Thursday, November 25, 2010

Communication and presentation tips

I had the pleasure of listening to Barbara Warren from NIDA. She gave us some really good tips for using our voice well when communicating and presenting.

1. Good communication is about being aware. It is about being committed. It is about giving eye contact to bring people in. Be specific. Speak in language that is uplifting and specific.

2. Don't hold tension in your shoulders. Release your breath.

3. Voice needs space in the mouth. Voices will carry if we put sound behind it. Posture is so important for voice to carry.

4. Put your antennae up. And make sure your headlights on. Fill the room with light.

5. Be in control of yourself to be in control of your space.

6. Do lots of vocal warm-ups. Pretend to catch bees in the shower...

7. Put oomph into the voice and don't let it get stuck in throat.

8. When you umm and ahhh it is to the detriment of the quality of communication. Use your breath instead of an um and or an ah. Stretch the jaw and flatten out speech. Bring in energy.

9. Follow through and be specific - be careful about how you say things.

10. Value language and speaking face to face.

11. When you speak too quickly, modify the pace of language by breathing properly. Not just half breathing. Get our sounds right. Stay in the moment and be present.

12. Make sure you have rehearsed. Work should be polished and prepared. Adopt new habits. Talk to yourself constantly. Extend and expand to communicate in an exciting way.

13. Think of your body architecture. Words need space. Like a gym membership for your voice. Massage jaw hinges.

14. Sometimes it is good to have a level of anxiety. But you must control the nerves as well. Anxiety snowballs and breath does control it and preparation does help. If you find your voice in every sense, nerves are not there.

15. Be centered and grounded in yourself.

16. Keep doing your tongue twisters. Be courageous with words.

17. A smile is important in communication and represents openness.

18. Explore possibilities and don't over-complicate.

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