Scared About Speaking in Public? Have a Presentation to Give? Don’t Worry!

So, one day your boss comes to you and gives you a glowing review on your new idea. But there is only one catch, you have to present it to the board or the group at the convention. The fear and panic starts to grip you and the speech is still three weeks away. Don’t worry. I will give you some tips on how to over come that.

I too, hated to speak in public, but after doing some improvisation classes and stand-up over several years I learned to relax. Unlike these, most of you will have a guideline of topics to discuss and will not have to make things up on the spot.

YOU ARE THE MAN (or WOMAN)
Remember that the boss or someone loved your idea or proposal enough to ask you to speak. They WANT to hear what you have to say. So take comfort in that fact first.

BEATS or THE OUTLINE
Just like you did when presenting the information or sales pitch, outline the information. Like in sketch writing, you put down the beats of a scene. These are the bullet points and the go to spot if you lose your place. That’s what most comedians do. The joke or idea of the joke(set-up) is what launches them into the comedy bit. The rest is from memory on the topic.

The same goes true for any speech. The most boring of all speeches are ones that are rehearsed to death. After the first few minutes most people in the room start to think about dinner, if the hotel has pay per view movies, or any number of things OTHER than the information you are trying to provide.

You know this stuff!

MAKING IT INTERESTING
The first words from your mouth after the clapping (there’s always clapping after an introduction) should be “Thank you.”

I know you have heard it a thousand times — Start with a joke.
Well, that is true but it doesn’t mean any old joke. Never, never start your presentation with anything along the lines of two “whatevers” walk into a bar or “knock, knock”. What most people mean by a joke is an anecdote about you, the job, or the place you are speaking.
For example: If the location is less than be desired, comment on how cheap the company is. “Wow, the Days Inn off the expressway, I guess the homeless shelter was booked.”

The reason for any joke or witty comment is to connect with the audience immediately. The things you are thinking, or were thinking when you were them, are also running through their minds now. Use that knowledge to come up with an amusing connection.

If you want a sure fire opener, here you go:
“Thank you, thank you very much. I know we all want to get back to (work, the pool, the open bar, whatever) so I’ll make this brief. Smart Technology and it’s Future [replace with your topic] (then pause for effect.). Thank you, good night.”

Witty topics that might help:
-The length of your speech: “Hope everyone has plenty of food and drinks in front of them before I begin”
-The company or organization: All the employees have similar complaints about the company (be careful of joking yourself out of a job) These are the same type jokes as “What’s with airline food?”
-Your speech giving ability: “The last time I was in front of an audience I was an oak tree and six. So, this should go well.”

You just released the tension in the room with a laugh and hopefully the tension in you. Now get on with it. Be informative with some energy. The crowd feeds off the energy you exude. Think about the difference between a golf announcer and a hockey announcer. They both are presenting a sporting event but their tone and energy matches the play. Yours should match the presentation. Don’t go all crazy if you are introducing a line of caskets. But be enthusiastic about what you are presenting and the crowd will be too.

QUESTIONS
During your presentation the use of questions can help keep you moving. Not from the audience so much, more from what the audience might ask. Almost like autopilot, we can expound upon a topic with enthusiasm and unwavering communication when we know the answer all too well.

KEEP IT SHORT
The best thing to do when preparing is to practice the presentation a few times. Don’t over rehearse. You want to seem very natural in your delivery. Time it as you run over it. There is a happy median between too short and too long. If it feels way too long and you are even boring yourself, cut it back. Just hit the interesting and important information. This also leaves them wanting more.

CONCLUSION
Wrap it up with a small summary (bullet points). Then close with another little witty remark like:”I hope you all enjoyed your nap.”

I hope this helped and gave you an idea of how to over come some of the issues most people face when they have to speak in public. Remember to have fun as much as you can. If you want additional help please feel free to contact me and we can work something out.

The Expert Presentation Myth 2: What’s Holding Back Your Ability to Speak With BIG PAYDAYS

If you’re and entrepreneur, coach, or consultant, one of the fastest ways to grow your business and jumpstart your results is to get the right message in front of the right people!

There are a few simple strategies that can help you leverage the power of speaking to groups, selling one-on-one in a sales presentation or in your online marketing videos.

Let’s face it, a presentation gone wrong is a waste of your time, and energy, AND it erodes your expert status. So we want to be sure we arm you with the right tips, tricks, and strategies to maximize every business-building opportunity!

In our last article we talked about the Top Myth of a GREAT PRESENTATION which is that a great presenter needs to be born with “it”. We pretty much blew that out of the water. This is not an inherited trait. You just need to invest a little time and energy honing the skill!

PRESENTATION MYTH #2: Your presentation is about YOU.

I know you’ve likely heard this before, but everyone is still doing it! You stand up, introduce yourself, and launch into a long presentation about you, your company, your products and services and quickly put everyone to sleep.

Step 1: Believe with total conviction that your presentation is about your AUDIENCE (of one or many), because it is!

And you’ll find that you’ll sell a whole lots more when you truly understand this.

Think back to the last time you were in front the television. Imagine a Cola commercial. Its not about the thing in the can and how they make it, and what goes into it, and how do they get that soda in the can? I don’t know, I don’t care, and neither do you!

Step 2: Your presentation should shine a light on the problem you solve.

You’ve probably heard this before, so I am going to encourage you to review your presentation and ask yourself if you’re really doing it. Are you making it safe for people to say, “you know I do have that problem!”? If not, you’ll find your sales will suffer. So you need to be creative and sensitive to how present the problems your clients are suffering with at the moment, because its likely a sensitive subject.

Make sure you let your audience know that having these problems is common, its the normal journey, and its one they don’t need yo suffer anymore because….

Step 3: Offer the Dream or Solution.

Don’t sell your product or service, sell people on having the dream or the transformation you offer. Focus on what your product DOES for your clients (the benefits) or HOW your services help companies just like theirs! Its a small shift that makes all the difference.

Training Your Pet Not to Unwrap Christmas Presents

The yuletide is nearing and that can only mean one thing. Okay, it means a lot of things. Eggnog and pumpkin pie, cinnamon spices, snowflake and flashing light festive displays. Oh, and of course-presents! Who here likes presents? I am pretty sure we all do.

And, while your cat or dog may not admit it to your face, the fact of the matter is they do too. Coming in to a beloved family pet chewing into the freshly wrapped present from or for grandma might cause a slight chuckle, but it usually causes us to be upset. Our pets do not want to upset us, though. And, we do not want to be upset by our pets. So, there are a number of tricks you can use to train your pets not to unwrap presents.

The first and easiest method is also used with small children. Out of sight, out of mind. This is not so much training your pet to not unwrap Christmas presents as it is simply preventing them, but it is effective. Keep presents locked up and away from your pets, and they will not be able to unwrap them.

Some might use technological devices such as mats that cause discomfort and items that causes an annoying sound that can be heard by cats and dogs to keep them at bay. This is the same basic concept. It is not really training the animal, but is it keeping our presents nice and neatly wrapped.

As with any training, you need to start early with your pets. Teach them early on that chewing on a toy is not acceptable. Reward them for being near a present and not chewing on it. Discipline them when they do chew on a present. Provide them with a toy or other distraction that will keep their attention away from the present.

Our pets need to be trained to respect our area and our property. We share our homes, our families, and our lives, but there are some things that are ours. Children learn this early on. It is okay to play with their toys on the floor, but the lamp needs to stay on the table. The same basic concept works with animals. You need to teach them that it is okay to chew on their bone and not presents.

It will take some practice and the easy way out is definitely preventing the animal from getting near the presents. But, if you really want to train your pet not to unwrap presents, it is possible.