Memorizing Speeches and Interview Responses Can Cause Detachment

Memorizing Speeches and Interview Responses Can Cause Detachment

Verbatim memorization of a speech or responses to interview questions can detach you from your content and from the very people you’re trying to reach; the audience, the interviewer, investors.

Memorization places your focus on remembering exact words and phrases, instead of where it should be, which is on communicating your ideas or information with emotion and effectiveness.

For the vast majority of people, attempting to deliver word-for-word speeches, pitches or interview responses backfires. Here are a few reasons I don’t recommend verbatim memorization:

1. Memorizing content word-for-word can detach you from the meaning of the words. Saying something the exact same way over and over can dull the emotions attached to your content to a point where it almost becomes meaningless. If you rehearse your presentation or interview responses repeatedly with the same wording, you may even develop “semantic satiation,” in which certain words temporarily stop having meaning to you.

2. Delivering content that you have memorized can detach you from the audience or interviewer because when you focus on retrieving exact words for a long stretch of time, you are not as fully present in the moment. This would emotionally detach you from the very people you’re trying to reach with your message.

3. With a memorized verbatim speech or response, if you become distracted and forget one word or phrase, you can feel completely lost and throw your entire presentation or interview off course.

4. The pressure of knowing you must remember a verbatim speech can heighten nervousness or anxiety you might feel before a presentation or interview. Why put that extra pressure on yourself?

The temptation to memorize presentations, speeches or responses to interview questions lies in the generally erroneous belief that this will offer some guarantee of success. Adding to this, sometimes people become very attached to specific phrases that they believe sound great. As any good editor will tell you, it’s dangerous to fall in love with your words: they might get eliminated.

Instead of memorizing your presentation, speech or media interview responses, do this:

1. Map out the journey you want to take people on with your presentation or interview responses.

2. Master your content. It’s best to know and thoroughly comprehend everything you’re talking about. For CEOs and other company spokespeople who may be asked about a wide array of topics that may or may not fall within their areas of expertise, this can be challenging. For them, some of the content to master would include explanations of who can address the question and why this is so.

3. Practice verbalizing your content multiple different ways and many times. Knowing a lot about a subject is quite different than speaking about it confidently, concisely and compellingly.

“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech,” Mark Twain said.

4. Get feedback. It’s difficult to assess your own effectiveness in conveying your message, your body language and overall communication style. Feedback from a trusted source can help.

If you want to feel fully prepared and confident for interviews, presentations or pitches my advice is to get professional training. The preparation techniques, feedback, skill development and outside perspective that a good trainer provides can save you years of trying to figure things out on your own and enable you to be the best communicator you can be. You might be thinking that of course I would advise this, given that I’m a media trainer and presentation trainer, but I wouldn’t have become a trainer if I hadn’t seen the great need for thorough and thoughtful training in my many years as a PR counselor and publicist.

If you or someone in your organization seems pulled toward memorizing a presentation, remember this: People want to feel that you’re communicating with them from your heart and your head and that the ideas or information you are conveying are so much a part of you that you don’t need to memorize a speech or response to speak about them. Unless you’re an amazing actor (on par with Academy Award winners), you probably can’t make your memorized words appear to be thoughts that are emerging naturally. If you seem unnatural, you will be perceived as lacking in authenticity or confidence.

Confidence comes from mastery, and mastery comes from proper preparation and practice.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

5 Quick Communication Tips

5 Quick Communication Tips

1. Above all else, get your employees/contractors trained to reflect and embody your company’s brand and work ethic, or nothing will be done to your standards.

2. Every promotional piece of content you put out into the world should have a strategy behind it.

3. Who you know right now is not as important as knowing how to present yourself and your work so the right people want to know you.

4. When shaping your communication, always think about what’s in it for them (whichever audience you are addressing — investors, employees, clients, press, etc.). If you are addressing team members, you might also need to consider that they believe they contribute and deserve.

5. Remember that wherever you are, and in whatever situation you find yourself, you are representing your brand and possibly attracting opportunities. Present yourself accordingly.

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.


Here are links to a few other articles you might enjoy:

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication

https://expertmediatraining.com/body-language-in-interviews-and-meetings/

How To Prepare for Presentations – 6 Tips for Effective Presentations

https://expertmediatraining.com/how-to-prepare-for-presentations/

Prepare for Media Interviews BEFORE You Book One

https://expertmediatraining.com/prepare-for-tv-interviews-media-trainer-tips/

Frequently Asked Questions about Media Training

https://expertmediatraining.com/faqs-about-media-training/


How to Avoid Using Jargon in Media Interviews and Communications – Tips from a Media Trainer

How to Avoid Using Jargon in Media Interviews and Communications – Tips from a Media Trainer

There is a reason you may be seeing lots of articles about the overuse of jargon. It’s especially important to avoid using jargon in media interviews.

What would you think or feel if you heard this statement from a company spokesperson?

“We’re incentivizing our brand evangelists to virally spread our high-level content by gifting them with digital aviation rewards. It’s this outside-the-box thinking that yields us much more than the low-hanging fruit our competitors pull down, which is mission-critical given our current bandwidth.”

“Ummm…what?” might be your answer.

It would probably be clearer and easier to listen to this statement:

“We created a program that allows fans of our content to share it and earn airline points. It’s creative thought like this that’s helping us to grow more quickly than our competitors, which is especially important with our current staff and resources.”

Simple and clear language is usually the most effective way to communicate in almost any situation. It’s best to avoid using jargon in media interviews because your audience may consist of a variety of people with a range of knowledge. Generally, you will want your message to be well understood by the vast majority of people who will hear it or read it.

Jargon is defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as follows:

“Jargon – (noun) – the language used for a particular activity or by a particular group of people.”

The use of jargon seems to be increasing, especially as the use of technology and Internet spreads. Some jargon is useful, but this is usually within the confines of people who work within a specific industry. Because jargon is often used with people of varying backgrounds, it is often misunderstood.

People may use jargon for several reasons:

• They don’t know how to explain something in simpler terms.

• They want to appear more eloquent or knowledgeable than they are.

• They are afraid that if they use more plain language people will assume they don’t know their industry’s jargon.

• Or, they are unaware that they are doing so.

In media interviews or presentations, before you use jargon, consider the knowledge base of your audience and their frame of reference. If you are accustomed to using a lot of jargon that is specific to your industry and you are addressing people outside of your industry, think about the alternate meanings your words may have to them.

What happens when people don’t understand your jargon:

• They may stop focusing on what you’re saying as their minds fixate on trying to figure out the meanings of the terms or words they didn’t understand.

• They may feel that your message is not meant for them, so they may tune you out.

• Or, they may feel that you’re trying to speak above their level, which may cause them to resent you.

How to know when to use jargon. Ask yourself:

• Is the jargon the best way to communicate your thought or to represent an object, concept or process?

• Who is your audience? Will your audience understand the jargon you are using? If not, would learning the meaning of the jargon help your audience members? If so, are you able to define the jargon for them?

Here are some ways to catch yourself using jargon, so you can curb it when needed:

• Set a digital recorder near you when you’re on the phone or meeting with people. Play it back and listen closely for the unnecessary or excessive use of jargon.

• Review your written correspondence to see how much jargon you’ve included. You could even keep a list of jargon that you don’t want to use and search your documents for the words or terms you want to omit.

How to know if you are using jargon:

• Are the words you are using NOT in the dictionary? If not, they may be jargon or they may be made up.

• Are many of the nouns you use actually verbs that have been modified to become nouns?

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

To arrange a free consultation, call us at 310-479-0217. Or, you can email us at [email protected]

Los Angeles Media Trainer and Communication Expert Shares Body Language Do’s and Don’ts for Interviews and Meetings

The immediate feedback that you can receive with live media training is the best way to gain awareness of your body language, but the following tips will get you started.

Whether you’re meeting with a potential new client or a big decision maker who could change your life with a major deal, like an endorsement deal, a TV deal, or a book deal, paying attention to nonverbal communication (body language) can make or break the deal.

It is estimated that more than 90% of communication is nonverbal. People observe your nonverbal behaviors to determine whether you seem nervous, honest, confident, competent, and lots of other things.

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings - Nonverbal Communication - blog post by Los Angeles Media Trainer and PR Expert Lisa Elia

What’s your body saying?

Here are body language do’s and don’ts for meetings:

Body Language Don’ts in Meetings:

Don’t slouch, as doing so can make you appear sloppy, uninterested or lacking in confidence.

Don’t stand with most of your weight leaning to one side, as this can make you appear less confident and less steady.

Don’t tilt your head too much, as it makes you appear unsure.

Don’t look down while you’re listening, as many people do: this could make you appear disengaged.

Don’t cross your legs and your ankles simultaneously (as some very flexible people do), as it makes you appear insecure.

Don’t cross your arms in front of you, as this can make you appear defensive.

Don’t play with your jewelry or anything else.

Don’t fidget. Watch your feet: fidgety feet are often the strongest indicator of nervousness, and a good interviewer may pick up on this.

 

Body Language Do’s in Meetings:

Offer your hand for a firm handshake, at the beginning and end of a meeting. If the person you are meeting has his or her hands full, or if he or she doesn’t respond, simply lower your hand.

Sit and stand with straight, but not stiff, posture. Your ears should be aligned above your shoulders.

Make eye contact with the person you’re speaking to, but don’t stare. It’s natural to look away periodically for a second or two.

Smile when you say hello and goodbye, and when you are talking about your greatest achievements.

Nod slightly in agreement when the person you are meeting with is telling you about himself or herself or the company or project, and smile when appropriate. Your body language will show your enthusiasm for the opportunity, and this is one of the things that people want to see.

Pay attention to the person’s nonverbal behavior. For example, if the person you are meeting with begins to look away or look at his or her watch while you are speaking, finish what you are saying quickly.

Before you go into your interview, roll your shoulders back and forth, take a few calming breaths and stretch your neck and body. All of these things will help to relax you, keep you out of “fight or flight” mode, and reduce the tension that can cause the shoulders to hunch and the diaphragm to be compressed. By opening and relaxing the body, you should have a stronger, steadier voice, and you should feel and appear more confident.

If you tend to fidget, simply cross your ankles.

If you want to learn more about body language and to sharpen all of your communication skills, my Confident and Clear program could be just what you need. Click here for more information: https://expertmediatraining.com/confident-and-clear

If you want to learn about our media training and presentation training services, click here: https://expertmediatraining.com/services

 Contact us to arrange a consultation with Lisa.

Call us at 310-479-0217.

Media Trainer Shares about Preparing for Presentations: Questions and Answers from Shark Tank Teleseminar

Inspired by ABC TV’s Shark Tank, I recently hosted a complimentary teleseminar, with Financial Expert Dean Erickson, to share tools, advice and strategies on helping entrepreneurs calm their nerves, on preparing for presentations and on landing great sponsors and lucrative business deals.

During the Get Ready for Shark Tank Teleseminar, I received many great questions from attendees. In case you’ve missed this on my Facebook page, here are the questions, along with my answers.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to post them on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ExpertMediaTraining

Q: What if you are presenting something that is completely new: nobody else is doing or has done it in the past? How do you run projection numbers? Service business.

A: If your concept is brand new, most investors would want to see proof of concept, so you should provide the service and create a track record of measurable results. Projections will be challenging, but if you can show that there is a viable market and that you can make money, and that you can expand the service offering beyond what you can provide as an individual, investors could be interested.

Q: How do you protect your idea during the Shark Tank/pitching process?

A: Consider working with an intellectual property (IP) attorney, who can help you with copyrights, trademarks and patents. Beyond that, if you’re approaching investors (not the Sharks on Shark Tank), you can ask them to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before you share the details of your idea. If you’re going on Shark Tank, remember that it’s televised, so don’t share anything you wouldn’t want to broadcast to the world.

Q: How much of the development process will they assist you with if the idea is complex?

A: Each Shark (and each investor) is different. The Sharks generally want you to have developed the product beyond the prototype phase so that you can present them with an idea of manufacturing costs, and so you can have had time to sell the product and test the market. There are some investors and venture capital firms and business incubators that help more with product development than others. This is where research comes in.

Q: Will the Sharks consider working with me if the concept of my idea is simple, but the construction is a bit more complicated than my level of expertise?

A: It’s possible. However, the Sharks more often invest in a business that’s going than they do in an idea that needs development from the beginning. Most investors would expect you to do the legwork of finding a designer or engineer to help you develop your idea further, before you approach them.

Q: Which Shark in your opinion would you recommend?

A: Each Shark has his or her specific abilities, personality traits, interests and industry connections. It’s good to think through what you need and how you work best, and then consider which Shark would be the best fit for you. However, as you can see by watching the show, sometimes the Sharks surprise you, and the Shark you’d never imagine would step up and say yes to a deal does, and the Shark who seemed like the obvious fit for the project declines.

Q: I noticed how the contestant will tell the Sharks that they do their own social media and SEO. Is that necessary to do your own labor or delegate it?

A: You don’t have to handle your own social media or SEO. However, as the head of your company, you should be very involved and know your numbers. Social media is used by most companies for marketing and PR purposes, so the management of social media should be taken seriously as a marketing/PR function. SEO is also an aspect of marketing, so you should know your numbers, such as numbers of unique visitors to your site, and, possibly, demographics of your site visitors.

Here are more links you might find useful:

About our Pitch Coaching

Acronyms and Abbreviations in Media Interviews and Speeches

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication

 

Lisa Elia, Founder & Lead Media Trainer & Presentation Trainer at Expert Media Training®This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 20 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others.

To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

Ace Every Presentation or Press Conference – Tips from a Media Trainer and Speaker

Before you make any presentation—whether it’s on the phone, in person or via Skype—or deliver your message at a press conference, the best thing you can do is to prepare yourself.

Once you’ve prepared your presentation, polish it, refine it and rehearse it again. Great presentations lead to sales, joint partnerships and prosperity!

Ace Every Presentation or Press Conference - Presentation Delivery Tips from a Media Trainer and Speaker Presentation delivery tip #1:  Establish your goal.

Think about your reason for making this presentation. For example: Are you trying to establish a connection with a new person or group of people who could become clients, referral sources or associates? Or, are you trying to sell them something?

Presentation delivery tip #2:  Write an outline.

Write out what you want to cover in the presentation. (It’s generally not a good idea to read something word-for-word, unless you’ve trained at sounding natural reading from a teleprompter or script.)

Presentation delivery tip #3:  Follow this format.

If you’re making a presentation where you’d like to attract new clients or associates, here is a simple format to follow:

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Establish rapport. (You can spend around 5-6 minutes doing this in a long, in-person meeting. In a phone call to someone who’s busy, you may have only 30 seconds to do this.) Allow your natural humor to come through, but avoid cliches and bad jokes.
  • Identify your audience’s need or problem.
  • Present your solution to their need or problem in a broad sense.
  • Explain the details of your solution (your product/service).
  • Tell your audience how they can work with you or access your product or services to solve their problem.

Presentation delivery tip #4:  Be friendly and accessible. But don’t be overly familiar, which can ring false if you don’t really know the person/people to whom you are speaking.

Presentation delivery tip #5:  Use the appropriate tone to suit your audience. If it’s a more formal business situation, speak in a more professional manner. If you’re speaking with people who like the “warm fuzzies,” you can be more warm and fuzzy.

Presentation delivery tip #6:  Rehearse your entire presentation at least a couple of times. You’ll notice that it will get smoother and your confidence will increase each time you do it. If you can record it on an audio or video recorder, you can review it.

Presentation delivery tip #7:  Refine your presentation. After you’ve rehearsed and reviewed your presentation, identify sections you can smooth out and determine whether or not you should change the order of your presentation points.

People feel more comfortable working with people who come across as knowledgeable and confident. If you prepare and polish your presentations, you will prosper!

Do you want additional media training tips and advice? Use these links:

Click here to request our free Media Interview and Presentation Tips booklet.

How To Prepare for Presentations – 6 Tips to Make Effective Presentations – from a Presentation Trainer

Acronyms and Abbreviations in Media Interviews and Speeches

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication

 

Pin It on Pinterest