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How to Deliver Amazing Presentations That Win Over Your Audience

by themagicianinmind on December 19, 2017 Comments Off on How to Deliver Amazing Presentations That Win Over Your Audience

Research shows that public speaking is the most commonly shared top fear by about ahead of the curve (if you do suffer from fear of public speaking, be sure to check out my article on how to overcome and conquer your fear of public speaking here). (*add link to blog 1).

Read the article below to discover the most common presentation mistake to avoid and the four little-known tactics of the best public speakers.

Public speaking is one of the most powerful ways to create a meaningful impact on large groups of people that inspire change and action. Those who take the stage with confidence are admired and often viewed as leaders. In fact, all the greatest leaders throughout history have shared the skill of public speaking that wins over audiences to facilitate change.

Despite the awe-inspiring nature of public speaking, most people are terrified by the mere thought of delivering a presentation.

For those of you brave enough to take the stage, this article will show you how to avoid the most common presentation mistake and how to use the best, little-known public speaking tactics to deliver amazing presentations audiences love.

The Truth About Great Public Speakers

One of the biggest misconceptions about public speaking is the notion that it is an innate talent that only a lucky few are blessed with from birth. The truth is, public speaking is a learned skill that is developed and refined.

The first instance of formal study of public speaking can be traced back to approximately en on-going since then to the present day. There are a multitude of research-proven techniques and tools to develop and refine public speaking skills and become a great public speaker who influences and persuades others.

The late great Steve Jobs for example, revered as a great speaker with an amazing ability to deliver seemingly effortless presentations that were inspiring and engaging to audiences, would spend days on end rehearsing before a presentation.

The reason Jobs’ presentations were so powerful was precisely because he spent so much time preparing and rehearsing that he could clearly convey his message and connect with the audience. Jobs knew the greatest secret to public speaking (and now so do you…) PREPARATION.

Being prepared for a presentation is the best way to overcome a fear of public speaking because when you’re well prepared you are much less likely to experience performance jitters. Even more importantly, when you plan and prepare for your presentation, your delivery is clear, concise and engaging for your audience.

You do have the ability to deliver amazing presentations if you are make the conscious effort to become a great public speaker and avoid the most common presentation mistake.

The Most Common Presentation Mistake

So what is the most common cause of boring, scattered presentations that challenge your ability to stay awake?

Simply put: Not preparing enough.

The popular delusion that “winging it” will reduce the fear of public speaking and result in a fluid and engaging presentation could not be further from the truth. It’s like the old saying goes, ‘when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.’

Remember, public speaking is not an innate talent, it is a learned skill.

The key to public speaking is to make it seem effortless to your audience – and that takes a lot of planning and practice.

A presentation that is planned and rehearsed always results in the most powerful public speaking performances because it gives you the ammunition you need to incorporate the two most important elements of engaging public speaking:

 

 

These two components of presentations are what will set you apart from the crowd and delight your audience. As you prepare and plan your presentation, be sure to keep these two goals at the forefront of your mind.

 

How to Prepare for Your Presentation

Now that you know the secret to great public speaking is preparation, you’re well on your way to delivering amazing presentations that win over audiences. Use the two-step process below to prepare your presentation.

Step 1: Write Your Script

The best public speakers prepare amazing presentations through the script writing process.

To start, identify the overall message of your presentation. Ask yourself: what is the most important takeaway for this presentation?

Ideally, you should be able to articulate your overall message into one clear sentence. If you have more than one sentence at first, don’t fret about it because more often than not, the message becomes more refined after you’ve written out your script.

The script writing process can seem like a daunting task because there are many ways to structure a script. An easy way to start is to use a linear organization to write out your script and worry about adding in the anecdotes and funny one-liners when you’re rehearsing.

With a clear message for your presentation in mind, build out your presentation by focusing on at least two main points.

Your main points are the overarching claims that take your audience from discovery of the topic to understanding your message. Be sure to provide proof of your main points. Do your research so you can reference evidence that supports your claims in your script. From here, write out a closing summary that reinforces your overall message and why it matters and you’re ready to move on to step two.

 

Step 2: Rehearse your presentation

It’s important to understand that you do not need to memorize your script verbatim. Your script serves to provide a basic outline for your presentation so you can rehearse.

NEVER read your script on a stage! It’s just as important to avoid “winging it” as it is to avoid reading a script on a stage.

When you’re giving a presentation, you want to make eye contact with the audience to connect and hold attention. Reading off a script on stage gives the same lack lustre results as winging it.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to memorize your script word-for-word. The goal is to rehearse your script so you can memorize the flow of your script. Use the infographic below for tips on how to memorize the flow of your script for a presentation.

Tips for Memorizing a Speech Infographic

The key thing to remember is to rehearse your script until it becomes natural and fluid. Focus on the order of your script and main points to coherently take your audience through a journey.

Once you have the journey of your script down-packed, you can take the stage with confidence to deliver a concise, clear and engaging presentation audiences love.

Tips for Memorizing a Speech Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

The Importance of Body Language

Another crucial component to deliver a great presentation is body language.

In his popularized and famous study, Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, conducted several studies on nonverbal communication. He found that 7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements. Subtracting the 7% for actual vocal content leaves 93% to non-verbal communication.

 

So naturally, body language is a key aspect of any good presentation.

Non-verbal communication occurs on both a conscious and unconscious level. By preparing before a presentation, you already have a leg up as your unconscious non-verbal communication will reinforce your message and main points to your audience. You can take this even further to really engage your audience by consciously using body language to emphasize certain aspects of your presentation.

xt.

  • Posture: It is very important to maintain good posture on stage. This conveys a sense of confidence and trust-worthiness to your audience that demonstrates you are someone worth listening to. As an added bonus, good posture is shown to give you increased confidence and better mood.
  • Facial Expressions: Facial expressions convey meaning to your audience. When you are rehearsing for a presentation, try to look in a mirror or record your rehearsal so you can review your facial expressions and make sure that your expressions and words are congruent with one another.
  • Gestures: Use your hands to gesture meaning and emotions while you are presenting. Again, it is a good idea to watch yourself in a mirror, record yourself or get feedback from supportive friends or a coach before a presentation to find the right moments in your presentation that you want to enhance with gestures.

 

As you rehearse for your presentation, keep in mind these three key aspects of your body language that your audience will instinctively notice and respond to.

Once you have your script journey memorized, practice incorporating deliberate body language. By rehearsing your words, delivery and non-verbal communication, you have solid foundation to deliver a great performance for your presentation.

One word of caution about the use of visual aids: Many people fall into the trap of creating over-zealous slides that diminish the overall presentation. Focus on your body language as the main visual aid in your presentation and keep any additional visual props to an absolute minimum to enhance the meaning of main points or share funny anecdotal stories that help your audience connect with you.

Know What’s Coming

When you prepare for your presentation it’s a smart idea to become familiar with the venue and audience. The physical space that you are presenting in will have an impact on how your presentation is perceived and received by your audience.

Whenever I am delivering a presentation, I always visit the venue beforehand to get a sense of the space and the room. I have even brought in my own décor and plants for a particularly cold event space to create more warmth in the room before delivering a workshop on confidence!

These things do have an impact.

You want to be able to visualize yourself on the stage delivering the presentation as you rehearse if possible so it’s a good idea to get a clear sense of the venue and the audience beforehand. Find out what the room looks like, how many people will be there and as many possible details as you can so you can mentally prepare for the real thing as much as possible.

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themagicianinmindHow to Deliver Amazing Presentations That Win Over Your Audience

How to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking

by Alain Jean-Baptiste on December 15, 2017 Comments Off on How to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking

Are you terrified of public speaking? Read below to find out how to overcome and conquer your fear of public speaking to win over any audience.

More people are terrified of public speaking than natural disasters, aging, loneliness, violent attacks, or even death. The latest findings from that 74% of people suffer from fear of public speaking (Glossophobia).

74
74% of people suffer from fear of public speaking

The good news is that people have been studying and refining public speaking skills now for over 2,500 years. There are specific tools and methods you can implement to overcome your fear of public speaking and shine as a confident leader on the stage.

While the fear of public speaking is a top fear that many people experience, public speaking is one of the most important skills you can develop to achieve success. Good presenters connect with others to have an impact that influences the behavior and actions of their audience.

Basically, public speaking is one of the most powerful ways you can reach and inspire action in others yet to the average person, the idea of public speaking is worse than the idea of dying

The good news is that people have been studying and refining public speaking skills now for over 2,500 years. There are specific tools and methods you can implement to overcome your fear of public speaking and shine as a confident leader on the stage.

What is Fear?

For the most part, fear is an important and useful tool for survival.

We are all hard-wired with triggered fear responses to protect ourselves from danger. For example, if a tiger is hunting you down, your fear serves to help you act quickly to flee and find safety. In this imminent danger scenario, your mind and body’s built-in responses to

Even in the case of public speaking, a small dose of fear can help you stay on topic and sharpen your mind to deliver an amazing performance, so long as you know how to control your fear response using your conscious mind.

This is because when you experience fear, your mind and body gain the benefits of protective mechanisms to ensure your survival, much like the mother who lifts a car over her head to save her trapped child (known as hysterical strength).

The real downside of fear is when it escalates beyond your conscious control and starts to shape your thoughts, behavior and actions in limiting and self-destructive ways.

Fear of public speaking can become a major roadblock to success in your career. This fear limits your ability to persuade and influence others and your ability to stand apart from the competition. A fear of public speaking holds you back from being able to reach a greater number of people and build trust.

The greatest leaders throughout human history are great orators because they have this ability to reach massive numbers of people with a persuasive message that influences others and inspires action.

And let’s face it, since roughly a third of the population would rather be dead than give a presentation, it’s safe to say that developing your public speaking skills will help you stand apart from the crowd and achieve great things.

The secret to conquering your fear of public speaking is to understand the process of fear that occurs in your mind and body so you can limit the influence of the fear and harness the benefits.

How to Face Your Fear of Public Speaking

Fear is a protective response to danger.

Even though public speaking does not entail an imminent threat of danger, your mind has identified public speaking as a learned threat and that same auto-response of fear is triggered as though a tiger is charging at you.

When you experience fear, your unconscious mind triggers auto-responses to help protect you from danger. 

  • Your body releases adrenaline and cortisol that can cause one or more of the following biological responses:

    • Rapid heart rate
    • Increased blood pressure
    • Muscle tightening
    • Sharpened or redirected senses
    • Dilation of the pupils (to let in more light)
    • Increased sweating
    • Hysterical strength
    • Heightened perception of time (time slows down)

These biological symptoms are part of your unconscious built-in response to fear based on your perception of a threat. You cannot control your unconscious built-in response to fear, however, you can control your conscious response to fear.

When you experience fear, remember that your unconscious mind has picked up on the perception of danger and triggers reactions to protect you. Often, escalated levels of fear that hinder your desired functioning occur because your conscious mind becomes panicked by the biological symptoms of fear that you cannot control.

If your conscious mind is busy worrying about biological symptoms that are triggered by the feeling of fear, then your fear continues to grow and grow to become a hindrance that stops you from acting the way you want to – such as being a confident speaker that captivates the audience during your presentation. When you experience an escalated fear of public speaking, direct your conscious mind to acknowledge how the built-in response to fear operates and logically consider the danger involved in the situation you are facing to gain control of your fear.

Remember, the built-in biological responses that are triggered when you experience fear can be a good thing, these are a powerful protective mechanism for your survival. Fear only becomes a hindrance if your conscious mind panics.

The good news is that as you practice conscious acknowledgment of your fear and the biological symptoms of fear, you form a habit that enables you to retain more and more control in the face of fear in any situation.

Practice conscious control by following these 5 simple steps.

 

5 Steps to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

Step 1: Understand that you are experiencing a built-in biological reaction to fear.

Remember that fear is a useful tool to help you survive. Your mind and body will get a danger alert to help you remain safe. Your conscious mind is still in control so long as you acknowledge the fear and how you will use it.

Step 2: Acknowledge that you are experiencing auto-triggered biological responses that are intended to give you protective benefits

It’s normal to feel pressure and increased stress when you experience fear. Do not panic when you start to feel these symptoms of increased sweating, rapid heart rate, tightening of muscles or otherwise. Remind yourself that this is part of the protective mechanism of fear that can help you stay focused throughout your presentation.

Step 3: Assess your fear level to judge whether you can cope with the fear or if the fear is too high. If the fear is too high, be sure to check out the video below for hands-on methods that will help you reduce this level of fear.

Take a few deep breaths and honestly assess how afraid you really are. Focus on going through the conscious process of assessing the stakes involved to address any disproportions to your perception of danger involved.

Step 4: Understand what is happening in your mind.

Fear is a reaction to your perception of danger. If you are feeling an escalated fear of public speaking, understand that your conscious mind has the power to overcome this through self-development, coaching and practice. The worst thing you can do is give into the fear because that reinforces an on-going cycle. Instead, face your fear with preparedness and start with small presentations.

Step 5: Practice public speaking in a safe place with a group of supportive friends.

Practice makes perfect! The best way to face and overcome an escalated fear of public speaking and to deliver a more confident performance is to practice in a “laboratory”. This gives you the opportunity to practice giving presentations and lowers the stakes so you can practice managing that fear in a less threatening environment.

Use the handy infographic below to walk yourself through these 5 steps whenever you are hit with that fear of public speaking.

How to Overcome Public Speaking Fear Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking

Now that you are consciously aware of how fear works, what you control and what you do not control, it’s time to implement action steps.

Despite your fear and the biological effects of that fear on your mind and body, you do have the ability to deliver amazing public speaking – all it takes is a conscious effort.

For example, watch in the video below where I walked a woman with stage freight through conscious exercises overcome a lifelong fear of public speaking in just 11 minutes.

The key exercises to take away from this powerful example is how to consciously unpack the fear that you experience. Use your “thinking” mind (a.k.a. your conscious mind) to deconstruct your fear and bring it back down to a manageable and useful tool instead of an escalated hindrance.

Most importantly, remember your motivations for developing public speaking skills.

In the video above, “Leonore from Montreal” works as a nurse and has delivered presentations designed to help people be healthy – a noble and worthy reason for a presentation that most audiences would want to hear – however she didn’t acknowledge this when she would give presentations. Instead, when she would give presentations for work, she would just try to “get through”.

 

“Getting through” is only one small and initial component of getting over your fear of public speaking. The ultimate goal is to become a great speaker so you can truly connect with your audience and win the room. You do this by acknowledging that your audience wants to hear what you have to say because you’re offering useful and helpful information. Once Leonore understood that the audience did want to hear what she had to say, and that her presentations help people, she was able to manage her fear and be confident on the stage.

Fear makes you focus on how you feel, but great public speakers focus on how the audience feels.

 

Here are a 4 tips for a superior public speaking presentation:

  1. Practice: Don’t wing it when you are already coping with fear of public speaking because you won’t gain the benefit of heightened focus that accompanies your trigger response to fear. Instead, practice your presentation in front of others so you are well prepared.
  2. Speak from the heart: Keep your language simple, speak with honesty and be as clear as possible. When you are truly passionate and want to help others, you will connect with your audience and make an impact.
  3. Embrace the positive elements of fear: Use your conscious mind to maintain control of your fear so you gain the benefit of small doses of fear before a presentation – like heightened focus.
  4. Maintain good posture and regular breathing: Even though you cannot control your unconscious trigger response to fear, your conscious mind does have the power to regain control. If you focus on maintaining your breathing level and keeping your posture straight, your conscious mind will send signals to your unconscious mind that help to reduce feelings of fear AND make you more confident. Win-Win.

Speak from the heart: Keep your language simple, speak with honesty and be as clear as possible. When you are truly passionate and want to help others, you will connect with your audience and make an impact.

Speak from the heart: Keep your language simple, speak with honesty and be as clear as possible. When you are truly passionate and want to help others, you will connect with your audience and make an impact.

Embrace the positive elements of fear: Use your conscious mind to maintain control of your fear so you gain the benefit of small doses of fear before a presentation – like heightened focus.

Maintain good posture and regular breathing: Even though you cannot control your unconscious trigger response to fear, your conscious mind does have the power to regain control. If you focus on maintaining your breathing level and keeping your posture straight, your conscious mind will send signals to your unconscious mind that help to reduce feelings of fear AND make you more confident. Win-Win.

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time and space to practice becoming a great public speaker. Great public speaking skills are highly coveted as they are the hallmark of all great leaders and influencers.

Your public speaking skills will continue to develop and grow as you consciously face your fears and implement action steps to conquer those fears until one day, your fear of public speaking melts away and you find yourself perfectly confident and calm speaking to a crowd. And that is when the fun begins.

You can find out more about how to become a great public speaker here. (*this is to link to other blog in series)

In the meantime, review the steps to regain conscious control when you experience fear of public speaking and take action steps to prepare and practice giving presentations.

There are only about 25% of people who are brave enough to tackle public speaking so take heart, just by reading this and looking for solutions you are already ahead of the pack.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Keep at it and you will conquer your fear of public speaking.

Do you struggle with fear of public speaking?Tell us what you think of the steps in this article and any advice, comments or questions you have below to contribute to the discussion.

 

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Alain Jean-BaptisteHow to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking

What Steven Spielberg Can Teach Us: Listen to the Whispers of Your Intuition

by on October 27, 2016 Comments Off on What Steven Spielberg Can Teach Us: Listen to the Whispers of Your Intuition

What Steven Spielberg Can Teach Us: Listen to the Whispers of Your Intuition

Intuition: in a way, it’s like a super power. But unlike radioactive spider bites and magic hammers, this is one that is actually attainable to those willing to work to hone it. It can range from that prickle on the back of your neck that says “danger,” to that warm tingle that tells you you’re about to make the right decision. The ability to make split-second decisions based on your “gut feeling” can help guide you in everyday life, your career, tricky negotiations, and social situations alike.

Intuition is a hard thing for many people to peg down. Because it’s not very widely understood, many people make the mistake of believing that it is something that needs to be acquired, the way one would attend a class to acquire knowledge that they didn’t previously possess. This is a misconception, though that’s not to say that learning doesn’t come into the equation. The truth is that intuition is something that every person naturally possesses. To harness it, you must train your mind to listen to its own intuitive side.

Once you learn to listen to your intuition and use it to further your goals, you open up a whole world of possibilities. Problems that previously seemed not to have solutions are suddenly easily dealt with; options you never knew you had become obvious choices. How you perceive the world changes, and as a result you are empowered to change your life. But why take it from us? Let Steven Spielberg (yes, that Steven Spielberg) explain it himself:

In case you missed it, the whisper that Spielberg is describing is his intuition, which guides his creative process. And considering that he’s the most successful director in history, with two “best director” Oscars to his name and a plethora of spellbinding films in his repertoire, it clearly hasn’t steered him wrong. If you’ve been hesitant about developing your intuition, consider this an example of the kind of success a person can realise if only they listen to the whisper of their heart.

In the following clip, Spielberg describes his intuition in greater detail (it begins at the five-minute mark):

“[For] the first 25 years of our lives, we are trained to listen to voices that are not our own… And at first, the internal voice I needed to listen to was hardly audible, and it was hardly noticeable — kind of like me in high school. But then I started paying more attention, and my intuition kicked in. And I want to be clear that your intuition is different from your conscience. They work in tandem, but here’s the distinction: Your conscience shouts, ‘here’s what you should do,’ while your intuition whispers, ‘here’s what you could do.’ Listen to that voice that tells you what you could do. Nothing will define your character more than that. Because once I turned to my intuition, and I tuned into it, certain projects began to pull me into them, and others, I turned away from.”

What he describes here—the way that your intuition tells you what you could do—is essential to harnessing the gift that you already have. All you need to do is learn how to listen to that voice, and you’ll find that, just like Spielberg, you’ll be drawn down more lucrative paths, while being able to recognize that other paths will be fruitless for you.

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September 2016 Newsletter – Technique Of The Month – Superior Autobiographical Memory –

by on September 30, 2016 Comments Off on September 2016 Newsletter – Technique Of The Month – Superior Autobiographical Memory –

Recently, I was faced with a challenge. Every month I strive to bring you a great new technique to enhance your daily lives, but this month I was stuck. Being September, my mind went to back-to-school topics such as organizational techniques and time management. But the truth is, I’ve done those before. What could I offer that would truly be helpful? That would have substance?

While I tried to puzzle this out, I was facing another challenge entirely. I have a lot of projects on the go—including my new book, Lead Intuitively, as well as plenty of travelling abroad—and I was slowly starting to lose my mind—or rather, my memory. Things were slipping my mind and I had to refocus myself on remembering important details. And then came a “eureka!” moment: that both of these challenges had the same solution.

The Technique of the Month

Superior Autobiographical Memory

Your memory is a powerful thing, not to be taken for granted. It is a fundamental tool vital in your daily life, whether personal or professional. And one of the latest marvels of the brain to be discovered is that some people can harness their memories in vivid detail, even years later. This skill is called Superior Autobiographical Memory. Below is a video interview with a woman who possesses this astounding ability; here are a few things to keep in mind as you watch.

Anatomy of Excellence

I thought that this month, I would begin to reveal to you some of my Jedi mind tricks—starting with how to slow down time. One question I’m often asked is, “How are you able to read people so quickly?” Well, it’s easier than it looks. I’ll teach you how to dissect, analyze, evaluate, and read people on a deep level without the use of intuitive abilities.

Take a Deep Breath and Relax Your Mind

Many years ago, a friend of mine—an experienced military sniper—taught me that the first step to slowing down time is to control your breathing. Don’t worry! This technique has nothing to do with shooting a gun. Being a sniper means so much more than that—it’s about being able to read a situation, understand body language, and make split second judgements based on your observations. These skills are just as vital in business and in life, and the key to mastering them is controlling your perception of how time passes. By controlling your breathing, calming your mind, and focusing on behavioural patterns and non-verbal cues, you can read between the lines in an instant.

Before watching the below video, take as much time as you need to relax your mind. See what you can read from the interview about how these remarkable people are able to perfectly recall events that happened decades before. I’ve included a few of my own notes below for you to compare against your own findings.

My notes:

  • Syntax (1:10) “I can feel it,” i.e. she is manifesting memories that feel as real as when they happened.
  • Eye movement (1:12) After saying “I can feel it,” her eye goes down to the right—a gesture associated with recalling memories.
  • Mannerism and eye movement (1:44) Look at her pupils and see how stares into thin air, coming into focus on the specific date that she’s been provided as though she can see it in front of her.
  • Sequence (1:45- 2:00) Look at her hand gestures as she describes the sequence she uses to organize the dates and events in her mind.
  • “I just see it, it’s just there” (4:29) Although the doctor being interviewed calls this an unsatisfactory response, it’s very telling if you read between the lines. It is as though they can simply travel back to a previous point in time and observe it—similar to the Future Self technique which I teach.
  • Eye movement (5:10) Eyes to the right, toggling between looking upwards and looking directly right, indicating visual and auditory memories being recalled.

Another Prodigy

If you’d like to learn more about how to read people’s non-verbal behaviour to decode and replicate success, check out our online course on Persuasion and Influence.

 

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September 2016 Newsletter – Technique Of The Month – Superior Autobiographical Memory –