Tag Archives: Public Speaking

Connect to Grow Programme – 27th September & 04th October 2017

 Executive Communication Skills

This  2 day programme (one week apart)  is designed for delegates who have the business competence and now recognise the need to speak more effectively.

Our programme ‘CONNECT 2 GROW’ will enable you to make talks easier to understand and to deliver, leading to better communication and comprehension on the part of your audience.

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Why be Fearful of Speaking in Public

Why be Fearful of Speaking in Public?

When I’m out socially, whether it be playing golf or with friends over dinner and it comes up in conversation that I coach people to speak in public, I am continually surprised by the number of successful and confident people who still express a fear of speaking in public, be it to an audience of five or five hundred.

Why is this?

Let me tell you what I believe is the cause.

The education system in Ireland and Europe generally puts emphasis on academic qualifications and not enough emphasis on emotional intelligence skills, of which good communications is a critical component.  Whereas in America from an early age students are engaged in ‘show and tell’.

Also, I believe MBA programs in the States put more emphasis on presenting and pitching as part of the program.

I am not going to change the educational system single-handedly, but I am now coaching students and lecturers in all of the leading Universities in Ireland in my style of communication and presenting.

This I believe will lead to more confident and successful leaders in whatever career path they choose.

What I can change for the individuals and organisations who  engage me to work with their people, is how they are coached and prepared for important conversations with audiences.

You will note that I use the word conversation and not presentation!

I believe we should always regard the opportunity to speak to an audience as a conversation, not a presentation or pitch. This immediately reduces the pressure on the speaker as it’s not as intimidating to have a conversation as it is to deliver a presentation.

My way is to ban all of the following words when preparing people for important meetings:

Presentation: usually dull and boring.

(think of the last conference you attended)

Pitch: nobody wants to be sold to.

Sermon: one of the reasons churches are empty.

Lecture: who wants to be lectured to?

When speaking to an audience it should always be a conversation. This is how all the great stand-up comedians engage their audiences. You go home not remembering the words (jokes) but knowing that you feel uplifted and energised.

Is this not the purpose of most business conversations?

My guarantee to all my clients is that I will never criticise them or tell them what they have done wrong, yet every person will be better as a result of our working together.

The degree as to how much they will improve is greatly dependent on the amount of preparation and work they put into implementing the advice and coaching I give them.

When I explain my methodology to clients, they regularly tell me that they need constructive criticism in order to improve.

My response is that constructive criticism is criticism with the word constructive placed in front of it to soften the blow, it’s still CRITICISM.

As one of my clients commented recently you never feel

RECONSTRUCTED AS A RESULT OF CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM.

My coaching philosophy is as follows:

Never: criticise

Always: praise (sincerely)

Leading to an atmosphere where people want to engage and improve.

Note: if you wish to become an effective LEADER the above principles also apply.

To compliment this article I’m linking to a 30 minute humorous video to the Sales Institute of Ireland which expands on and explains my philosophy in more detail.

A Radio Interview Packed with useful Advice and Tips to improve your Presenting and Pitching Skills

A Radio Interview Packed with useful Advice and Tips to improve your Presenting and Pitching Skills

After my recent blog post Why are People Fearful about Speaking in Public, Dublin City 103.2 FM asked me to come onto their Business show ‘You and Your Business’ with Don Harris and expand on the the importance to peoples careers of being confident when speaking in public.

Here’s the link to this in-depth interview which enhances greatly the content of my recent blog.

Please have a listen (& download) and let me know if you agree or have a comment about my unique approach to improving people’s ability to present on important occasions, be they business or personal.

Why are people so fearful about speaking in public?

Andrew Keogh - Connect 2 Grow

Speaking in public is the number one fear, rated above death in numerous surveys over the years.

We have all met the so-called experts who are happy to give advice to people who speak in public or who are about to speak in public, in spite of the fact that they would never do so themselves.

The advice proffered by these so-called experts is usually negative e.g. slowdown, speed up, speak up, don’t mumble, stop moving or  start moving.

They call this constructive criticism which is criticism with the word constructive in front of it; in my experience coaches and trainers are as guilty of this type of advice as anybody else.

My Advice (Andrew Keogh)

My first piece of advice to anybody about to speak at an important event, Continue reading

TEDx Belfast Women invites Andrew Keogh

Recently I was invited to speak at TEDx Belfast Women on the theme of ‘Invented Here’ and I thought what could be more appropriate than to speak on the subject of improved communications. The title of my talk was  ‘The Gift of the Gab’  it’s something we are particularly good at in Ireland.

So if you wish to improve your Leadership and Communications skills please watch my talk, it’s 10 minutes packed, with stories and good advice.

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Speaking in Public will advance your Career

Fear of Speaking in PublicWhy is it that people are so fearful of speaking to groups? I have a chief executive who has paid me for one-to-one coaching and yet keeps cancelling every appointment we make to meet up and get started? 

I have people who I meet in companies I work with, who keep saying to me, I need to work with you, I need to do your programme, I need to engage with you, but they never do! 

If they feel the need to do this and yet they don’t engage with me or somebody else why is that?

Let me tell you my theory on why people are fearful of speaking in public! Continue reading
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