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Managing Stage Fright and Vulnerability

Oh dear… your chest feels heavy, your throat is constricted and you feel like crying. You suddenly feel vulnerable facing the audience. The dignitaries are in the room and they expect a good performance from you. A sick feeling is rising and about to overpower your diligently rehearsed speech. The timing couldn’t be worse. This is your moment of truth. You need to portray strength, confidence and most importantly, professionalism.

Oops, too late. A tear trickles down your cheek and more bad stuff is coming.

  • LG Metaphor Stagefright Bug Exploit Vulnerability Test on Android 5.0.1 - 2016
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    LG Metaphor Stagefright Bug Exploit Vulnerability Test on Android 5.0.1 - 2016
The anxiety of breaking down, fainting or weeping in front of strangers is a powerful and common fear. I understand how vulnerable you feel. Many speakers would react in the following ways:-

• Rehearse the speech intensively prior to the presentation for added confidence.
• Become invisible with no voice & fade into oblivion.
• Resign to fate and enjoy the flawed glory.

Which would you choose? Here a story of my friend, Adeline who shared her story with me.

Adeline was a successful public speaker. Her audience consisted of enthusiastic, enterprising and eager property investors. Her raving fans traveled from all nooks and crannies of Singapore to hear her speak.

One fine day after one of her talks, I had the opportunity to interview her. “Adeline,” I asked. “Have you always been such a captivating, charismatic and charming speaker?” Adeline was silent for a moment For once, she seemed lost for words. Tears welled up in her beautiful eyes.

With a quivering voice, she said, “I owe my success to an elusive holy man. I started my public speaking career in a disastrous manner. In my maiden speech, my mind went blank. It was the most embarrassing moment of my life. I had forgotten what to say. One week later, I had to deliver another speech. This time my stomach felt queasy. Within minutes of speaking, I had soiled my skirt. Immediately after my speech, I had to leave the auditorium because I smelled awful. And the story goes on…

To Cry Or Not To Cry Is The Question
These are some ideas you could use if you are in the same boat:-

• Shift the focus away from yourself and instead focus your attention on the audience. Remember, the majority of them want you to succeed. In most cases, they have nothing personal against you.

• Stop being angry with yourself for all your past failures in public speaking. As the stock market investors would say, “the past does not equal the future.” The more “failure” thoughts you harbor in your mind, the more likely your presentation will end up a failure.

What You Can Do Now
One of the quickest ways to learn how to handle something you find challenging is to observe how others do it. In Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), it’s called Modeling. Here’s a good speech portraying Candy who handles her tears graciously. Go ahead and Model her.

http://www.ted.com/talks/candy_chang_before_i_die_i_want_to.html

Next time strong emotion arises in you when you speak in public, just notice it and don’t get caught up in the story. Instead, pause and connect through your eyes with another person to help keep you grounded. Pause and continue with your speech.

My friend, Toastmaster Azmi taught me a simple method to recover from such emotional overwhelming situations. He asked me to look out for a caring, cheerful & friendly face among the audience. The kind of supportive audience who will nod agreeably to you when you speak. Every time I felt like crying, fearful, etc, he asked me to look at that friendly face for emotional support. By doing so, I was able to recover faster and get on with the show.

I’ve cried a number of times when speaking in public. Guess what, the audience cried together with me! However, it is not good to leave the audience is a sad state when the speech is over. Therefore, it is always advisable to uplift their spirits and cheer them up before leaving the stage. It certainly feels like a storm has passed through leaving behind peace and tranquility. Your words will flow much better once the pent up emotions are released. “Better out than in” as someone infamous once said, and through my tears, I couldn’t agree more.

Good luck 🙂

Now that you have gained some useful pointers on how to become a better public speaker, I encourage you not to stop here. Keep “sharpening your saw” by getting practical experience on public speaking. Grab the opportunity to speak in public as often as possible. The more stage time you accrue, the higher your self-esteem and confidence will become.

Do purchase my book called Fearless Public Speaking at http://www.betterpublicspeaking.com/fearless-public-speaking-2/ This 11,500+ word book will give you more pointers towards becoming a seasoned orator. I look forward to that wonderful day in your life when you will become ‘complete’ and you will discover your true purpose in this world. May you discover it through your public speaking endeavors.

Supplementary Deliberations on “best marketing campaigns

The area under dialogue “best marketing campaigns” appears to be a ideal area of interest among our fans. Last week we acknowledged quite a few wishes via email to elaborate further on this topic. Rest assured that this region of focus has been adequately covered either directly or indirectly at the link on top. If you did not find specifically what you were looking for at the link above, it’s most probable that we did not fully comprehend exactly what you meant by this matter. The other likelihood is we may not be knowledgeable to speak on this subject matter in the first place.

All the best to you in all facets of your life 🙂

Keep It Short and Simple

Let’s ponder upon the importance of keeping a speech short and simple. Here’s a famous quotation by Winston Churchill.

A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the essentials and short enough to arouse interest. – Winston Churchill

Winston my man, you cheeky fella, teasing the ladies with such a great “insight”.

Let me explain it this way. Serve the audiences’ needs, but logically speaking, you can’t solve all their problems. Cater your talk to induce self-discovery / self-realization in it. Create interest and buzz in your talk, but keep it short. Ask a lot of questions and let them figure the answers out themselves.

Like a beautiful woman in a sexy outfit, you don’t have to give all your tantalizing secrets away. Now, if only someone would tell some of the Bollywood starlets this.

Good Luck in your next presentation.

Now that you have gained some useful pointers on how to become a better public speaker, I encourage you not to stop here. Keep “sharpening your saw” by getting practical experience on public speaking. Grab the opportunity to speak in public as often as possible. The more stage time you accrue, the higher your self-esteem and confidence will become. Do purchase my book called Fearless Public Speaking at http://www.betterpublicspeaking.com/fearless-public-speaking-2/ This 11,500+ word book will give you more pointers towards becoming a seasoned orator. I look forward to that wonderful day in your life when you will become ‘complete’ and you will discover your true purpose in this world. May you discover it through your public speaking endeavors.

Further Deliberations on “best marketing campaigns

The subject “best marketing campaigns” appears to be a preferred area of interest among our fans. Last week we received several requests via email to elaborate further on this topic. Rest assured that this area of focus has been adequately covered either directly or indirectly at the link above. If you did not find precisely what you were looking for at the link above, it’s most probable that we did not fully understand exactly what you meant by this matter. The other likelihood is we may not be competent to speak on this subject matter in the first place.

All the best to you in all aspects of your life 🙂

The Two Types of Public Speakers

There are only two types of public speakers in the world: (1) the nervous and (2) liars. ― Mark Twain

Let’s face it. We all feel nervous on stage. The most experienced speakers still get nervous. Realistically speaking, you and I may never get over our public speaking anxiety. We can learn to cope, prosper, and rocket to speaking success despite the stampede of buffaloes in our stomachs and our knocking knees.

Accept the nervousness as a natural part of caring about your audience. My suggestion to help you deal with those presentation jitters: Know your introduction and rehearse it well. By the time your introduction is over, the adrenaline subsides and your nervousness will be behind you.

Good luck in your next presentation.

Now that you have gained some useful pointers on how to become a better public speaker, I encourage you not to stop here. Keep “sharpening your saw” by getting practical experience on public speaking. Grab the opportunity to speak in public as often as possible. The more stage time you accrue, the higher your self-esteem and confidence will become. Do purchase my book called Fearless Public Speaking at http://www.betterpublicspeaking.com/fearless-public-speaking-2/ This 11,500+ word book will give you more pointers towards becoming a seasoned orator. I look forward to that wonderful day in your life when you will become ‘complete’ and you will discover your true purpose in this world. May you discover your true purpose through your public speaking endeavors.

Moving from Good to Great in Your Public Speeches

Kaizen is a Japanese practice of continuous improvement. Today, Kaizen is accepted worldwide as an important mainstay of an organization’s long-term competitive strategy. As a public speaker, you too need to “Kaizen” your delivery skills in order to remain relevant to your audience. Here are some tips on how to take your speech from good to great so that you continue to remain relevant.

Research Your Listeners

I am amazed at how some speakers will arrive for a speaking engagement without knowing anything about the audience they are about to address. As a champion speaker in many speech contests, I am fastidious about researching the demographics and desires of the audience before speaking to them. This habit of mine has helped me win numerous public speaking championships.

Some complacent speakers feel that their message is so important that everyone would want to hear it. Therefore, they do not take the initiative to understand the desires of the audience. They couldn’t be more wrong. Your fundamental message may be about the same thing, but knowing your addressees will enable you to customise the information to suit the crowd. As such, your audience will feel that your talk was specially prepared just for them. Dale Carnegie called this “baiting the hook to suit the fish.” They will relate much better to your message and appreciate your initiative for creating something unique for them.

Practice

Rehearsals cannot be delegated, unfortunately. If you want to look polished while speaking you need to practice. For a five minute speech, I will normally rehearse for one hour. Don’t fall into the trap thinking that your PowerPoint / Prezi slides can do the talking for you. You are the master and your slides are your slaves. If you think that you can reverse this equation, you are courting trouble, my friend 🙂

There are specific methods used to rehearse that don’t take much time. One of these methods is called bits. You rehearse a short bit of material over and over again. You don’t rehearse it verbatim, but just speak your way through it. I normally do it in my car while driving. This way your mind won’t black out when you are distracted on stage.

Take Care of the Troublemakers

In some cases, I have noticed that the heckler is normally the senior executive of the organization who is craving for a sense of importance in front of his / her subordinates. On other occasions it could be someone who knows the subject better than you and therefore has got little or no respect for you.

Well, you’ve got to handle the situation whether you like it or not. This will be the ultimate test of your communication skills and people handling expertise.

In order to pre-empt the heckler, I get people in the group to detect possible mischief-makers BEFORE I get to the event. I then phone these potential troublemakers and interview them to give them the sense of importance they are craving. During my speech, I also mention their names. This practically eradicates the chance that they will interrupt my speech because I am publicly praising their opinions.

It’s a good idea to mention a wide variety of names and not just the troublemakers in order to create a balance.

Use Visual Aids

A picture paints a thousand words so does a visual aid. Visual people will find it easy to anchor a thought in their minds when it is linked to a visual object. Just like “seeing is believing” to them, “seeing is understanding.” Such people memorize and learn by seeing pictures. They love it when you use words that create vivid imagery like “see the dark clouds, look across the beach, envision celebrating your wedding anniversary, imagine driving a Volvo, etc.” in your speech as these phrases paint pictures in their minds.

You could employ a combination of large, small, weird or colorful props. PowerPoint or Prezi will also come in handy here. Always ensure that your prop serves to make your point clearer or more understandable.

Conclusion

One of the most interesting features of Kaizen is that huge results come from numerous little changes accumulated over a period of time. Today, you have embarked on Kaizen by implementing these four suggestions which are Research Your Listeners, Practice, Take Care of the Troublemakers and Use Visual Aids. In just a matter of time, you will see massive improvements in your presentations; trust yourself.

I wish you well.

Reach Your Audience As a Public Speaker – Four Different Ways

There are four different ways in which your audience will assimilate information. They are: visual, auditory, auditory digital, and kinaesthetic. While your listeners will process information using all four of these approaches at different times, each person will tend to depend on one of these approaches more than the other three.

Therefore, if you want to reach into the heart and souls of everyone in the room, you will need to employ all four approaches.

Visual

Do you like to present with props, flip charts, PowerPoint or video clips? If you do, you are probably a visual presenter yourself.

Such people memorize and learn by seeing pictures and are less distracted by noise as compared to others. They will quickly lose concentration by long, verbal presentations as their minds begin to wander. They are fascinated in how your presentation appears. They like it when you use picture painting phrases like “see the blue sky, look across the room, envision standing on top of a hill, imagine driving a Ferrari, etc.” in your presentation as these words encourage them to make pictures in their minds.

Therefore, in order to reach out to these people, you will need to employ a lot of vivid imagery in your sentences.

  • How to Reach a Massive Audience with Digital Marketing | #TomFerryShow Episode 53
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    How to Reach a Massive Audience with Digital Marketing | #TomFerryShow Episode 53

Auditory

When I attend seminars, I hate to take notes. If I do take notes, I will most likely not refer to them anyway. I like to listen to the speaker. Guess which category do I fall into? You guessed right. I am an auditory person.

People like me are easily distracted by any noises occurring during the presentation. These audience members learn by listening. Your vocal tonality and vocal quality will be very important with these people. Phrases that resonate well with people in this class include “hear me, listen to him, the sound of rain, I could resonate with her ideas, etc.”

As such, in order to connect with such an audience, you will need to vary your speech according to the pitch, tone, volume and rate.

Auditory Digital

This kettle of fish spend a good amount of time in their heads talking to themselves. They memorize and learn by steps, processes, and structures.

They want to see a proper or logical flow in your presentation. Your presentation has to make “sense” to their sense 🙂 Words that will make “sense” to these group include “sense, experience, understand, think, motivate, and decide.”

It would be helpful to use Gantt Charts, Excel Spreadsheets or PowerPoint slides to help your audience along under such circumstances.

Kinesthetic

These are the “feeling” guys. They often speak very slowly in order to feel their own words.

They learn by keenly doing something and deriving the actual feeling of it. They are attracted towards a presentation that “feels right” or gives them a “gut feeling.” Phrases that are effective with such listeners include “I felt happy, she touched my heart, I grasped his hand, they were elated, etc.”

When telling a sad story or speaking in a loving manner to your loved ones, it is a good idea to go into the kinaesthetic mode in order to “touch” the soul of your audience.

Now that you have gained a deeper insight into the visual, auditory, auditory digital and kinaesthetic audience, you will know exactly how to effectively deliver your message across to them.

All the best to you in your next presentation 🙂