4 Common Myths Around Speaking From Stage

Hi there.  I’ve been speaking from stage for around 11 years now and within that time I’ve seen some very strange myths about speakers.

Today, I’m going to dive into them and dismantle them one by one!

Here are four common, and untrue myths.

Myth #1: You have to be educated to become a public speaker.

Although education is a great asset, it is not a requirement to start a speaking career. Although a high educational qualification may appeal to some buyers it all depends on your niche. If your market is highly academic and scholarly, then a good educational background can pull interest from buyers.

On the other hand, most of the market does not demand a highly educated speaker. A lot of speakers do not have college degrees but still earn hefty amounts of money from bookings and selling from stage. In some niches, blue collar speakers with little or no education may possess more mass appeal because the audiences can relate to them. It all depends on the topics and the chosen niche.

Sometimes, to motivate people, a speaker must show that they are human and a lack of higher educati

common myths around speaking from stage

on may do just that. A speaker can show the audience that even though they are not college educated they have achieved professional and financial success. It is an inspiring premise.

Myth #2: You have to possess the gift of speaking in order to stand up in front of people to speak.

Public speaking is a skill and just like any skill, it can be developed and practiced. There are formulas that anyone can use to create great speeches. All you need is a message and the willingness to deliver that message to your audience. After a few tweaks, revisions, and rehearsals; you can present a knockout speech even without the possessing the “gift of speech”.

Technique and practice are the key factors in improving public speaking skills. If someone dedicates himself or herself enough, anybody can be great.

I highly recommend you grab a copy of my book if you haven’t yet to help you on this one!

www.presentationprofitsblueprint.com

 

Myth #3: You have to be different or change who you are to speak.

Many people will often say that a career in public speaking will make you fake, somewhat pretentious and change your personality.

If this is the case, public speaking seems like very hard work but in reality, you do not have to change in order to become a speaker. Great speakers are individuals who stay true to their characters, including their weaknesses and idiosyncrasies. It makes them human.

Your authenticity is your best asset!

 

Myth #4: You have to work hard to be a public speaker.

This can be rather subjective. Yes, it can be hard work if your heart is not into it. Any endeavor without passion is not an easy task. However, if you are really committed to the career and loving it, it won’t matter, will it?

Moreover, once you get the hang of it public speaking will come naturally to you.

 I love speaking- and when you love it- it’s easy. 

 
As Katharine Graham, the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company said ‘To do what you love and feel that it matters.  How could anything be more fun?’

15 Ways to Increased Motivation!

We all have days where we struggle to stay motivated, especially if you’re working on a large or long-term project. It’s even more depressing, when you really want the goal you’re aiming for… and yet you’re struggling to find the energy to actually do any work towards it!

Motivation is like any muscle; it needs regular exercise to maintain it, otherwise it gets saggy and tired. Use these 15 tips to help maintain your motivation levels… and increase your productivity too!

#1: Write down your goals

There is something special about seeing your goals written down. It helps to change the idea into an action; the thought into a desire and it helps make it factual and achievable… and you more motivated towards achieving it.

#2: Focus on your big why

Knowing why you actually want to do something enhances your desire… and motivation

#3: Visualise your end result

Don’t worry about how you are going to achieve it – focus on the end result you want to achieve.

#4: Publicly commit

When you share your desire with the world at large, you‘re not only committing to your dream… you’re strengthening the desire to reach that end result.

#5: The power of music

Music can stir up emotions and get your body moving… and fill you with a renewed burst of energy. So turn up the volume, get off the sofa, then dance and sing your way through your favourite songs.

#6: Create a mantra

Create a verbal statement that reinforces your desire and helps get you through difficult times. Statements such as “I can do this”, “I have this covered” and “I will achieve” are all great examples.

#7: Create a ritual or routine

It could be using the same pen, sitting in a certain chair or wearing a certain outfit – create a routine or ritual that signifies you are ready… it’s time for your motivation, energy and creativity to appear.

#8: Challenge yourself

Learn new things, stretch that comfort zone to challenge yourself to go further.

#9: Revisit your achievements

Remind yourself of those things you’ve previously achieved and succeeded at… it’s a great way to renew your motivation and energy.

#10: Clean up

A cluttered, untidy working environment can really cause your motivation to sag – get cleaning; decluttering can be a really cathartic experience for your motivation.

#11: Reward yourself

Whether you’ve reached a small milestone or achieved a great leap forward – reward each and every achievement.

#12: Write an easy “To-Do” list

Sometimes, the simple act of crossing off things from a “to-do” list can really give your motivation a boost – as it serves as a visual reminder of what you have already achieved – along with how that feels emotionally.

#13: Pay it forward

Whether you retweet or share a post, or buy someone a drink – the quickest way to boost your motivation is to feel useful, helpful and grateful – and this can be easily achieved by helping someone else!

#14: Go Outside

Fresh air is great for blowing away the mental cobwebs – go for a walk, run or just sit in the garden and spend time appreciating nature.

#15: Sleep on it

If all else fails, draw a line under today and get an early night. Make the decision to have a fresh start in the morning.

Are there certain points in the day where you feel at your most motivated? What methods have you found most effective for giving your motivation an adrenaline shot? Why not share your thoughts and experiences in the comments box below.

 

5 Steps to Add Passion to Your Speaking Gigs

Whether you are giving a presentation to hundreds of people at a seminar, or talking informally to a small group of people at a networking event, you want to be memorable. You want those people to leave with a positive experience, remembering you as someone who they can work with or build a relationship with.

So, how can you ensure you are memorable? By adding passion! Passion is the secret weapon for success in all your talks.

Follow these five steps to add passion to all your presentations and talks, and ensure you’re always leaving a positive, memorable recollection of both you and your message, long after the talk has ended.

#1: Be enthusiastic

In order for your audience to believe in you, you have to firstly believe in yourself! Believe in what you’re saying, what you’re promoting and what difference you know you can make as a result… be passionate about your skills and speak from the heart.

#2: Be emotional

I’m not saying you should be a crying wreck on the stage, but don’t be afraid to show how passionate you are. Being emotional will help to get the audience motivated enough to take action. Ask questions to get them emotionally involved and nodding in agreement.

If you’re reliving your story to the audience, don’t be afraid to show the parts that really “get” to you. Take the time to compose yourself or wipe a stray tear from your eye, if needed… don’t be afraid to show how much you care.

As Maya Angelou said; “people may not always remember what you said… but they will always remember how you made them feel.”

#3: Be personal

Part of being emotional is to be personal. When you’re sharing your story with the audience, you’re not just giving them an account of how you got to this point in your life… you’re giving them hope. You’re building rapport, showing that you understand their current situation and empathise with everything that has happened.

You’re giving them a first-hand account of what can happen now, as a result of making the decision to move forward… and the hope that, if it’s worked out for you, it can work out for them too.

#4: Body language

When you’re truly connected to your story and message, your body language will naturally reflect your enthusiasm and passion. If you’re worried you’re not totally connected emotionally, change your body language. Make sure you open your arms, be powerful and firm with your posture, face the audience and make eye contact… in short, own your power.

#5: Read the audience

Finally, learn to read your audience. Are they showing signs they’re connected to your message? Are they nodding, smiling and laughing in the right places? Make eye contact with a few people and smile whilst talking… talk as if you’re talking to them personally.

When you get to the end of your speech, make your no brainer offer and compel them to take action… use scarcity for additional bonuses – only for the first five that meet you at the back of the room… then go to the back of the room and guide them to follow you.

Do you get really emotional during certain parts of your story… but found client uptake has increased as a result? What steps do you take to really own your power and your stage during speeches? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section

Teething, Sleeping and Your Energy Levels!

Recently I made a post on Facebook that seemed to resonate with lots of you! The post was:

“It seems that excitement about the day, being in flow, the universe handing you everything you ask on a silver platter… it all crumbles in the face of another sleepless teething night. Arrrrrggggh! Today’s lesson: life starts with sleep!”

Teething might not be affecting your energy and sleep levels but, if you feel your levels need addressing, here are some great tips that will show you how to have a better quality sleep and increase your energy levels.

Keep a regular sleep routine

Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. If you need to catch up on lost sleep, rather than changing your night time sleep routine, try taking a nap during the day – and limit it to 30 minutes.

Have a relaxing bedtime ritual

Make sure your bedroom is cool and dark; as this will help you relax and sleep well. Take a warm bath, read a book and plan for tomorrow – but avoid working on your laptop or watching TV!

The lighting from both will suppress your melatonin production and this will keep you awake and alert!

Focus on relaxation

Whether you struggle to drift off in the first place or after you’ve been woken up during the night, focusing on relaxing – rather than sleep – could be your secret weapon to drifting off again.

Imagine each of your muscles relaxing or practice deep breathing, this keeps you out of your head and avoids over stimulating your mind. Alternatively, aim for a quiet non-stimulating activity such as reading; just keep it old-fashioned and avoid the use of anything with a screen!

If you’re in need of an energy boost during the day, to counteract a sleepless night, try these great tips:

Smell a lemon!

Lemon oil has long been considered a stimulating scent. Other stimulating oils include Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang and Peppermint.

Watch your diet

Ensure you are getting adequate hydration – as even mild dehydration can cause you to feel sleepy. Eating regularly is another essential to remember; otherwise your energy and mood can spiral downward – so stock up on complex carbohydrates (e.g. whole grains, green vegetables and cereals).

Get outside and stretch

Heading outside is a great way to feel more energised. Aim for at least 20 minutes and, if you REALLY want to boost yourself out of an energy slump, use that mid-afternoon slump to work out or complete some stretching exercises and yoga moves!

Are you currently experiencing problems with a teething child or is something else disturbing your sleep routine? How do you regulate your sleep patterns and keep your energy levels high? If you have a great tip or secret that helps you – why not share it with others, by sharing it in the comments section below?

What Support Groups Can Do For You And Your Business

Whether you’ve been in business for a while or are a relatively new start-up, business isn’t all plain sailing. It can be extremely long hours and lots of hard work and, with small home-based businesses on the rise, it can also be lonely.

Our friends and family can’t always fully support us, as they may not understand the dilemmas we face. This is where bringing together a support group can be so important to your business success.

Help and understanding

The biggest benefit you will get from a support group is the advice and help from other people in similar situations.

You can discuss the problems you are having and glean helpful information and advice about those things you’re aspiring to achieve.

Having likeminded people around you will also get you to raise your own desires and expectations, giving you the opportunity to find a role model or mentor that can help you achieve them.

Networking and social interaction

Working from home can make you quite antisocial. You get so used to being on your own and dealing with everything through your computer, that you withdraw into your own little world.

Getting away from your home environment can really blow away the cobwebs and give your creativity a huge boost – so look to find a business network in your local area. If there isn’t one, why not start your own?

Potential JV and partnership opportunities

Support groups also give you the opportunity to grow and expand your business, through joint ventures and partnership opportunities.

As you interact with the people in your group, the chances are you will find people in similar or complementing businesses that would be open to the chance to grow their own business too.

As you can see, support groups can really help you push your business to the next level. If you cannot find a local group in your area, why not start your own?

Connect with a few people on social media first, and then see if you can move it from a virtual group to a physical one?

How many support groups are you currently a part of? What have you found to be the biggest benefit for you? If you’re not currently in a group, what is stopping you from joining one? Why not share your thoughts and opinions in the comments box below.

 

Is Selling From Stage Still Acceptable In 2014?

This week I received a great question from someone in my community. As it’s relevant to everyone who presents, I thought I’d share the question and my response with you here…

“I did your course 3 years ago and initially had some success with following your 4 permissions and making an offer from stage.

Recently I was told by a conference organiser that they had received feedback that my presentations were commercial – despite the fact that I made sure to give great value and I used your 4 permissions and other techniques too.

So I felt rather ashamed!

Yesterday I was in a Mastermind group and we were discussing how the public has gone right off selling from stage.

Now, even though I know you taught us to do it authentically, many of us have found that audiences in the UK and Europe don’t like it. The opinion was that it’s acceptable to sell from stage at your own events but not at events run by other people.

The reason may be because there are very pushy people around and we’ve all been made to suffer for them. Maybe just because it is “selling”?

Anyway, what is your thinking and how would you act in an academic conference for instance, or someone else’s event where they say “no selling from stage”?”

I’m so pleased to be asked such a great question! I’m really happy to answer this, because it’s going to be crucial to the way you move forward.

All feedback is good!

First thing I’d like to say is that I totally hear where you’re coming from! It can be really frustrating to receive this kind of feedback – however, all feedback is good, as it gives you a chance to reflect on how you appear to others.

In this instance, as the event promoter has said that your presentations are too commercial for their platform, it’s really important feedback for you to receive.

No matter how authentic you are and how genteel you are with your offer, if the context is no selling, you’re always going to be the easy target, as you weren’t like the other speakers and you ‘didn’t fit’. 

Therefore take the feedback on board and probably change the way you are presenting at your academic conferences.

What’s the context?

It’s not about selling on your own platform as opposed to selling on someone else’s platform; the question really is “What’s the context?”

If you’re at an event where people are expecting promotions, as they’re learning something from you, then you offering the opportunity for your audience to enrol on the next step of their journey is fine – no matter if it’s your platform or someone else’s platform.

If you’re speaking at an event where no one else is selling and you haven’t been positioned by the promoter as someone who will be making an offer; then it will come as a shock to the system for your audience!

In this instance, unless you’re very, very elegant and congruent, then it’s going to be very hard to pull that one off without getting some people off-side.

What’s the bigger picture?

Does it matter if you’re getting people off-side, if you’re getting a result? Some would say yes and others not.

For me personally, I’d be looking at the bigger picture and ask myself questions like “Do I want to be invited back?” and “Is this a list building opportunity?” and so forth.

The issue is not about what is happening in the UK or Europe, with regards to selling from stage. Whenever I hear that kind of response it makes me worry – because it isn’t about UK, Europe, or even the rest of the world – it’s happens everywhere in the world. 

It’s really comes down to; if the sale is a surprise to people, they’re going to fixate on the fact that they’re getting sold to (because everyone has ‘stuff’ around sales!) – rather than focusing on the value they’re getting – especially if the shock and the context isn’t right.

So it’s less about your platform (or the platform of others), less about culture and country – and it’s more about the context and if this has been set correctly.

Academic conferences aren’t any different!

As you’ve gotten that feedback from an academic conference, I’d take it on, take it in and apologise.

Explain that your intention is to always offer great value and to give people the opportunity to learn more – especially as we all know you can’t learn everything you need to learn at a conference or in a half an hour slot.

Go on to explain that you’re really happy to never do that again and will just come and deliver great value.

What you could do instead is to offer something for free – and this doesn’t even have to be a big deal.

You could just say something like “If you’d like the PowerPoint’s from this presentation, please hand me your business card and I’ll send them over to you”.

Or “If you’d like my eBook, where I go into this topic in more detail, then please hand me your business card and I’ll be more than happy to send you a copy”.

Using your presentation as a list building opportunity is probably the best thing you can do for academic conferences.

Don’t let negative feedback put you off selling from stage!

Finally, don’t let this bit of negative feedback turn you off selling from stage! You can set your own frame around feedback you receive.

Also, don’t let the conversation around selling from stage ‘not working in your country’ hold you back – it’s not about scaling everything back! Look at the context you’re in and ask yourself “What is the most appropriate next step for this audience?”

And, if no one else is selling and the promoters don’t want you to sell – then don’t!

Have you received negative feedback around selling from stage Do you have limiting beliefs around whether selling from stage is ok in your country? Are the opinions of others stopping you from growing your speaking business? Tell me what you think in the comments area below. 

Five Easy Steps To Minimise The Stress in your Life

Stress gets to us all. Whether it’s work or home-related; it can leave us feeling drained, tired, stuck and unable to move forward.

To succeed in both business and life generally, you need to learn both how to minimise the likelihood of being affected by stress AND how you deal with the effects of stress if you get it.

Follow these five easy tips to minimise stress now.

Learn to say no

This can be a big hurdle to overcome for most women. We are taught from an early age the need to be polite and as helpful as we can be – but this doesn’t do our stress levels any good. If you really don’t want to do something – say no!

If however, the thought of saying “no” to your nearest and dearest totally stresses you out – start by teaching yourself to pause before you answer.

You can then use this brief pause to think and feel if you really want to give a yes or no response… and if you don’t know, simply say you cannot give an answer just yet, and you’ll get back to them.

Stop multitasking!

Remember the tortoise and hare? Slow and steady will win the day. Women especially are seen to be brilliant at multitasking – but juggling several things at once can really lead you towards a higher level of stress.

Slow down and take a minute to pause. Is your heart racing? Are you holding your breath? Take a deep breath in and let it slowly go.

Now look at your “To Do” list and prioritise your tasks. Work through it methodically and enjoy what you’re doing… not just the end results.

Listen to your body

Following on from the point above, learn to listen and take notice of what your body is telling you. Take the time to breathe, calm and compose yourself.

Is your body crying out for a rest? Take regular breaks from long tasks… and between smaller tasks!

If you feel the need to take a catnap – have one and lose the guilt over it. Taking a break is the quickest way to feel rejuvenated.

Even better – get out in the fresh air!

If you can’t remember the last time you had a lunch break… schedule one in! Just because you work from home, it doesn’t mean you can’t have regular breaks.

Live in the now

Learn to stay present in the now. Are you constantly beating yourself over the head because you made a mistake yesterday?

How about last week or last year? The past is gone and you cannot change it!

Maybe your eyes are firmly fixed on the big end goal? It’s easy to be seduced by your dream of what’s to come – and having a dream is great for motivation, if it’s used properly – but learn to appreciate the journey along the way too.

Lower your expectations

This doesn’t mean you can’t aim high and, as per the quote by Norman Vincent Peale: “shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you may just land amongst the stars.” But if you do land amongst those stars… are you going to feel disappointed because you didn’t reach your target?

If your aim is to get 10 new clients – are you going to feel disappointed if you only get 8?

Was 10 clients a realistic expectation in the timescale you set yourself? Ensure you’re not setting yourself up for a load of stress, by setting unachievable or unrealistic expectations for yourself.

Do you have a great example of a stress-relieving habit; one that you’re currently using in your daily work or home life? What was the biggest “ah-ha” moment you had when learning to deal with stress? Why not share your thoughts and tips in the comments box below.

Are You Waiting For Your Success Path To Become Visible?

Do you follow other successful people on social media, look at what they have and wish you could have the same? You see their rise to fame and wish it would happen to you that ‘fast’ and you want more of what they have… you want their luck and you want it now!

The problem is you are only looking at their success from the outside. You see the end result of their hard work and want that for yourself, without seeing the years of effort and hard work they’ve previously put in.

You don’t always see the detours and obstacles they faced, or the timescales involved.

They’ll often share their starting point, to demonstrate why they decided to go down the route they’ve chosen and you probably get inspired by that. But what you hope for is a map of the exact steps; a nice neat straight line from A to B, so you can see the entire journey.

Unfortunately, success isn’t like that! We’ll each have our own detours and obstacles to face that will take us on the windiest of paths. And if you’re waiting for the entire path to be visible to you, prior to starting your journey… you’re going to still be waiting five years down the line.

So what can you do about this? How can you make your success journey a little less foggy and the path a little less windy?

Start from where you are. Your ideal starting place is here, right now and from where you are currently standing. Make a decision to start today.

Do everything you can with what you have available. Make a decision to utilise whatever you have available to you. It would be nice to have x, y and z… but what do you have that you can use instead?

Stop waiting for your success path to become visible to you!
Just get clear on what your next step is and take that step. Complete the action needed to move you onto the next step… then rinse and repeat!

And finally, trust yourself. Make decisions based on your highest good – what feels right for you at this moment in time… and be the best version of you that you can be at this (and every) moment.

Are you delaying moving forward until your success path is visible to you? What action step will you take today, to get you moving forward? Do you have a story about your own success that will help others during their journey? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

15 Ways to Increased Motivation!

We all have days where we struggle to stay motivated, especially if you’re working on a large or long-term project. It’s even more depressing, when you really want the goal you’re aiming for… and yet you’re struggling to find the energy to actually do any work towards it!

Motivation is like any muscle; it needs regular exercise to maintain it, otherwise it gets saggy and tired. Use these 15 tips to help maintain your motivation levels… and increase your productivity too!

#1: Write down your goals

There is something special about seeing your goals written down. It helps to change the idea into an action; the thought into a desire and it helps make it factual and achievable… and you more motivated towards achieving it.

#2: Focus on your big why

Knowing why you actually want to do something enhances your desire… and motivation

#3: Visualise your end result

Don’t worry about how you are going to achieve it – focus on the end result you want to achieve.

#4: Publicly commit

When you share your desire with the world at large, you‘re not only committing to your dream… you’re strengthening the desire to reach that end result.

#5: The power of music

Music can stir up emotions and get your body moving… and fill you with a renewed burst of energy. So turn up the volume, get off the sofa, then dance and sing your way through your favourite songs.

#6: Create a mantra

Create a verbal statement that reinforces your desire and helps get you through difficult times. Statements such as “I can do this”, “I have this covered” and “I will achieve” are all great examples.

#7: Create a ritual or routine

It could be using the same pen, sitting in a certain chair or wearing a certain outfit – create a routine or ritual that signifies you are ready… it’s time for your motivation, energy and creativity to appear.

#8: Challenge yourself

Learn new things, stretch that comfort zone to challenge yourself to go further.

#9: Revisit your achievements

Remind yourself of those things you’ve previously achieved and succeeded at… it’s a great way to renew your motivation and energy.

#10: Clean up

A cluttered, untidy working environment can really cause your motivation to sag – get cleaning; decluttering can be a really cathartic experience for your motivation.

#11: Reward yourself

Whether you’ve reached a small milestone or achieved a great leap forward – reward each and every achievement.

#12: Write an easy “To-Do” list

Sometimes, the simple act of crossing off things from a “to-do” list can really give your motivation a boost – as it serves as a visual reminder of what you have already achieved – along with how that feels emotionally.

#13: Pay it forward

Whether you retweet or share a post, or buy someone a drink – the quickest way to boost your motivation is to feel useful, helpful and grateful – and this can be easily achieved by helping someone else!

#14: Go Outside

Fresh air is great for blowing away the mental cobwebs – go for a walk, run or just sit in the garden and spend time appreciating nature.

#15: Sleep on it

If all else fails, draw a line under today and get an early night. Make the decision to have a fresh start in the morning.

Are there certain points in the day where you feel at your most motivated? What methods have you found most effective for giving your motivation an adrenaline shot? Why not share your thoughts and experiences in the comments box below.

 

3 Key Steps to Managing Business Debt

Debt can often be seen as something to be feared and avoided at all costs. It can feel like a huge weight around your shoulders, pulling you down and preventing you from moving forward.

In business, debt is something that can’t always be avoided but, if used wisely, it can allow you to actually move forward, seize the opportunities available to you and push your business up to the next level.

The secret to managing debt is to understand that not all debt is bad. There is such a thing as good debt!

Most businesses will take on some form of debt at some stage in their growth. Whether it’s to finance their start-up or invest in training, this type of debt is considered to be good debt – it is being used on something that will either hold or increase in value over time.

If you have debt in your business, use these three key tips to understand and control your business debt and move your business forward.

Key step #1: Let go of guilt

It is important that you take control of your existing debt, by letting go of the guilt you associate with it. This doesn’t mean sweeping it all under the carpet and forgetting about it, but it does mean changing how you react to it.

Accept it as your current situation and stop with the self judgement. This will ensure your energy around money increases and you can be in a place of power.

Key step #2: Get clear on your current situation

It doesn’t pay to ignore it, so find out exactly what you do owe and take ownership of it. Accept your current situation and the debt you have – the exact figure! Then learn to manage what money you do have coming into your business.

The universe will only give you what you can handle – so by learning to handle what you currently have, you are showing that you can handle more… inviting abundance.

Key step #3: Take action

Now you are clear on your current situation, switch your focus to moving forward;

If you’ve generated debt through buying a computer, use it to network with potential clients and attract new business.

If you hired a coach, do everything they recommend you to do so you’ll get a positive return on your investment – extra income

And if you generated debt through buying start-up items like business cards – set yourself a goal of getting a certain amount of new clients from handing out your cards.

Acknowledge yourself for taking positive action to grow your business, but also ensure your focus stays firmly on moving forwards.

What are your thoughts around business debt? Do you have any stories to share around about taking on good debt and having it pay off for you big time? Please leave your comments below and tell me what happened?