Have you ever sat in an auditorium, hall, church, or theater and listened to the coughing, sniffling, shuffling of papers and overall restlessness of those in the audience during a rather dull presentation or speech? It happens and it happens when the speaker is not very dynamic. Too often, the person delivering a speech or presentation is frozen in one spot with an ashen complexion and a death grip on the lectern. If this scenario is typical of you, then rest assured your audience will do the moving for you!
I responded to hundreds of these leads without any turning any of those leads into sales. Then, one evening, there was a lead from someone wanting a presentation skill classes class in Dallas. I thought, “Oh, I got this one.” And I responded to it. The next morning, I called the person and introduced myself, and she was the most cold and distant prospect I think I have ever talked to. She just said, “We’ve already chosen someone else,” and hung up. I was totally confused.
At the end of the day, I decided that I wanted to ride the Griffon again from the front row. You see, the Griffon is unlike other coasters. It is 3 rows of 10 people and once it climbs its first ascent, it STOPS.
I donated a year of my time to serve on the editorial committee for Speaker Magazine, published by the National Speakers Association. My job was to author a monthly column where I interview people that book professional speakers. A point that frequently is made by these people is that they want a speaker that will ENGAGE their meeting attendees.
There are social phobias, like that of public speakings. There are acquired phobias. This is when something bad happens to you in your lifetime and you always become afraid of it. Agoraphobia means “fear of the marketplace.” This is the fear you get when you are away from a safe place like home. This phobia is especially strong in women. Women have a hidden fear of rape or being compromised. They feel more secure by staying at home.
Today we’ll cover intensity. By this I mean, first of all, to speak intensely. Keep your voice strong and clear. Speak up! Don’t say you can’t. Of course you can! What would you do if your child just doused the cat with half a bottle of your $60 cologne? Mumble? Whisper? I don’t think so. No, you would use those lungs of yours! Do the same in your talks. Push, push, push! Belt those words out! Listeners love it.
Public speaking, like death, will eventually happen to all of us. Being prepared, knowing your stuff, and being yourself will give you the greatest chance of having a successful outcome. You might even be surprised to find you like it. So the next time someone asks you to give a speech at a wedding…don’t weigh out the options of death or speaking…just go for it and have a great time.