Here are some thoughts about how your eye contact can help you and your audience feel more connected:
This video makes me smile.
As you watch it, you might ask yourself a few questions:
Are these people doing what they’re doing “perfectly” or are they willing simply to do it and have a good time?
Are they polished, flawless and impressive? Or happy, free and focussed?
Do they appear to worry about what people think of them?
If they make a mistake, do they look fretful or do they just move forward and get on with the dance?
Can you approach your next presentation with the same openness and joy these people embrace?
(Answer: yes, you can.)
What have you done lately that expresses freedom, confidence and connection?
What an honor to have been selected as Umission’s Person of the Week.
Here’s to freedom,
I hope not. But if it is, take heart. There is a way to quiet your mind, calm your nerves, settle your body, control your message and (I’m not kidding) be yourself when you are in front of an audience. Did I mention that you can actually ENJOY the experience, too?
My 5-week Free Your Talents class, “Presentation Skills for Professionals” still has some spaces available. I hope you’ll enroll right now. Here are the details:
Thursday evenings, 5:30 to 8:30 pm, beginning May 10, 2012. Lord Camden Inn, Camden, Maine. Value: $650. Regular price: $350. Spring Special: $250. A $50 deposit holds your place in this fun, stretching, informative, practical, freeing class. Now’s the time, friends. Take this class. Write or call: firstname.lastname@example.org; 207-230-0272.
You can change the way you feel about being in front of a group. Save money, time and energy by practicing the principles I will teach you in class.
Learn to be yourself while people are watching.
Yours in freedom and clarity,
Getting and holding your audience’s attention is one important thing that makes your presentation a presentation (and not just another rehearsal).
Here’s a helpful clip on this subject. I wish I could find the name of the man who is speaking so that I can give him credit directly.
Doesn’t he come across in a natural, uncomplicated way? I like watching him and I like listening to him. I hope you do, too.
What are some ways you have garnered your audience’s attention — and held onto it?
Until next time,
I like this item from my friend Barbara Rocha’s blog so much, that I asked her if I could feature it in mine. You can enjoy her blog here: http://gettingoveryourself.wordpress.com/
5 Reasons people look at you at the gym
It’s so easy to think everyone is paying attention to us, especially when we’re giving a speech. But what about at the gym? Yes, even there. But is that what they’re really doing?
These are the 5 reasons people look at you at the gym, and the first four are the most likely.
1. They’re staring into space in your direction and don’t even see you.
2. They’re really looking in the mirror at themselves.
3. They’re checking out the exercise you’re doing to see if it’s something they ought to add to their workout.
4. They’re wondering when you’ll be through with that machine.
And a very distant 5. They’re actually interested in you. In which case, make the most of it. (And even there, they’re thinking about themselves.)
So, whether you’re giving a speech or working out, it’ll be much easier once you figure out the audience is more interested in themselves than they are in you. Make the most of it. And set yourself free.
Yours in getting over yourself,
P.S. If you liked this, you’ll also like Barb’s book, Getting Over Yourself – A Guide to Painless Public Speaking . . . and More, which you can purchase directly from her: http://gettingoveryourself.com/publications/index.htm
Standing before an audience, you can choose to connect with your listeners, truly to contact them rather than just talk at them. “But they’re all LOOKING at me!” Well, yes, they are. Why? Because you have something to give, to share. You have an idea that will educate, enlighten, entertain or encourage. Perhaps you’re there to awaken them to a new view, inspire them to take action, encourage their efforts. You might have to inform them of bad news, or to comfort them during a difficult situation. Whatever your purpose, it’s your job to touch them in some way. Communication is a contact sport.
How to reach them? Realize that this is not all about you. It’s about them, their desires, their needs. Care about them. Learn about them ahead of time. If you can, visit with some of them in the minutes before you step up to present; find out about their lives, their interests, why they’re there. This contact, when genuine, is felt. It makes you human! It helps them hear you.
At the risk of sounding like a old Hallmark greeting card: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
“I’m fine talking to people I work with; they already know my flaws so it’s no big deal if they see me goof up. It’s when I’m in front of strangers that I freak out.”
“Give me a group of people I don’t know; they’ll never see me again so I don’t really care. Make me speak to coworkers and I fall apart; they’ll hammer me!”
“I don’t mind talking to an audience of under a hundred people; once it gets over 100, I’m a nervous wreck.”
“Big crowds don’t bother me; hey, I can’t even see who’s out there. But if there are only 10 or 20 listeners, I get all fidgety, sweat like crazy and can’t remember what I want to say.”
On it goes. People can be amazed that other folks don’t share their specific worries regarding audiences. It all boils down to this question: “Do your listeners actually determine whether or not you can feel at ease, clear-minded and capable?”
(Answer: They don’t.)
The muscular man strode to the front of the room. His buzz cut hair, piercing blue eyes and no-nonsense manner reminded us with each presentation that he meant business. A Viet Nam veteran a generation older than most of my other university public speaking students, he always seemed a bit distant and harsh. I was a little scared of him; the other students generally avoided him.
On the flip chart he wrote four bold letters in a vertical column:
Looking at each of us before he spoke, he breathed deeply. Then, in military manner, he told us that he was sure we had experienced fear. He affirmed that he, too, had known fear, giving several vivid examples from his time in service. Not clear where his speech was leading, I glanced around at his fellow students and saw unsure, sober faces.
“Now, I’m gonna tell you what fear really is,” he barked:
His tone softened. His voice quieted. He explained that fear cannot govern us if we don’t let it because it isn’t true; we need to look beyond fear to find strength; we can feel loved rather than be afraid.
When he returned to his seat, the silence that had minutes before been one of trepidation had become one of trust and assurance, comfort and amazement.
False evidence no longer appeared real.