resume.
  6. Authenticity – Audiences are more sophisticated and less tolerant than ever. They want to know who the speaker is as a person.Do they walk their talk? Audiences will value  presenters who are real versus a just-the-facts approach. I was asked to coach somebody who had a well-crafted PowerPoint deck but delivered it like a talking head. Listeners are thinking “Who are you?”
  7. Increased Audience Interaction – The key word is connection. In a society where there is less time for socializing and more stress, people want to have an experience and participate with the speaker. Watch for increased live polling, tweeting, live streaming,and audience participation. Technology will level the playing field as speakers can now use inexpensive polling software on their mobile devices.There will also be an increase in virtual presentations. I’m coaching more clients remotely due to technology tools.
  8. Less Fluff More Value – Motivational speakers will always be popular as long as the human soul craves uplifting messages. But today’s presenters need more than a string of ‘feel good” stories. They must be able to provide value, tips, strategies, action steps, a different way of thinking along with those stories. Audiences are more demanding.
  9. Shorter Keynote Speeches – The 18 minute TED-like talk will become more commonplace. This is already happening at conferences. Instead of the one to three hour breakout sessions, event planners and audiences are opting for a series of shorter talks.
  10. Continuity – The old transactional model of giving a one hour presentation and then return to business as usual,  will give way to the idea of continuity.The message will continue after the event or meeting with additional contact and add-on resources. Despite the fact that younger audiences are leaving facebook, social media will continue to be an important communication channel for staying connected. However, people will consider the return on their time and become more focused and narrow in their social media communication.

All of these trends can be summarized in one idea: Public speaking is more important than ever. The need for excellent presentation skills is not going away. It will only increase in 2014 and beyond. Just as with technology upgrades,presenters will upgrade their public speaking skills or risk becoming obsolete.