April 30, 2010

Tips on how women can attain ‘true power’ on stage


Power and Presence for Women from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

Speakers get guidance on how to enhance their public appearances

JD LasicaI‘ve been astonished by how many of my friends and colleagues have thrust themselves into the public eye by writing books, appearing on panels or going full tilt into public speaking. I’ve even detected a small uptick (finally!) in the number of women appearing on stage at tech conferences.

I’ve spoken at my fair share of public events, and what public speakers often have in common is an uncertainty of how to engage the audience with command and assurance. That’s especially true of many women, who’ve been taught by the culture to prize “false power archetypes” rather than being true to their own voices, says Bronwyn Saglimbeni, a public presence coach in Silicon Valley.

“We’ll hold our hands in front of our bodies, or behind our backs, or in front of our mouths — and the problem is those are not powerful positions.”
— Bronwyn Saglimbeni

“As women, we need to come up with our new power archtetypes,” she said at a recent Girls in Tech retreat in Santa Cruz, Calif. “Unfortunately we’ve been fed a steady diet of false power archtetypes — aggression, intimation, or leaning too heavily on our sexuality, or hiding behind our sexuality.”

Saglimbeni offers coaching on speaking, presenting and how to attain “true power.” “It happens when personality aligns with purpose to serve the greater good,” she says. “Where does the purpose of our work life and personal life intersect? During public speaking, what are the elements of our personality that need to be brought forward? Every time we have an opportunity to get up and speak, we have to really cherish that time and nail it.”

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November 3, 2009

5 ways to improve your presentation skills

Improving your presentation skills from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaIf you give presentations or speeches in public — ranging from a workshop panel appearance to a keynote lecture — chances are that you could benefit from sharpening your presentation skills.

I met Danielle Daly, co-founder of Rexi Media, at Blogworld Expo last month and was immediately impressed with how she and the Rexi Media team are helping to enhance the communication and presentation skills of executives and managers at Fortune 500 companies. In this 6-minute video interview, Danielle discusses 5 ways to make your presentation skills more effective.

Presenter ProThis week Rexi Media is releasing an update to its already popular iPhone app, Presenter Pro, which lets you bone up on your presentation skills during your spare time (cost: $1.99). Presenter Pro focuses on 5 areas for enhancing presentation skills:

1) Body language: This covers areas such as effective gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, cultural gestures, use of passion, visualization, descriptive gestures, and others.

2) Vocal variety: How to add interest to your speaking style, how to sound more confident, how to add ingredients such as articulation, inflection, rate, pauses, changes in inflection and volume, and so on.

3) Structure: How to plan and structure your talk, how to hook listeners with an effective opening, how to manage time and enlist participation, how to end on a high note.

4) Visuals: How to think in pictures, how to marshal facts visually, how to use visual aids, use of color, balance and contrast, use of repetition, and so on.

5) The words you use: Think carefully about the contents of your talk — be human and accessible, know your stuff, relate real experiences, be persuasive, be economical and descriptive, avoid condescension and apologies. Continue reading