Archive for Public speaking

Why do we fear being judged?

How to be the most boring presenter

Often when addressing potential speakers, I put it to them that one of the worst fears as a presenter or speaker is the fear of being judged. We are our own worst critics, or can be, naturally, however, what do we know of our audience?

When we assume that they are judging us, we too are guessing – we’re making assumptions that they are thinking certain things and making conclusions about us.  Perhaps the conclusions we assume they are making are in fact our own fears of ourselves and our lack of performance as a presenter or speaker. Perhaps we are making the assumptions that those judgment calls we think others are making are in fact our own inhibitions coming to the surface.

What do you think? Are you one to make these judgement calls yourself? What have you done about it to get over it?  The fact is that judgement, or fear of, can make or break a speaker and can turn your presentations around – for better or for worse.

Assume for a moment that you’re thinking the absolute worst before taking that first step on to the platform or before stepping in front of the camera…. how do you think your presentation is going to work out? Not so great. That’s a given.

Now let’s assume you have put all judgements aside and are now considering how fabulous you are going to be, how much your audience can’t wait to hear what you have to say and how amazing you’re going to feel once you step away from the audience and their applause. Not bad eh? Bit of a contrast?

Let’s face it. We are not mind-readers and we can’t possibly know what our audience is thinking. Secondly, do a self-check and establish whether those fears of inadequacy are in fact a means to rectify something, learn more or even change something for the better.

I put it to you… consider it. What have you got to gain? What would it mean to you to turn your thinking around and approach your stage or video presentations from a different angle to your norm?

Lose the judgement call and get yourself right. Then, when you get on the platform, remember it’s not about you, it’s about them and what you’re delivering. If we shift that focus and deliver what they came for, then they’ll be happy and so will we… all judgements aside.

How to leave your audiences wanting more

Podium Power pics_0016Is your presentation memorable?  Is it one that people would come back for again and again?

Keeping your audiences engaged during a presentation can be a challenge.  But how do you do it?  That’s what we all want to know… how to leave your audiences wanting more.

 

Here are 10 tips I’ve always taught my students at my workshops:

  1. Be you – trying to be someone else is just way too hard
  2. Research your topic thoroughly.  You don’t have to have all the facts – give credit to those who have been there before.
  3. Impress your audience with statistics and facts and back them up.
  4. Offer content that no one else does
  5. Involve your audience as much as possible
  6. Tell YOUR story
  7. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your audience
  8. Share your sense of humour
  9. Leave your audience with something to think about
  10. Ask for feedback and publish some awesome testimonials

Now of course, they’re just for starters – there’s a whole lot more you can do.  Post your ideas below and let’s share the joy around.

How to be the most boring presenter

How to be the most boring presenterOk, we’ve all seen it done. You get yourself up in front of an audience and your knees knock, your stomach does somersaults and you wish that glass of water was a lot closer and your audience a lot smaller…. However, this doesn’t mean that you have an excuse to totally bore your audience silly. So, here’s a list of things you want to avoid, ie you really want to know how to be the most boring presenter, so that you’re not, right?

Apologise

Whatever you do, never apologise for being late, being ill, being nervous or being unprepared. Your audience is there to hear what you have to say. Let them enjoy it, they’re not interested in your drivel and excuses. Besides watching your credibility go down the tube, some of them may even walk out.

Rave on about nothing

Ramble, ramble, ramble and your audience will focus for about 5 seconds (if you’re lucky), then switch off and you’ve lost them for good. Be succinct, plan your presentation so it hits the main points and works with the time you’ve been allowed. Rambling on can also make you appear very unprofessional especially if you’ve been invited to speak. Your audience wants the facts. Give it to them and avoid all the fluff.

Say it all Rote

Speaking in rote, ie learning your speech word for word is a big no-no. Your audience will be able to tell straight away that you’ve rehearsed this to the point of method-acting and it’s as boring as watching a 2 hour upload. Sure, rehearse what order things come in, but show your true colours, your personality, your humour.  Allow for questions because when they’re asked and if you only know what you’ve written, and nothing else… you’re stumped and you’re going to look mighty silly.

Speak in only one Style

Your audience all has different thinking and learning styles. Are you catering for these? One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to speak in a style that you think is suitable, not what your audience wants to hear. Research your audience… what do they prefer? Are they thinkers, doers? Are they likely to ask questions?  There are formats you can follow to master techniques in this area.

Don’t Engage

Captain Kirk… yes, you’re right.. he always says it the best.  However.. as a presenter, it’s up to you to engage your audience. You are literally in the pilot’s seat, so keep them entertained.  Vary the pitch and tonality in your voice for starters, think about the structure of your presentation – is it all the same? Are there any variations in your media you’re using? Have you got a co-presenter? Who’s your No. 1?

So, in a nutshell, keep it simple, keep it real and think about who you’re talking to. It’s not all about you. It’s about them.  Just imagine how great you can be!

Think in Pictures… go on…. see what happens….