How do you overcome nervousness of public speaking or attending networking events?
I've heard "practice practice practice" several times. However, I still get anxious when I have an obligation to attend an event. I'd rather avoid them. I know talking to people is important for my brand, do you have any tips to help overcome this faster?
I start by asking questions, involve the audience and get over the nervousness
Congratulations on at least getting out, Kristy! I haven't read all 42 answers, but as an introvert, I too would rather stay at home more often than not.
Now, I'm actually a professional speaker. What works for me:
• Acknowledge that a great brand attracts your ideal clients and repels everyone else. That helps you accept that not everyone would be compatible. It's okay.
• What you do helps solve a specific problem. Create an ongoing rhetoric in your mind around how clients feel, having that solution work for them, it usually drowns out the self critique that makes you nervous.
• Breathe. It sounds "bleh", but it's the most powerful solution to any form of anxiety. A long deep breath - Obama, Oprah, Tony Robbins, all great speakers - do this. Long pauses also give your listener/audience time between points to process.
• Finally, before you leave home, make peace with the "what's the worst that can happen" scenario. Laugh at it. Realize it's something you cam bounce back from as long as you're alive, and head out with a smile.
I hope this helps! I'm actually covering speaking, this month on social media @Successiory!
The best advice I can offer is to seek out a Toastmaster chapter in your location. As an introvert I had a fear of public speaking of any kind - large or small audience. As i progressed through the program my nervousness remains but the audience never sees it. Toastmaster is an organization dedicated to helping people get over this nervousness by practicing many different types of speeches and public speaking.
There are a number of strategies depending on wht your hesitation is. Knowing someone is always good to get you there, but make sure you separate and meet others.
Having a plan can help. Decide you want X number of cards (1, 2, 5, 10 your choice) and then you can leave. If you have a goal, you will often do better.
Preplan and practice your scripts. How will you answer "What do you do?" "Who is your target market?" or other typical questions. This helps give you confidence when you walk in.
Ask if you can get a list of attendees before the meeting so you can look them up. Then you might not feel as out of place.
Go to places where others want to network. Some events are for people who know each other, some are mostly strangers, some are for people elooking for business, some just to get to know others. Find what matches your personality.
Find a strong networker in your area and make friends. Get their advice on you personally.
My one-word validation and agreement with Mark Lummus' comment: Toastmasters! More info about the program is at toastmasters dot org, including how to find a club with a meeting location and time that fits your schedule. Best regards, Paul
I know exactly how you feel...having been there myself. I remember the sinking feeling I used to get in my stomach at the very thought of either and only God knows how many elevator pitches I stupidly wrote!
But I knew I had to get over this if I was going to have the life and business I want so I just had to put in the hard work to take me there. You see Kristy, these activities require you to step outside of yourself and that requires a huge shift of confidence for some of us.
So here's how I can help you:
Go to http://www.impacttrainingservices.com/big-impact-first-impression/ where you will find some great practical tips on how to make a great first impression.
http://www.impacttrainingservices.com/3-easy-ways-explode-your-confidence/ will give you some advice to help you build you confidence fast.
At http://www.impacttrainingservices.com/overcoming-fear-of-public-speaking/ you will find out that there really is no such thing as fear of public speaking, what you really fear and a 3-part strategy for overcoming this.
Now the biggest networking issue as my clients tell me is getting the elevator pitch right. Actually, I think an elevator pitch is such a load of foolishness!
When networking and I'm asked "what do you do?" here is what works for me and I'm sure it will work for you too.
I ask "what is your issue that you think I can help you with?". Based on their reply, I describe the skills I have which can address their problem, give examples of how I've leverage these skills in the past to help my clients and invite them to contact me so I can better understand their problem.
Glad to help Kristy!
1.“Any first training or speaking to people in public with a presentation is more challenging. You are not alone. Calm your nerves down. Smile while looking straight in the eyes of members of the audience to muster courage. Be yourself and the audience will appraise and appreciate your presentation at the end.” Sam Obeng Tuudah
2. "The mind, ever the willing resources. servant, will respond to boldness, for boldness is a command to deliver mental." Norman Vincent Peale
3. “You get self-satisfaction from pushing yourself to the limit, knowing that all the effort is going to pay off.” 4. “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.” Winston Churchill
5. “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” Helen Keller
6. "The formula for success is simple: practice and concentration then more practice and more concentration." Babe Didrikson Zaharias
7. “Failure is success in progress” Albert Einstein
8. “True success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful.” Paul Sweeney
9. "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill
10. “To be prepared is half the victory.” Miguel De Cervantesary Lou Retton
As I speak in New York and Florida, I smile as I am getting ready for the Power Point Presentation.
The smile warms you up and the audience.
Try this great article http://retrieverdigital.co.uk/10-top-tips-for-successful-networking/
Check out your local BNI chapter!
One of the best opportunities I've run across is participation in BNI. It provides a host of benefits - referrals, networking, education & public speaking practice in 60 seconds bites. In my first year, one of our members was so nervous he could hardly speak - in front of only 10 friends/associates! He wrote it out & shook so bad, he had to set it on the table to read it. We did that every week, for 60 seconds.... and a year later, he was comfortable enough to become the education co-ordinator, speaking for an extra 5 minutes every week!