Monday, February 04, 2008
Fear Of Public Speaking And How To Conquer It
The fear of public speaking ranks pretty high on any list of what people fear most. I've seen it rank higher than death and even skydiving.
As a teenager I had the worst fear of public speaking imaginable. I won't bore you with the details. But it is enough to say that during the last 19.5 years I have earned a living as a professional speaker. Heck - I've even been nominated to the Speaker Hall Of Fame five times.
The bottom line is - if I can do it, anyone can do it. From time to time, if you're in sales, you're going to give sales presentations to different groups both large and small. Selling to groups is like selling to individuals - only the size of your audience is different.
There's no need for you to suffer any anxiety - like I did.
Here's a list of 9 things you can do to make your stand-up sales presentations stand-out:
1. Do everything you can to make your sales presentation a conversation with your audience which means you have to get them involved. The easiest way to do this is to ask open ended questions.
2. Focus on what you want them to remember instead of overwhelming them with nauseating details. Less is always more when you're speaking and selling.
3. Beware of the dreaded monotone. The only way to tell if you speak in a monotone is to record yourself. Treat yourself and listen to what your audiences are listening to. This is so simple yet it's so scary and intimidating to most people - only a small minority of salespeople actually record and listen to their sales presentations.
4. Have some fun. Forget about being perfect, it's not worth the effort. Enjoy yourself, enjoy your audience and just be yourself. In the speaking business, that's referred to as being authentic - the real thing!
5. Most people are tired of seeing PowerPoint presentations. So - skip the PowerPoint and tell stories and share experiences which are more meaningful and ultimately more memorable.
6. Don't cling to the podium. Move around as you're speaking to your group. You'll come across as being more relaxed doing it this way. It's also a great way to eliminate your fear of public speaking. Just think of it as a conversation with a group of people.
7. It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway, inject passion and enthusiasm throughout your sales presentation. It's the biggest energizer on the planet and you don't want to leave home without it.
8. Finish strong and leave them wanting to hear more from you. Prepare this and don't think about winging it.
9. The four best ways to start and end your presentation are: Start with a quotation. Start with a compelling statement. Start with a rhetorical question. Start by telling a meaningful short story. Any fear of public speaking you may have will be vaporized by your preparation.
When you start your sales presentation you want to grab them. When you end your presentation you want to WOW them.
A big No-No. Never read your presentation. Never!
If you incorporate these speaking tips into your stand-up presentations, you'll be sure to stand-out!
Your fear of public speaking will always take a back seat to a prepared and rehearsed sales presentation.
Special note: If you want to sharpen your presentations skills you should add this CD to your personal business library: 17 Ways To Make Your Stand-up Presentations Stand-out.
There's no need to suffer with your fear of public speaking especially when you're selling products and services that require stand-up sales presentations to small and large groups.
Order your copy today - you'll be glad you did.
Start selling more today and everyday . . .
9 Cell Phone Etiquette Tips For Salespeople
Do you know what cell phone etiquette is?
Here's what it's not!
Do you remember life before cell phones? I do!
Do you remember where the bank of telephones were located and where they weren't located? I do!
Could you find telephones at every table in every restaurant? I don't think so!
Could you find telephones for everyone in hotel and rental car shuttle buses? I don't think so!
Could you find telephones on escalators and elevators? I don't think so!
Could you find telephones anywhere other than an obscure place where your telephone conversation couldn't be heard by all? I don't think so!
I believe it's rude and obnoxious to force people to listen to your private conversations.
Now having said all this I fully realize my little rant is not going to change the world. However I feel better getting it off my chest.
Here are 9 cell phone etiquette tips for salespeople and entrepreneurs. These tips are meant to be constructive and helpful.
1. Get rid of the cutesy and loud ring tones. Choose vibrate over the ring tone.
2. Turn off your cell phone when going to a meeting, a restaurant, a church, a movie, and yes even a sales call.
3. Keep your distance from other people. Allow 10-20 feet from the closest person.
4. "Can you hear me now?" Everyone can hear you now. The technology is so good you can actually talk at a lower volume and still be heard. So unless somebody says, "I can't hear you" you don't have to raise your voice to talk on your cell phone.
5. "We just landed, I'm waiting to get off the plane." So what and who really cares?
6. Do you really need to use your cell phone behind closed doors in the washroom?
7. Using your cell phone in a restaurant is rude. Bring a book instead.
8. It's stupid and dangerous to be on your cell phone while jogging, biking, and rollerblading - yet I see people doing it every day.
9. It's risky business using a cell phone while driving at any speed. There are so many people who are talking and driving, you just might want to pay more attention to your driving. Have you ever had a "Close call" while you were talking and driving? Enough said.
Cell phones are a phenomenal resource for salespeople and entrepreneurs. You can't control how other people use their cell phones, you can however make better use of your cell phone.
Finally, I wouldn't be too quick to give a gazillion people your cell phone number. Everyone who has your cell phone number, including family, friends, business associates, sales prospects, and even your best customers expect a return call within an hour.
It's impossible to take control of your time and your life when hundreds of people have your cell phone number. You can't be proactive when you're tethered to your cell phone being reactive.
It's your life and your time is limited. If you give it some thought, I'll bet you can take back control of your time and your life.
Start selling more today and everyday . . .