If you are very, very tired of feeling sidelined, ignored or tongue-tied, this, my lovelies, this is the kaboom-shaped resource you’ve been looking for.
I’m not going to spend time talking about why more people should speak up. I’m going to suggest that that’s a given. If you’ve made the effort to mosey on down to download this downloadable, it's cos you wanna get heard more. And seeing as all I do is work to get people heard, I trust you’ll find at least one thing here that’ll support you in that ambition.
There are things you can do before, during and after making a presentation, speaking to a client or leading a workshop so that you feel calm, centered, and ready to speak up and own your expertise.
The goal is to deliver warmth and authority in equal measure. The emotional physical and intellectual tips here should support you doing exactly that.
Sorry to break it to you, please don’t hate me. Coffee increases adrenaline and cortisol. It’s not a good idea if you’re nervous. If you’re feeling anxious and even if you’re a coffee fiend, seek an alternative to your espresso before you take the stage.
Do some kind of exercise if you can. It’ll calm you and release endorphins. That’s the chemical name for the halo of self-satisfaction you’ll get.
Get very, very clear on the idea you want to share, why the audience would want to listen to that idea and how you’ll shape your material for variety and accuracy.
Know your first sentence off by heart. It’ll help you get past the anxiety of the first few moments.
Know your last line off by heart. If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s really hard to get there.
Practice out loud. Yes, out loud. Unless you have a photographic memory, reading does nothing except show you your reading skills. It doesn’t help you deliver your text when it’s time to say it.
Breathe out right before you begin. It’ll relax you and help your voice drop. In fact, try it now. Take a breath in and say out loud what could be a first sentence. Breath out and do the same. As a result, you’ll hear how much more relaxed you sound.
Make an effort to break down the wall between you and the audience. Even a quick smile at the beginning and end helps this. Seeing as we smile at people we like, our brain’s mirror neurons mean we’ll be inclined to like you because we see you like us.
Likewise, plant someone to beam their love at you during your talk. It doesn't matter that you know they are a plant. Your mirror neurons will respond to their positivity just the same and you’ll feel more relaxed and successful as you speak. (This is a fab tip. You’re welcome.)
If you’re on camera, make sure you look good on camera by having lots of light, a professional-looking background, and that your head and chest are in the frame. It’ll make it easier for you to use your hands.
Speaking of hands, use them to illustrate the ideas you are talking about. Don’t make wild gestures. Using your hands appropriately means we’ll evaluate you as being smarter – and you’ll certainly be more engaging. (That’s why we love hands.)
Plan for an energy marathon, not a sprint.
Water is your friend.
If you are delivering a workshop or a presentation, move and then stop to deliver an idea. Plant those feet and then move for a new idea and stop again. Don’t disperse your energy by walking and talking.
When I worked with the explosion of energy that is Nas Daily, this was exactly what I worked on with him. Use this tip to help you look more authoritative.
Give yourself a big pat on the back. Happy dances are also welcome.
Immediately after you present, accept no feedback except, “Yo!! You were absolutely fantastic!!!” The following day you may be more open to hearing how you can do better.
To build your public speaking muscle, look for anther opportunity as soon as you can. That’s how you get better at anything. You do it again. Bike-riding, diving, public speaking. To get better at it, do it again.
Kaboom. Now you can have a coffee – but chances are if you just got off stage, you won’t need it.