How to Overcome Your Speaking Fears
What is the worst that can happen when you finally get an audience with your prospect? Fear. Have you ever encountered a prospect that overpowers you, makes you feel intimidated? Maybe you are just not comfortable speaking in front of a group, and your presentation falls apart. In coaching sales professionals I have found the irony of the problem is these folks are usually some of the brightest people in the room. My advice to these sales professionals; "lets put this behind you, and let your inner light shine."
The following are some tips that will help you do just that!
1. What’s the Worst that can Happen?
Look around you, are these dragons waiting to devour you, or people patiently attentive, and interested in you? If you imagine the worst that can happen, and what happens after, it really isn’t so daunting after all. By the way, the audience wants you to be successful even more than you do. Believe it, it’s true.
Look at other famous people that have overcome this stigma. Julia Roberts,Warren Buffet, and Abraham Lincoln to name a few. “You may say, they had access to resources I don’t. " I’m pretty sure Dale Carnegie was not around during Abraham Lincoln’s day."
3.Practice, Rehearse, Refine-
When giving a presentation you will want to rehearse. Think of what the audience may find interesting. Time yourself, so you know the length of your presentation. Find a way to make your topic interesting, story telling is a great way to give life to a topic. Make sure the story is relevant to your audience. Look for opportunities to speak more often, practice makes perfect.
4. Be Passionate-
If you are not passionate about your topic it will show. I recently listened to a very good speaker; I approached her afterwards to give her accolades. She said, "thanks , I'm passionate about this." A dismal presentation will ensure a loss, instead of a win. Even if you are someone who typically does not show emotion, try presenting with your audience in mind. Display positive body language, and enthusiasm. Quite often, positive energy and momentum can assist to win the sale.
5. Make Em Laugh-
People are more stressed out than ever before. In this age of technology we are expected to be "plugged in" all the time. Advertisers have found ways to attack our senses, and we are in a virtual state of interruptions. Lighten the mood with a joke, or some humility. It will endear your audience to you.
6. Speak to your Best Friend-
Sharing some laughs and being comfortable enough to let down your defenses are feelings you share with friends. If you do the same in your presentation you will have the same effect on your audience. Try to look at the person, or group as your friends, and maybe they soon will be.
Slow it down. We tend to speak quickly when nervous. While rehearsing your presentation think about how fast you are speaking, and the tone of your voice. Are you speaking softly? Turn up the volume. Do you have a good flow , are you giving your audience a chance to digest the information? It’s o.k. to let silence enter the room. Especially after you have given them your best.
8. You’ve Done this Before-
Think about it. In your life I will bet there have been times when you had to be on stage and perform, you were probably not comfortable. Maybe it was an event in school, church, sports, or any other public setting when all eyes are on you. The good news - if you think back, it wasn't as bad as you imagined.
9. Like any Successful Relationship, It’s about Them-Not about you
Do you have children? If you do, you probably already know where I’m going. It’s all about them, this includes aging parents, pets, spouse. Don’t get me wrong, they all give back in the form of some type of love, but you invested emotionally in them, right? The same holds true in sales.
10. End on a High Note-
No, not that kind of high- Really, you want to leave them wanting more, or at best with a good feeling that carries into the next meeting. If you are speaking to one person, or twenty, remember it’s all about them. Focus all your energy around your audience, and it will be impossible for you to focus on yourself.
Try these tips and become the supernova of light I know you can be.