So since you can’t do in-person events, at the moment, there seems to be a lot of virtual events and you might even want to run your own. I’ve done a few podcasts about this particular topic on SuperFastBusiness, how people have adapted to doing virtual summits. You don’t have to travel anyway, you can do it with the technology you’ve got sitting at home. So I’ve made a couple of items here for how to be comfortable speaking, because speaking is not something everyone is trained for out of the womb. It can be frightening or scary. So I just want to cover a couple of the points that I would share with a student.
The first thing is, it’s important to know your audience. You really need to know who are you presenting to, like who’s coming in there and especially what kind of transformation are you looking to create? Like, what beliefs do they currently have? What is their starting situation and what transformation is necessary for them by the end of your presentation? You’ll notice that even when I’m giving you this advice, I’m talking about the starting position.
The starting position is there’s more online webinars, you may be invited to one or run one yourself. It’s a tremendous opportunity to leverage a lot of the platforms. There’s the live platforms who just love this kind of content that gets you viral shares. There are big audiences out there, people running paid events, and they can generate tens of thousands of new prospects for you. So that’s why you’d want to do it.
When you get on the camera, you need to know your audience so well that they feel like you are speaking directly to them. You also should practice. Do your presentation, at least in bullet points, put it on a whiteboard or post-it note. Often I will stick my bullet points on a whiteboard or a post-it note near my camera. Even if it’s my own book, someone might want to interview me on a topic from my book. I’ll actually go and look up my book and recap this summary. And put three or four bullets next to my camera that are the must-have points that I should cover in the presentation. So I don’t get flustered.
I don’t get concerned about missing my spot. And I know that by the end of it, the person on the call will have had the transformation. But I’ll always survey the person who’s running the conference, like, who is your audience? What do they need help with? What would make an amazing presentation for them? Once you’ve practiced it a few times, and you’ve just run it through, so I’ll do it on my surf or when I’m driving or walking, or just thinking, I’ll just mull over my presentation a few times in advance, sort of visualize it.
And visualizing is such a strong technique that I’ve used for many, many years. I think I learned about it from Psycho-Cybernetics, which I highly recommend if you haven’t already done it, that will help you with your confidence as well. Role plays and visualizations, that’s how I took rookie salespeople at Mercedes-Benz and turned them into the top performers by role-playing and role-playing and role-playing, so that by the time they got in front of a live customer, they weren’t scared or nervous or flustering around, because they’d already done it so many times, they were super comfortable with it. Then run it for a few others, but most importantly, don’t practice in front of a mirror.
Practice in front of a camera and record it so you can play yourself back. And not everyone knows this, but I used to do acting class. When I was a kid, I was very under-confident. And my mom offered to go 50/50 with me for some acting tuition. And I was about 20 years old. And I went off and did acting class. And each week we’d get a script, and the next week, we’d film it, and then the following week, we’d go through the recording and then get another script. And then we’d practice and during the week we’d practice. And then the next week, we would film it.
So by filming it and watching it back, I learned a lot about myself. When I was tired I would lisp, you know, actually start lisping like this. I also noticed I would fidget sometimes, I’d rub my face or my eyes or my ears or my neck if I was not concentrating. So I had to consciously remove my hands off my face when I’m presenting. And a lot of things these days do camera presentations, and if you just watch it back, remember you can delete the ones you don’t like and just keep a couple. You might end up with some good content you can use on social media anyway.
So do it as a practice routine. Mentally rehearse and then record your presentation that you do even if it’s for someone else, and I always do this in the background, independent of their platform or software. I run a little Zoom recorder, that’s a name for an old piece of hardware, with a Zoom H4N portable recorder. And I always record at least my audio. And I do this when I present live from stage at a big event as well. I always record even if I’ve just got my iPhone on the podium or at the AV desk up the back. You know when you put your keys and wallet and phone with the AV desk and you go up and present to the audience? I stick my phone on record and I record it because I want to know what I said, because people who are watching the presentation may come back to you later. And they might ask you a specific question or talk to you about something. It’s good for me to have it transcribed, I can send it off to my book editor. I can give it to my team to summarize into some bullet points that I could reuse as a podcast episode.
And I can also keep it as a note in case there’s any kind of legal challenge or question mark over anything that I’ve said, I’m like, at least I can refer to my own recording, and see what I actually said. And it’s come in handy for me a couple of times where I was able to clarify something or go and look it up. And with tools like Otter, it’s very easy to turn your audio into text using AI these days.
So that’s my little tip on if you have to speak at an event. That’s sort of taking you through doing your research, doing your preparation, practice, take some recording of it and enjoy it and go out there. And if you haven’t done a few, it might be time to get out there and put yourself in front of your perfect customer and grow your business that way.
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