People make split-second judgments about you constantly! You can’t change that. However, you CAN improve that initial impression. One simple step can change peoples’ perception of your competency.
As you enter your workshop room, your pulse races. You check your watch. 15 more minutes remain before go time.
Nerves cause you to fumble your usb drive as you work to upload your presentation. You grab your notes and review them one last time, fearful that you might be stumped by an unexpected question.
You glance at the clock one last time while trying not to obsess over the perspiration that you feel slowly seeping through the pits of your shirt. As you prepare to commence your presentation, you take a deep breath and begin.
Pause right there.
Nerves inevitably happen, but do not let them negatively influence your presentation or the audience's experience.
Grab Your Glasses. Re-focus.
Reconnect with your "why."
What lead you to teach this workshop (& possibly push outside your comfort zone)?
My guess is that you wanted to impact people’s lives for the better. Keep that at the forefront of your mind. Focus on your audience and that “why” rather than yourself, and watch your nerves diminish.
Welcome with Warmth
Have you ever felt out of place in a crowd? Think back to that first day at a new school or job where you didn’t know a soul.
That scenario can be intimidating. Often the newbie feels out of place and is more focused on that awkward feeling than the topic of the class lecture or work meeting. Then a teacher or boss chats with the newcomer, makes him or her feel comfortable, and introduces the newcomer to his peers. Immediately, that negative emotion is replaced with relief and appreciation.
Don’t let people feel out of place at your workshop. Make it your mission to ensure that they are comfortable and feel welcomed.
Find an excuse to meet them at the door. Share a handout, a cup of kombucha, a nourishing snack, or a simple smile and greeting.
Make eye contact with the client, introduce yourself, and connect. Try to learn a bit about them, and store that information away in your memory (or later in a notepad) in order to nourish the relationship better down the road.
If you have the opportunity to do so, introduce newcomers with other workshop participants. Help them build a support network. Both you and your client will benefit from having a tight-knit group. It’s a win-win! Here's why...
Client success: Social support is a key component to people adopting better health habits long-term. A culture of wellness is contagious.
Your success: Successful clients are chatty. All that talk leads to referrals, which will help your business boom!
At your next workshop, remember that nerves are normal. If butterflies appear uninvited, don't panic.
Instead, pre-occupy yourself with making others feel comfortable. Decreased focused on your own jitters or perceived shortcomings will bring you a step closer to having a chat-worthy workshop!
How do you make your audience feel comfortable? Share your tips in the comments section.
The first words you hear out of a person's mouth impact your initial impression of him or her. Consequently, first impressions are crucial. Make a splash with yours.
Prudently Prepare to Avoid Panic
High pressured situations can leave people tongue tied. Your likelihood of success in attempting a new or challenging endeavor (e.g. marketing yourself in a few short sentences) is increased when there is no risk involved. That's why we practice before game day. Practice helps the skill become second nature, and it prepares you for the unexpected.
Consider the following. If you had to swim in a 1/2 mile open water race in a few months and you would receive $1,000 if you finished and $8,000 if you placed, would you prepare or wing it?
In these races, competitors are periodically (hopefully accidentally) kicking those swimming alongside of them as they jet to the finish line. If you haven't swum for years prior to race day, those uncomfortable distractions are likely to derail you. Conversely, consistent practice would help you cross the finish line with grace and power regardless of interruptions and obstacles.
Iron Out the Wrinkles Now
Apply this principle to your business. Let's say you just wrapped up a Fortis Program workshop series with a company, and you are on the hunt for new clients.
While perched on the bleachers at your kid's baseball game, you suddenly notice that seated next to you is the CEO of a business you have been eyeing. As the pitcher launches a ball towards home plate, you anxiously turn to the CEO to give a pitch of your own.
Do you want this potentially game changing pitch to be off the mark? If it was unrehearsed, there is a higher change that you will strike out.
However, if you prepared well, the boisterous crowds, the bird poop bomb that just landed on your shoulder, or the expected soda shower provided by the excited fan behind you will not throw you off your game.
Iron out those inevitable wrinkles now so that you hit a home run when you unexpectedly find yourself chatting with a potential dream client.
Time for Action
- After establishing a connection through light conversation, you want to share specific details with the potential client. Who are you, what are you passionate about, and how do you help people? Write that down. Play with the wording until you are able to share this information clearly and concisely.
- Rehearse this script out loud several times. Practice makes perfect.
- When it starts to roll off of your tongue, request the assistance of a loved one and give them your pitch without looking at your cheat-sheet. Ask for feedback.
- Next, try it on a stranger who inquires what you do for a living. If the opportunity arises, go to a networking meeting and share your message.
- Warn people to put their sunglasses on because you are about to shine a bit brighter!
Think of the most fearful or unmotivated kid you know.
Meet my target audience when I was a budding entrepreneur. At age 15, I started teaching kids to swim, and the experience was a powerful lesson in public speaking.
I ran a thriving swim lesson business and was blessed to coach hundreds of kids over the next few summers. Early each morning, I would splash into the often icy pool with a (I admit… sometimes forced) smile on my face as I encouraged groups of young kids to join me in the fun.
Teaching groups of rambunctious kids who had just downed sugary breakfast cereal was a task in and of itself. As an added challenge, many of these kids were terrified of water, which is why they were sent my way.
What was the key to my success?
Being excited, energetic, and playful helped me to distract kids from their phobia while they were making huge strides in their swimming.
I often caught parents with an amused look on their face as they watched me belt out ridiculous swimming skill songs or encourage their children to learn the fundamentals through comical games I created.
Those antics led to happy customers and a booming business that put me through college.
Teaching Takeaways from Tots
I've presented to thousands of kids both through swim lessons and various health workshops I have taught to youth. As a result, I have learned priceless lessons that have translated to my current work teaching corporate wellness workshops.
The main takeaway…
Kids don’t sugar coat their feedback on your presentation skills. If they are bored, they will look away, get upset, or literally fall asleep in front of you. If they are engaged and excited, you will see joy emanating from their little faces.
Have Fun with Your Face
Have you ever witnessed a serious individual break character and ham it up in front of an infant, fishing for one of those charming baby smiles or laughs?
Kids tune into theatrical adults who modulate their voice, use dramatic body gestures, and make entertaining facial expressions.
Adults enjoy being engaged and excited as well.
Therefore, be verbally and visually expressive when you present. Your workshop participants will come away with not only great information but also a smile.
As an added perk, engaging workshops are talked about and that buzz leads to more business.
Get Honest Feedback
So, how do you practice being a dynamic presenter who is sure to catch the audience’s attention?
If you want to get an accurate read on how interesting or lackluster your presentation skills are in order to improve your skills, here is my suggestion.
“Hire” kid coaches. Present to them.
There are hundreds of young coaches who critique free of charge. Find them at libraries, pre-schools, elementary schools, mom & toddler groups, sports teams, or your neighborhood.
You have 1 month to complete the following fun challenge.
Gather some young kids (4-7 years old) and give them a 10+ minute workshop on healthy eating (catered to their age). Observe their reactions.
Provided you have parental consent, set up a tripod and record their visual feedback so that you can analyze it later.
Review the Tapes
What caused the kids to engage or disengage? Were they able to listen for 10 minutes straight or did they benefit from some workshop activities and other interaction?
Let me know how your kid presentation goes and what you learned from the experience!
Then, take those lessons and apply them to your adult workshops. Remember, kids aren’t the only ones who enjoy learning that is masked in fun!
You know that parent who uses their kid as an excuse to pet strangers’ dogs? Guilty.
Whether or not you are a dog lover like me, you know that Fido should not be constantly locked up in a kennel and needs 2-3 walks daily. It is important for the dog's well-being to stretch, get fresh air, and explore its surroundings.
Loosen Up Those Chains
Now let’s look at your average entrepreneur. Most of us are chained to a chair all day and do not get sufficient daily movement and fresh air.
It is time to start taking yourself on walks.
Being glued to a desk all day and neglecting to incorporate regular movement negatively impacts your productivity in the office and overall health. Movement helps pump oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the brain, which maximizes your mental performance.
Enhance Your Memory
A recent study conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that walking (and exercise in general) increases the size of your brain’s hippocampus, which consequently improves your memory. Furthermore, research participants who exercised regularly learned faster than their sedentary counterparts.
Amplify Mental Focus
Recent studies are also suggesting that walking in nature versus on a treadmill will amplify your brain’s ability to concentrate. Renowned brain researcher Frances Kuo, PH.D. conducted studies linking a reduction in ADD symptoms with time spent in natural surroundings. Her theory is that being in a natural environment refocuses your brain’s pre-frontal cortex, which is heavily utilized in a typical office setting.
The brain’s ability to retain focus is often diminished when a person fixates on a particular mental task for a prolonged period without a mental and physical hiatus from the cubical. A mid-day walk around the block can help.
Incorporate movement and fresh air into your schedule this week, and watch your productivity and focus increase. Try the following tips:
Take your laptop outside and work in the sunshine. Do 10 pushups or air squats every 30 minutes.
Prior to a phone meeting, lace up your sneakers and walk around your neighborhood during the phone call.
When the weather is nice, go outside to eat your lunch in order to get some fresh air.
- Are you getting low on energy? Grab your phone, find your favorite upbeat tune, and have a 5 minute dance party to get that oxygen pumping to your brain.
Bonus points if you send me your dance video. :) firstname.lastname@example.org
What helps you stay energized during the work day?
Comment below to share your great tips with our community of NTPs & NTCs.
You are what you consume.
As a Nutritional Therapist, you teach this principle to clients, and you practice what you preach by nourishing your own body.
But how are you feeding your mind? (Note: I’m not talking about boosting your physical brain with more fish oil).
What environment do you surround yourself with each day?
The messages around you feed your subconscious mind and have a huge influence on your success in life and in business.
Choose carefully what you consume.
Check in with Yourself
Ask yourself the following.
What messages penetrate my mind as a consequence of the social media content I peruse, YouTube videos and Netflix shows I watch, the conversations I engage in, the music I consume, the websites I frequent, and books I read?
Do those messages build you up? Or do they tear you down, leading you to doubt yourself and scale back on your goals?
Let’s take a quick detour to consider the following.
There will always be good and bad bacteria in the gut. However, we want the good bacteria to have the upper hand. The physical health of the body depends on this ratio being balanced. Therefore, we feed the body foods that will help good bacteria proliferate and limit foods that cause a flair up of bad bacteria.
Now apply that same principal to the mind.
A successful businessperson’s mind is not devoid of negativity but that negativity needs to be actively kept in check.
You Reap What You Sow
Avoid planting seeds of comparison, negativity, and chaos in your mind.
These seeds will turn into weeds. Weeds will develop deep roots in the mind, choking out your goals, dreams, creativity, self-confidence, and productivity.
Crowd out the weeds that have already taken root by overpopulating your mind with thoughts of gratitude. Focus on your goals and aspirations, those who inspire you, and positive mantras.
The morning mind is extra malleable. First thing each day, jump in the drivers seat. Be extra picky about what you allow your mind to consume.
Avoid the temptation to pick up your phone immediately, allowing social media posts and work email to mold your foundational thoughts of the day. Instead, each morning plant new seeds in your subconscious mind that will blossom into flowers.
Before long, positive, productive thoughts will reign in your mind from dawn to dusk.
Your business will likely follow this positive trajectory of your mind.
Clients who are drawn to your positivity will be knocking at your door. Goals that once seemed insurmountable will now be seen as an exciting challenge. Your sales meetings will go smoother with your newfound confidence.
Take a day’s vacation from social media, YouTube, TV, website surfing, and the radio. Reallocate that time filling your mind with positive music, mantras, and media. Add in the occasional uplifting talk. Here is my go-to inspirational podcast.
Also, schedule quiet time into your day. Block out the noise and potential negativity, and watch impressive business ideas spontaneously pop up in your mind.
Enjoy the pruning and planting!
Think back to the best presenter you have witnessed. Was it powerful? He/she likely lit up the room and captivated the audience.
What was the secret to that presenter's success?
Luckily, a golden tongue and a gregarious, outgoing personality are not required to capture attention. Natural talent helps, but most eloquent and confident presenters shine on stage because they have put in the work needed to excel. Public speaking is a learned art.
So what does this learning process look like?
Join me down memory lane as I share my journey to becoming a public speaker.
As a kid, I had a fear of being fearful. Middle school arrived and I decided to overcome my fear of public speaking.
I spent the next 10 years taking advantage of jobs, roles, and academic opportunities that forced me to tackle this fear.
I voiced my opinions in class.
From grades 7-12, I was in student government, which forced me to speak regularly in front of my class and the school.
At church, I read the scripture readings.
I signed up for classes focusing on debate and public speaking.
I sought out jobs that required me to teach groups.
The process was hard and awkward at times. I have lost my train of thought, stuttered, been forced to power through a blaring fire alarm while presenting, spoken to practically empty rooms, and had my chia kombucha explode like a rocket onto the ceiling mid-presentation.
It was all worth it. I learned from my mistakes and the mishaps, and I emerged with an invaluable skill.
Also, eventually the unthinkable happened. Public speaking became enjoyable. Now a significant portion of my income is generated from that skill.
That doesn't mean I am done growing. I continue to critique recordings of my conference presentations and other talks. I strongly believe that whether you are a seasoned speaker or a newbie, it is important to invest time into tuning up your pipes. The world needs to here our message. Speak up!
So what can you do to improve? Let's start with one easy tip.
You need to speak to crowds as often as possible.
Initially workshops are a training ground for you. Therefore, don’t worry if it is not a paid gig. Those will come. Also, adopt the mentality that no venue or group is beneath you.
Here are some ideas to help you practice your presentation skills. Grace others with your gab by speaking here:
Local gyms/ yoga studios
Mom’s group get together
A healthy dinner party
A chiropractor, physical therapist, or acupuncture’s office
A nursing home
A day care
An elementary or high school class
Youth sports teams
Your local Chamber of Commerce
A Toast Masters Group
Local radio station
Local TV station
A health fair
Cross off the speaking opportunities listed above that you have done.
All practice helps no matter how glamorous or mundane the venue may seem. That conference gig may be just as valuable of a learning experience as the workshop you provide to 3 kids at a day care. Take advantage of all of the experiences. Practice makes perfect.
You do need to dedicate time to learning this art. Hone your craft by putting yourself out there, learning from your mistakes, getting speaking tips (click for info video) from others, and gaining confidence from your big and small public speaking successes. Once you master that (and hustle to get gigs), watch the invitations to teach workshops on the big league stages roll in. You've got this!
Did you like this post? I'd love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comment section.
As a business owner, you wear many hats. A can-do attitude is necessary when it comes to tackling the multitude of new business challenges.
However, that attitude can be a double edged sword.
In order to be financially successful, you may need to take off a few hats, and bet on your strengths. Here is why.
Recently I found a sleek, black blazer at a great deal. It was perfect besides needing tailoring. I can repair a frayed buttonhole and throw together a crude pillowcase, but that is the extent of my sewing prowess. So I had three options.
Wear a baggy blazer.
Con: I look frumpy.
Enlist the help of a seasoned tailor.
Con: I have to pay them.
Tackle the project and learn how to sew.
Con: It takes time to learn the craft, and I may butcher the blazer in the process.
Let’s flesh out Con #3.
I would need to spend weeks watching YouTube sewing tutorials.
Practice makes perfect; therefore, I would need to purchase a few guinea pig blazers from the thrift store and try my hand at tailoring. (Read time and money).
Not being a seamstress, I do not own a sewing machine. Add that to the list of purchases.
Let’s fast forward. Dozens of hours and a hundred (plus) dollars later, I have a tailored blazer that looks halfway decent if I am lucky.
Now, if I needed to tailor 10 blazers, the time and money spent on learning this craft may be worth it. However, if this is a one-time task, I am better off outsourcing this work.
The same principle applies to business.
“But it is expensive to outsource,” you protest.
Yes, it can be. As a (possibly financially struggling) small business owner, YouTube tutorials on designing a website, creating marketing videos, and implementing social media tactics can be invaluable in saving you money.
However, sometimes you need to spend money to make money. There are certain tasks that will take huge chunks of your time, energy, and even money to learn from scratch that may be best to outsource.
Therefore, bet on your strengths.
What can you do better than others to make money in the wellness space? What do you do poorly?
Perhaps you are great at public speaking, but you are a weak writer and do not excel at copyediting. Spend your efforts marketing and booking a few more speaking gigs this month. Use some of that extra money to hire a copy editor to help you improve your website copy and marketing material verbage. One glaring grammar mistake could turn off a customer. It is worth the investment to outsource at times.
Now take action by analyzing these questions.
What are your strengths in business?
What should you outsource?
Share your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!
"Exciting!" "Captivating!" "Impactful!"
We would all love to see this on every feedback form returned by workshop participants.
How do you make that dream a reality?
How do you engage an audience who is likely low on sleep, crashing from the danish grabbed an hour ago, and addicted to their smart phones?
There are 3 key tactics that I'm sharing with you today that will get your audience engaged and focused on you. Making small but impactful changes in the way you speak to your participants can take your talk from dull to captivating.
Use these strategies to better communicate important health information, and therefore, help change your community!
CLICK my face for the video!
Once you've had a chance to watch, I'd love to hear from you in the comments.
1. Which of the 3 tactics do you find most important?
2. How do you want to improve in your public speaking?
Thanks for reading/ watching and I look forward to hearing from you!
As a young child I was fascinated by the tenacity of ants.
As the ants hauled their sizable loot back to their colony, I would study them with awe, wondering how they carried food and building supplies more than two times their size. They seemed unfazed by this substantial task that they undertook daily.
Although this feat appears impressive, ants were built for that work.
Similarly, we are capable of achieving more than we could ever imagine. The human brain and body are incredibly designed. You were made for greatness.
Unfortunately, we often sell ourselves short rather than reaching our full potential in business. Throw that bad habit aside because it is time to reach for the stars and change the world!
What is holding you back from approaching that client, trying an out of the box marketing tactic, or asking for business advice from a friend?
For most of people, it is fear of failure. Perhaps, you were turned down by the client you approached recently or your last marketing idea was a total failure.
Failure is not something to fear but rather to embrace.
Now, don't get me wrong. I want you to succeed. However, if you are failing here and there in business, it means that you are daring to try new things beyond your comfort zone. That is where most growth happens.
Therefore, if you have failed recently, I am proud of you!
This week, I challenge you to learn from the ants by working to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles that you face.
Here is your challenge:
1. Write down 3 business goals that you want to achieve but have been afraid to attack. Create a game plan for achieving these goals.
2. Share your goals in the comments below to keep you accountable.
3. Get out there and wow the world!
Don't forget the passion that led you on this journey to help others heal and to change the way your community sees food.
Get specific with your "WHY."
What is the precise reason you want to spread this information to others? Let that be your driving force. It will help you on a daily basis to get through the inevitable lows of entrepreneurism, and it will enable you focus on the highs!
Comment below with a few words stating your "why."
“If you have a ‘why’ to live for, to fight for and to work for, you can tolerate the ‘how.’”
Warm weather is finally here! During this time of year, weekends often become filled with outdoor social activities such as memorial day cookouts, your child or niece/ nephew's soccer games, and the neighborhood block party.
During these spring and summer events, there are ample opportunities to connect casually with others and organically share that you provide nutrition services.
Yes, it's possible for you to market your business without feeling pushy or like a used car sales man. While in conversation with your peers, share your excitement about what you are providing to clients and the great results you are seeing in them. Make sure to touch on the "why" behind what excites you to do this work rather than just laying out the details. Let your passion lead the conversation.
Gauge their interest after covertly planting that seed in their mind. Let's say you are offering a corporate wellness workshop. (Note: you can use the same approach if you're providing other groups with workshops or doing individual consultations. Simply change the players). If they are excited about the topic and it seems like a natural transition at that time, you can ask if they think that they or their company could benefit from a nutrition workshop designed to help employees improve their health and therefore their productivity, energy, etc.
Notice, I didn't immediately recommend you say, "can you set me up with your HR director!" or much worse, "I'm so desperate for clients and I hate marketing. Is there any way you could help me?!?" Rather, I asked if they thought this program would benefit them and their fellow employees. Most people will agree that learning more about nutrition would be beneficial. Getting an individual employee on board with the idea is a great first step to starting a conversation about bringing a workshop to their place of business.
Again, if they seem really excited about the idea of having you support the company they work for, you could continue that conversation and perhaps ask for a contact in HR/ management. If they seem mildly interested and it doesn't feel right to continue the conversation, you can re-visit it later.
Let's say you had a great conversation about teaching a workshop to a neighbor's company. You were given their business card and the name of the HR director. This is great news! However, it is key that you do not overlook this next step, which is often dismissed in the moment.
Record this person's information in your book of business!
At the time of the conversation, you may think that there is no way you will forget the details of this interaction or misplace that business card. However, I can tell you from experience that it is very easy to do just that.
For those of you who have never used a book of business, it is a log of the interactions that you have had with potential clients and or leads.
You can can create your own using an excel spread sheet with the following categories:
- Contact information
- Details of the conversation including the date
- Follow up details
- Result (client or not)
If you would like to use a Customer Relationship Management tool, there are plenty out there to fit your unique business needs.
The main take away is that you need some type of book of business, and you need to be using it and updating it on a weekly if not daily basis.
Action is needed for success. Here are some practical steps.
- This week share with a friend or acquaintance why you are passionate about your particular area of expertise within the health field.
- If you have not created a book of business, do it.
- Comment below when you get a new lead. Let's celebrate each other's success!
Whether it was my team's pre-game pump up music, the melodious notes (most of the time, that is) of my sister's clarinet in the adjacent bedroom, or the birds signing outside my window, I was constantly surrounded by music.
If you looked at my environment as a kid and teen, it was no surprise. I grew up an athlete, the daughter of a professional singer, a family member of musicians and dancers, and the sister of siblings who were regularly performing in musicals. The noise was constant, and it was wonderful.
From a young age, I learned that music was not only beautiful, but it was also powerful. Music can be an effective tool to boost your confidence and get your mind in the right place.
So, pump up those jams before teaching your next workshop. I do it regularly. It really helps. Fill your head with positive lyrics and upbeat melodies that improve your confidence.
My business pump up playlist is always evolving. Right now, these are my top 3 tunes:
At the recent NTA Conference workshop, I asked the attendees of my talk to share their favorite inspirational songs. Here's the compiled list of songs to keep you on the right track throughout this upcoming week and beyond.
Happy - Pharrell Williams
Brave - Sara Bareilles
Unstoppable - Sia
This is Not a Test - Tobymac
Adventure of a Lifetime- Coldplay
We Are the Champions - Queen
I Will Survive - Aretha Franklin
It's My Life - Bon Jovi
I'm Coming Out - Dianna Ross
Beautiful Day - U2
Fight Song - Rachel Patten
I Lived - One Republic
Don't Worry. Be Happy! - Bobby McFerrin
Feeling Good - Nina Simone/ Michael Buble
Faster - Matt Nathanson
Keep on Singing My Song - Christina Aguilera
It's the Climb - Miley Cyrus
Chandelier - Sia
Fireworks - Katy Perry
Young Blood - The Naked and Famous
Shout - Beatles
I Feel Good - James Brown
Bad - Michael Jackson
Higher Ground - Stevie Wonder
I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty
We Will Rock You - Queen
Don't Stop Believing - Journey
Thunderstruck - AC/DC
Pump Up the Jam - Technotronic
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
Overcomer - Mandisa
Uptown Funk - Mark Ronson
Barbeque - Alo
Get Happy! - Rosemary Clooney
Fame - Irene Cara
Bonus Playlist: Girl Power (Sorry guys, but the audience didn't submit any man power songs ;) )
Stronger - Kelly Clarkson
Man! I Feel Like a Woman - Shania Twain
I'm Every Woman - Chaka Khan
Bonus Playlist: Inspiring Theme Songs
Chariots of Fire Theme Song
I Have Confidence - Sound of Music
Rocky Theme Song
Cheers Theme Song
The A-Team Theme Song
Add your favorite song(s) in the comments below!