confidence

Guest Blog Post: 5 Ways to Create an Exciting Learning Experience to Keep Your learners Engaged

Eager to keep your students engaged? Rest assured that with the utilization of the latest learning tools, you are going to be able to achieve this target. Guest Blogger, Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education.

Press Release: DiResta Speaks to Military Women Veterans at Operation Reinvent

Diane DiResta, CSP, author of Knockout Presentations: How to Deliver Your Message with Power, Punch and Pizzazz, and Founder and CEO of DiResta Communications, a New York City consultancy, was invited to speak to military women veterans at the Operation Reinvent event. The event was a live webcast from NYC to Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Hood, Texas.
The mission of Operation Reinvent is to prepare military women for transition to civilian life.

The Fear Worse Than Public Speaking

freedom-of-speech-156029__180Public speaking is not the top fear. Don't get me wrong. I work with clients all the time to build their confidence so that they can express their ideas. Speaking enables leaders to influence, build relationships, and advance their careers. It's one of the most powerful business and personal skills with far reaching impact. But public speaking fear is a temporary obstruction. It can be overcome. However, there is another fear that is much greater. It's slowly creeping into our culture.

It's the loss of freedom of speech.

Today, as we celebrate Independence Day, I heard a disturbing report on a television news segment. The University of North Carolina published a guidebook for employees on how to avoid micro aggression. They listed words that should not be used in conversation. Here are a few:

Don't say:

  • Christmas Vacation because it could insult someone who practices a different religion
  • Wife/Girlfriend or Husband/Boyfriend because it discriminates against other sexual preferences. (So do I deny I'm married ?)
  • Round of Golf because some people can't afford to play (Have they not heard of municipal courses?)
  • I Love Your Shoes because that's discriminating against women. (I have never met a woman who was insulted when I complimented her shoes).

ARE THEY KIDDING? What kind of craziness is this? Who could take this seriously? What great material for Saturday Night Live.

I certainly don't mean to single out UNC. There are other universities that actually have designated free speech zones. REALLY? The first amendment of the Bill of Rights grants freedom of speech not in geographic zones but everywhere. The purpose was to limit the power of  government and now we have universities telling us what we can say.

The comedian, Jerry Seinfeld stopped performing at colleges because he got tired of political correctness. Where is our sense of humor?

Whoever controls language controls thought. And that's scarier than any fear of speaking in public. This July 4th, let's give thanks for freedom of speech and have the confidence to speak out.

Happy July 4th !

fireworks-1758_960_720

 

flag180

Is Amy Cuddy's Wonder Woman Pose A Fraud?

ellevate-presentation.jpg

ellevate presentationMy colleague TJ Walker challenged the validity of Harvard professor, Amy Cuddy's power pose. Amy Cuddy has one of the most popular youtube videos on body language. She advises people to adopt the Wonder Woman pose (hands on hips) to feel powerful when speaking in public. In TJ's twitter post today, he disputes this claim and calls it a fraud. Here's my opinion. The power pose was recommended to assuage public speaking fear. It's based on neuroscience research and when this pose is held for 2 minutes, there is an increase in testosterone. Higher levels of the hormone, testosterone, are found in those who are risk takers.

What was novel was that there was Harvard research backing up her claims. Do I think she's a fraud? No. Unless the research is flawed, it's helpful to have a technique to increase confidence. And there is a body language of confidence. The mind-body connection is widely accepted.

However, as an executive speech coach who works with women leaders and male executives, I don't claim that this one pose is a panacea for public speaking fear, nor does it make you a knockout presenter. TJ makes several good points. Amy Cuddy had a compelling story, a strong structure to her speech, and good visuals. I always tell my clients that great delivery sits on great structure. Your presentation delivery is only as good as your organization. Public speaking success is 90% preparation and 10% delivery.

A client recently hired me for four hours to work on a 15 minute high stakes presentation. That did not include the time she spent with the graphic designer.

So to feel confident, the first step is preparation, planning, and a good, strong message. Presenters need to master their minds as well as their skill set. Does it help to use the power pose? Probably. I teach it to audiences. It makes them feel powerful. But it's not the whole story. There are other physical skills I give them. But I do believe that the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind.

So as long as presenters prepare and practice their message, why not strike a pose and feel powerful?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc

And the Best Speaker Is....

speakers-129535__180Speaking is a leadership skill. Period. It's difficult to lead if you can't convey a clear, compelling message that inspires and moves people to action. Last night the candidates eagerly awaited the results of the Iowa Caucus. It was a tight race with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders almost tied. But the real winner was the orator of the night-Marco Rubio.

While Ted Cruz came in first, his victory speech was too long, too analytical, and not inspiring. I kept changing the station in search of commentator's reviews. Each time I toggled back, there was Ted, still droning on. This was a lost opportunity to inspire and build excitement for the next race. I didn't remember much of his speech.

Donald Trump came in a close second. The usually pompous, bombastic Trump took it down a notch and gave a gracious concession speech. He thanked and acknowledged the people of Iowa and congratulated Ted Cruz. This was a different Donald Trump and he won points in building trust with his followers. He kept his remarks brief and didn't make excuses. This was a model for losing gracefully and yet not giving up. In keeping with his entrepreneurial personality, he cut his losses quickly and moved on to the next phase.

The real stand-out was Marco Rubio who was neck-in-neck with Mr. Trump. While his speech was well-prepared, his words and delivery were passionate and heartfelt. He stayed on message with his immigrant story, his family values, and the need to conquer the competing party. We could relate to his classic hero's journey. " This is the moment they said would never happen. For months they told us we had no chance. They said I had to wait my  turn". . Although his speech was criticized for sounding much like Obama's speech back in 2012, he left his constituents inspired, exhilarated, and confident in his leadership. Rubio turned a third place result into a victory speech.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton was at her best. Her fire was not only in her belly but on display in her eyes. She also gave a victory speech even though the results were too close to call. Mrs. Clinton connected with her audience and carried her enthusiasm with her as she exited the stage.

Bernie Sanders, although older than Clinton, communicates energy. He, too, was impassioned in his delivery. The young people not only fed off his message of free college and taxing Wall Street, but his energy and strong conviction connected with this audience. He regarded the evening as a tie with Clinton and expressed confidence in winning New Hampshire. Energy sells.

Will the best speaker win? Not necessarily.There's more to winning a political race than public speaking. But excellent presentation skills will elevate a candidate's leadership, enhance the brand, inspire trust and confidence. Words well written and delivered with absolute conviction and passion will always linger in the hearts and minds of the listeners.

 

Success Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

sorry-229978__180Love Story was a popular move in 1970. It starred Ryan O'Neill and Ali McGraw. In one scene they have a fight and go their separate ways. O'Neill finds McGraw after he cools off and apologizes for the fight. She stops him and says through her tears, "Love means never having to say you're sorry." I don't know if most people in conflict would agree with that. What people may agree with is the overuse of the word "Sorry" in the workplace. This is especially prevalent among women. When I speak to organizations about executive presence and confidence, I advise women to avoid weak speak or what I call wimpy words. Certain modifiers such as "only," or "just" weaken conviction. That is, the speaker negates everything that follows the words "only" or "just". For example, "This is just an idea," is less powerful than saying "This is an idea."

Related to these two modifiers is the word "sorry". To use the word "sorry" in emails and spoken language is to the detriment of women. An apologetic communication style sabotages leadership and authority. Leaders are perceived as decisive and willing to take a risk. Saying "sorry' too frequently is a way to avoid taking a stand and not be taken seriously.

The word "sorry" is also used as a substitute for "excuse me". Instead of asking the speaker to clarify or repeat, some women will say "Sorry?" rather than use the more effective phrase, "Excuse me?".

There's an app for that

How can women rid this undermining word from their vocabulary? The first step is awareness. Technology to the rescue! Now there is an app that identifies wimpy words when they are used in emails.

The Just Not Sorry extension for Chrome is downloadable at the Chrome app store. The app identifies wimpy words in Gmail by underlining them in red and providing explanations of how the word weakens the message in the email. Whether the reason for using wimpy words is a subconscious lack of confidence or simply a bad habit, this tool can create conscious awareness for women so that they can become more successful leaders and communicators.

After all, success means never having to say you're sorry.

Is Public Speaking Fear Good for You?

fear__180Fear of speaking may be something people escape by avoiding speaking in public. But it just may be that the fear can be beneficial. Sociologist Margee Kerr, author of Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear, noticed a relationship between fear and laughter. After watching people go through a haunted house, she noted that their screams would turn to laughter. Fear is not a separate state as most people believe, but shares much with other states such as surprise, excitement, and joy. How this arousal state gets interpreted depends on context.

As for public speaking, one person may experience an adrenaline rush as putting them in a readiness state; another may experience sheer terror.  According to Kerr, people push themselves to feel the "...exhilaration, fear, and eventual satisfaction that comes once the threat has passed." Once the fight is over, this can result in a boost of confidence. She explains that the nature of fears are a product of time and place and that we respond to some threats faster than others.

While screams and laughter may be experienced similarly in the brain, most of us perceive these emotions as being very different. The good news is fear of public speaking can be managed and even conquered. Some of the public speaking fear remedies include: desensitization, breathing techniques, mindfulness meditation, and skills practice. Once you shift your mind set, you'll change the way you think about speaking in public.Your fear may haunt you, but don't try too hard to fight your speaking anxiety. That arousal state may just give you a natural high.

What To Do When You Bomb On Stage

She had always dreamed of being a keynote speaker, and now that moment was here. It was an industry conference and this would be good exposure. She commanded the stage with all the confidence and gravitas of a professional speaker. Her presentation opening was polished and rehearsed, as she showed the audience what she could do. Then, something happened. She lost her voice. No, not her volume. She lost her message!

She froze with a long pause that got longer and longer. At some point, the audience knew from her eyes that this silence was not intentional.The crowd encouraged her with soft mantras. "You go, girl." "You can do it." Finally, she was back in her body and demanded to speak for the remaining two minutes. She grabbed the moment with gusto but this presentation was not her shining moment.

At a women's event, a male stylist was asked to speak about his skin care line. He started off well and then 5 minutes into the talk he excused himself and left the building. Fear got the better of him.

More typical, is the sales presenter who drones on when the prospect is ready to buy. Instead of closing, he covers everything in the deck and talks his way right out of the sale!

So what do you do when you know you're bombing?

1. Take stock and pivot. Quickly assess why it's not going well. Do they seem bored? Then try to engage the audience with a question.

In the case of the sales presentation, if you get a yes, fast forward to the close.

If it's the wrong topic for the meeting, stop, acknowledge the elephant in the room, and be willing to facilitate a discussion, or agree to reschedule the meeting.

2. Breathe. Don't go into panic mode when your brain freezes. You need to get back into your body. Focusing on your breath will help you remain calm. Smile.

3. Summarize. If you go blank, simply summarize the story or material you just presented. This will buy you time.

4. Use a pattern interrupt. One presenter who was behind the lectern, lost her place in the notes. So she did something unexpected. She took out her glasses and slowly adjusted them on her face. This gave her time to find her place. The audience never knew she was lost.

5. Ask for help. I once was on a panel and had a word retrieval issue. I asked the audience, "What is the word I'm looking for?" and then thanked them for their help. No big deal.

6. Pull out your one-liners and come back to the moment. If brain freeze is your fear, plan a number of lines you can use. You can refer to your "senior moment". Comedian Johnny Carson used this technique when a joke didn't get a laugh. He would acknowledge the joke that "just died."

As in sports and politics, you don't always win. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn. But you can always recover with grace.

Watch this video - Plan a Recovery Strategy:

And this one - Watch my blooper recovery!

5 Presentation Mistakes When Pitching for Business

Speaking is the new competitive advantage. What makes your product or service stand out in a sea of commodities is your presentation. Don't lose out because of these presentation mistakes:

 

  1. Rambling Elevator Speech. If you can't say what you do, for whom, and how they benefit in one minute, your message is too long. The buyer doesn't want to listen to a story. Once your listeners tune out (and they will), you will lose the opportunity to close the sale. The key to a good elevator pitch is focus.
  2. Thick PowerPoint Deck. Unless you're writing legislation, your PowerPoint deck should take 15 minutes to deliver. The reason it takes longer is that there are too many pages and you're probably reading the slides. Summarize what's on the slide and tell the story behind the numbers. You'll fail to win business if all you do is read a list of numbers on a page.
  3. Failure to Listen. More than anything else, listening is the key to winning business. You learn the customer's needs by listening. You develop relationships and show you care by listening. Listening helps you to ask the right questions. Too many people try to pitch rather than question and listen. Use the 70/30 rule. 70% of the time the customer is speaking and 30% of the time you're speaking.
  4. Speaker-Centered.Being speaker-centered is related to the failure to listen and this presentation approach happens before you meet the buyer. Too many pitches and presentations are organized from the speaker's point of view. Nobody cares about your product or service. They care about their own self interests. So create a listener-centered presentation that leads with what the buyer cares about and how your solutions will solve their problem. Talk benefits, not features.
  5. Lack of Confidence. A great pitch deck with amazing visuals won't win the sale if you don't speak with conviction, enthusiasm and confidence. When you walk into the meeting do you own the room? Are you confident enough to go where the buyer wants to go or do you rigidly stick to the script? Research demonstrates that confidence trumps competence. Prepare and practice. Acknowledge your expertise, breathe, relax, and relate. Remember, the first sale is to yourself.

 

 

 

Give Fear the Finger-In Search of the Confidence Spot

GFTF-3D-cover.jpg

GFTF 3D cover 3FEAR means False Evidence Appearing Real. I once said that to a group of people and a man in the audience retorted, "That's your definition? My definition is 'Forget everything and run!'" (That's the clean version. He actually used another F word). But isn't it true? We abandon our rational mind and allow the amygdala or reptile brain to take over. This is the place where fear resides. Our eyes first scan for threat. For many public speakers, an audience of strangers is threatening. And that puts them in a state of fear. I discovered that nervous public speakers live in the future of wild imaginings. They focus on what could go wrong. "I hope  I don't trip." "What if I lose my train-of-thought?"

Confident public speakers live in the present. They focus on the message and engage the audience. They know how to access their pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for rational thinking.

Research shows that CONFIDENCE TRUMPS COMPETENCE. This explains why the confident person who knows less than you, gets promoted. Yes, confidence accounts for more success than knowledge or skills. Many years ago I was bilked out of $30,000 dollars from my bank account. (This was before online banking). Using a fake check, the perpetrator approached the teller in every branch and cashed the check made out to his name. When the detective questioned the bank tellers, they remembered him as "very smooth, confident." Luckily, the bank replaced my funds but we never found the culprit. He may not have been on a stage, but his platform was a teller's window. He inspired trust with his confidence.

The  meaning of the word confidence comes from "con" meaning "from" and "fidere" meaning "to trust." It seems that confidence comes from trusting yourself and trusting others. A confident public speaker has a sense of trust-in the message, the audience and oneself.

How do you gain trust if you approach the platform and feel fear? You give fear the finger. But not in the way you think!

My new ebook will show you a way to short circuit anxiety by activating a special spot that few people know. Give Fear the Finger is filled with exercises, tips and techniques to move you from fear of public speaking to confidence on any platform.

Avoiding public speaking is career suicide. You no longer have to submit to fear. Confidence is closer than you think. It's right there in your hands. And it's available now. You can be confident and take center stage in your career and your life.

Speak at Your Own Risk: When Public Speaking is a Lost Opportunity

Speaking is the new competitive advantage. At least that's what I told my audiences until last week. I was excited to attend a wellness conference during the weekend in New York City. The keynote speaker was a celebrity I admired. But what was more exciting were the topics. Most of the speakers were doctors, dentists, and health professionals. The presenters spoke for 20 minutes as in a TED talk format and the presentations continued non-stop throughout the day.

Some of the research was cutting edge and I was eager to learn from the presenters. My enthusiasm quickly turned to boredom after sitting through the first few presentations. Clearly, the presenters were subject matter experts with impressive credentials. But they quickly sacrificed their credibility when they stepped up to the platform. What a lost opportunity! Here are three mistakes that were consistent among the speakers.

1. Using the Microphone Ineffectively

Almost every speaker held the microphone at chest level or too far away from their mouth. When the audience can't hear, they tune out. It also makes the subject matter expert look like an amateur. A microphone should be held no further than four inches below the mouth. My recommendation to the event planner was to provide an attached microphone or require a rehearsal with the hand held mic.

2. Being Speaker-Centered

This is all too common in business. I've experienced it in every kind of speaking situation including sales presentations. There was one woman in particular who spent most of the time telling her story. Not only was it too long; it was all about me, myself, and I. Here's the 411 on the audience. They don't care about you! They're interested in what you and your information can do for them. Yes, tell your story. We want to know you on a personal level. But keep it brief and move on to provide value.

It's not difficult to be listener-centered. I've demonstrated in one minute or less how to take any subject and create a listener-centered opening that speaks to the listener's self interest. It's not about you. It's about them! Chapter 7 in Knockout Presentations reveals the process of Listener-Centered Communication. It's powerful.

3. Bad Timing

Both the presenter and the coordinator are culpable when time commitments are not kept. The reason speakers run out of time is a) they have too much material b) they didn't rehearse out loud. One speaker was telling an interesting story and realized she had two minutes left. She stopped in the middle of the story and quickly flipped through to the end of the PowerPoint slides. The presentation lost impact. And this was a subject I really wanted to hear. At this point, my friend leaned over and whispered, "Diane, this is a real opportunity for you." (Not a good sign).

Were there other mistakes? Yes. But these were the most common errors. Were there any good presenters? Yes. I can think of two, maybe three. The celebrity keynote was excellent. It was obvious that she had a lot of public speaking experience. What is the lesson here? Poor presentation skills do not motivate an audience to action. I didn't approach any of the speakers after hearing them present on stage.

There was a silver lining, though. I won the grand prize - a Vitamix blender! So all was not lost - except the opportunity for the presenters to build their brand and increase their business.

10 Presentation Trends for 2014

In 2014 presentation skills will reign supreme. Leaders and entrepreneurs will need to be more visible across different media platforms. Speaking is the new competitive advantage and the bar has been raised. Here are the trends in presentations that I predict for 2014.

  1. Broadcasting skills - Whether you're an entrepreneur or employed by a company, expect to have your 15 minutes of fame.Today's presenters need broadcasting skills. Media training will become a vital success skill even for those who do not speak to the press. I'm currently coaching a client to lead quarterly webcasts. Five years ago this senior executive wasn't doing any broadcasting. This client has since been filmed for executive promotional videos. Video presentations will increase in popularity. I use eyejot.com to send quick video emails. Videos can be very effective or very detrimental if you have weak presentation skills.
  2. Mobile presentations - Mobil technology is exploding and the number of apps is growing. This will require adjustments in the way we communicate. Slide shows and websites must be adjusted for mobile devices.The key word in presentations is portability. On a personal note, I now videotape my coaching clients on the ipad. The quality is as good as a video camera and it's easier to transport.
  3. Increased Need for Speaker Training - The need for excellent presentation skills will increase.due to the competitive nature of the market. Products and services can quickly become commodities and in order to be persuasive, presenters will need to know how to capture and hold the ear of the listeners.
  4. Self marketing presentations - Personal branding will become even more important. In a crowded market place where good jobs are at a premium. Job candidates will have to master marketing and selling. That means understanding what makes them unique and how to position themselves, their message, and their value with clarity and impact. Lack of confidence will be the deal breaker. Speakmarketing will be a growing factor for small business success. Presently, I'm coaching  small businesses to develop webinars to grow their businesses.
  5. Storytelling - Telling stories will no longer be the domain for the talented few. Leaders will be challenged to learn the art of storytelling to develop trust, express their vision and to lead their teams. And storytelling skills will be the differentiater in the job interview.Certain companies such as Pepsico, have a culture of storytelling. The best interviewers will invest in public speaking coaching to learn to tell their story instead of presenting their resume.
  6. Authenticity - Audiences are more sophisticated and less tolerant than ever. They want to know who the speaker is as a person.Do they walk their talk? Audiences will value  presenters who are real versus a just-the-facts approach. I was asked to coach somebody who had a well-crafted PowerPoint deck but delivered it like a talking head. Listeners are thinking "Who are you?"
  7. Increased Audience Interaction - The key word is connection. In a society where there is less time for socializing and more stress, people want to have an experience and participate with the speaker. Watch for increased live polling, tweeting, live streaming,and audience participation. Technology will level the playing field as speakers can now use inexpensive polling software on their mobile devices.There will also be an increase in virtual presentations. I'm coaching more clients remotely due to technology tools.
  8. Less Fluff More Value - Motivational speakers will always be popular as long as the human soul craves uplifting messages. But today's presenters need more than a string of 'feel good" stories. They must be able to provide value, tips, strategies, action steps, a different way of thinking along with those stories. Audiences are more demanding.
  9. Shorter Keynote Speeches - The 18 minute TED-like talk will become more commonplace. This is already happening at conferences. Instead of the one to three hour breakout sessions, event planners and audiences are opting for a series of shorter talks.
  10. Continuity - The old transactional model of giving a one hour presentation and then return to business as usual,  will give way to the idea of continuity.The message will continue after the event or meeting with additional contact and add-on resources. Despite the fact that younger audiences are leaving facebook, social media will continue to be an important communication channel for staying connected. However, people will consider the return on their time and become more focused and narrow in their social media communication.

All of these trends can be summarized in one idea: Public speaking is more important than ever. The need for excellent presentation skills is not going away. It will only increase in 2014 and beyond. Just as with technology upgrades,presenters will upgrade their public speaking skills or risk becoming obsolete.

The Exceptional Speaker

The Exceptional Speaker 3DDo you want to be an exceptional speaker? My friends Alan Stevens and Paul Du Toit, from the U.K. have just published a book that shows you how. I saw them at the National Speakers Association convention in July in Philadelphia, and Alan recently interviewed me for his podcast program. You might be wondering why I'm promoting their book if we're competitors. Well, it seems we all have the same mission. We want to stamp out fear of public speaking and help people to reach the heights of presentation success. There are so many people who need help with their presentations, thus the need for more books about public speaking.  Here are some tips from The Exceptional Speaker:

  1. If you’d like to conquer the fear of speaking to an audience you need to understand the source of this fear, specifically where it relates to you.
  2. Nervousness is natural, but it can also be dealt with.
  3. A good technique is to find a friendly face in your audience and imagine you’re speaking just to that person.
  4. It is just as easy to speak to a large audience as it is to a small one. There is no difference. An audience is an audience.
  5. People who occupy high positions are just as human as the rest of us and therefore do not need to be feared more than anyone else.
  6. Channel your excess energy towards the centre of your body – specifically your diaphragm. This will help you with voice control, keep you calmer and remove the fidgeting from your fingers and toes.
  7. Speaking from notes will help you to keep track of your order. Use cue cards rather than an A4 notepad.

These tips, and hundreds of others are from a new book called "The Exceptional Speaker" by Alan Stevens and Paul du Toit. It is the definitive book on speaking, and is now available from Amazon in Kindle and hardback format, as well as from exceptionalspeaker.com as a PDF.

How Did a College Intern Trump Me in Public Speaking?

threeHow did a college intern trump me in public speaking? My marketing intern from Berkley College in New York City is from Korea and she is studying marketing as well as working on her English language skills. That was one of the reasons she was interested in interning with DiResta Communications. This semester Alaina is taking classes in marketing research and public speaking.

Last week, she came into my office to tell me she had given her first speech in her college public speaking course and got an A!  We were so proud of her especially since English is her second language. When I was in college, I only got a B. And today I'm a professional speaker! So what did she know that I didn't?

Alaina shared with us that her professor complimented her on using the Rule of Three. She had learned about the power of three last month when I was coaching a client by skype. My client was interviewing for a job and we had just worked on her personal branding statement. I asked my college intern to sit in front of the computer to listen to the branding statement. She remembered that the client listed three skills. I explained the power of three in presentations especially in the U.S. culture.

She quickly applied the lesson in her public speaking class and scored an A. She had an unfair advantage-personal advice from a professional speaker and executive speech coach. To learn more about the Rule of Three and why it's important click here.

Change Your Words To Change Your Mind: Public Speaking Affirmations

affirmations-cover-slide-small-2.jpg

affirmations cover slide small 2Public speaking is still the number one fear. This was originally publicized by the 1977 Book of Lists. It's 2013 and I don't need another list to prove the case. Fear of speaking tops the list of reasons people hire me. Over the years in my living laboratory, coaching, training and speaking to audiences from 1 to 1,000, it's become very clear that there are two secrets to mastering public speaking: skill set and mindset.

Even when my clients have public speaking skills, it's their thinking that trips them up. I've discovered that fear is about living in the future. Many public speakers envision unsuccessful presentations in their minds and you can hear it in their language.

Successful presenters live in the present. They speak in the moment. They're totally present with the audience. They speak confidently and affirm their success. The two most powerful words are "I Am". By making "I Am" statements, you claim your success in the here and now.

And that's why I was motivated to create this video of public speaking "I Am" affirmations for my clients and the world. We just launched this free YouTube video so that anybody can say these affirmations every morning and right before a presentation. When people are in a habit of saying negative things, they don't really know what to say to themselves to change the message. These words of affirmation are set to relaxing music so that public speakers can program themselves for success and give a knockout presentation.

Click on the video to train your mind for successful speaking.

5 Tips for Women Entrepreneurs Learned From the School of Life

I recently read an article by Dylan Kendall entitled, "5 Tips for Women Entrepreneurs I Learned From the School of Life". Dylan's tips are simple and pragmatic. They can also serve as guidelines for anyone who speaks in public. Here are her 5 tips and how they apply to public speaking:

1. Get comfortable asking for money and ask with confidence. Public speaking involves first and foremost both inner and outer confidence. If you're a professional speaker, you need to be comfortable asking for your fee.

2. Learn how to ask for advice. You need to research and seek counsel from others who know your audience. It's also about polling and interacting with the audience.

3. Don't share everything but do share strategically and embellish wisely. It's especially critical to give the listener what they need to know - not everything you know. You can lose an audience or a prospect by giving too much detail.

4. "Help a sista out" -- network with and support other women. People don't realize that networking is a presentation and your ability to present yourself and your message clearly and compellingly is an important factor in attracting clients and advocates.

5. Understand what sacrifices you can make and when you should walk away. Part of your presentation is what you are willing to do for your audience. There are some situations where you should walk away and not accept a speaking engagement. When it's the wrong topic or the wrong audience, you need to know when to say no.

Confidence is King

I just read an article from James Caan, CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw, entitled, Confidence is King. He writes:

"Ask any businessman or woman and they will tell you the same thing – confidence is a vital ingredient in the recipe for success. In other words, if you want to be really good at anything - no matter what walk of life you are involved in - you need to have belief in yourself and your abilities."

I work with leaders to build confidence in all their communications and the biggest hurdle is fear of speaking. So I created a series of videos on my YouTube channel for conquering fear of public speaking:

Are You Seen But Not Heard?

Karen was newly appointed to her position in finance, where she was responsible for managing and keeping the department on budget. Soft-spoken and petite, Karen had a hard time making herself heard during meetings, as her aggressive team shouted over her and challenged her when she questioned their figures...

Are You Overshadowed in Meetings?

Renee was a young associate for a marketing research company; it was her first job. She was smart but soft-spoken. Renee's manager frequently interrupted and dominated meetings, and wouldn't allow Renee to lead a meeting in her absence...