Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Women in Theater Present!

For their monthly Let's Do Lunch monthly meeting, Los Angeles' Women in Theatre features Pamela Kelly, a former New York stage actress, and now an author, corporate consultant and UCLA Extension Master Teacher. The event is Saturday Apr 17, 11:30 to 1 pm, at the famed Farmers Market in Los Angeles, at 3rd and Fairfax in the Hollywood Community Room, Second Floor

Pamela Kelly will be talking about "Being the Right Person in the Right Place at the Right Time" and presenting the stagecraft techniques she uses in her trainings to make public speaking fun and easy.

A former stage actress and voice-speech coach for actors, Pamela has trained thousands of business professionals in the US and abroad and has based her numerous public speaking and accent reduction courses and corporate trainings on her stage experience in Chicago and New York City.

“When I was acting, I did 33 productions in stock, repertory, Off-Broadway and on tour. Between jobs, I studied acting, voice and speech, singing and dance. In Los Angeles, I fell into teaching, loved it and haven’t looked back. The acting, voice and performance skills became the foundation of my courses. This WIT workshop will showcase several of these techniques, presented as simple steps that will have you replacing the fear of public speaking with fun, freedom and ease!”

Drawings will be held for copies of Pamela's workbook, "Speak with Passion, Speak with Power!" and other of her publications. All will also be available for purchase.

WIT’s Let’s DO Lunch series is held on the 3rd Saturday of every month (except Oct and Dec) in the Community Room, 2nd Floor. Enter by the clock and the room is just up the stairs. The workshop, free for members, will start promptly at 11:30am and wrap by 1pm. Non-members may apply the $5 fee to membership if they join within a week.

Networking and a wide choice of wonderful food await.Convenient public transportation and tons of parking either at Farmers Market or Grove. Two Hours free parking at Farmers Market with vendor validation.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Overcoming Death by PowerPoint!

What is the number one PowerPoint sin? The unanimous response I hear is - reading the slides! Reading PowerPoint, like hiding behind the lectern, feels safer than standing out there naked and in the spotlight. This must be why so many speakers and organizations do it!

To free ourselves from the spell, we have to (1) Intervene and establish our intention to take control, then (2) Practice explaining the ideas behind the slides until our “story-line” flows easily and (3) Rehearse staying connected to our listeners.

Here are some tips to shift your focus from reading slides to connecting with your audience:

ROLE-PLAY: Act AS IF you are…
• The Leader, in charge of the PowerPoint; it’s there to support and follow you – not the other way around.
• A Story Teller - illuminate your PowerPoint bullets with colorful pictures and flesh them out with stories, humor, anecdotes and your personality.
• A Dance Partner - connect from moment to moment with your audience, through your whole self, including eye contact, facial expression, body language, voice tone and tempo, inner commitment and conviction.

STRUCTURE: Build a solid container for your ideas with…
• “Books Ends” - Present a big picture idea at the beginning and at the end, such as “Breathe Life into Your Project Reviews!”; then have everything in between support that big picture idea.
• “Main Ideas and Transitions” – Think of each slide as a bead on a necklace. What is the most important idea about each slide and what is the idea that connects one slide with the next? Speak to these. The string that ties your beads together is your big picture idea.
• If you want to speak to several bullets on a slide, then – instead of just reading bullets (Zzzzz) – 1) Introduce the framing point that the bullets relate to (e.g. “So what are the 4 languages of public speaking?”, then 2) Tie the bullets together with simple word cues: “First, we have the verbal; Next, is the visual; Then, there’s the vocal; and Finally, we come to the visceral!” and 3) Conclude or transition – (Conclusion) “And here we have the 4 languages of public speaking!” (Add transition) “Now let’s move on! Let’s get you on your feet using those 4 languages!”

PRACTICE: Rehearse on your feet, out loud and...
• Drill your Intro and Conclusion (bookends) over and over, to make them attention-getting, confident, clear, concise and memorable.
• Rehearse your slides to iron out the frames, word cues, summaries, transitions and get comfortable with your story-line.
• Run through the entire presentation several times, from beginning to end, locking in your flow and timing.
• Now be ten times louder and more excited – to unleash all your energy and self-expression (this is a rehearsal technique only).
• Finally, let it all go and be yourself, but on purpose.

Now, at this point, not only will you have avoided death by PowerPoint, you will be a force of nature!