Wednesday, May 29, 2013

6 Tips to Reduce Public Speaking Anxiety

Public speaking is one of the most dreaded tasks we all encounter at one point in our life. Regardless if you are in school, college or work, Public Speaking is a task we all have to undergo. Fear of speaking in public ranks second among the most common phobias (spiders is number one). To put things in perspective, people are more scared of speaking in public than death, marriage or bankruptcy. This feeling is common among most of us. Everyone shares the anxious feeling when there is a perception of being evaluated.

While anxiety is a common emotion, it can become a problem when it affects our functioning. In the case of public speaking, we start feeling anxious even before we start talking in front of people. In other words, we brace for impact before the impact. So why does this happen? Cognitively, anxiety serves as a reinforcer to a negative experience. In our minds, we start to associate displeasure with speaking in public. (A friend of mine commented that since childhood, while in school, the punishment was to go the chalk board and write. It could be that we might associate being in front of people as punishment as well). Any time we feel vulnerable, our first reaction is to retreat. The retreat is initiated by generating thoughts regarding our performance.

We start thinking of multiple fallacies that we need to reject by critical thinking The most common irrational thought is that everything will go wrong like forgetting the material or how people will judge you. This is known as the fallacy of catastrophe. This fallacy triggers our sympathetic nervous system, increasing blood pressure and heart rate. That is why when we are nervous we may have sweaty palms or tremble. Another irrational thought is the fallacy of approval. 

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Speak in Public… Even If You Hate Public Speaking

Despite your fear, you need to figure out how to fit public speaking into your schedule. Let me tell you why.
Many entrepreneurs credit public speaking appearances as a critical piece to their business success. In fact, they treat it as a machine that generates leads for their business.
A lot of them will get immediate and new clients or business from their speaking engagements…but most of those leads will take a long time to mature.
This is why a lot of them use some type of marketing automation tools to keep in touch with those who don’t need their business right away.
And even though public speaking is a great way to increase your exposure, so many entrepreneurs hate doing it…and use all kinds of excuses not to do it.
Do you hate speaking in public? Would you like to learn how to get over your fear of public speaking and actually start taking on speaking engagements to expand your brand and message?
Then this guide will help.
How to painlessly ease into public speaking
Let’s first look at how you might enter the world of public speaking and go from speaking confidently one-on-one to commanding center stage at a huge conference.
Are you ready to launch your speaking career? Let’s go!

Volunteer for an interview – There is no question about it, it takes a lot of confidence to stand in front of an audience and speak clearly and convincingly. But you can ease your fear of public speaking simply by starting with a few non-threatening ways. One such way is to volunteer to do an interview. Find a blogger in your industry who does video interviews  and offer to speak as an expert on a topic. 

Create a virtual conference

7 Tips For Self-Motivation

Self-motivation is necessary for succeeding in school, business and in life.

Here are seven tips to help boost your self-motivation process:

Self-motivation Tip #1 - Get Support
People either support or distract you from your self-motivation process. Notice whose style adds to your self-motivation and who gets in the way of it.  Nobody else can motivate you.  Consider coaching some of the key people in your life in how to enhance your self-motivation or in how not to derail your motivation.

Self-motivation Tip #2 - Be Alert
Very few people can perform at their best all day. Keep track of the times of day when you are mentally most alert, when you are most communicative and when you are most creative. Wherever possible plan to spend time doing the kind of task that comes easily at that time. This avoids wasting energy on self-motivation to go against your natural inclinations.

Self-motivation Tip #3 - Focus
If there is a task you must do that doesn’t appeal to you and keeps getting put off, ask yourself, ‘What will it do for me when I’ve completed this?’ Focus on the bigger picture, rather than the actual task and you may find that it’s easier to get it done.

Self-motivation Tip #4 - Establish Deadlines
If you work well to deadlines (or to put it another way, you tend to leave things to the last minute!) then make life easier by keeping your calendar clear in the run-up to important deadlines. That way you can focus on the work that has to be done for the deadline and not be distracted by other projects until it’s finished.

7 Tips for Motivating Employees

Having trouble getting workers fired up about a project ?" or your company in general? We've compiled some pointers from the experts.

Any CEO knows that employee motivation is a key to individual performance, group productivity, and maintaining a pleasant office culture. So how do you do it exactly? For a dose of inspiration on how to motivate those who work for you, we've compiled the best recent pointers on the subject from articles published in Inc. magazine and on

1. Set a Good Example.

Remember that your attitude is contagious. Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour, an apparel company located in Baltimore, says that communication is key to making members of your company's team feel including in major decisions. "I listened to everyone's opinions, and, without fail, they'd bring up things I hadn't thought of. More important, my team members knew that they were part of the process and that their voices mattered," he told Inc. "Employees are more motivated when they feel needed, appreciated, and valued." Plank also recommends hiring employees who have great leadership skills. At his company, he calls these natural leaders "engines," and peppers them strategically around the organization.

2. Focus on Employee Happiness Rather Than Employee Motivation.

Zappos is often hailed as the most employee-friendly business out there. But, perks aside, what really keeps the workers there motivated? When Inc.'s Max Chafkin last interviewed Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh in Las Vegas, he discovered that what Hsieh really cares about is making Zappos's employees and customers feel really, really good. In fact, he's decided that his entire business revolves around happiness. Chafkin writes: "Zappos's approach to workplace bliss differs significantly from that of other employee-friendly businesses.

9 Public Speaking Tips that Will Make Your Gestures World-Class

Remember the last time you felt anger? Your facial muscles where tense and your gestures and posture expressed anger. Did you notice what happened with your body? If you feel the emotion, your gestures just happen. However if you try to display certain emotions with particular gestures included artificially, it will look very unnatural.

Imagine a shy man with a very soft voice and low energy showing broad gestures because he wants to appear confident. How does it look? Unnatural! When you are really energetic, try to stand still and not to gesture. It’s very difficult and even if you manage to do so it will look unnatural. Everything that looks unnatural is perceived as insincere. Everything insincere breaks the connection with your audience and it kills your speech.

If I were to give you the single tip that can significantly improve gestures of any speaker it will be this: “Never use rehearsed gestures. Let the emotions drive your gestures. Feel the emotions and your gestures will just happen.”

Of course at the beginning many of your gestures may not look all that great. You need to analyze them and make sure that you are following the best practices described below. After a while, you won’t need to check to see if you are using these best practices because they will come naturally to you.

Gesture in all dimensions

Many speakers gesture just in front of them and below their chest. All of them are dramatically limiting their potential for gestures.

You can point at something behind your back. You can point at something on the floor. You can try to reach the sky with your hands. Don’t limit yourself to gestures that you’ve seen other speakers use. You can gesture in 360 degrees and if you truly want to be memorable to your audience members, perform different gestures.

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7 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

The words public speaking strikes fear and anxiety in the minds of otherwise competent and confident people. Does the thought of speaking in front of a group evoke fear, make you sweat, starts your heart pounding? It's likely you have glossophobia - the fear of public speaking.

Glossophobia is the most common of fears. There are many ways to increase business exposure so why bother to overcome your speaking jitters? Stepping up to the podium not only positions you as an expert in your area of business but provides effortless referrals and improved sales opportunities.

Presenting a non-sales informative speech warms up your target market and builds trust. Unlike endless cold calls the people you present to and follow up with are more receptive to listening to your offering of products and services.

Overcome your fear of public speaking and boost your business with these 7 tips:

7 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

Start Small: If you're new to the world of speaking, start small. Find a few friends and family to practice on. Begin by speaking to smaller groups and build up from there.

In my business speaking career, I speak to groups of 30 to 3,000. One discovery I made is the size of the audience makes no difference. If you know your topic, you're pre-speaking fear will quickly evaporate.

Prepare: Nothing helps ease the fear of public speaking than knowing your material. The ability to connect with your audience comes from having the confidence you won't get lost during your delivery. Rehearse several times before the big talk. Time your presentation and always have back up material in case time is left over.

Don't Memorize: Mastering the art of public speaking comes not from memorizing word for word your entire speech. The real pros know their material by remembering key points and prompts on sub topics and examples to cover.

5 Tips For Motivating Employees

As we move into 2012 and the economy around the world continues to struggle, many managers are finding it more and more difficult to continue motivating employees – especially with many employee perks being cut out to lower costs. As a manager, what can you do to keep employees motivated, even when times are tough? Try these 5 tips:

Tip #1:Act as a role model and help inspire employees to identify what they are passionate about at work; then provide them with some projects in their area of passion or interest – a happy employee is a motivated employee!

Tip #2: Clearly define the organization’s vision, mission and strategy as well as the goals and objectives of each employee (and include your employees in the crafting of these). Make sure everyone on your team understands the key role they play in contributing to the success of the department. Ensure each employee is in alignment toward the overall strategy so your group can work as a team and help each other out. Positive team energy will help motivate everyone.

Tip #3: Empower your employees to succeed and delegate challenging and meaningful work – in general, people want to succeed and they want to continue learning and growing, so provide them with opportunities.

Tip #4: Work with each employee to create their own personal development plan. Then, provide them with coaching and mentoring and help them increase their skills and their sense of competence and accomplishment.

Tip #5: Monitor the progress of your employees towards accomplishing their goals and objectives – then provide rewards to reinforce positive behavior, increase their sense of progress and keep them motivated. This can include recognition in front of peers and other rewards that don’t cost a lot of money but are meaningful to the person.

5 Must-Read Public Speaking Tips for Entrepreneurs

For most of us, public speaking can be incredibly nerve-wracking. What if you mess up? What if no one claps? What if someone asks you a question you don’t know the answer to? What if you throw up on stage? (Seriously, you should at least stop worrying about that one.)

But with the right preparation, public speaking doesn’t have to be such a daunting, fretful experience. The chance to strut your stuff and raise awareness for your brand is actually really exciting, especially if you’re a young company looking to introduce your expertise—and offering—to the world.

Here, we outline five steps to take before you get up on that stage to make sure you most genuinely connect with your audience, get your point across in the time allotted, and (most importantly) don’t pass out.

1. Practice, Practice, Practice
The benefits of this old adage are twofold. First, becoming comfortable with the material you’ll be delivering will ease your nerves—after reading your speech to your mom, grandma, and six closest friends, the experience will feel much less intimidating.

Second, you’ll significantly improve your delivery. Audiences want to connect with the people they’re watching speak or present, and if you’re reading from a piece of paper for 20 minutes, they’re not going to have the opportunity to do so. The more you know your stuff, the more you’ll be able to make eye contact, throw in a joke, and ensure you pack in all of your crucial points before the buzzer.

2. Know Your Space
If you have the opportunity to do so—like at a conference or cocktail party—check out where you’re going to be speaking. Are you using a microphone? Do you have any AV requirements? The better you understand your surroundings, the more you can concentrate on the public speaking itself. And if you’re incorporating AV aspects into your presentation, back to #1 you go.


Monday, May 27, 2013

The Secrets of Public Speaking

Public speaking is an everyday act of forming a thought, then quickly organizing and delivering that thought in a powerful, engaging way. So says Elizabeth Nelson, the new Communication 110 director in the Department of Communication. So why do we often dread speaking publicly at work, even when it’s understood  speaking well leads to promotion, defuses problems and reduces stress? Fret not. Nelson sat down with the Bulletin this week to offer some expert advice.

Embrace Your Fear

If you fear public speaking, try reducing that fear by accepting that some anxiety is OK. Embracing this will reduce your physiological symptoms such as shaking, dizziness or sweaty hands. Acknowledge your nervousness. A good audience will understand. Try saying something like, “Who would have thought so many people would be interested in human resource policy? If I’m acting nervous, it’s because I’m excited.”

Take Care of Your Needs

Remember to breathe. Frequently we hold our breath when we’re nervous, but this makes us sound and feel worse. Have water handy and remember, pausing is your friend.  Move and speak at your own pace.

Use Humor

Some of the best public speakers are humorous. But self-deprecating or dismissive humor can be off-putting. You want genuine and light wit. Try picking up what’s happening in the room and weaving this into your humor.


Try pushing through your nerves by walking among the crowd and using large gestures to break the space between you and the audience. Scan the room and make frequent eye contact.  Ask the crowd genuine questions and guide their responses. Here’s an example: “How many of you are jobseekers? Raise your hands.”

Have Something to Say

12 Helpful Tips to Get Motivated to Work

Motivation is an important thing to always be in high spirits while working. This is vital in order to accomplish a lot and be more productive. This can also contribute in creating great projects. One’s flare in working can be seen in his outputs. If he is really motivated to work on something, the projects will surely have high quality and are easily finished.

In doing your work, there would always be things that can urge you to do it. You don’t just do it without a purpose. This purpose allows you to be motivated and inspired to work. But aside from aiming for a particular goal, there are still other things that will be the reason for you to get motivated. Here are some tips to help you get motivated especially when you feel like your motivation to work is slowly diminishing.

1. Target one goal.

If there is too much that is happening in your life, you might be confused as to what certain goals you would really like to achieve. In order to make sure that you will be travelling and working on a single road, be concrete with one goal. This will be your focus for everything you do.

2. Know what you enjoy about your job.

It is important for you to determine what really makes you happy while you are working. Knowing this will help you to remain happy at work. Enjoying your job is very important to make sure that your outputs will be great. So, when you get to know what makes you happy, you can easily look for it and have it there with you while working to keep you motivated.

3. Be inspired.

One thing that keeps one going is having inspirations. It varies from every person. Some have simple source of inspirations like mere good ambience while others have two or more inspirations....

3 strategies to overcome the fear of public speaking

Jerry Seinfeld has his famous bit about public speaking, where he spouts that people fear public speaking more than death, which means that most people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.

But public speaking doesn’t have to inspire such terror. Steven Cohen, a Harvard Extension School instructor and managing director of the Oral Communication Program at the University of Maryland, offers three tips to help you quell your fears.

Speak calmly and fluently in front of an audience

Here are the three strategies Cohen suggests in the above video to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

Visualize yourself succeeding. See yourself going through every step of the speech, from the walk to the stage to the applause at the end.
Relax! The “t-repeater,” a breathing exercise to relieve your nerves before speaking, and easing into eye contact can help you stay calm in front of a crowd.

Practice in specific ways. You don’t want to memorize the entire speech, but instead focus more on the introduction and conclusion of your presentation.

Becoming comfortable speaking publicly can have numerous benefits, whether they be professional or personal. Who knows, after some practice you may even come to enjoy your time in front of an audience!

These tips, demonstrated in the video, can you help you learn how to be confident in front of crowd.

5 Ways To Ensure That Team Members Develop Into Great Leaders

A stellar performer is promoted from team member or individual contributor to manager of a team. And nearly every day, that new manager struggles. They struggle because the job they are now doing is vastly different from the job they were doing, even though they stayed on the same team.

From finance, to IT, to sales and marketing, it is a phenomenon that repeats itself over and over again. The reason for this is simple in theory and hard in practice. That is, the job is different. There, simple in theory. But who else in an organization would be appropriate to step up and lead a team in a function? Certainly, people who are top performers in that function make ideal candidates. Right, hard in practice.

So to make that practice easier to implement,  follow these five keys to ensuring that your top individual contributors develop into great leaders.

1.     Recognize that leadership and individual contributor expertise require different and often mutually exclusive skills. While success in the “player” role comes from deep expertise in a specific area and from independent performance, the “coach” or leader role is quite different. Success in this role involves a great deal of interdependence. It is predicated on making sure that members of a team work well together and that all members of a team perform to their greatest potential. It is the job of the leader to bring out optimal performance of each individual, and leverage the talents of the group to achieve results greater than each could on their own. That is quite different than one person doing an incredible job on the assignments they are solely responsible for.
CEOs are Terrible at Management, Study Finds Susan Adams Susan Adams Forbes Staff
Don't Innovate. Create a Culture of Innovation Scott Edinger Scott Edinger Contributor