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public speaking

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Perfecting Your Pitch

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

  1. 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.
     
  2. Rehearse this script out loud several times. Practice makes perfect.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. Warn people to put their sunglasses on because you are about to shine a bit brighter! 

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How to Fill Your Workshop Calendar

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. 

Microphone fotolia.jpg

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

  • Church

  • A nursing home

  • A day care

  • An elementary or high school class

  • Youth sports teams

  • Your local Chamber of Commerce

  • A Toast Masters Group

  • YouTube videos

  • Podcasts

  • Local radio station

  • Local TV station

  • Health Conferences

  • A business

  • 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.

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Are You Doing These 3 Things at Your Workshops?

Enga

"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!

 

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