Aug 30, 2021
A while back I got a message saying: "Our life's success and failure often revolve around health, money, relationships and reputation. Instead, if it revolves around commitment, wisdom, service, and celebrations, then we automatically receive health, money, reputation and relationships improve." Success and failure are a state of mind. Through compassion, we learn to embrace both and pass through the uncertainties of life.
1 - THE FORCE AWAKENS
“Help others achieve their dreams and you will
achieve yours.” – Les Brown
Some people come in your life to give you awareness of the potential you truly have in providing excellence to the world. Craig Chapman got me to stand up in front of that audience. Chayya Sakhuja has been persistent in getting me to stretch my comfort zone. Their faith in me goes beyond gratitude. If you have an inspirational hero remember they have shifted the emotion of fear to either:
False Evidence Appearing Real
Feeling Excited Adventurous Read
Forget Everything And Refocus
Face Everything And Rise
With Craig's and Chayya's encouragement, I have been able to coach many. Awakening the force within them to become awesome authentic speakers. There is no room for fake it till you make it. Wikipedia says "Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking or of speaking in general. The word comes from the Greek glōssa, meaning tongue, and phobos, fear or dread." Observe your emotional state when presenting? Ask yourself two crucial questions to overcome that fear, anxiety, fumbling or uncertainty:
What do I achieve by being in this state?
What do I achieve by not being in this state?
There are payoffs in both cases.
2 - SECRET #1: YOU
"Success is 99 percent failure." -Soichiro Honda
Sad but true most speakers are much more engaged with their slides or their ego rather than their audience. Remember:
YOU, the presenter, have the responsibility to inspire, inform and influence your audience
YOU, the speaker, have to ensure to involve, engage, and enable your audience
YOU, the orator, have to connect with the audience. They must see, hear and feel your passion and authenticity
Drop your reliance on technology and simply focus on the people in front of you. These people have come to listen and learn from YOU. When delivering a message to any audience, you need to establish a rapport with them for you to connect on a level that will allow the listeners to listen to you. This may not be an easy task but through finetuning your preparation, practice and delivery you gain the necessary experience to be a successful public speaker. You will need to appeal to the audience senses that will allow them to respect and trust you. Start on your path to becoming a highly competent and influential speaker with the wise words said by the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
3 - SECRET #2: IKO
"The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success." - Paramahansa Yogananda
After carrying out numerous coaching sessions I have noted there are three common errors that most people make when presenting:
Fear – Allow the nerves to take over
Teller - Lecture with too much information
Communication - Display poor connection (words, vocal, body language)
The good news is there are only three things that you need to get right to become a great presenter/ speaker/ orator.
Simply apply the "IKO Principles" to overcome these errors:
Inner Self - Always focus on creating and managing a positive mindset. The way you think and feel has a dramatic effect on what you deliver
Knowledge - Ensure the content you present has a clear structure. Your ability to entice the audience will be dependent on the clarity of projecting the knowledge you want to share
Outer Self - The way you use your body language, voice and words affects your delivery Apply IKO to start developing phenomenal engagement with the audience that no technology can ever achieve.
These three elements will assist you in becoming a powerful speaker. All these elements go hand in hand in order for your to display the passion and authenticity in your presentation.
4 - SECRET #3: P3
"Courage, clarity, conviction & compassion comes by passing through suffering." - Rohit Bassi
During my last year in University (1995), my presentation on a one-year project went horribly wrong. I embarrassed myself in front of my lectures and my classmates. I had just about got a passing score for my presentation session. The whole event took me in a direction of being behind closed doors as a career. Fast forward to today, now people label me as an expert in the field on public speaking/presentation skills. Believe me, I still have a lot to learn. One of the greatest tools I came across has been P3. In other words "Power of Three" or for short P3. It is simply beautiful and magical. With ease and comfort it gives you the:
Ability to remember things
Establish a connection with others
Throughout history, the "Power of Three" has been used to communicate the message with passion, clarity and authenticity. Examples being The Three Musketeers, The Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), The Three Wise Men (who visited baby Jesus), In fact, you hear it when people say, "wishes come in three". With every presentation, talk, lecture you deliver start implementing P3 and you will discover your talk to be much more effective.
5 - YOU LIE & YOUR BREATH STINKS
“Spice it up with your first impression.” - Rohit Bassi
First impressions play an important part in how your:
Audience feels about you
Reacts towards you
Interacts with you
Think about your own interactions with someone and in that split second you to make a judgement about the other person. Your audience creates a perception about you on the first look. If they are not happy with what they see, their attention span towards your talk will reduce. You need to ensure you make that first impression a lasting one. Some of these first impressions being general grooming, cleanliness, clothing, the tone of voice, handshake, body language. My friend (well a friend in my mind), Tony Robbins, goes on to say "If you don’t have the right style, you won’t get to share any of your substance.” I have heard many say that first impression is actually only a three to a nine-second window. Certainly, this is not enough time for you to show the audience your substance. You need to realise the importance of your first impression. Yes, it is possible and could be extremely tough to change that first impression that the audience has of you.
6 - YOUR BODY NEVER LIES
“Before you get into the mind, you have to inhabit the physicality. " - Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh (another great friend of mine in my mind) continues to say "Body language is a great way of speaking.” Your attitude is very easily projected through your voice and words. Furthermore, it is projected through your non-verbal communication. In simple terms, this means your body language. The five core elements of body language being your:
It is easy to hide behind your voice and words but your body never lies. Remember your inner feelings have a direct impact on your body language. So, be good with your inner thoughts. Three body language that works like a charm in developing warmth with your listeners are:
Smile with your eyes
While listening nod often
Focus on using open gestures
Displaying a strong confident body language is important in delivering your talk or presentation. It assists you to develop trust, credibility and connection with your listeners.
7 - IT IS HOW YOU SAY IT?
“Speech is the voice of the heart.” ― Anna Quindlen
Our voice can easily communicate the wrong message to the other person. This wrong use of the voice combined with unfriendly words and body language can make a situation worse. Talal is a student of mine, who is an MD for a global financial company. His voice is amazing, it is commanding not demanding. A commanding voice simply means that you are assertive in your speech. While a demanding voice comes across as aggressive and unfriendly. He has a perfect balance and integration of three elements. A harmony exists in his:
An easy way to refine your voice is to record yourself. Replay the recording to assess your vocal strengths. Listen to it to review how you could improve your pronunciation, pauses and pacing. Remember when your voice comes across as annoyed, impatient, or condescending, the listening party could easily get difficult with you. Our voice tends to mirror our inner feelings and great caution is advised on how you use your voice. As a speaker learn to exhibit the appropriate voice for the occasion.
8 - YOUR WORDS DO HURT
“Even the smallest of words can be the ones to hurt you, or save you. ” ― Natsuki Takaya
As a speaker, your words play an important part in how you make the listener perceive you. Words have energy and power to either connect or disconnect with your listener. There is an old saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”. For those who are unaware of this saying it means you may get hurt by physical force but not by insults. This is utterly untrue as words do hurt an individual and can damage self–esteem and self-confidence with great easy. In the book, Words Can Change Your Brain, written by Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman it states, “a single word has the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress.” This simply means, a single negative word has the ability to release dozens of stress-producing hormones and that certainly is a bad place to be in. Remember with your words be:
Your words have the power to build up or tear down the listener. Words are extremely powerful leading to impact someone's behaviour in such a dramatic manner that they can transform their map of the world.
9 - VALUE EQUALS EARNING MORE
“Service is taking action to create a value for someone else. ” - Ron Kaufman
You are presenting all the time. It may be through that phone call, email, website, face-toface or social media. Your communication skills are crucial in presenting yourself thus making that lasting appreciative impression. The ability to relate to your listeners is crucial when delivering your talk. Yes, it is about:
Building and developing rapport
Genuine trust and respect
Understanding and cooperation
You wish and want to earn more. Through your presenting be it conversational or standing up always have the belief and knowing that you have something to offer that will serve the listeners. It will benefit them. Show the VALUE through your presentation. Your talk has to make the listener feel, see and hear that there is something in for them. Speaking in front of any size audience or the top brass could be extremely painful for many. Understandably, it can be overwhelming and frightening to stand in front of everyone and speak your mind, even if you have already rehearsed what you will say. Focus on the VALUE you are offering and remember you are there for the listener. You are there to give them service excellence.
COMPASSION IS THE KEY
In the wise words of Thich Nhat Hanh:
"An act of compassion always brings about transformation. If not right now, it will happen in the future. The important thing is you don’t react with anger. You react with compassion, and sooner or later you see the transformation in the other person. You keep being compassionate, you keep being patient. "
Compassion is about being respectful to yourself and others without the ego and judgement.