I’m sure you’ve seen the kid in your class or the colleague in your workplace who just seems to have it all together. When they enter a room, they do so with a certain swag and panache.
It seems like their lives are easy and if you didn’t know better, you’d swear they had a secret no one else knew. But, you know it’s not a secret because you recognize what they have…CONFIDENCE. Everybody wants it. Not everyone knows how to get it and keep it. It’s easier to acquire than we want to admit. But, most want to walk into a store where they can grab it from the shelf.
What is confidence and why do we want it? It’s easy to confuse confidence with cockiness. The cocky person is a self-promoter who is always seen. They make sure you know they exist. Some people are easily drawn to them and others are easily repelled by them. Confidence, on the other hand, isn’t always loud. It isn’t always seen but when you see it,...
I was working with a client recently on her speaking. She mentioned how whenever she presented, she became a bit flustered because she wasn’t comfortable with how she should begin and was always conscious of what people were thinking as she spoke.
Her nerves always seemed to get the best of her. And while it was necessary for her to present regularly in her position, she couldn’t seem to get to a point where she felt like her message was getting across. She felt all over the place.
I asked her to speak on a couple of impromptu topics and came away with a different impression. She didn’t seem as soft spoken as she had claimed and her visual expression projected more confidence than she felt. But, there was definitely something missing in the structure of her talk. It was missing a direct path to her point. So, she often came off like she was rambling or making something up on the spot.
She also expressed her challenge of not always having enough time to put a talk...
You’ve heard how critical it is to have an amazing opening for your speech. Yes? Good. I’m glad because if your opening is weak, you can lose your audience very quickly. I can’t tell you how many speakers go up to the stage, or the podium and proceed to bore their audience to tears even before they are out of their intro paragraph.
However, I’ve also heard the opposite…speakers who had a strong opening but had no idea how to wrap it up. I’m guilty. I’ve had speeches or even workshops where I could feel my mind tensing up as I was coming down to the end. I’d gotten the plane in the air, we had a great flight but I had NO IDEA how to land it. And landing the plane is critical. You can land the plane smoothly, or you can have an abrupt-slam-the-wheels-on-the-ground landing, the awkward, sideways landing or you can have a horrible crash and burn. I’ve had the crash and burn happen, but mostly the awkward-sideways landing. This is...
You’ve got 5 seconds…maybe 6. You need to grab their attention immediately and then hold it for some time after that. Public speaking or giving presentations at work can be some of the most terrifying moments you may ever experience. It’s weird because you’re not in any physical danger, yet your heart pounds like it’s actively attempting to escape from your chest.
This doesn’t happen at this level for everyone. Some will look very comfortable and at ease. According to Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain,
“There are two types of speakers: those that are nervous and those that are liars.”
If you are like me and have experienced speaking or presenting more than once, the feeling usually doesn’t stay the entire time. It’s those moments before and the first few seconds in. This is the critical time of judgment. This is when your audience decides if they are interested or not. If you lose them in the beginning, can you get...
It was an important roll-out. The team had spent weeks putting together the timelines, the assets, and answering all the questions they could think of. Now, the only thing left was presenting it to senior management. The team chose Sarah, the person who knew the most about the proposed system, to present the idea.
There was one problem, however. Sarah was scared out of her mind. And when she went into the room to present, it showed. She fumbled with her clicker and her papers. Her sentences rambled. The red showed clearly on her face.
When she left the room, she broke down in tears because she had blown it.
Maybe every presentation isn’t high stakes or this dramatically terrible. But, this is a true scenario more often than most companies would admit. Whether it’s a high stakes sales presentation, new business pitch, or laying out a new strategy, the success of the business is dependent upon influence. This...