Make this year "The Year of You - The speaker!" by following these four strategies
1. Face the fear
Depending on who you speak to, most people say that speaking in front of a group is one of the things that scares them the most. It's natural to be nervous, even scared to death! The only way to overcome your fear is to face it and the best way to face it is to ask yourself this question - "What is the worst thing that can happen to me?" For every answer you give yourself, rate it on a scale of 1 (low) - 10 (high) as to the likelihood of it happening. Ignore the low ones. Deal with the high ones with this simple but powerful question - "And if that happened - so what? Will I be dead?" The answer will be NO! The worst thing that can happen in reality, is usually NOTHING!
2. Get your 'message in a nutshell' crystal clear before you begin preparing
Many people speak for quite some time and at the end the people listening are none the wiser as to what the speaker was really saying. The reason for this is that the speaker didn’t really know him or herself. They had not pinpointed their message in a nutshell – the kernel of their message. If you, the speaker cannot say in one sentence or phrase what you are trying to get across, then your focus will be like a magnifying glass that is moving - you will not light a fire under anyone.
3. Spend more time preparing "HOW" (presentation) than "WHAT" (content)
Most “newer” speakers spend most of their preparation time on their content - WHAT they are going to say. This is a dangerous trap. You need to spend more time on HOW you are going to present the content. The techniques you can use are limitless but it is your presentation OF the content, not the content itself that will determine your success - no exceptions, not even technical presentations! Plan your content using bullet points not sentences - don’t write out your presentation, it will sound like a paper. Use your bullet points as your reminder points. Once you have these, work on the best way to get them across to the audience. Use lots of examples, anecdotes, analogies, metaphor, stories, and illustrations.
Now put on a performance. Think of every presentation as an Oscar winning performance and give your audience – every audience – your absolute best. They deserve it and it shows respect for them. The reward will be that the audience will respect you for your mastery of your content and your ability to "get the message across"! By the way, they are also much more likely to buy the product or message you are selling – yes, selling!
So, work out where your fear lies, then move it out of the way - you have an audience waiting!
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