What You Need To Know To Be A Confident Speaker​

I spent three-quarters of my life hiding from speaking publicly and a quarter chasing it. I remember why I hid. It was painful.

I know what its like to be frozen with fear, to feel the blood rush through my temples and start pounding a deafening beat in my ears, to see my mind go into a white fog, to be so frustrated that the words get stuck on the end of my tongue. 

Are you playing the small game?

My fear of speaking my mind, of being laughed at, at being called a fraud made me play a much smaller game than I know that I am capable of. I have no regrets. It was who I was but it is not who I am now.

I've gone from starting life as a stutterer to becoming a professional speaker.

Now I see two groups of people. One represents the old me. The other the new me. They live in two worlds. Within Toastmasters and outside Toastmasters.

Toastmasters has been instrumental in me becoming a good public speaker. I've been there for five years and it's not until now that I am starting to...

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Why So Many People Hate Watching Themselves On Video

 


Why do you and so many others hate seeing themselves on video? There's a very simple answer to that.

Start with Confirmation Bias

If you think that you're awkward on camera, you'll be looking for evidence of that when you review the footage. You will want to confirm your belief.

The real culprit is the ...

Familiarity Principle

We prefer things we are familiar with. The reverse of this is we don't warm quickly to things we are unfamiliar with. Strangely, you are not as familiar with yourself as you think.

You know when you look in the mirror, and you see yourself? That's not you. That's a mirror image of you and you are the only person in the world who sees this. Everyone else who looks at you sees a different face than the one you see.

Hang on a minute, that shouldn't matter, our faces are symmetrical ... or are they? A very very few people have perfectly symmetrical faces. Like me, most of the world has two distinctly different sides. We are so used to this we don't notice it.

But...

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Why Are You Keeping Your Customers Waiting For Video?

 

Customers have embraced video. It’s time for business to catch up.

Customers are using new video tech to form tribes of people speaking a truth that resonates and in the process creating record amounts of online traffic AND businesses - who are desperate to create lasting relationships with these customers - have unique staff with authentic stories, each with a smartphone capable of making video and they aren’t using them.

THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE

Look at the banks in Australia. Even after the grilling they’ve received at the 2018 Banking Royal Commission commentary suggests they will return to business as normal. (1)

The public won’t cop that, and smaller smarter faster fintechs will jump in and poach customers. They will design simpler, friendlier apps that appeal more to today's buyers.

Come on banks. Lick your finger and hold it up and feel which way the breeze is blowing.

41% of customers cite “experience” as the top reason for opening a...

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Is Video Another Career Hurdle For Women

 

As if women don't have enough career hurdles. Add video to the list.

I travelled the world for ABC TV for twenty-five years. After filming thousands of people on camera it was clear to me that *'middle aged' women were most hesitant, reticent about being on camera.

After talking with the business world about the need to get better presenting on video it's clear to me that 'middle aged' women are the most hesitant, reticent about being on camera.

This didn't really matter up until now. Now Video is becoming an important business language. I came across a Dove soap ad from 2013. It clearly highlights a social phenomenon that would be familiar to most: women recoiling and hiding their face when they suddenly realise they are being videoed.

What we all feel is very real. I'm in no way discounting that. What I can tell you is there are some simple physics of how we look, how we sound, how we move on camera that most of us don't understand and we are making decisions based upon these...

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Do This One Thing To Make You Look So Much More Professional On Video

 

I just got off a video link up with a conference organiser about an upcoming speaking event and it's prompted me to make this quick video for other event planners

If someone sent you an email and it was full of typos, spelling and grammar errors and it just looked awful, that's a bad first impression isn't it.

We're fast moving into the video age where quick personal videos will start to replace email more and more. So we all need to lift our game on how we present ourselves on video. First impressions will matter a lot.

So when you have your laptop comfortably on the desk or your smartphone cleverly angled up against the screen of your computer, that may be comfortable for you but is uncomfortable for the person on the other end.

If you're looking down on someone there is an imbalance in the power dynamic. You are sending subliminal messages you are not meaning to send.

And worst of all you are featuring your double chins.

All you need to do to fix this is have a stack of books on...

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Keep This Simple Tool In Your Pocket And Be More Confident When Public Speaking

 

Do you want something that costs ten cents, you can put in your pocket and it will give you confidence when speaking in front of people?

There’s only one thing worse than singing the wrong note, that’s singing it louder.

People proudly show me their videos for business - and speaking on video is public speaking - and I see the same things over and over again that simply shouldn’t be there. These errors detract from the core message. Ultimately they cost you money.

People would never include these things if they understood some fundamentals like 

  • the purpose of your video
  • the psychology of your audience
  • the mechanics of storytelling

To give you an example of the importance of understanding fundamentals I’m going to show you a great tool that solves the problem of what do I do if things go wrong and I’m just left standing there on stage. This is a fear that stops a lot of people speaking.

This was one of a series of emergency outs that I...

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Can You Learn, Unlearn and Relearn?

 

How good are you at dealing with change? There is a no more important question you can ask yourself as we move into the 2020’s.

Find change difficult? Let me introduce you to Frank. 

Frank built supermarkets and carwashes.

A no-nonsense, knockabout sort of guy 

Frank went everywhere with a hard hat, a roll of plans and a surveyor's ‘theodolite' under the other.

Frank was asked to submit a quote to build a temple

Not just any temple, the largest Taoist temple outside of mainland China, and it was just down the road from where he lives in Australia.

Frank thought this'll be a laugh so he drew up some plans. 

He didn't bargain on it but he got the job.

First though, the alignment ceremony.

What’s that? 

“We need to align the site to a spiritual energy axis of the water and the mountains,” the Taoists smiled.

Right said Frank. See you there 9 am Monday morning.

So Frank rolls up with his hard hat, his set of plans and his theodolite

They...

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Attitude Matters On Video

 

Does how you mean to say it get lost in what you are trying to say?

A woman woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. "Well," she said, "I think I'll platt my hair today." So she did and she had a wonderful day. 

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. "H-M-M," she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today." So she did and she had a grand day. 

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. "Well," she said, “I always wanted to wear my hair in a ponytail." So she did, and she had a top day. 

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. "YAY!" she exclaimed. "I don't have to fix my hair today!"

Hasn't she got a great attitude? More importantly, how well do you respond to someone with a great attitude? It inspires me to action.

I see a...

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The Easiest Way To Build Rapport In Your Videos

 

A pair of socks helped me make more effective videos that people wanted to watch.

The Army’s simple strategy involves tearing you down to nothing then rebuilding you. They take everything you arrive with, even your hair. Then they start taking away everything they gave you when you arrived like pillows, blankets, ashtrays, towels and little by little, like lab rats, you learnt that if you pushed the wrong button you got a zap and the right button got you a pellet of corn. I could accept that. In return they had to accept just one thing: they couldn’t have my sense of humour and there was much to laugh at, unannounced locker inspections for one.

 Any one item out of place resulted in the contents of your locker being ripped out and tossed to the floor. This gave you the ‘opportunity’ to start afresh.  I actually like being neat and tidy and ordered. Mine was a model locker, faultless to a point or so I thought. For this character trait I expected...

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What Do Magic Tricks, Grandmas Cooking and Smartphone Videos Have In Common

 

A woman was preparing a leg roast. She sawed the end of the bone off. Why do you do that she was asked?

“Because it makes it taste better.” Really? “Yes, my mother taught me that.”

They went to her mother and asked where’d you learn this secret? She said she learned it from her mother. 

They went to the grandmother and asked the same question. She said, she too, had learned it from her mother.

The great-grandmother was still alive so they went to her.

Why does sawing the end off a leg roast make it taste better?

The great-grandmother said, “Well I don’t know about the taste but - and she spreads her hands twelve inches apart - my oven was only this big.”

Do you know why magicians protect their secrets?

Their code of secrecy is not to protect them, it’s to protect you, the audience, from disappointment. Much of magic operates on basic physics principles you would learn in the first year of high school.  

We hope that the...

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