Believe in Yourself and They Will Listen
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If anyone knows about confidence, it's Cheryl Cran of C.
Cranspeak International Inc. of Coquitlam. On average, she delivers some 150
presentations a year and, during one particularly impassioned session, found
herself dodging flying furniture. But she, like all of us, still has her
Cran eats little if anything beforehand.
Otherwise, it can mean another nerve-induced trip to the restroom. "It happens
all the time," she admits. "It's the adrenaline."
Well before her speech, Cran habitually cruises the room,
introducing herself to individual audience members "I meet as many people as
possible beforehand and when I get up before them, I feel as though I've got
some 'friends' in the crowd." This does wonders for her confidence. Long before
she enters the presentation site, she begins her mental preparation. Using
positive visualization, she imagines the group as warm, receptive, wanting and
ready to hear and participate in her presentation. She admits these positive
images monopolize her thoughts the night before and the morning of the speech.
"In fact, it continues until about five minutes before I turn on that mike."
Cran tops up her confidence by being "totally prepared",
anticipating everything that could go wrong, it going wrong and then mentally
preparing a number of solutions. "I actually over-prepare and then let it go."
Another confidence booster: to others,
public speaking is seen as a fearsome thing. "I try to remember that the
audience is so glad to not be the one up there, they are actually glad to see
it's you," she says with a laugh.
Expect things to go wrong. On one occasion,
the power went out - you guessed it - right in the middle of a PowerPoint
presentation. After banquets provided candles, Cran took a flashlight and used
it mockingly on herself to create a cryptic face. The show went on, with a lot
of laughs and not another hitch. When glitches happen, deflect them with humor.
"You just have to love all this technology!" It breaks up the tension and
"everyone can relate." Meanwhile, by word or action, keep the presentation
moving, even telling the audience the slide (or the software) is not germane to
the ultimate purpose of the speech. (And if you're working for Microsoft, well,
take comfort in the fact that Apple is hiring.)
- Take the focus off yourself. Keep it on the audience and
the outcome of the presentation.
- Dress the part for both comfort and confidence. Cran
herself is most comfortable in a dressy pantsuit as she tends to move around
the room a lot. Pants let her bend over and move fast and this makes her feel
"more comfortable as a woman."
- To boost confidence, use the color, style and apparel you
know works best for you. "Looking the part is vital." For women, she advises
more visually strong makeup to keep one's face from being lost to the back of
- " When and if the butterflies flutter, silently tell
yourself, 'I'm serving my purpose. I'm honored and blessed that the audience
is listening to me.' Do it right and you'll make any audience member think
it's the other way around."
About the Author
Cheryl Cran, CSP President of Synthesis at Work Inc. works with organizations
in significantly increasing productivity and profitability through communication
strategies that improve employee performance, leverage team synergy and build
extraordinary leaders. Many of Synthesis at Work's clients are award winning
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-10-24 01:52:17 in Marketing Articles