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Eliminate Fear of Rejection and Never be Afraid to Speak in Front of an Audience Again

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Most people have either had a bad experience with public speaking or have avoided getting up in front of an audience fearing that they may be rejected for one reason or another. In either case the mere thought of getting up in front of an audience and failing or feeling like the audience is scrutinizing their presentation is very daunting. So how does one get over this public speaking fear or how I like to call it –“perceived fear” because all or most of this is in your head?  Remember the first thing is that the audience is “your audience” and you are the presenter which means you are in control. The audience is listening to you as they see you as an authority; this may be hard to believe but is true the only person that is the harshest critic is yourself.  Ok this is simple to say but how do you get over being your own critic? How do you realize confidence before you step on stage?  The answer is knowing some basic fundamentals before you speak and feeling comfortable with not only who you are but the way you will deliver content that will be delivering and using a formula that will give you the assurance that your presentation is being well received.  Remember 90% of your nervousness does not show to your audience.

First of all let’s talk content.  Is it relevant to the audience and will the audience gains from your presentation. If you feel that your content will be of value to your audience then you have the first step down and you should feel confident that your material is being well received. You can test this by posing rhetorical questions for audience buy in. Let’s back up a second though…  The design of the presentation will give you even more self assurance because you will have a sort of script to follow this alone will give you as a speaker great confidence.

You can attend a public speaking workshop to be able to learn to design your presentation, but I will give you a little insight. First of all make sure that your title is presented as “solution” to/for your audience that way you have their undivided attention at the beginning of the presentation. Trust me when you feel you have your audience focused on your topic at the onset of your presentation this will give you the confidence right off the bat. Then you will go into the body of the presentation, this is where you will have the opportunity to back up your solution (title).Once gain, a good public speaking workshop will be able to teach you how to design a good body with the major points of focus. For example you will want to use no more than 3 points and you will back each point up with some evidence or a factual account. The presentation does not end after you have finished with the last point. This is where you have the opportunity to close your audience.  You will review or recap your presentation points and then tie them back into the title which was or is your solution.

When participants who take public speaking workshops learn this they become very confident and effective with their presentations and if you choose to take a public speaking class you will eliminate your fear of rejection and never be afraid to speak in public again.

Now is the Time to Make Sure Your Business is Ready as We Come out of the Pandemic

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Even though it seems like society has been down only three months to most of us it seems like an eternity, almost like we were never humming along at all. Our economy was at its highest peak in history just before we had to shut down businesses so that we could prevent further outbreaks. The occurrence has interrupted our business dealings distorted our time comprehension because we have no markers, no deadlines that tell us when things are due by calendar or what upcoming meetings we need to attend. The reality is that businesses and society need to get back to functioning and it seems to be coming into reality as we speak.

Since we have all been a little disheveled and almost delirious from this inactivity we need to start a plan of action to be able to come out of the gates stronger than ever otherwise our competition will. One of the things companies need to think about if they have not already during this Pandemic is what skills did our workforce lose because of their inactivity? Skills are like a muscle if they are not used or exercised on a consistent basis they get flaccid and weak. The truth is that since we were disseminated from our work central location we probably did not have the opportunity to utilize and strengthen those skills.

Rebuilding skills through training right now and getting the jump on things before you can get back out to win business is very crucial at this point. This can be a golden opportunity to reassess and implement new training skills. Excellent communication skills are always essential to win and maintain business whether it be sales, customer service or presentation skills. Being the management has probably gotten a little rusty –time management skills, and team building are essential to keep morale and motivation up.

Right now you may be relegated to Zoom or Web Ex training but if done right online training can be effective and you could even request a training package that will include future training done in-house as part of the initial online training package. When choosing a training company make sure that you understand what the training session includes , a lot of training companies will provide instruction but it is key that the trainings have a lot of interaction and individual performance during the sessions to validate understanding what your employees learn.  Leaders Speakers a North Carolina training company performs communications and leadership training in the Carolina’s and have proved excellent to have an track record and results.

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