Some of the smartest people in their professions miss out on exciting career opportunities and advancement because they lack confidence in their public speaking abilities. They don’t take the chance to apply for a higher position within their organization because they don’t know how to address the public. The person who might not have the highest IQ or advanced degrees but who can address a group and get their ideas over persuasively is the person who will rise to the top. Usually they stay there.
Ask yourself: Who would you rather connect with? Someone who only talks about themselves and how great they are? Or someone who builds other people up? As an entrepreneur and a business owner, you need to be good at public speaking. Low morale, personal conflicts, and unhelpful attitudes can all be addressed effectively with a little public speaking training applied. The most successful people are the ones who can communicate in powerful language what their mission is, who they are, and what they offer. These are the people who can connect with an individual effectively. They communicate their mission, and get results. You can have brilliance, but the people who really “make it” can leverage their offer so powerfully, with a message so clear, it connects with people.
Here is how you can evolve yourself as a motivational public speaker and have success in whatever you do.
Learn your style
There are quite a number of instruments which help us identify our style. This is the one I learned. Each letter stands for one of the predominant styles of communication that people tend to lean toward.
D – stands for Dominance. It can also stand for the Driver. Quite ordinarily the “D” people would be the hard driving, or the leader of the organization who doesn’t want excuses or alibis. They wanted it done yesterday, and wonder why it isn’t being done now.
I – stands for Imaginative. This person is an inventive creative type, and an Idea person. They are also known as the good will person, the one who checks in with everyone, and who by their very presence helps to create a warm, relaxed atmosphere. This is the person who walks into the meeting a little late, and while the D-person is going over the agenda, the I-type will start a conversation among the group, asking something like, “anybody watch that good movie last night?”
S – stands for Steadiness. What they want most is harmony, both in the work place and at home. They want everyone pleased and will work hard to make sure that there is a group consensus. For this reason, S-type communicators are good ones to have on your team.
C – stands for Compliance. This is the person who supports any good idea suggested by someone in the audience. This type of communicator likes things done by the book. They are most relaxed when they know exactly what’s expected of them, because they excel at doing as they are told.
While we all exhibit some attributes from more than one style, you should be able to recognize your habits in one of these four types.
Have yourself enrolled in a system of personal and professional development
Just as the way in which we communicate has drastically changed over the past twenty years, so, too, have public speaking training options and techniques. In the old days, it was the case that you could only be in one place at one time. Nowadays, it’s possible to regularly employ more than one technique, as different situations require different approaches.
Here are some of the public speaking training options available
- In Person: It is always preferable to schedule one-on-one coaching time. These sessions might be in the form of a private consultation, a half day, or a full day seminar.
- Conferences, Skype and Webinars: With today’s advanced technology, we are really not far away from people at all. These options make it possible to reach out to public speaking trainers all over the world, both maximizing your time and your budget.
- Videos: Videos are great teaching tools. Watching them is a lot more fun! As a presenter, your overall demeanor and presence can also, in effect, accomplish a lot of the teaching for you.
Here is an approach that good public speaking training schools follow
For the first presentation, they let you speak on something that is very natural and easy for you to speak about. A hobby, a trip, a famous person you’ve met, a favorite book you’ve read, or a memory from childhood. It can really be anything as long as it’s something that’s very easy for you to talk about spontaneously. After that first speech is video tapped, your mentor gives constructive feedback. After a short break with some discussion, you then give the presentation again.
For the second part of the day, you will give a 10-15 minute speech that relates to your profession. Ideally, this should be something you would be talking about to your clients or colleagues, such as an annual report presentation, a statement in the staff meeting, or an ideas pitch. Again this second speech is videotaped and viewed together with the mentor. Have a discussion with some critique, and then do the speech again.
Why it Works: Many people are afraid of the camera because we all know it doesn’t lie. But this is also the biggest advantage of video. It can show you what you don’t need to worry about! The symptoms we sense during our experience of stage fright are not visible to the audience!” The fact that our stomach is churning, our throat is dry, our hand is shaking, we’re perspiring more than usual, or our knees may be a little wobbly – if you look at the screen, you’ll say, “gee, nobody would have ever noticed that!” You can hear this over and over, but until you see it for yourself, you probably won’t believe it. Seeing it for yourself is a wonderful comfort.
Major verses Minor: You’ll also notice that some of the things you thought to be MAJOR mistakes were just minor glitches. What seemed to you like a very very very extended pause was just five seconds, and looked upon by the audience as a simple transition of thought. Nobody could tell you these things, however. You really do have to see them for yourself before it sinks in.
Track your progress
Once you’ve had a chance to view your own presentation, your coach will give critique, evaluation, and feedback. Take this in, and do the presentation a second time. Both you and the coach will be able to see immediate improvement. Sometimes, in just that initial session, the results can be quite remarkable and outstanding. One popular motivational speaker had this to say:
During my early days when I was learning how to get the message out, I went through this same training process myself. I can say that watching my performance, followed by debriefing, discussion, and then doing it again, was all very impactful and helpful. The next day after my training, I actually went out and gave a presentation. I was a lot more relaxed and at ease, knowing that all the things I originally thought stood out like sore thumbs were hardly noticeable at all. This gave me the freedom to be myself and focus more on my message. As a result, my speaking improved, and has continued to improve over the years. Books from some of the best authors like Anthony Robbins, John Maxwell, Zig Ziglar and Dale Carnegie have also helped me a lot. The training they impart through their books still means a lot to me.
Build a following a lead by example
Get yourself seen: Try and get good publicity, such as press releases, put out into the online community. Publish links to your website on your own social media sites, especially Facebook, about events you have attended, and call attention to the progress that has taken place in your life. Post photos, either those you have taken, or from the company website or archives. Share them on Linked-in, Google +, and other applicable sites.
Help draw attention to milestone occasions: For example, you were hired to deliver the keynote speech for a bank’s 75th anniversary. Write something such as: “I was there because I have had the privilege of providing communication consulting for this outstanding firm during the last three years.”
Get yourself heard: Look for opportunities to get yourself heard. Know anyone who works in radio? Give them a call and say, “I could make a great guest on your show and contribute a lot to your listeners.” Target shows with an audience that matches with your targeted audience.
The responsibility of staying motivated lies with you
You can’t sit around waiting to be inspired, or waiting for friends/spouses/prospects to call with an opportunity that excites you. So what good is motivation if it doesn’t last? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Staying motivated is like staying clean. A bath doesn’t last, either, which is why we need to keep bathing as famed speaker Zig Ziglar was fond of saying. By the same token, it’s up to us to bathe our psyches every day with the kind of positive reinforcement that keeps us heading in our desired direction.
Most of us can find a vast waterfall of motivation in the daily rise and fall of our self-talk. Now someone might say, “I don’t talk to myself.” And we would have to point out, guess what? You just did.
We talk to ourselves positively and negatively every day. Most of us have a continual stream or sound track that plays in our head. Thoughts such as, “Oh, he’s going to hate that, what a dumb idea” can have subtle undermining effects on your daily production.The first step to changing these thoughts is to become aware of them. Now, this isn’t an opportunity to regale yourself with delusions of grandeur, but rather to assess what you know and don’t know.
What follows are a list of suggestions for things you can do every day to keep yourself strong, steady, and motivated.
- Give yourself good, positive input and self-talk.
- Remind yourself of accomplishments and how far you’ve come.
- Remember the skills you’ve learned, and the training you’ve had.
- Most people have a tendency to replay the bad things over and over, while glossing over the good. Try reversing that tendency. Go with the good things.
- Think ahead about where you are going, not about how bad it’s been.
- Read upbeat literature and books on personal development.
- Listen to audio CDs or broadcasts that are highly motivational.
- Watch television programs and movies and that inspire you.
- Spend some time alone in quiet reflection every day.
- Take a look at your flock. Who do you hang out with? Associate with positive people whom you admire.
- Take time off every week to rest and recharge, even during busy times.
- Continue to replenish the well by attending conferences, seminars, and hearing talks from speakers who inspire you.
- Take care of your primary asset by making time for exercise and healthy food choices.
- Make regular deposits into your relationship accounts. Your family and friends are the people you can draw strength from during times of low self-esteem. Likewise, make sure to be there for them when they need you.
Imagine the amount of good that could be done in the world if we combined brilliant intelligence with poise and charisma? Imagine the powerful combination of a speaker gifted with poise, power and persuasion, so he or she can generate the attention, the agreement, and the action that they want? Not only is this possible, but I’ve seen it happen: people break out of these patterns after only a relatively small amount of invested, focused time.
Every high achiever is someone who is paying a lot of attention to not just their skills and techniques, but to staying motivated. You can make sure to stay on top of your game by becoming more aware of what motivates you.
We don’t claim instant miracles here, but with the right kind of preparation ahead of time – raising your speaking IQ, practice, discussion, feedback, and watching the video playback – you will see visible improvement. And the best part is, this improvement isn’t just temporary. It’s yours to keep adding to.