14 Jul Future Entrepreneurs: Confident Communication
I had a chance to talk with some Chicago and NYC PR professionals during a seminar this week. Some interesting topics popped up, and we can put them into practice as you go through pitches and presentations on your path to becoming an entrepreneur.
We send you best wishes for better communication this week.
5 Tips on Confidence and Communication
1. Know your room
What brings them there?
Why do they care?
What’s in it for them?
What action do you want them to take?
Know your angle and key message.
Have examples that support your message and lead up to the call to action (what you want your audience to do).
Do you want them to sig up for your email list, or book you as a speaker, or invest in your company?
Share personal stories, experience and anecdotes.
Use simple statistics.
1.5 Establish credibility
Why are you the best person to deliver the message?
Write down some ideas. Now how could you bring these in early to show you belong there?
Is there an interesting story of how you got here?
I work with a lot of creatives crossing into business.
I learned so many tools from my first mentor, a brilliant female executive with American Express in Minneapolis and New York City.
I often refer to this as my “Devil Wears Prada” era since I work with many authors and filmmakers. I’m not shy to say that I started as her assistant in my twenties, because I had moved from LA and needed a job as I worked on what to do next.
I’m not shy about the humble place I was in. It was not my ultimate goal to be an Executive Assistant, but I was willing to work hard and smart. I became an event planner for her team, and eventually travelled the world with her, and then for her.
I went to Europe for the first time, polished my Parisian French and then represented American Express at a global conference on employee survey translations; I was the only American who spoke French, and it paid off professionally and personally. Imagine how your next opportunity or presentation will change your life!
I talk more about what I learned from my mentor in #ShineThroughtheNoise or hear about during my chapter reading in Dublin, July 21 at 4:00 on Facebook Live and Twitter.
That’s my story and it has done well to warm up some rooms before I speak.
2. Make your entrance good
Make your story even better.
Connect with your audience
> Engage them and ask questions.
> Ask your audience to “imagine” a key part of your message to bring it to life.
> Use a startling fact.
Make an entrance
> YOU x 10!
>Paint a picture and use colorful examples
> Be quotable.
What part of your message feels like a sound bite?
Don’t force it, but think it through.
One of my favorite quotes is from a conversation with brand expert Jessica Zweig of the SimplyBe Agency:
“Focus on your task at hand. If you have fractured intentions, you’ll get fractured results.” It’s perfectly quotable, and a great reminder to hone in on intention.
Set up your call to action
3. Block, bridge and reroute
If you take questions or have an interruption that goes off message, be ready.
Practice phrases such as these to get back on point:
“That’s an interesting point. However, what’s important to remember here is…”
“Good question. I’m not the right person to address it, but what I can tell you is…”
4. Tell yourself a positive story.
Give yourself a healthy 15 minute window before an important meeting, pitch or message.
Do you. This is your agenda. If you want your audience to respond to the importance of your message, you have to set the stage first.
You do not need to reply to that email, text or tag at before you go on.
Do not apologize.
Delete qualifying language such as ” I think”, actually and sort of
> End sentences and thoughts with a period, not a question. You’ll sound more intelligent and your expertise will come through.
> Visualize success
what does it look and feel like to have it go exactly as planned?
> Believe that the audience wants you to succeed.
5. Put on the polish
Take a deep breath. Smile.
Reroute nervous energy into body language. You know this!
Replace “ums”, “likes” and “ahs” with a pause.
> Be excited about your message and let that shine through
> Your audience will respond to your passion and dedication.
> Close with your thought, and call to action.
(“If there’s one thought I’d like to leave you with today, it’s this:…” Please sign up for my email list…”)
My concept to leave you with is this:
Believe in your message.
You belong here!
Thank you for reading and we welcome your comments below.
Cheers and fair winds,
Akasha Garnier for The Wishwall
Author, Brand Expert, Filmmaker
Read more from Future Entrepreneurs with Twitter for Business, Entrepreneurship and Beyond.
Photo from my visit to the Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, 2015. I look forward to going back and to taking the stage!