Working on your public speaking skills can affect more than just your ability to speak to groups of people.
There was once a student who dropped a course five times because he hated speaking in front of the class. Lastly, public speaking satisfies your sense of achievement when the audience accepts you warmly. Carma Spence, author of Public Speaking Super Powers, is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in marketing, public relations and science communication. This entry was posted in Confidence, Public Speaking Tips and tagged confidence, self-esteem, self-worth. I’m going to show you how to build out your presentation in an engaging way…by showing you how I create my presentations. In fact, I hate writing out my entire speech because when you write, it’s completely different than when you talk (as you can tell from all my grammar and spelling mistakes, I’m not a writer). The first time I wrote a speech, it was for a high school that hired me as a motivational speaker. I started writing out my speech, word for word, and in my head…it felt like the greatest presentation in the world.
If you’ve ever had that moment where you run out of things to say before your presentation is over, then you know it doesn’t feel good. If I were to speak to a small group of 15 people, the presentation would be more of a conversation because the setting is more intimate. When I was hired for an event with Real Estate Agents…I read up on their business, their problems, etc….just so I can understand their state of mind. When I know my audience, and I know my theme, now I focus 90% of my time on the experience. What if you watch Will Smith’s The Pursuit Of Happiness and they kept saying things like, “When things are hard, you need to push through.” How boring would that be?
So once I understand my message, now comes the tricky task of getting an audience to experience it. And as a speaker, you can do something that other people can’t do…you can create an experience for people. When I create a presentation for a larger audience, most of my presentation involves demonstrations because I want them to truly experience the message rather than just being told the message. I can tell someone to ‘think differently’ …but that doesn’t mean they’re going to think any different.
On the other hand, if I do a demonstration, then the demonstration can cause you to think differently and I don’t have to say a word. For example…if I were a sales speaker, I would imagine speaking at the event and telling someone to call their mom on the phone. After I pick about 6 demonstrations that would communicate what I want to communicate, then I would put them in a sequence. In my presentation about ‘Staying Sharp’…I do a demonstration involving the entire audience. I’m going to show you something that will get you to start thinking differently than the people around you.
I think of the 6 demonstrations I’m going to do, and then I figure out what I’m going to say for each demonstration. Visualization is something that Olympic athletes do, and a lot of speakers, because it works.
After I have it down, to a point where I don’t have to think about it anymore, I deliver the presentation. As your repertoire grows, you can track which modules you have done for an organization and offer them future customized presentations using the modules that they have not heard. Do you know which du?aas to recite before a speech and the way Prophet Muhammad (SAAW) used to deliver a speech? This page offers a collection of skills assessment tools and surveys for help in analyzing individual skills, profiling the skills of teams (groups of presenters), or rating speakers based on audience evaluations (collective responses). From published research, an assessment tool has been created to allow individuals to self-assess; or, to give managers a chance to assess others.
Below is a SAMPLE EVALUATION FORM (4 pages in all), from a Digital Coaching session, indicating selected observations of challenges and opportunities across 21 skill categories. The 21 skills are grouped into core categories of PERSONALITY, PROCESS and PERFORMANCE, followed by RESULTS page which calculates the effectiveness of the speaker. Page 2, above, covers the five PROCESS related areas, focusing on the skills needed to convey the message.

If this form is used by a presentations skills coach, there is an area on this page available for specific comments and suggestions for improvement, as shown in the above sample. Page 4, above, highlights (in yellow) areas of concern where challenges exceed opportunities. The overall speaker index indicates there some additional skills are needed to maximize the potential.
HIGHLY effective speakers usually have a Speaker Index of 80 or higher, with a deviation of no more than 2%. From a learning perspective, the research identifies diverse audience types described as: STUDENTS and PROFESSIONALS. A STUDENT learner is defined as one who requires knowledge in order to participate in a desired activity. A PROFESSIONAL learner is defined as one who desires knowledge in order to add to an existing activity.
Using a five-point scale, from a low of 1 to high of 5, an audience member uses the SPICE Model (or similar format) to rate the observed skills of a speaker in each of FIVE distinct categories: Speech, Presence, Interaction, Clarity, and Expertise (SPICE).
For those who already use audience evaluations, many of these categories are likely being assessed, although the wording may be different.
Even though you could measure the effectiveness of a speaker on each individual evaluation, most events treat the performance as a collective, where all evaluations are grouped together into a single assessment. To assist organizations with measuring gathered responses, we designed the SPICE Model Collector. The results allow a speaker to see collective ratings in five areas to help identify specific strategies for improvement at subsequent events. The SPICE Model Collector allows input for up to 1,000 evaluations for a given assessment and the form automatically analyzes the audience (learner) responses, showing the average score in each category, along with a summary of total responses.
The ratings are derived from preferences of student and professional learners, each of whom listens differently, as well as for those of a combined audience. Think of the index as a barometer for gauging how much of a speaker’s potential talent is being observed by the evaluating audience. Our complete Skills Assessment Evaluation Tool measures 80 independent characteristics across 21 unique skill categories. Using the complete assessment tool, a very effective speaker is one who has an index greater than 70, with a consistency deviation of 5% or less.
At future events it may be best to assign speakers according to the venue that are best suited, be that a training session or keynote address.
The SPICE Model Collector is used by organizations and institutions that distribute audience evaluations and collate the responses into databases and CRM systems. FREE Skills Assessment - Instantly evaluate yourself or someone else (see the Digital Coaching sample form).
When you’ve given a good speech, your personal satisfaction increases your sense of self-worth. But after a self-study on building up confidence, he decided to give public speaking a try and was successful.
Through public speaking tools like research, conceptualization, and organization, you have a systematic and effective way of presenting your ideas; and thus, you will be able to express yourself better. She is a multi-dimensional entrepreneur, a certified life coach, science fiction writer and poet.
So I think about what kind of speakers they’ve seen, why they’re at this event, what they expect, and so on. But if I were speaking to 500 people, the presentation would be more of a full-blown experience. Speakers have the ability to give much more valuable information than a movie or a concert. It’s a little game where I guess which hand people put a coin in…and then I talk about how to see the world differently than everyone else.
As someone who runs their own business, when you start thinking differently, you start getting results faster.
So if you were to take 6 of your life stories, and put them into one big presentation, then you would have an easier time remember the entire presentation.
Challenges in this section can be overcome by actions related to the other two areas of PROCESS and PERFORMANCE.
Many of these skills are clearly observed by the audience, and, for that reason, effective presentation training targets the areas of body language, speaking style and interaction.
Keep in mind that this is only the first evaluation (Timeline 0), without the speaker knowing the individual skill areas that need improvement.

These are speakers who have very few challenges and take advantage of most opportunities, with little or no deviation across audience types. When comparing groups of students with groups of professionals, the findings indicate that each group places significance differently on each skill category. This group not only includes traditional “students”, but it is extended to also include residents, trainees, and anyone who needs to immediately apply learned concepts. Just knowing that you are a 3 out of 5, does not tell you where you need to improve to become a 4. Therefore, existing evaluation data from standard assessments is very easy to map to the SPICE Model to measure skills. Using a special input form, audience feedback can be aggregated and analyzed to provide a measurement of a speaker’s effectiveness, across different audience types, arriving at an overall SPEAKER INDEX.
The measurements are equally useful to event coordinators or departmental managers who wish to see how different speakers performed, not only in relation to one another, but across multiple sessions, in order to optimize speakers for future engagements. All results are tabulated according to peer-reviewed published data on audience preferences. Another way to look at the index is as the measurable impression made by the speaker on the group. However, when using the SPICE Model, we look for an index of 80 or higher, with a deviation of 3% or less, to consider the speaker as being very effective. An event coordinator may notice that some speakers are rated higher for audiences of student learners, such as those attending workshops or hands-on training sessions. Of course, speakers should use these ratings to build skills in deficient areas in order to offer greater utility to event coordinators and managers who are trying to maximize speaking assignments.
Conference coordinators, meeting & convention planners, membership-based organizations, and other public forums are revamping existing audience evaluations to include the five categories, to help identify the more effective speakers for future events. After a few months of wanting to crawl under the table whenever Table Topics began, I started to enjoy being called. Or if you don’t have a coin, grab a sugar packet off the table, or your keys from your pocket, just something small that can fit into your hand. The skills in this area directly affect the personality elements, such as self confidence, empathy, caring, energy, and approachability.
For development purposes, a realistic target for this speaker would be an index of about 75, with no more than a 3% deviation, representing about a 20% increase in effectiveness. The above assessment accounts for these different perspectives and separates audiences into three groups of learners: Students, Professionals and a combination of both. Like students, they are learning, but they are using the knowledge to augment an existing practice or job function over a longer period.
In some cases, simply adding one more item to an existing evaluation would cover all of the categories. The fact that results are based on research data reduces bias and subjectivity when calculating levels of effectiveness. A lower number indicates a more consistent and therefore more versatile speaker, among varied audiences.
The same coordinator may notice that other speakers are rated much higher for professional audiences, such as those attending conceptual or keynote sessions where content is more strategic, persuasive, or theoretical.
By the end of the year I was practically doing a “Horshack” and waving my arms for the Table Topics Master to call me! Furthermore, speaking skills can help you advance in your career, putting you in a more significant role as you talk with people of high standing. The wind beneath her clients’ wings, Carma provides creative entrepreneurs with expert advice on branding and online presence, as well as the emotional support necessary to carve out their niche for success online.
In comparative terms, this speaker would better delivering a marketing presentation than conducting a training session. Thus, the most preferred characteristics (90% of the complete skills) have been grouped into the five categories of the SPICE Model. As a result, we raise the threshold of effectiveness when judging a speaker’s SPICE Model rating, as compared to the individual assessment.

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