What’s Your Speaking Challenge? The 3 Beliefs in Action: Part 1

At this point in our Journey, we’ve packed our bags with The Gears and the distinctions of Listen For and Listen Against. We’ve explored the terrain of the Three Foundational Beliefs.
Now that you’ve traveled this far on your Journey, so what? What practical use do you have for everything you’ve explored so far?
When you’re traveling as part of a class or a teleclass, there are actions to take each week as you use what you learn each step of the way. When you’re reading a book –or a blog–it’s easy to skip the action and just read the ideas.
Ideas without action won’t change your life! So let’s make this practical. Consider your speaking challenges and let’s see  how  this  Journey will help you.
You might have one of  the top 3 speaking challenges I’ve seen over the last 12 years:

  • I’m so nervous, my mind goes blank
  • I can’t think on my feet when I get a question I’m not expecting
  • My audience isn’t engaged and I don’t know what to do

These challenges show up all the time; if they’re yours, you have lots of company. Let’s take them one at a time and apply everything you’ve learned so far.
1. I’m so nervous, my mind goes blank.

  • You’ve forgotten that you bring about what you think about. When you’re this nervous, the odds are high you’re thinking about all of your deficiencies and magnifying them tenfold. You can’t remember–or access– anything that will help you.
  • Since Emotion cancels Logic, of course you can’t think!
  • Focusing on everything that can go wrong (with you, with your program, with the audience) has put you into “Fight or Flight.”

Actions you can take:

  • When you believe you bring about what you think about, you can focus on what you want to happen and take the steps necessary to make it so. Prepare for your success. Slow down if you need to.
  • When you believe you have what it takes, you can play to your strengths. Your style of presenting is unique to you ~ use it.
  • When you believe there’s a gift in every obstacle, you can see your nervousness as an opportunity calling: work with a coach or take a class to learn what you don’t know.

2.  I can’t think on my feet when I get a question I’m not expecting.

  • When you prepare for your presentation in only 1st Gear, you don’t consider any questions from the audience’s point of view.
  • When you don’t believe that you have what it takes, it’s easy to panic.
  • When an unexpected question feels like an obstacle, it’s easy to get stuck.

Actions you can take:

  • When you prepare a presentation, get in 2nd Gear. Find out everything you can about your audience. Think about all the questions they could have. Make it a point to ask them what they want from your presentation before you speak. You can use a pre-session questionnaire or simply get to your program early and talk to the people in the room.
  • When you believe you have what it takes, you know that every question is an opportunity for you to engage your audience. You start to welcome questions when you believe you have something your audience wants.
  • When you believe there’s a gift in every obstacle, you’re not afraid to get a question that you can’t answer. Focusing on the gift of this opportunity, you get curious ~ that allows you to invite the audience to help you. It’s win for everyone.

3. My audience isn’t engaged and I don’t know what to do

  • The experience of an un-engaged audience happens in your 1st Gear ~ so it’s the truth for you.
  • When you feel your audience isn’t listening to you, it’s very easy to start Listening Against them. Once you start doing that, it’s all downhill from there.
  • You bring about what you think about: when you think your audience isn’t engaged and you focus on that, it just gets worse and worse. Your downward spiral becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Everyone involved is just waiting for your presentation to end.

Actions you can take:

  • Get in 2nd Gear and find out about them before you speak. The more you know about them, the more you’ll be able to address what they care about. They listen to you for their reasons, not yours. Find out what they want and give it to them.
  • Engage with them from the moment you get there (and that should be at least an hour before you speak). When you engage with them, you give them every reason to engage with you.
  • When you believe  you have what it takes, you won’t be afraid to ask questions from the stage. Asking your audience is completely engaging ~ because it’s clear that your focus is on them. When you focus on them, you give them the perfect reason to focus on you.

Choose the actions to will help you address your challenges and let me know how it goes!
Thursday: What’s Your Networking Challenge?  The 3 Beliefs in Action: Part 2

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