Session Topics & Outlines

Outlines may vary with the session length and whether topics are being presented stand-alone or as a series. Content is also typically customized to specific audience backgrounds and skill levels. Further details and sample material are available upon request.

Secrets From The Stage I: In The Zone

Conquering Stage-Nerves & Developing Relaxed Confidence in Speaking

Everyone gets stage nerves - performers, athletes, and speakers, whether rank beginners or world class pros. And for public speakers, out-of-control nerves significantly diminish the impact of our presentations. But there are solutions. In this engaging session, we examine the neuroscience and physiology of stage anxiety and discuss concepts and techniques from the performing arts and performance psychology to get us relaxed, confident, and in the zone.
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    Session Outline:

  • Stage Nerves & Public Speaking
    Successful speaking, the science of stage anxiety, and what it means for speakers
  • Performance Psychology: Getting "In The Zone"
    Performance and sports psychology, achieving optimal arousal levels
  • The Play-to-Performance Spectrum
    The 7 Types of training, and the importance of each of them
  • Technique 1: Practicing Improvisation
    How to master improvised delivery - the key to relaxed and spontaneous speaking
  • Technique 2: Preparing with Simulations
    Get bomb-proof with performance simulations and distraction training
  • Technique 3: Performing In The Zone
    Pre-show routines, the power of visualization, and owning the space
  • Conclusion
    Building a life of relaxed confidence on stage
(close outline)

Secrets From The Stage II: Bomb-Proof Presenting

Techniques for Reliable Memorization & Effective Rehearsing

Nothing sinks a talk like getting lost, drawing a blank, or fumbling with notes. Conversely, when we know our material inside out, we can respond to the room, are relaxing to hear, and are thus more engaging and influential. In this session, we look at time-tested techniques from the performing art for learning material quickly, memorizing reliably, and rehearsing hyper-effectively: the keys to comfortable, natural sounding, "off-the-cuff" presenting.
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    Session Outline:

  • Introduction
    Iain's introduction: who he is, what he does, his work in this area
  • The Goal of Preparation
    Elements of a successful talk and the role of memorization in achieving natural delivery
  • The Wrong Way
    Rote memorization is difficult, fragile, and inflexible - when to use it or not?
  • Composition, Improvisation, Memorization
    Finding the right balance between them for eloquent and relaxed presentations
  • How Memory Works
    Inside your finicky memory, improving recall, and mnemonic techniques
  • Technique 1: Outside-In Memorization
    A highly effective technique from the performing arts for robust, bomb-proof memorization
  • Technique 2: Linking Backwards
    How to memorize content rapidly by working from the end back to the beginning
  • Technique 3: By Memory, Now!
    The surprising power of delivering content by memory, before you're ready!
  • Conclusion
    Handling problems, improving long-term, and using memory techniques in the rest of life
(close outline)

Secrets From The Stage III: The Eloquent Speaker

Mastering the Fundamental Skills of Public Speaking

We all know what we're supposed to do when we speak, but how can we actually get better at it? What separates the "natural speaker" from the rest of us? What makes some speakers eloquent, influential, and riveting to hear? In this illuminating session we look at what goes into great speaking, how to work on the fundamental skills behind powerful and influential public speaking, and how to practise effectively for lifelong, lasting improvement.
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    Session Outline:

  • What is Eloquent Public Speaking?
    The nature of a talk, great public speaking, the fundamental skills of speaking
  • The Science of Real-Time Skill Acquisition
    What are "real time" skills? The neuroscience of learning and what it means for practising
  • The Pkat-To-Performance Spectrum
    7 types of practising & rehearsing, practise vs rehearsal vs performance
  • Deliberately Practise - The Key to Mastering Fundamentals
    The drill cycle, attempt goals, & the Difficulty-Accuracy-Duration Triad
  • Decomposing the Art of Speaking
    Breaking down the complex skill of public speaking into components we can master
  • Speaking Fundamentals 1: Pace and Space
    Rhythm, pace, & space - demonstrations and how to practise
  • Speaking Fundamental 2: Vocal Variety
    Variety of pitch, amplitude, & tone - demonstrations and how to practise
  • Speaking Fundamental 3: Using Our Bodies
    Breath, carriage, & gesture - demonstrations and how to practise
  • Tying Them Together to Create Impact
    Tension and Release: creating arcs of intensity in our speaking
  • Conclusion: Building a Learning Lifestyle
    Building a life of ongoing practise and improving forever
(close outline)