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!
1. Join www.toastmasters.org At the site you will find a link "Find a club." Type in your zip code and go visit a club.
2. Call me, I have been coaching speakers for 20 years and I am a past Tony Robbins trainer/speaker.
You're not alone! Many people dread attending networking events. Here are some easy steps: 1- ask for an attendee list prior to the event (usually if you sponsor an event you'll receive this information) | 2- define your objective - how many people do you want to meet and if you have the attendee list identify several people you would like to meet (be realistic, I usually target meeting at least two quality connections) | 3- list three topics to begin a conversation (for example, top industry news, sports, or even find out what the person does). Stay focused on making connections, not winning business. Networking events are a way to meet people and begin building a relationship.
This is quite obvious while attending a networking event. Professionals lack confidence and are usually confused.
One must be clear about the main goal, that should be realistic and achiveable in firsr meeting. Generally its for potential lead or face to face interaction.
Secondly to beleive on oneself professional ability. Means what you do is good and you have good knowledge of what you do and able to do. Professional credentials are one thing and to present them another. There is a saying from the east that when a peacock dances in the jungle there is no one to appreciate.
Simple and easy message for the others. Practice is necessary. Always a good story teller steals the show.
Be selective while selecting networking groups. One should be among the people with common trade and interests...
In the end, one need not to be a public speaker but can wear a nice and friendly smile during any networking event. A welcoming and smiling personality always attracts the attention of others....
Best of luck and good luck.
Try to observe your state and your thoughts before the event. You can start even earlier, by monitoring them when you hear or read or receive an invitation to a networking event. What do you tell yourself? What do you feel? Then take each phrase and see how the words you tell yourself are connected with what you feel. Remember a time when you easily and successfully attended such an event and "step in" like you are there. Observe the mind and the body, the words and the feeling and "anchor" them to a symbol (can even be a word, a thought, an image, whatever feels closer to you). Take this "anchor" and use it the minute you hear about the networking event and see how things change. You need some practice for that, too, but I believe a lot in this exercise because it is based on your own experience. I hope this will help :).
Chris Hodges is on the mark, Kristy. You can add a bit of humor a well, but not to much.
I recommend going to Toastmasters meetings to get practice and positive feedback.
Hi Kristy. You should get anxious. A quote attributed to Peyton Manning: "If you're not ready to thrown up, you don't understand the gravity of the situation." Regarding networking, focusing on the other person, not on making contacts for yourself, will ease your fears.
Talk about your clients rather than talk about yourself. People want to hear about how you've made a difference or what solution you offer to a problem.
Share your success stories to engage with and encourage people to want to find out more.
When you speak from the heart people will listen. Over the years I have heard many boring over rehearsed word perfect pitches. Share your business story - why you do what you do - what matters to you.
Networking is all about making connections and building positive and progressive relationships.
Be yourself and have fun while you network because you never know where a conversation can go...
I have heard many different idea and suggestions regarding this subject. If you are presenting that is where I believe the practice would be a big benefit. If you are attending a event that is a different situation. The best advice I hear was to be yourself we are all human it is natural to be a bit nervous. Then when meeting people introduce yourself and simply ask people what brings them to this event. By asking questions about people and listening you will get to meet them and learn. I believe the more you try and learn about the other people and how you can help them, the better you will do at these events.
My advice is to make sure you have researched your subject thoroughly. If you are confident in the subject matter you will be much more comfortable with your delivery. Being passionate about your brand is essential for a confident delivery. In combining product knowledge and enthusiasm, it will alleviate most of the pre-presentation nerves leading to a successful and engaging event.