controlling emotion

Give Fear the Finger-In Search of the Confidence Spot


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.

What's Your Speaking EQ?

Most discussions about emotional intelligence talk about communication and controlling emotions in the workplace. But rarely, do I hear about public speaking in regard to emotional intelligence. Yet, public speakers who present with high EQ tend to be more successful and are more engaging to the audience. Here's a simple tip from Jeanne Sullivan. In every presentation Jeanne aims to "tell them something they don't know and to make them laugh." This is a good public speaking goal for any presenter at any level. When you make an audience laugh you are tapping into your EQ skills because laughter accesses the emotions. Watch this video to learn about your public speaking EQ.  

71% of Employers Value Emotional Intelligence over IQ

Whether you're interviewing for a job, asking for a raise, or  angling for a promotion, your success may have less to do with your skills and intelligence. You'll have greater success by building relationships, communicating clearly, and presenting yourself with confidence and conviction. It seems that street smarts and people skills will get you where you want to go. It's also true for entrepreneurs. In his newest book, The Education of Millionaires, Michael Ellsberg talks about entrepreneurs who dropped out of college and bootstrapped their way to success. He tells a story of interviewing an MBA for a part time data entry job for his start-up company. The  job candidate talked theory, tables, and projections. He didn't get it. Michael ended up hiring a woman who was a  high school drop out with a good work ethic. She performed well.  A man I knew who worked for the Navy was promoted over others with more experience because he had good people skills. This is true of speakers. Think of motivational speakers. Why are some of them so powerful on the platform? Because they speak from emotion. Their message goes right to the heart. They understand how to communicate. Consider the excellent presenters you know. What makes them excellent? They may be giving an update, describing a product, or convincing the audience of an idea. I'll bet that they all have one thing in common-high emotional intelligence. They connect person-to-person, eye-to-eye. These public speakers inject humor when appropriate and are always aware of the audience and environment. They mirror their audience and keep pace with their energy-toning it down when the group is overwhelmed and pumping up the volume when their energy wanes.  Public speakers and presenters with high EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) instinctively know it's about the audience- not about them. This is why a  "polished" presenter or subject matter expert  may know all the right content and  mechanics of speaking,  but never connects with the audience.  As it's been said many times,  "They don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."

For more information on emotional intelligence read this survey from career builder.

Do you agree that EQ is more important than IQ?  What's been your experience?

Creative Idea+Social Conscience+Good Story= Knockout Video Presentation

On the way back from a healthcare company where I gave a presentation demo, I heard an interesting interview on the radio. Two entrepreneurial brothers decided that they wanted to do something with toys that would be creative, safe, foster imagination, and make a socio-economic impact in a third world country. I found the story so interesting that when I arrived at my destination, I plugged in I watched the video on the homepage to see what the product was all about. This 3 minute 31 second video starts with a clear purpose statement and introduces the two entrepreneurs who run the company. The video presentation grabs your attention immediately as you see the photo of the two brothers  on the screen. They share the story of their visit to a third world country and how they were inspired to remove children from working in dump sites and place them in school. The voice over continues as video footage of children and the site are projected on the screen. They continue to tell the story with print, illustrations and lots of video scenes.  All of this is set to light music which adds more emotion to the video presentation. It ends with a strong call to action-"Connect to Tegu and together we'll work to change a nation."

My purpose is to identify a knockout video presentation. I have no investment in this product so I am not endorsing it. I don't even have children. But the video presentation was so well done that I wanted to buy their product.  The lesson: Have good content, tell a good story, provide good editing, add music, and keep it brief. You'll have the formula for a persuasive Knockout Video Presentation.

How to Give a Knockout Eulogy

On Saturday, September 3rd, we gathered together for the funeral of my cousin, Craig Gundersen who died at the age of 34 of lung cancer. He was not a smoker. His uncle Rich gave the eulogy. He began with the simple opening line, "For those of you who don't know me, I'm Rich, Craig's favorite uncle. " Everyone laughed.  With this one line Rich disarmed the crowd and put them at ease. Opening with humor broke the tension and enabled everyone to relax and listen. He addressed the other uncles in the room and with tongue- in -cheek told them that Craig was a diplomat and he really was the favorite uncle. Rich continued his eulogy with a series of personal stories extolling Craig's virtues and shortcomings. He spoke of the time when Craig asked him to finance his first year in college. (He had missed the deadline for applying for financial aid). Rich acknowledged that Craig built a good case but during his presentation,  Rich's attention was riveted on a white bandage on Craig's arm. He explained his fascination with the bandage. "I knew he had dropped a deuce to pay for that tatoo, and here he was asking me for money." Again there was laughter in the church.  It was his colorful language Craig with his father, Roy

(dropped a deuce instead of paid 200 dollars) that made it funny. Rich gave him the money. When Craig's grades dropped Rich confided that in any other case that would have been a deal breaker. But because Craig was such a special person, he financed him against his own rules. Several times Rich got choked up but was able to pull it together and continue. Showing emotion only makes the speaker more human and gives the audience permission to feel their feelings.  Unlike some eulogies where a villain suddenly transforms into a superhero, Rich painted a balanced picture of Craig.  Rather than a perfect person on a pedestal, he spoke of the real person-a special, loving, happy guy who was also human.  We got a true glimpse of who Craig really was through the words of his uncle. He acknowledged the parents and Craig's fiancee and how much they meant to Craig. When Rich finished his eulogy the congregation was so moved they burst into applause.  He captured the essence of Craig, the life he led, the lives he touched and spoke to us from his heart and with humor. It was a winning formula for any knockout presentation.

We miss you, Craig. 7/2/1977-8/30/2011

Sendout Cards Convention Las Vegas-Inspiring Presentations

I just returned from the Sendout Cards Freedom convention in Las Vegas. I'm here with Jordan Adler, a top executive in the company.  Sendout cards is an online appreciation marketing tool I use to stay in touch with clients, family, and friends. It's the netflix of the greeting card industry. I attended with my friends Andrea Nierenberg and Jeff Mines. We were so excited and inspired by the presentations and business success. It's amazing how sending a heart felt card can make a difference in a person's life and build your business. Most people crave appreciation and seldom get it. As a presentation coach, I believe your presentation goes beyond your speaking ability. It's about building relationships AND following up with your audience. In an age of digital technology, this tool combines high tech and high touch. From any computer I can send a physical card or gift anywhere in the world. The company prints, stuffs, and mails them. All I have to do is press SEND. Emails may be deleted but people keep my custom-created cards on their desks.

The founder, Kody Bateman, started the company because he ignored a prompting to hug his brother. A week later his brother died in an accident. He wanted a way for people to act on their promptings and wrote his book, Promptings, to encourage people to reach and touch lives.

Click this link and watch a 3 minute video. Go ahead and send a card to someone as my gift.

Do You Have a Public Speaking Anchor?

Imagine you're sailing. You find a spot where you want to go snorkeling. You drop an anchor and you dive off the boat. You enjoy your underwater adventure as you experience all kinds of marine life. You know when you're ready, the boat will be waiting for you. But what if there were no anchor? The boat would drift away and you'd be left on your own to tread water. It's no different with public speaking. Many people fear speaking because they don't know how to anchor themselves. As their presentation drifts along they become more nervous. In this video, you'll learn about simple public speaking anchors you can use to start speaking with confidence.

One Minute Listening Tip: Controlling Emotions

What does listening have to do with controlling emotions? By the time we get into an emotional state, we've stopped listening. When emotions are high, either walk away or ramp up your listening. The ideal situation is to head off emotional situations before they blow up. That requires good listening skills. How do you prepare yourself to listen in volatile situations? Watch this video and find out.


One Minute Listening Tip: Listening CPR

Communication is about a sender and a receiver. Sometimes the message we send gets filtered by the receiver and conflict results.  This can happen to the best of speakers. When people start attacking, the natural reaction is to defend or retaliate. A better approach is to use listening CPR.  Listening is a powerful communication elixir. You don't need to be an eloquent speaker to listen effectively. But there are some tools you can practice. This video will show you how to use listening CPR to manage any conflict.