Higher Speech
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Thursday, August 19, 2010
Have you heard of the Speaker's Workout?

Are you willing to do what it takes to become better as a presenter? In the words of Goethe, "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."

Gym workout like speaking workoutOne of the things you can do is to work out. If you were preparing for a triathlon, you'd be putting some serious time in at the gym, wouldn't you? Similarly, there are exercises that will help improve your speaking ability. They may or may not be fun for you, depending on how weird you are. These can be done with material you would actually be using in your presentation, or with other material. The main thing is: they work!


Speaking quickly and articulately1) Speed Demon: Practice your material speaking (either from memory or reading) as fast as you can while articulating clearly. Do not slur the words. Make each syllable distinct. This will help improve your clarity when you speak, and will make it more comfortable for you to not only speak more quickly when you need to, but to be able to vary your rate of speaking - which will make you more easy to listen to.

Change your speaking style2) The Change Up: When we speak, we naturally speed up, slow down, and pause. Otherwise, we put people to sleep, or simply lose them. This exercise involves noticing where to speed up, slow down, and pause, and exaggerating it to the max. Consider a scale from 0-10; zero being dead and 10 being so far over the top that people would be running from the room wondering what drugs you'd been taking. Five would be ideal; not too much, not too little. For this exercise, get as close to a 10 as possible. Please note: in coaching hundreds of people in workshops and private sessions, I RARELY hear anyone get close to a 10. Many people do not even go over a "5." Be outrageous with this one. Give yourself permission to go "over the top." What this does, is to make it easier to hit that "perfect 5" more consistently. It also tends to make it easier for you to add more variety and interest to the way you speak. Try it - it really works.

Use both exercises, and you will like what they do for you. Yes, it is a bit of a workout, but it's worth it. The best part of it is that by practicing these simple exercises, not only will you be more effective as a presenter, your audiences will be more attentive to your message - and both you and them will have more fun.

Let me know how these work for you.


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Thursday, August 12, 2010
It's all about conversation! . . . or it it?

I bet you've heard many times that a speech should be a conversation. Some presenters agree with that, and some don't. Whether we like it or not, however, successful speaking involves conversation. If we ignore that, we will die on stage. Neither we, nor our audience wants that to happen.

Personal ConversationThere are many kinds of conversation that take place with every presentation. When you talk about a bad day you once had, and some of your audience nod — that is a conversation. When you ask for a volunteer, and get one — that is a conversation. The title of this post is a conversation.   Your audience members will constantly have conversations going on within their heads as you speak. Those are conversations you can't control, but you can influence them. Based on that influence, those "internal" conversations will determine the success or failure of your presentations because they are what connect you to your audience. Your message will only be "taken home" by people if they connect with you.

When you recall (and share) a conversation you had previously — or one you might have in the future, or even put into words what the audience is (or may be) thinking — those are all ways to use conversation. How you use these conversations, how often you use them, and when you use them are all up to you — and should be considered in light of your particular audience.

The most important thing to remember is this: If you were in your audience, what would you prefer — to listen to someone else's speech or to participate in a conversation? Your audience will probably have the same preference. In fact, you can bet on it.

That's all for today. Let me know how things are going for you and your presentations. Thanks for listening, and please stay in touch! I'd love to hear from you.

Datta Groover Best regards,

Datta Groover, Presentation Skills Coach

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Questions and Credibility

The QuestionAs a presenter, have you ever had the "recurring nightmare" that someone asks you a question, and you don't know the answer? Could you imagine that happening to you? Has it already happened?

When it does, it doesn't have to be a disaster, or even difficult. It can be as easy as saying "Great question. I don't know the answer to that, but I will find out and get back to you. See me afterward so I can get your contact information." If that is not appropriate, then at least admit that you don't know the answer.

What will happen if you do that? Will you lose credibility? In truth, some may judge you for it. Especially since as presenters, we are usually being counted on to be the "experts." Here's the hard news: People will know if we bluff. They may only know it as a "feeling," but they will know.

Pretend you have an audience of 100 people, and consider two possible scenarios. In the first scenario, you tell them you don't know the answer to a certain question. Say 13 (a number I just pulled out of thin air) of that audience judge you in some way for not knowing the answer when you "should." The other 82 members of the audience (we'll pretend 5 happen to be asleep) find you more credible because you admit that 1) you're not trying to pretend you are perfect the way so many other people do, 2) you are confident, and mostly 3) you are a person they can trust. The trust and credibility you gain in this scenario is realand substantial.

In scenario 2, say you bluff cleverly, with great expertise and finesse. Half the people in the room may not notice, but (at least) half will have a feeling that something is not quite right. You may have gained some trust or credibility with the half that thinks that you know the answer, but will lose trust with the second half. The slight amount of credibility you do gain with the first half will evaporate like windshield wiper fluid on a hot summer's day when they find out the inevitable contradictory information, or when their sense of intuition kicks in -- whichever comes first.

Which scenario would you rather have? 

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Higher Speech is a quality training organization for speakers, presenters, trainers, and coaches.

Higher Speech is also dedicated to providing quality speakers who are experts in their fields and are dedicated to inspiring others and making a positive difference in the world.

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The Mission of
Higher Speech


To provide quality speakers who are dedicated to making a positive difference in the world.
2) To help others reach their next level of communication; enhancing their work, their relationships, and their lives.
3) To assist organizations in reaching the communication level they desire - and in doing so increasing their over-all effectiveness, efficiency, and profits.

The History of
Higher Speech

Higher Speech was founded in 2004 by Datta Groover in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon. He realized that as much as he had to offer others, by bringing others on board with their own unique specialties and strengths, there is far more to offer the world at large together than what we can all do separately.

The name "Higher Speech" was chosen because it says what we are all about. In the history of our planet, "Higher Speech" is what has always made the most positive and long-lasting influences.

About Datta

Datta Groover's goal is to inspire others to improve their level and quality of communication, helping lives work better personally and professionally. He offers public-sector workshops on Communication and Public speaking, as well as workshops within the corporate world.

He has authored 4 books, both fiction and non-fiction, is a professional member of both the The National Speakers Association, and of The Author's Guild. Datta has published numerous articles, and worked for many years as the content and style editor for Torchlight Publishing.

He has been speaking in professional circles since the mid-1980s when he chaired the International Committee for Self-Sufficiency, and has spoken in Europe, India, Africa, South America, and North America (and not just to ask for directions).

He works primarily as a fee-paid speaker, though is always happy to lend his services to a worthy cause.  His primary area of speaking centers around personal communication, both within the business environment and in people’s personal lives.  His speaking style is simple, direct, entertaining, and from the heart.   

Datta & Rachael Jayne GrooverDatta is a motivational speaker and is hired frequently by speakers, authors, and trainers who want to improve their presentation and communication skills. He lives with his wife Rachael Jayne in Fort Collins, Colorado.