Sharing Knowledge: Speaking on Stage Is Both Exhilarating and Intimidating

“The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.” ~ George Jessel

How can something be both exhilarating and intimidating? It’s like the fine line between love and hate; you feel the thrill of exhilaration and the fear of intimidation at the same time. 

I spoke at two events in the same week recently, and while I don’t like to pat myself on the back, I do know my material, but it’s almost like my brain shuts off as soon as I walk onto the stage. What’s up with that? My journey to speak professionally started three years ago and I’ve actually wanted to speak professionally most of my life. My goal is to bring humor into my presentations; when appropriate. I’m a pretty funny gal.

So why does my brain play tricks on me? Most of it has to do with mindset. Will people like what I have to say? Why do they care what I have to say? Have they heard this stuff before? Mindset is probably the most important bridge to cross because we let our minds play games with us. However, the trick is for us not to listen because we are all great at what we do; we just have to believe in ourselves and do it!

I want to share a couple of things I learned from speaking at these events. I thought they might help you or someone you know let go of the intimidation so you can enjoy the excitement if you’re speaking at a workshop or thinking about starting to speak, or you have a presentation at school. 

  1. Never wear black when you speak on stage. I wore a black skirt and jacket at one of the events and guess what? The curtain on the stage was black. All the audience saw was my face and my blue blouse. I should have remembered the information from my speaking classes, but it didn’t even cross my mind because I was so focused on my material and making sure I had everything else put together.
  2. You know your stuff. If you’ve practiced a million (okay a hundred) times, stop the chatter in your brain; shut it off. You wouldn’t be at the event if you weren’t an expert at what you are talking about so take a deep breath, enjoy the day, listen to the other presenters, see what you can learn from them – what they do great when they’re presenting, what’s not so great, and relax.
  3. If at all possible, don’t use notes as a crutch. I did and I probably would have executed my presentation better without them. My coach says, “People don’t know what you’re going to say so if you forget something it doesn’t matter. You can always go back and add it later.” I’ve vowed to myself I’m not going to use notes the next time. It’s like I mentioned above; it seems as if my mouth disconnects from my brain and foreign words start pouring forth!
  4. Tell stories during your presentation. This helps the audience relate to you and the information you’re sharing. If speakers just blurt out technical stuff, personally I go into La La Land. I can read a book and find out the same information. The more someone relates to you, the know, like, and trust factor is easier to develop which is huge for building your community!
  5. During my presentation, I mention not using “industry-specific jargon” in marketing materials or speeches because your audience might not understand what you’re saying. So what do I do? In my presentation, I used the words “pain points” when I was talking about determining who your ideal audience is and if you don’t know your audience you can’t market to them until you understand their pain points. It never occurred to me the people I was talking to wouldn’t know what “pain points” were. When it came time for Q&A the first question out of one of the audience members was, “When you say “pain point” what does that mean?” Wow, I talked about not using jargon and I used jargon. 

Learning to speak professionally is a process and the process doesn’t start until we do. Also, we don’t become professional speakers overnight (unfortunately). We keep learning and recognizing what we’re doing right, what improvements we can make to do better because we’re students until we leave this earth. I continue to learn and grow, but I’ve started, I’m putting myself out there, and I’m being vulnerable. The funny thing is I’m also exhilarated and intimidated at the same time, and I’m loving it! 

What’s one thing I shared with you and you thought I could do this? I’d love to hear from you. If you want to speak, go for it; one speech at a time.

Until next time,

Colleen

Positive Mindset Moves Businesses Forward. Are You In?

 

Has your business ever struggled to have consistent income?

Have you ever struggled climbing out of bed in the morning and going to work?

Have you struggled finding the right “audience” to connect with and build relationships?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I’m going to open your mind to positive actions steps so you stop holding yourself back. . .

Deep down we all know what to do, but more than likely we don’t take the necessary steps to move our businesses forward. We tell ourselves we will do it tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. When asked, the number one reason people don’t change or take the steps to move forward is because of their mindset; they’re confused, they’re afraid of failure, they’ve been there before, and the list goes on and on. Guess what? It’s part of being an entrepreneur. You can stay in the rut or carry out the steps to move your business forward from five to six, or six to seven figures. The choice is yours.

Lily Tomlin said, “The road to success is always under construction.”

When you are in business the “under construction” signs are always posted…or should be. If the signs aren’t posted, more than likely your business is stagnant with little to no new activity, it’s dull… If you aren’t changing things up or learning new skills what happens when technology changes, or your current clients go elsewhere due to circumstances beyond their control…

It happens! After 18 years in business and building a 1/4 million dollar business going through every emotion, using blood, sweat, and tears to build my business which I loved and had such a passion for, it was changing. The industry was making changes and it was out of my control. I saw the writing on the wall and I started preparing, but I was mentally exhausted. I felt defeated. I was anxious.

My year-out plan was in place; I only had two years left and I was going to spend more time gardening, traveling, doing more of the things I wanted and not being tied down. I did not want to start my business over. I repeat I did not want to start over. Have you heard the quote, “If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters. Stay cool?” Well, I was on to Plan B. My business was certainly under construction.

What did all of this teach me? If you choose to do it, whether it’s rebuilding your business, starting out, or whatever your circumstance, business takes a lot of work, personal time, tears, laughter, and plain not giving up, but it’s up to you. After looking back over the past 21 years, I’ve sat down and developed five steps to take my and your business to the next level. These steps are the basis of any business which sounds simple, but many people don’t carry them out and that’s why they don’t succeed. For example, with music, first you learn the basics of the scales and the notes and rhythms or you can’t make music. These five steps are the basis of any business and if they aren’t implemented more than likely people have a difficult time succeeding in business or it’ll take a heck of a lot longer to reach their goals. We all love to skip the “basics” and move on to the other stuff, but it’s the basics that are the foundation.

What do our five steps help you do? We start at the basics so you are ready and can. . .

Position Yourself to:

Craft Your Message
Write Your Book
Live the Life You Deserve

Once your are clear on your message, you know who you want to serve, who your ideal audience is and where to find them. When you have grown your business and have your audience and you are comfortable as the expert in your field you can write your book and share your knowledge with the world – your clients, potential clients, at speaking engagements, and more. But, you have to position yourself to write your book. After you’ve crafted your message, built your list and clients, and decided to write your book (or not) you are on your way to living the life you deserve because you’ll be on your way to moving your business from five to six or six to seven figures.

Are you ready to schedule a complimentary strategy session to see how we can help you start your journey? We’d love to have a chat with you. Sign up today!

Until next time,

Colleen

P.S. My coach asked me where I would feel most comfortable coaching people. I said I’d love doing a retreat with six people for four days at a condo or house at the beach. That’s my goal within the next year. What’s your goal to move your business forward?

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October 17, 2017

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