8:00 a.m. : Registration
8:30 a.m. :Your Body
Channel Your Adrenaline
Performance pressure triggers adrenaline which targets the muscle groups that make speakers look, feel, and sound natural – or not. Speakers can channel that turbocharged energy from the very start when it is most intense.
An adrenaline rush accelerates the respiratory system. Controlled, tactical breathing will help you feel better, speak better, and think better.
Plant Your Feet
How you stand is the foundation of your style when speaking. When thinking on your feet, the big muscles in the legs resist standing still. Ritualize and rely on a balanced and centered stance just as athletes do.
Focus on Your Listeners
Credibility requires that you look your listeners in the eye. The only way to focus your brain is to focus your eyes. Don’t relax; tell yourself to focus.
Be Ready to Gesture
The best way to dissipate the energy of adrenaline is to release your natural gestures immediately. Getting hands ready to gesture is the first step in that process.
9:30 a.m. : Your Brain
Use the Time Warp
Adrenaline makes time appear to slow down, so nervous speakers compensate by talking too fast. You must channel the time warp to get “in the zone” of concentration.
Think in Silence
Speakers need silence to compose the next thought and listeners need silence to process what they just heard. Thinking in silence solves the problem for both of them, and it eliminates the thinking noises – um and uh.
10:10 a.m. : Break
10:25 a.m. : Speak in Phrases
Don’t talk slow! That doesn’t work. The key to controlling your pace is to speak in phrases as you think in silence. Between those phrases, you have time to think. The phrasing of the Pledge of Allegiance is a good model for this rhythm.
Create Horizontal Notes
Words flow down the page vertically, but we gesture and think horizontally. (“On the one hand . . . and on the other hand.”) Horizontal notes work better.
10:45 a.m. : Your Voice
Emphasize Key Words in Each Phrase
Clarity and understanding result from emphasis on the key words that unlock the meaning for listeners. In every phrase at least one word deserves emphasis to be persuasive. Emphatic words result from emphatic gestures.
Punctuation matters as much in speaking as in writing. Exploit the audible period and come to a full stop. Imagine the audible period at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance when all citizens say the same way, “with liberty and justice for all.” Period.
11:25 a.m. : Practice
Practice doesn’t make perfect; it makes you better. Efficient, deliberate practice while structuring, improvising, forgetting and recovering, beginning and ending is the best way to be ready. When you know how to practice, you can improve quickly.
11:45 a.m. : Program Concludes
Following program start times, webcast replay schedule will vary slightly from above listed times.