Ignite a Sp@rk of inspiration. October 5, 2011 Issue

OCTOBER 5, 2011
Ignite - a spark of inspiration

Even a behind-the-scenes meetings mastermind should have confidence to shine in the spotlight when the time is right. If you’re more accustomed to booking a speaker than being one, build the skills to get your point across with substance, drawing from a few of our favourite speaking tips:

Ditch the boring “deck”. Resist every urge to read out loud from a PowerPoint script. As Presentation Zen author Garr Reynolds maintains, boring an audience bullet point by bullet point is of little benefit to them.
Keep it short. Then shorten it again. Pare down your ideas. Better to make five good points with clarity, than 10 in a long-winded rant. And, with every sentence, think of how you could say the same thing in fewer words.
Use conversational words. Sure, your industry might “optimize, prioritize or rationalize,” but best to stick with everyday words and avoid jargon to be an effective speaker. Don’t assume that “everybody knows” the lingo.
Enhance your vocal expressiveness. If you think your speaking voice is monotone, practice as if you were talking to children, suggests Patrick Collins, author of Speak with Power and Confidence. Even the sternest adult voice tends to become gentle and varied in trying to hold kids’ attention. It’s meant as an exercise to loosen vocal inhibition.
Develop your non-verbal skills. The ability to hold eye contact around the room, the way you hold notes and props, your hand gestures, the use of silent pauses, your smile – all these cues help punctuate your words and highlight your key messages.
Try to relax. Slow down. Take a breath. Ease your shoulders and avoid staged gestures. Let a moment of silence slip through. In a speech script, you might even want to note a few places to pause between ideas as a way to grab attention.
Practise public speaking. Whether you’re making a speech or introducing someone else on stage, confidence is the key to grabbing an audience’s attention. Volunteer for every small role to take the podium, or practise at a speaking club to rehearse in a sheltered and friendly environment.

More resources.

* Tips and exercises from Toastmasters International
* Training tools from PowerTalk International
* PowerPoint tips from Garr Reynolds

Who are your most inspirational speakers? Share your faves with ignitemag.ca, or with your colleagues on facebook



One more reason to love your job.
Book a meeting at Le Westin Montreal and get up to 100,000 bonus Starpoints. Discover 40,000 sq.ft. of extraordinary space.

Site Canada Education Day

When: Nov. 8, 2011
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto
Why go:
If your job has anything to do with motivating people, get a taste for the future of incentive rewards and a keynote theme of “innovate or die.
What’s in it for you: Professional inspiration in a venue that’s all about sustainability. Use this online registration link to book early and save money.

More industry events at Ignitemag.ca

good to know
Medical meetings stand up to the bean counters
The expense of pharmaceutical promotions and conferences aimed at doctors got the fiscal nod by a recent Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) report highlighting the positive tie between promotional activities and R&D spending. “We have to stop thinking about the money invested by pharmaceutical companies in the promotion of their products as an extravagant expense. The promotion of drugs is one source of information among others available to doctors, who use their good judgment to determine the most appropriate treatment for their patients,” says economist Yanick Labrie, the publication's author. The full report is available here.
Companies look to online booking tools for savings, compliance
Canadian companies rank third in the world, behind the US and Australia, in their use of online booking tools for corporate travel, according to a CWT survey of 200 of its client travel managers from around the globe. Nearly four in 10 CWT clients in this country, 37%, give business travellers tools to plan trips and expenses online, compared to 41% in the US and 44% in Australia. More on the survey in the latest edition of the CWT Vision quarterly magazine, which examines cost savings and compliance driven by online bookings.
Intuition still rules in awards programs
An online survey of 170 administrators of incentive, recognition and reward programs found that, more than half the time, program decisions are largely being made by intuition and experience. Many administrators don’t know (or have no good measure) of whether programs are effective or not. Find a summary of the survey results on the Incentive Research Foundation website.
Share your event news, case studies or story ideas with us here at ignitemag.ca.
A place for someone who “gets” trade shows
Global technology company Teledyne DALSA is looking for a ready-to-travel Trade Show Marketing Specialist based in Waterloo, a key business development role in winning and retaining clientele. Must be “capable of herding cats during a rainstorm.” More details on the company website.
Gain a wealth of experience in events
Reporting to the marketing director, the role of Events Coordinator with the Investment Planning Counsel Inc. keeps things running smoothly for the organization’s professional events in the wealth management industry. See the posting on Workopolis.


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