Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

Are We Communicating?

In BNI or other Networking Groups, Business Networking Groups, Business Presentations, Public Speaking, Social Media on March 26, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Do not assume that because we have phones, faxes, email, websites, social media, texts, snail mail, FedEx, Blackberries, iPhones, Droids, voice mail, and cell phones that any communication is occurring.

Communication still requires a human touch.







© 2012 iSpeakEASY – All Rights Reserved This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.

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When Is It The Right Time To Not Speak?

In Business Networking Groups, Business Presentations, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, sales on March 15, 2012 at 7:14 AM

I am not really prepared for this presentation tonight” the speaker stated as he opened his talk. “I have not been feeling well so did not have time to prepare. I did not want to let you down, so I came anyway.”

As a member of the audience, what is going through your head at this point in the talk?

  1. Great, I busted my butt to get here only to get a second rate presentation
  2. On top of being bored, I will probably get sick from his germs
  3. Maybe I can sneak out the back unnoticed and get something important done
  4. All of the above

The speaker has barely started his talk yet his credibility is already lower than the floor.

There are many reasons for not being prepared for your talk but no real excuses. You knew you would be expected to speak and probably procrastinated on the preparation. Your audience has sacrificed to come hear you and deserve your best. If you can not deliver, consider alternatives that may save your professional credibility.

I am under the weather today and will not be able to deliver the seminar I promised you. I am very disappointed and apologize for the inconvenience, but want to be at my best for you and do not want to risk sharing my illness with you. Let’s reschedule for next week.”

Which feelings do you think you will experience after reading the above email:

  1. Disappointment yet happy to have an extra 2 hours in your day
  2. Appreciative of the courtesy of the speaker
  3. Excitement for the high quality presentation you will get when she recovers
  4. All of the above

The first speaker demonstrated lack of respect for the audience – they were not important enough to him to adequately prepare. His talk should have been planned in advance so that last minute “stresses” would not have an impact.

The audience will judge your professional abilities based, in part, on how well you present. A second-rate performance indicates you are a second-rate professional. A first rate delivery indicates you take time to plan and prepare in all aspects of your life and work.

Your credibility is on the line every time you present. A single bad presentation will not destroy your career and it won’t do anything to enhance it. Presenting is one of the best ways to build your business, gain support for your project, and influence others. The audience is giving you the most important item they have, their time. Honor that by delivering your best to them.

© 2009 – iSpeakEASY, All rights reserved.  This speaking tip is one in a series provided by iSpeakEASY. We help people profit from their words.

Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

Fear Of Public Speaking Is Universal

In BNI or other Networking Groups, Business Presentations, marketing, PowerPoint, Public Speaking, Social Media, speaking on March 6, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Serge is a Mexican national working in the U.S. as drywaller. He is an artist in his ability to put surfaces on walls.

He attended a speaking skills workshop focusing on delivering a clear message in 30 seconds or less. After the workshop, Serge approached me and said “I knew I was nervous speaking to others. English is not my first language and I am shy. I had no idea that all these other people where just as scared as I am.”

The “other people” he was referring to are white, educated, English speaking business owners including attorneys, accountants, and nutritionists.

Serge had internalized what he felt were his weaknesses and thought that is why he was afraid to speak in public. That day he learned public speaking makes many people nervous regardless of education, ethnicity, or background. For Serge on that day, the playing field had been leveled, at least in his mind.

We All Get Nervous

Fear of speaking is universal. We all fear being exposed as inadequate, of being asked a question we can’t answer, of making a fool of ourselves. We can focus on what we perceive our deficits to be and use them as a block, or we can flip it around and look at our assets and use them as a stepping stone.

For Serge, a man of color working in a wealthy, predominantly white community, he allowed his perceived deficits to make him nervous. That day he realized almost everyone, regardless of country of origin, native language, or skill set, is nervous when they address a group. He felt inadequate as speaker because, at times, he tripped over words. The fact that he is a skilled tradesman, an artist and a hard worker had slipped his mind.

What are your perceptions of your weaknesses? What causes you to be afraid when you speak? When you look at your peer group, what do you perceive they possess that you do not?

Now flip that around. What special skills, training, background, passions, interests and attributes do you possess? What qualifies you to do your job or speak on your topic?

Both lists are real and important – the list of fears can hold you back while the list of skills will propel you forward.

Fear of public speaking is universal. Which of the two lists will you choose to focus on?

© 2011 by iSpeakEASY – All rights reserved. This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY.

We help people profit from their words. Call for information on individual coaching or group workshops.

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