Public Speaking 101
Learn from great speakers. Love them or hate them, both Hillary and Donald are great speakers. They wouldn’t be on the verge of being president today if they didn’t have phenomenal public speaking abilities. The ability to speak confidently and comfortably in public is one of the keys to creating success in your life.
Whether it’s a simple job interview, a presentation at your office, a sales presentation to one customer or many, to your church, your community, or a school, there is no getting away from the idea that at some time in your life, if you are pushing to become successful in some way, you will be forced to speak in public. This skill is not just reserved for the “Donalds” or the “Hillarys” of the world—it’s critical for you, too.
I have been speaking to audiences since I was 25 years old and when I first started I was terrified. I realized this fear was holding me back from my potential to get my brand out there and get my ideas known. How can you ever be successful if you’re not willing to speak to people? I have now delivered over 2000 speaking engagements to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies. Recently I raised my speaking fee to $100K. I am an in-demand keynote speaker because I’ve gotten very good at it and people know I’ll deliver a great talk to their group.
Here are my tips to you to become a better public speaker:
1. False Events Appearing Real
You must commit to overcoming fear. The acronym for F.E.A.R—false events appearing real—sums up what happens in your head. You imagine things that aren’t even real. Whatever fear you have getting on stage, understand that it all exists in your head—not in reality. You may not be able to completely rid yourself of having some fear before a big speaking gig, but the key is to OVERCOME it. Don’t let it control you. This is something you need to commit to. The greats do things others refuse to do. While many people retreat from speaking in front of groups, you must move towards it.
All the excuses in the world won’t change one simple fact: that fear is a sign to do whatever it is you fear – and do it quickly.
2. Own the stage
Remember you are what you think. If you think you are lame you will be. If you think you will be amazing, you will radiate on the stage. You have to decide to own the space and know that you are delivering excellence to your audience. Don’t slouch, keep your posture up, puff out your chest and OWN the place. If you don’t own the stage you won’t grab people’s attention. In this day and age, people will go to their cell phones if you aren’t interesting. The last thing you want to see as you look out into your audience are people scrolling their Facebook feeds as you deliver your “message”. You have to own the space.
3. Pick a topic that you are confident with
You have to know what you are talking about. I wasn’t giving talks to groups of people about sales until after I had truly become a professional in the space. It would have been ridiculous for me to talk in front of anybody on the topic of sales at the age of 25. By the time I was 30 I had trained myself, practiced, and lived through enough to know and speak through experience so that I could deliver the type of content that would actually help people. You have to be comfortable yourself about what you are delivering to people—that means being a professional.
If you talk about things you don’t yet completely understand, people will see through it.
4. Close big
4th of July firework shows and TV series have a “grand finale” for a reason. You want to end big. Whether in the bedroom, the boardroom or in front of 15,000 people in an arena, you want to end it with a bang. Leave people with wanting more. Over promise and then over deliver. Shock and awe, light up the room, bring the house down. You want people to remember you. You have to standout, get your audiences’ attention, be memorable, and give them some piece of knowledge, advice, or push that will change their lives.
You may see me on stage and think public speaking is easy for me, but you don’t know if it’s easy or difficult for me—all you see is that it appears easy for me. You see LeBron play basketball and assume it’s easy for him, but you don’t know how his legs are feeling. I can’t promise that it will ever be “easy” for you to speak in front of others. But I can promise if you do not get confident with speaking in front of people you will never reach the levels you deserve to in life.
You must understand what fear really is, own the stage despite any fears you experience, talk about what you KNOW, and close big. Do these things and you’ll be a better speaker for the audiences you have. You might even be building your speaking muscle to talk to millions one day.
Be obsessed or be average,
P.S. So many people asked for the Rebuttal Manual that I extended the Deal of the Day through today for my 205 page, step-by-step word track manual to get you from the pitch, through the proposal, to the close. Get the deal here.