What is Your #1 Fear?

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As I sat in the Dentist chair chatting with my Dentist before he proceeded with my treatment, he mentioned that the number 1 fear for most people is the dreaded Dentist visit. I said well that may be true to some extent but it is well known that the number one fear in the world is getting up and speaking to an audience, unless of course other countries have fostered some very brave people when it comes to public speaking. So why would you think that presenting in front of an audience trumps getting a root canal? Well there are many more nerve endings in the whole body versus your mouth and when you are called to perform on stage your nerves affect the whole body in the form of trembling  and stumbling over your words not to mention  many other physical manifestations that affect the psyche which creates a fear in the mind that can be unprecedented. This can outweigh any type of perceived physical discomfort that you may anticipate at the dentist.

The question is how to we prepare and try to eliminate our #1 fear before speaking? Well most people will do some research and try to find articles to help them to overcome their public speaking fear. There are many tricks and methods that you can do to help yourself but the best way is to take a public speaking class when they are available to you. The reason that you will need to seek out a public speaking class is that you will be able to learn from pro’s that have been helping people for a long time so they have all the bells and whistles and have experience speaking to audiences themselves and know the ropes. You will need to find such a public speaking class that will teach,  then have you do many performances as to simulate real life speaking presentations to prepare you for your real life speaking performances. Some things to consider of look for as a class itinerary would be how to eliminate audience intimidation, how to organize your thoughts – this will cut down on nervousness being that you have a well thought out presentation , how to build rapport with your audience and how to break out of your emotional stalemate. All these are done with simple effective exercises and can be life lasting for a permanent solution.

So as you can see public speaking fear is a real concern for most people and can be addressed and an most cases eliminated .But like anything else you can’t just keep putting off a fear that cripples you from being a successful communicator when it your task to speak.

You Must Use These Three Components if You Want to Persuade Your Audience

The mission or plan of giving a presentation is to sell your audience. Just as in a sales call, you have a strategy which includes a fact finding (asking questions to provide the right solution)  presentation and a close to win your prospect’s business. The same goes for a presentation although for some unknown reason most people have the illusion that just because you are the focal point to your audience they will hang on every word that you say right? Wrong because somehow you did not sell them or solve the problem that they came into listen to how you were going to benefit their life or current business situation! So, let’ start from the beginning. First and foremost you will have to have a solution to the problem that they came in to listen for the remedy to make their job, life or what have you better. Since you do not have the luxury to ask the audience one on one what problem is and how are going to solve it you have to come up with a title to you presentation that presents a solution for all the attendees. Once you do that say” How you can improve your business process quickly and cut unnecessary costs in30days” Now that will get some attention! Then you will have to have three key components to your presentation that will back up your “ solution”

First is Ethos – Meaning credibility. You will have to come off as an expert in your presentation to validate to your audience that you are an authority. I was contracted to help promote regenerative medicine around the U.S. and Canada. After I delivered my seminars , folks in the audience would presume I was a medical professional because I know and delivered my material  like person from the medical field.

Second –Pathos – Appealing to one’s emotional needs. So you will need to evoke some emotional appeal from your audience like the car commercials or pharmaceutical commercials do like our safety features were proven to save many lives or our drugs will help you can play with your grandchildren again with no pain. These are examples that will convince the audience that they can connect with emotions that make them feel better when they use those products.

Third – Logos – This is appeal to the logic. This is when you bring in statistics or facts that are credible and show proof of product or service. Example 44 out of 50 people that have use out pharmaceutical product for COPD have noticed a 40 percent improvement in lung function or when our drivers were involved in head on crashes at 55mph there were no fatalities.

You can clearly see that using this formula or strategy when you deliver a presentation will certainly give you more persuasive power and give you a much greater chance to sell your audience.

Overcome Public Speaking Nervousness And Come Off As A Polished Professional

Not everybody and I mean most people no matter how articulate they are talking in a group, interacting in sales call, giving a monthly meeting can actually stand up and give an effective presentation to an audience without some trepidation.  I have given countless public speaking workshops and the percentage of people coming to the class or workshop get nervous when they stand up to even introduce themselves. I guess that is why they are in the public speaking workshop. There are many folks that come in and say they only need “This Portion “ of the workshop , but they soon find out that is not the case. Yes a lot of people that come into the workshop are high level professionals , but that does not necessarily mean they are top proficient presenters.  

So why do people that have so much confidence get choked up, tripped up, fall apart during their presentations in front of an audience? The key is simply just this – they are not familiar with presenting their material or do not feel that their material is strong enough, their problem is just this – they have not thought to put together a well honed , organized presentation. So the problem is not whether you are a confident person is a question of what kind of person you become when you give the presentation. I had the opportunity to work with an executive of a medical device company who was going to have to give a presentation to a group of potential investors for his product launch. As you can imagine he was going to have to be on point, thorough and very persuasive to get the investors to write a big check. He did not get where he was without confidence but his issue was that he was not confident with his presentation and after reading and tweaking a few things he felt very confident and comfortable to deliver the presentation successfully because he now understood it. . So what did I suggest to better make this presentation easier for him to deliver? For one thing the title of the presentation needs to be a solution that the audience came to hear about , you need to grab their attention immediately! For example instead of “Get Better Results from Your Employees”  your title should be “ How many Managers Got Better Results From their Employees by implementing Three Key Strategies” Now we have a solution right of the bat that the speaker feels confident with! The next step, and this sounds simple but many folks struggle with this. You need to come up with three key points to reinforce your title. The three key points would be worked out almost the same way as the title only they are going to support the title by an example , analogy or instance that the audience can understand of make the connection to. When I finished working out the presentation for the aforementioned CEO of the medical device company , he was so confident that he would nail his upcoming presentation for the potential investors and all that was imply done to give him confidence was to reengineer his thinking by reengineering his presentation.

It’s Ok to Suck at Public Speaking

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Whether it’s a presentation, a talk, or a wedding toast, stringing together words in front of a sea of faces is terrifying for a lot of people. Millions of people. Probably even you. And me. Definitely me. I hate public speaking.

It’s scary because you might screw it up and be humiliated in front of your audience, whether that’s 10 people or 10,000. It’s scary because, let’s face it, it’s contrived, artificial, and weird. And the big reason: It’s scary because most of us don’t do it enough to get comfortable with it. Practice makes a huge difference.

But here’s the thing: Mastering the art of public speaking is overrated. It’s such a rare event in most people’s careers that the only energy it deserves is indifference. It’s the waterskiing of human speech. If you’re good at it, great for you. But do you feel bad because you are mediocre at waterskiing? I don’t.

In most fields, you can have a successful career while almost never speaking in public. You can have a successful career speaking in public but not being very good at it. You can have a successful career while cowering in the corner, if you’re really, really good at other key aspects of your job.

So stop worrying about how much you suck at public speaking. Which, ironically, is exactly the kind of attitude that could help you get better at it.

Consider comedians. Note their general bearing: They don’t seem nervous, but they also don’t seem super excited. They seem like they’re hanging out with you in the kitchen at a party. TV reporters? They generally seem like they could take or leave an assignment. Auctioneers: Relatively chill, actually. They all seem like they’re just having a conversation — one in which they’re the only ones speaking, but, still, a conversation.

It’s not like we at Forge don’t have public speaking tips. We do! (Listed and linked below.) But honestly: Don’t give this too much of your energy. Treat it like just another chat. Because it is.

Use the “reappraisal” techniqueto channel the adrenaline you feel right before speaking.

Record your speech and critique it. A lot.

Use Dialectical Behavior Therapy to regulate your mood.

Remember that video chat is like your own mini TV show.

And I have a few tips myself. I know it’s not that easy just to be relaxed when giving a speech, so here are a few ways that have helped me seem lower-key than I actually feel:

Say something weird. There is nothing audiences love more than a non sequitur. Find a thing in the room that everyone is aware of, and say the thing you might say if you ran into a friend at a cocktail party. “How do you think you change a light that high up?” “What’s the dog looking at in that painting?” In fact, whatever question a Joe Pesci character might ask while making small talk in a Martin Scorsese movie, ask that. It’s not a joke. But a moment of surprise and delight puts people in a receptive state of mind.

Don’t give a TED Talk (Unless you’re actually giving a TED Talk). That is, don’t pepper your speech with supposedly-off-the-top-of-your-head-but-obviously-rehearsed stories and precisely timed hand gestures. That approach is good for TED. But people aren’t here for a TED talk. They’re here to see you do whatever they’re here to see you do.

Focus on only one person every few seconds as you’re speaking. When you lock eyes, imagine everyone else just not being there. (Switch from person to person, otherwise, one member of the audience is going to get really creeped out.) Treating your speech like a one-on-one conversation will help you emotionally connect to the people you’re speaking with. It will make you feel more relaxed. And then you might even start having fun.

Credit for article – Ross MCCammon Executive Editor, Forge/Medium and author of Works Well With Others https://bit.ly/2N1TWU6

Public Speaking Training Programs that Actually Work for You

Finding a public speaking training company that will satisfy your needs can be a chore.How many times have you been through a company training session provided by an outside source only to find that a after a few days you find yourself forgetting what you have learned? There are a lot of training companies that boast that their programs whether it be sales training, public speaking training, or any other general business training that promises to produce more revenue for your business. I myself have experienced and endured many training programs through my years in the corporate world that promised that once we completed these magical courses that company revenue would increase at a healthy click. Very soon after our minds were armed with new approaches and solutions to outsmart  the competitors and the very people (customers) that we were to obtain new business.

Most companies or individuals are desperate for a quick fix to make themselves more potent producers not really paying attention to how the mechanics of the training course. I have only received and retained very few techniques from most of the training companies that have impacted my business skills, why? Because most training companies tout programs that they have developed with mediocre tools for success or dispense what I call “rote” information which translates into basically training material that has been rehashed and rehashed from other training courses that you may have received  in your early years in sales or management. You may also experience a training that offers a “cute” tie in with some kind recreational theme or so. I’m sorry but this type of training lasts a few days and you will feel yourself forgetting what you have experienced shortly thereafter. This s due to the fact that your training experience was one sided meaning that you probably did not participate in the training to validate what you have learned. Eighty percent of public speaking training companies do not offer the opportunity to learn a section then practice and then perform while in the training class. This is the only way to “reinforce” the training so that it sticks. Most training companies will send in a trainer as a “talking head” to ‘preach” training program and with the exception of fielding a few questions from the participants instead of taking the time to validate what participants truly learned.  So what should you look for in a successful training workshop? An example of a Public Training workshop that I have experienced is actually having the presenter or trainer deliver many sections during the day of training and after each section the participants will break out and then practice with a partner from the class to reinforce what they have learned and then do a solo in front of the room as to simulate a live presentation in front of an audience. They also showed you how to design and write, while in class, a well crafted and effective speech. When this method is employed about 8 or 9 times in the workshop the participants will actually come out with something that is truly learned and absorbed. Most training companies will specify how they institute their training on their web site or most people should inquire as to what a proposed itinerary will include. It’s  important to find a public speaking training company that will actually leave you with a noticeable change in your confidence and skills.