Wednesday, 4 July 2012

How to Save yourself from stress when you Speak Out.

I love to talk & can honestly say that I'm really great at it too. Ever since I can remember (especially at school), I would get told off for talking, as an adult this gift for talking, became something to be shared with others. So over the past few years, I've helped thousands of people to talk in many different settings, I call this Speaking Out. Today I'd like to pass on some tips to help you to Speak Out too.

Most of you will be familiar with saving money or budgeting money on a daily, weekly, monthly or even annual basis. I was reflecting on how people often talk about “being careful with money”, and I wondered whether they realised the similarity between Speaking Out that is, giving a talk or presentation whether that's over the phone, face to face, during a sale, or in a professional or personal setting?

So first of all:

1. When budgeting, the first thing to do is to work out how much money you have for essentials like mortgages, bills etc. you then establish how much money is left for general spending.

In Speaking Out, you begin by working out what is the essential information for your audience or listener.

“What exactly do they need to hear from you in the time allocated?”

Asking yourself this question enables you to allocate your words wisely, which in turn means that you are not wasting words in the time you have. Quite often I see people who give a presentation & run out of time before they can get their point, skills or sale across. That would be like wasting money wouldn't it?

Once you delivered your main message or piece of information you have spare cash. It's then & only then that you can spend your other words with your listener or audience in a general way.

2. Planning how you spend your money on a daily weekly or monthly basis, helps you to keep a tight rein on your budget.

Interestingly, even confident and regular speakers forget the golden rule of planning. They say things like, “I've done this hundreds of times before. I don't need to prepare”, “I'll be fine I know the individual or the audience really well” or the increasingly popular, “it's ok, I'll just wing it”

So anytime you make a phone call, a speech to give, a date, a 60 second pitch, a sales proposal, a talk to deliver, an introduction to your business, an interview to attend etc. Plan, the purpose of your meeting, what you're going to say and what you'd like as a result too. Do not leave it to chance, you'll end up with chance results too and that might not go in your favour.

Rein in your verbal budget so that you do not overspend or even worse, ramble, bore your audience and totally miss the point. That's such a waste of valuable time and money both yours and theirs.

3. So you're in the zone and talking away (or winging it) and you notice that you've overspent, what do you do? Scroll down for the answer

Amazingly, many people recognise that they've overrun, are waffling, have disengaged their listener, have been too bullish or even over talked. But they still continue!!!!!!

So here's what to do, recognise where you're at and stop. It's a bit like going into a supermarket, spending money that you don't have and wondering why the checkout assistant is asking you to put items back!

By overspending with your listener, they're likely to avoid you like the plague next time you want to speak to them and if you do this to an audience they will most definitely "check out" once you've  lost them it's really hard work to get them back.

4. To save money at a restaurant you might order two starters. So “what on earth has that got to do with Speaking Out” you ask?

Well imagine this, you're at a restaurant and the waiter presents you with a giant plate of paella that’s big enough to feed 40 but it's only you & that's far too much for one person to eat. You're also unsure of many of the ingredients so suddenly you feel overwhelmed.  

Alternatively imagine this .... the waiter brings over lots of small appetisers on individual plates. They all have labels to explain what everything is, you realise quickly that you can pick and choose your food. Somehow your meal seems a lot easier to digest.

When Speaking Out, feed your audience with smaller, digestible pieces of information. It's so much easier to give them full meal when it's made up of bite sized chucks

5. When budgeting, it is possible to become slightly obsessive, and there are times when it's completely appropriate to cut yourself some slack.

So remember to go easy on yourself, self beating and obsessing over your performance can be just as debilitating. If you want to review how you did, as yourself the question, "So what will I do differently next time?"

Let us know by leaving a comment below and sharing this blog through your networks, after all for someone you know, it could be just what the blog for them.

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Written by Jenny Kovacs of GiFTWiSH making people special