The Public Speaking Academy http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk Sat, 22 Apr 2017 22:46:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Public Speaking Academy The Public Speaking Academy info@publicspeakingacademy.co.uk info@publicspeakingacademy.co.uk (The Public Speaking Academy) The Public Speaking Academy http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/PSA-MasterLogo2-transparentback.png http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk Love Thy Client http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/love-thy-client/ http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/love-thy-client/#respond Thu, 08 Sep 2016 15:29:27 +0000 http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/?p=3052 Why Return on Love is the next big thing….

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Why Return on Love is the next big thing….What happens at the advanced level that is different?

It’s about stripping technique right back to the very DNA – understanding the layers of behaviours – knowing who uses it and why the principles work. How to genuinely own the new concept, understand the pros and cons and feel confidence to start applying, to achieve your desired outcome whether it be more sales, more managerial control or simply enhancing your personal brand.

Are results immediate?

Yes and No… obviously to deliver exceptional results requires exceptional competence and that requires consistent practice. However becoming aware of professional techniques is a step ahead of most competitors furthermore applying the principles in a safe environment gives you a foundation on which to start building momentum. Everyone is different and some savvy members start to apply speaking laws immediately and get their results in days and weeks!

Can you share an example of what you cover or is too top secret!

It is top secret in all honesty as people have invested heavily (– time, money and energy) to be on this programme however here’s a light touch insight…

The last advanced group was all about the art of pitching and we broke down 1 step of detailed blueprint.

Speaking to audiences, pitching to clients and management or sales conversations all require the speaking professional to feel a level of connection with their potential client.

We know that rapport is built through sharing common ground but connection absolutely explodes when you genuinely like your client first.

Think about people in your life whom you have a natural bond with, or people you have joint ventured with, or that you decide that they would be on your invite list for a special event – these sort of people we normally term – people we just “clicked” with.

They get us and we get them. SO it becomes a no brainer to say we tend to do business or work with people we naturally “Get” – the problem is that most of us do not fully understand that our prospects, audience members or colleagues in reality will be highly diverse. Therefore the ‘click-factor’ becomes an essential building block to create.

Now – imagine you are able to influence how well you click with your client? Imagine what that does for your sales figures? I can categorically state it will quadruple your success rate as it has done for the Academy, my partners and 1000+ clients who have come through the Academy process.

So How Do We Do It?

I cannot do this topic justice here for numerous reasons – most importantly you would need to purchase my book (which is coming soon…) to understand this fully and have the time to read it!

However here are some insights for you to reflect and possibly apply:

1. See the problems /challenges through your client’s eyes BUT also feel their EMOTION

This is not just a fact find – I call it the emotion review – where you understand what the client sees but also feels.

I was recently speaking to a large corporate about media training. He had paid a significant fee and wanted a “call” to discuss. Within the first two minutes of our conversation I understood that he needed reassurance, he was anxious and needed confirmation that his colleagues were going to walk away feeling great and learning lots – not a coma inducing lecture!

To connect I was able to reflect a story about how clients bounce off the walls when they train with us but end up picking up lots of techniques on the way – I gave him humour, logic and reflected back the emotion he needed.

His answer was thanks Billal sounds great – no need to call the staff list on what they need – you have got it!

2. See, feel then reflect the end RESULT and the EMOTION the client will feel

We often hear the saying “sell the benefits” – true but really we are selling the emotion people will feel when they reach the end benefit. If that’s a new car – you must understand what the client will feel when they sit in their new car. The better you know your clients emotional states the better you can recreate the picture of the end game but also the emotion that follows it.

In doing so you are connecting deeply in a way a genuine friend does – think about a best friend who is truly happy when their mate gets promoted, gives birth or gets married – it’s possibly one of the most emotionally connected moments between people.

Which all sounds great? BUT how can you do this if you really don’t like your clients!

3. This is the million dollar question – but in fairness to our own clients we must hold this back, but suffice to say the answer lies in the title. Although the answer is simple – the method requires significant insight and professional application!

Happy Pitching

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7 Steps To Deliver Confident Presentations http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/7-steps-to-deliver-confident-presentations/ http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/7-steps-to-deliver-confident-presentations/#respond Tue, 01 Dec 2015 10:58:09 +0000 http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/?p=2666 1. Be a Know It All! When you feel familiar whether it be your material, the room or the audience you will naturally relax. We know this as fact. So the professional speaker must invest in getting the edge by… Finding out the outline of the day – we call this the running order but...

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1. Be a Know It All!

When you feel familiar whether it be your material, the room or the audience you will naturally relax. We know this as fact. So the professional speaker must invest in getting the edge by…

  • Finding out the outline of the day – we call this the running order but essentially is the format of the day or the agenda.
  • Know your audience – who is in your audience, do you known what they want, what will interest them and if you are out to impress – what would wow them.
  • Finally practice the presentation – an obvious point. But if you are familiar particularly with the beginning your messages will land well and your confidence will flow.

2. Immediate Actions

I will always try to get to the venue with plenty of time to hand – it means I can spend time adjusting to the room but also mingle with my audience perfect for building connection and allowing the nerves to settle. Being there some time before (I suggest at least 30 mins beforehand) – gives the added benefit of knowing what the ‘temperature’ in the room is. All adding to your confidence armour – what you know acts in your favour.

3. Start with a Strong Persona

When you start your adrenaline will be at its highest. I re-frame this and say in my seminars – it helps you “speak at the peak!” To do this uses your strongest persona at the beginning.

What is “Speaking Persona”? It is characterised by your tone, body language, facial expression, even the feeling you muster internally. It doesn’t mean you start as if you have just been clamped – i.e.: angry!! It does mean that you adopt a naturally powerful state – worth exploring.

By having a strong persona, your opening lines will work really well and your audience will move from blank faces (cold) to warm (smiling, nodding faces).  There’s lots you can do to get in this peak state, but we don’t have space to cover in details (something we focus a lot on in our training sessions, and individual to you).

4. Gift your Audience

Our ability to focus has diminished as a society, it is not surprising to learn that your presentations need to capture interest and then maintain which is increasingly harder. Therefore I recommend you add value early on – not only do you gain credibility you create a compelling reason for your audience to listen to you.

Practically speaking this means giving your most interesting fact, a story or a finding early on. You could use a prop, tell a joke or even share some gifts literally!

Either way you have created a positive contract with the audience that reaps benefits later on.

5. Maintain connection

What is interesting is that we do not script our conversations with friends yet we can over script when it comes to presenting. Preparation is essential as pointed out but practicing your talk should not be on paper.

In fact I highly recommend speaking out your talk loud for practice. After all it is spoken word practice that is essential not the notes or slides. When you are familiar with it you can then focus on the how by improving the delivery tools such as pausing, using eye contact, gestures, changes in tonality – all to ensure that your audience continue to be gripped by your presentation.

6. Turn to Passion

If you have a message that is well structured, well-rehearsed – it can sometimes lose its edge. What do I mean? Well when you tell a story for the first time you may show fresh passion, energy and enthusiasm for your subject. That is brilliant as passion binds the audience to you the presenter.

However sometimes practicing can have the converse impact on your message –it may dilute the level of passion. To address this whilst being clear on structure and the order of points you are making be equally clear on WHY you are presenting. When you are clear on the why – you will make it both passionate and purposeful.

7. Finish Strong

Finally it is the ending that people remember most. Be clear and end with your call to action – that is what you want people to do or understand post presentation.

Many people end with a bit of whimper which is a shame as you have just gone to all the trouble of presenting!

So repeat slowly what you most want them to know, add more vocal variety and animation – and make sure you finish with a huge smile!

So here are 7 Steps to Confident Presentations – and your call to action is to implement it and let us know at Public Speaking Academy how you got on.

And yes enjoy your presentation!

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Why We Get Results Others Only Dream Of http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/why-we-get-results-others-only-dream-of/ http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/why-we-get-results-others-only-dream-of/#respond Tue, 24 Nov 2015 14:23:59 +0000 http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/?p=2663 Recently speaking to a very technical minded FTSE 100 CEO – I was asked point blank. “How can you prove your Academy works – please explain..” How the coaching methodology works… And ‘Why’ it works I am accustomed to explaining in stories, in case studies, in testimonials, through examples but telling an analyst ‘Why’ made me...

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Recently speaking to a very technical minded FTSE 100 CEO – I was asked point blank.

“How can you prove your Academy works – please explain..”

How the coaching methodology works… And ‘Why’ it works

I am accustomed to explaining in stories, in case studies, in testimonials, through examples but telling an analyst ‘Why’ made me start thinking on a deeper level. The fact our clients are working with professional speakers, observing, practicing tangible techniques in a fun and supportive environment is normally adequate an explanation for the unbelievable transformations we promise and see. We use our explanation to make the unbelievable, believable. However the question of “Why” warrants a more detailed response.

The Public Speaking Academy Experience

To answer part B of the question – I started to speak with a focus group from the thousand plus clients we have worked with, whom experienced significant shifts more so on our programmes than any other. To aid this I created a set of questions to explore the experience in detail with a focus on why the learning methodology was working, an approach that we have repeatedly honed, tweaked and perfected.

Findings – “Being in the Moment”

What I realised was that our delegates and clients refereed to finding themselves in a peak state, a peak performance state when speaking through the structures, environment and interventions. Whilst researching, I asked a delegate how it felt when delivering his presentation to which he responded saying “I lost track of time and who I thought was, I was just in a place where I could relax, be in the moment and speak from the heart”.

We found that all delegates that experienced their best performances were operating in a state of what we term ‘Speaker Flow’. They were in a heightened sense of self, heightened speaker confidence and with it heightened personal enjoyment. Their level of focus had peaked and they stopped thinking about their own inner dialogue but moreover were enjoying the present, moment by moment– as a delegate put it – ‘it was as if time had stood still and I could just be me – the best version of me’

What is Speaker Flow?

You may have heard of this idea called flow – where your brain is synchronised with your task – so deeply that you lose a sense of what else is happening including anxiety and time. It is associated with peak performance in numerous professions and disciplines – there is a significant body of research backing this.

However practically speaking as a speaker and speaker coach ! I have both experienced it and noticed it in others. It is highly enjoyable, useful and gets you the results as well as making you stand out – something we must strive for on any stage – especially the speaking stage.

Why Does it Happen?

Whilst it is hard for me to lay down exactly why it happens -I have drawn upon personal speaking, coaching and observations of students.

What I noted was a delicate balance between being stretched and supported. Ie: If you have a fear of speaking in groups, you must be pushed but also simultaneously inspired. We do this on our programmes through the use of technique, group think, modelling and” inspirational conditioning”. The system is in another article but the fact is by balancing all of this – the delegate is placed in an optimal state of skill adoption and personal challenge – leading to exponential growth.

Results are not Coincidence

Whilst as a business we have to be honest and admit that we get financial return for our results something bigger happens when you learn and teach in ‘flow’. You enjoy yourself and develop new ways of thinking – all of which are foundations of happiness. Happy thoughts =Happy people. Our programmes are getting so much attention because of the results they offer but if I am honest the fact that we make our people happier is possibly the biggest gift of all – and I attribute this to the conditions we create that allow people to enter their heightened state of “Speaker Flow”.

Whilst I write this article I will let you in to a secret – I too was in full flow!

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Help! I Want To Give Up? http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/help-i-want-to-give-up/ http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/help-i-want-to-give-up/#respond Mon, 16 Nov 2015 09:24:42 +0000 http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/?p=2655 We are told in the personal development industry to aim big,  dream, to set a vision… and more. But is it realistic? Does it deliver? I recall rolling eyes, sighs, looks of  ‘Yeh..ok mate..dream on’ variety when I’d replay lofty ideas amongst my peers, friends and family. In our own seminars I cite a story...

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We are told in the personal development industry to aim big,  dream, to set a vision… and more. But is it realistic? Does it deliver?

I recall rolling eyes, sighs, looks of  ‘Yeh..ok mate..dream on’ variety when I’d replay lofty ideas amongst my peers, friends and family.

In our own seminars I cite a story about telling a ‘good friend’ years ago that; “I intend to break in to the professional speaking business”. His reaction, “They won’t accept you– it’s a closed market” I didn’t respond because I didn’t know how to. I regret that now!

However, ‘frenemies’ (friends who are also enemies) like my dear friend are unsurprisingly silent today, ‘too busy’, don’t “really need help” in fact refuse to even acknowledge the existence of a world class, life changing programme that we have successfully developed and delivered. They will not dare to observe the tangible change achieved by everyday people on our programmes!

Of course your business may not be everyone’s cup of tea but lessons gained from coaching hundreds of new speakers shows a stark and dark reality. A reality that faces all of us when making a life change whether it is becoming a speaker or a more effective business person. There will almost always be people in your network, who do not want to see you progress, whilst there are many reasons for this here I focus on what to do to successfully pursue your speaker journey.

The Reality of The Reality

Working as an entrepreneur or speaker can be lonely at times and many of us want to share moments with loved ones and those close to us. That is normal – however we need to be mindful that we all have different limiting beliefs. A ceiling that we define as ‘reality’. People don’t just have limiting beliefs about themselves but also others especially those close to them.

The net impact can be a lack of appreciation at best or deliberate belittling of your work and your journey-  sadly all too common for aspiring speakers due to the challenging nature and public profile of this industry.

Here are some approaches that I offer speaker mentees to employ as they build their speaking careers.

Embrace New Networks and New Supporters

When you make a significant shift in your personal life, business or career you inevitably lose some existing supporters along the way. It therefore becomes crucial for you to develop new relationships that will add value to the new you. Supporters who will provide the nurturing that you need to prosper.

It doesn’t mean that you isolate yourself from old networks but allowing yourself permission to build new connections will give you a stronger pipeline of support.

Speakers at the Academy grow both professionally but also emotionally through the warm, supportive and positive environment central to really owning their new speaker status.

Put your stake in the ground

When I started (informally) as a Speaker – I would imply it was just a passion, just an interest. I struggled with the statement “I am a professional speaker”. Years on  I realised I was being unfair to myself and potential clients by not acknowledging what I was good at, what was my right, and in fact what I had gained so much experience in.

I was fortunate to find myself amongst supportive colleagues, coaches and mentors who encouraged me to lay claim to my profession. To be acknowledged you must first acknowledge yourself.

My suggestion is therefore to action that CV, social media statement, Facebook and Linked In profile and include “Speaker” in your job title, even if it is an aspiration. It will come.

Keep Speaking  Keep Training and Keep Coaching

As a speaker coach I am blessed to have an amazing job. A job that has allowed me to travel the world, meet people on the global stages of financial, military and political power. I have been able to touch the lives of thousands of people – and I say this not to show off but to share that the skill is invaluable in the world we live in– and strangely remains one of the best kept secrets. Having said all that it is not easy and in the early days I was unsure of the market, I thought I might not continue.

On one such afternoon with the thought of quitting circulating I was returning back to my office from lunch and bumped in to a previous client. He told me how he had since changed career and was now lecturing at university– he referenced a technique I had shared about standing strong before a speech, he smiled, laughed and said it works Billal! I was beaming we shook hands and said goodbye.

I continued to walk to my office and bumped in to another client by sheer coincidence who shared vividly how our programme had got her the confidence to flourish at interview – I was feeling great by this feedback – we exchanged pleasantries and moved on.

A few minutes later seconds from my office I bumped into yet another ex-coaching client!! She told me how she had written two books and was now a motivational speaker!  We talked and talked and high fived!

At this point my self doubt had been quashed. I knew my business, my speaker journey and my dream was not to be dismissed. I knew I could make a difference.

Why do I tell you this?

Well firstly the results helped me to believe in myself, my market and my business once more.

Secondly I don’t believe it was coincidence that I saw three ex-clients on that same lunchtime!

Thirdly -when you start out on any challenging journey whether it be speaking or personal transformation you must strive, be patient and be consistent because those rewards will be round the corner. Sometimes literally

……..Moral of the story :

“Speakers Don’t Quit. Quitters Don’t Speak”   – Billal Jamil 

Stuck on your speaking path?  Give us a call, we’re always happy to talk!

Happy Speaking

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3 Methods of Mastery by the Professional Speaker of all time http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/2646/ http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/2646/#respond Mon, 09 Nov 2015 10:25:53 +0000 http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/?p=2646 0500 hrs the alarm shrieks out. I leap up. I didn’t even struggle. I wasn’t even tired. I couldn’t get ready fast enough. Full of energy, excitement and determination – I catch the first early morning train from Sheffield to London. Writing my thoughts and questions for the day as the train, ”the Master Cutler”...

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0500 hrs the alarm shrieks out. I leap up. I didn’t even struggle. I wasn’t even tired. I couldn’t get ready fast enough. Full of energy, excitement and determination – I catch the first early morning train from Sheffield to London. Writing my thoughts and questions for the day as the train, ”the Master Cutler” roars towards the capital as if it knows the importance of this day. (Those close to me know that I don’t do early starts unless it involves big rewards!)

I get to the venue, appropriately named THE LIGHT, Euston London. I meet with familiar faces from the Speaking World, friends, students, business people and some of us are escorted through to the VIP room – where energised conversations are taking place, people catching up, laughter, hoping, dreaming, daring to think big…the atmosphere is electric and then that door opens and my speaking hero walks in, humility rolls off every stride, huge authenticity radiates as he smiles, laughs and waves followed by a voice with velvet like quality says hello London. I see everything in slow motion and am overcome by emotion. I rise to my feet, applaud with vigour, the room rises and people cheer out to our guest. The love in the room is overwhelming as it pulsates with gratitude, all of which this man deserves and more so.

Les Brown – possibly one of the greatest speakers of our time – walks in and starts a conversation with the VIP room, he is a man who knows – a man who has inspired millions through not just what he tells you but How Tells it and why he does what he does. Those of you who have not seen Les Brown you must do everything in your power to see him. This event was worth every second and I know that I will be back there. It will not take a genius to work out I am a diehard Les Brown Fan – and early on in my speaking career I sought his help to support me on my journey and remain an admirer of this speaking enigma. I feel indebted to him for every success and want to acknowledge this true giant of the motivational speaking world.

However here I want to share with you some of the reasons why the Les Brown effect works, not just works but reconfigures the very DNA of professional speaking. I will humbly share 3 approaches I witnessed that Les is a master of – so that you too can first understand, then practice and finally begin implementing in your own speaking endeavours.

1. Relax…Everything

It may sound obvious. However Les is a master of this art and on Saturday he demonstrated it perfectly. His super relaxed start from the very beginning was evident, so evident that Les from the front row where I was sat – was almost in a meditative state at the start – his choice of words, his reflective tone, his volume, facial expressions, eye contact, smile, every bit of his body language was not just relaxed but super-relaxed, and at absolute ease. His gravitas rating was off the scale as a consequence. This is in sharp contrast with many other speakers who will send signals of being under the influence of ‘fear/adrenaline’ especially in the first 20 seconds.

The reality is Les who is 70 years young – has served his stage time and that level of confidence becomes possible when you have been there done it and bought the theatre hall….However as professional and aspiring speakers we must aim to master the relaxed start and do this by having a pre-speech warm up, a ritual or pre-contact with your audience. Understand the aim is not to be so perfect in our structure just to be perfect in our persona from the very beginning and the rest of the speech will follow.

I would sum up Les’s start like that of a 747 getting ready for take-off. The sheer presence was enough and when the aircraft rolls forward you know something dramatic will be happening very soon. And that definitely did indeed happen!

2. Don’t just Tell Stories

Yes Les Brown tells stories, but on Saturday he shared how to make a story super effective, whilst doing this he displayed the Les Brown Mastery method. He asked the audience what they observed and rightfully people talked about emotion, they talked about vivid descriptions and when I got my chance I relayed back to Les Brown –‘You weren’t just telling the story you were ‘Inside The Story’.  To which Les’s big warm smile erupts and he acknowledged this as a major point – going on to explain why. (I felt elated by the endorsement – like a child who meets his sports hero) But besides my reaction why is this valid.

When you tell stories it is important to be as vivid as possible but to take that to the next level you can’t just tell the story from an observational perspective but to actually be in the story. When Les described the story of persistence in getting rejected for his first job 7 times from the same boss he told it as if he was reliving it, the voices, the expressions, the body language and it was brilliant- rightfully receiving a standing ovation. Why? Reliving a moment on stage does something amazing – your brain and the brains of your audience’s start to synchronise – a scientific fact. With this people feel your pain and pleasure, they understand and they remember, the level of rapport spikes and with it the level of impact. Les Brown lesson 2: Be Inside the story.

3. Love your Audience.

Whilst watching Les get in to his stride it became obvious that he was enjoying telling us his stories. And he was feeding off the enjoyment of his audience. It is important to understand that this is a super advanced level technique and relevant for the professionals who do already enjoy a decent standard of appreciation from their audience. However to take appreciative applause to standing ovation we can’t just drown people with lots of great content. We must involve them emotionally and then demonstrate that we too are being affected by the love the audience are giving to us as speakers. This cycle of emotion was evident on Saturday. When Les started to deliver well known Les Brown phrases that the audience would finish for him – you could physically see Les grow. His gratitude was evident by the fact he stayed over time, kept telling us how much he loved being in London this time round. And as a consequence we as an audience wanted to give back – naturally. We were incentivised to give back and that was the absolute master stoke by the master of masters. Les Brown lesson 3. Love your audience.

Needless to say I did get back to Sheffield at 11:55pm the same day. Was it worth it – hell Yeah “#You gotta be hungreeeee”-Les Brown.

Les is back in 2016 and I strongly suggest you book on if you can!

Happy Speaking

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So You Want to Get Paid to Speak http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/so-you-want-to-get-paid-to-speak/ http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/so-you-want-to-get-paid-to-speak/#respond Mon, 02 Nov 2015 23:09:31 +0000 http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/?p=2653 I have to date worked with hundreds of new speakers through The Public Speaking Academy.  We have had the privilege of watching people progress through fear and on to better careers, businesses and even improve personal lives as a consequence of new found competence and confidence. However as an executive coach – some of my...

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I have to date worked with hundreds of new speakers through The Public Speaking Academy.  We have had the privilege of watching people progress through fear and on to better careers, businesses and even improve personal lives as a consequence of new found competence and confidence.

However as an executive coach – some of my time is spent working and providing personal coaching to very talented people with great untapped potential. These people, through coaching and the right tools, have gone on to become highly sought after professional speakers.

So the question is how can you also build a lucrative professional speaking career?  

Here are 3 Proven Tips for anyone entering the tough but highly rewarding Professional Speaking business.

Tip 1: Know Your Topic AND Be Known for Your Topic

If I received a pound for every new speaker who said I speak about lots of things but struggle to get work – I could retire and let the income just roll in!!

When starting out many of us make the error of not specialising therefore limiting the possibility of being recognised as an expert/ authority. This directly impacts on your brand and bookability. Think about it a trades person, a doctor, a physio….the list is endless- the greater the specialism the greater the income. E.g a surgeon is the top of tree – well moneywise at least!

So why should a Speaker be any different?  Doing this mean you will start to develop your expertise in just the specific area, maybe not but you must focus your marketing activity in one area. I worked with a world leading marketing expert who shared this point. The super niche is now needed for the speakers you train – one inch wide and one mile deep. Being an expert builds a brand profile in the space you set yourself up in and therefore yields the interest you need to become successful.

Tip 2: Perfect your Show Reel

Having professional footage of you speaking – is critical – you wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first, why should those booking you not know what you look like in front of an audience. For most event bookers they are risking personal reputation by booking the unknown and will avoid it.

As an aspiring professional we must minimise the risk. Ensure that the video footage that you later upload to your websites and social media is your very best and of course highly professional – (Do Not Scrimp On This!).  The video show reel is the first thing an event booker see’s of you. I think of it as an interview and that means putting on my best attire, showcasing the best me! Make it smart, professional and engaging.

One of the super tips I offer my clients is to build the video testimonials of event bookers and audience members before they saw you and then after your talk where they are of course elated and singing your praise!  As long they are good events (I am sure they are) this acts as a huge super charged lead magnet whilst you are also driving that event bookers risk right down.

Tip 3: Present like a Professional  

Speakers who are good are remembered by their audience but speakers who are excellent are rebooked again and again. Practice is imperative to becoming a competent speaker but to be admired and revered as a professional you have to learn from and be mentored by those who are already there. I learned this fairly early in my speaking career. Having a coach changed my own self image, gave me the smartest tools but most importantly gave me the pathway, the blueprint to earning a living from the stage. The speaking industry is tough, unforgiving at times and competitive therefore having the right team with you makes that journey exciting, less lonely and most importantly rewarding.

Happy Speaking, and get to it!  If you would like to discuss your speaking career options in more detail, please do not hesitate to call us on 0114 2210 514.

 

 

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Why Preparing Your Presentation Is Not Enough http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/why-preparing-your-presentation-is-not-enough/ http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/why-preparing-your-presentation-is-not-enough/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 09:19:53 +0000 http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/?p=2567 When I first started working as a professional speaker – I worried a lot about many things but mostly about my knowledge, subject expertise and content. Like most people I feared not knowing ‘my stuff’ – appearing stupid or ill informed. In fact there was a genuine insecurity that someone in my audience would know...

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When I first started working as a professional speaker – I worried a lot about many things but mostly about my knowledge, subject expertise and content. Like most people I feared not knowing ‘my stuff’ – appearing stupid or ill informed. In fact there was a genuine insecurity that someone in my audience would know more than me and that I would somehow be humiliated or exposed!

And of course to remedy this – I delayed my presenting opportunities – I would make excuses and tell myself I wasn’t quite there, quite ready – tell myself that I might do more damage to my brand my reputation – that the stuff was just not perfect and I would do it later. Of course that later would cost me income, experience and cost my clients too.

“Does the Presenter / Speaker need to know it ALL…”

How many talks have you been to – where you have such a speaker, the Oracle, the Guru, the all-knowing? The likelihood is that they are an expert in one slice of a large pie. The reality is that we listen NOT because we are wanting knowledge alone – we want momentum, we want group dynamic, to connect, to gain energy, we listen to talks so we can participate, to be inspired. Does knowledge help – of course and a presenter or speaker without knowledge of their subject is of little interest. However when watching a presentation we are interested in the speaker’s opinion’s, their personal stories, personal experiences it is what they stir in their audience that is of equal significance.

It took me years to understand and truly value the importance of substance- but most importantly to place it in to a mature context. It is right that you need to know your content, so that you can add value and come across as credible but equally there needs to be a level of self-acceptance. That you knowledge, expertise and insight will grow through doing and this in turn nourishes your audiences.

15 Years On What Do I Worry About?

Over 15 years of professional experience I have been able to work on style and substance and this never ends. I no longer worry about the above and enjoy an energised feeling, being in the zone – which is possibly the best feeling ever!

The one thing that I do worry about and I think every speaker should is about my speaker state – one of the most powerful techniques to get you performing. What do I mean – well that’s next month – or maybe email me if you can’t wait till then!!!

Until then take action – get speaking. Come join us!

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The Way Out Was Easy – Get The Right Presentation Mindset http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/the-way-out-was-easy-get-the-right-presentation-mindset/ http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/the-way-out-was-easy-get-the-right-presentation-mindset/#respond Mon, 20 Apr 2015 20:36:10 +0000 http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/?p=2477 I took the call; it was a call no husband wants to take. The voice on the other end told me my wife had been in a car accident on a duel carriageway near Wakefield. The car was a total right off… my wife was ok, shaken and bruised but she was ok. In 15...

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I took the call; it was a call no husband wants to take. The voice on the other end told me my wife had been in a car accident on a duel carriageway near Wakefield.
The car was a total right off… my wife was ok, shaken and bruised but she was ok.

In 15 minutes I should be giving the biggest gig of my life, a presentation for one and a half hours to up to 2000 people in Liverpool’s Echo Conference Centre. Right now I’m in shock, what should I do, pack it all in and drive the 100 miles to be with my wife or should I carry on?

10 minutes left to make up my mind and the truth is I was a bit nervous about doing this gig anyway, everyone would understand if I canceled, the way out was easy.

My wife was ok, shaken and upset but she was with family.

I decided to carry on, but I was hardly in the right mindset to walk on stage to 2000 people with less than 10 minutes to go.

I thought to myself I’ll go to that little balcony I spotted just the other side of that bar. It was perfect, a balcony overlooking the river Mersey. I started to practice my opening lines and pace up and down, project my voice to the huge expanse of water and let my frustrations go. Then after less than a minute a woman came out and asked what I was doing?

Embarrassed having been interrupted full flow by someone who is probably going to be one of my delegates in a few moments.
Sheepishly I said I was just practicing, “for what?” she asked. “I’m just trying to clear my thoughts” I replied.

The woman didn’t move, she stayed there and then others joined us. My little sanctuary was now a public area in high spirits and with group selfie’s going on around me.

Now about 5 minutes to go and I can’t say I was anywhere near in the right mindset to take on the biggest audience of my life.

Only one thing for it

Amongst the chaos around me I looked out across the river, I took a stance like supper woman, hands on hips, feet a little apart head back and closed my eyes and let the heat of the sun warm my face and went deep into my thoughts and I took myself back to a time less that a year ago a time when I attempted to climb a mountain.

Arriving in Katmandu, and meeting the rest of the expedition I wondered if I had created a challenge that was one step too far.
The others were all younger, fitter and far more experienced than me. Mount Lobuche at 6019m (over 20,000ft) was 10 days hiking away.

On arrival to the mountain we set up base camp, the following day we took everything up to high camp.

The morning of the accent we set off at 2am, as we wanted to get to the summit before the clouds came in.

So by the light of the moon and head torches we started our final accent. Its minus 10 degrees and there is this huge rock face to climb. I have to admit standing at the foot of this rock face I was daunted, it was freezing, it was dark and there was only one way to go.

I reached up for my first handgrip.

After 4 hours of rock climbing and further 3 hours snow and ice climbing the air was getting very thin. I reached the summit at over 6000m (20,000) the most exhilarating hour in my whole life, I felt wonderful, absolutely terrific, powerful, happy and high as a kite.

The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky and as I looked across the valley at Mt Everest, I noticed something, I noticed that for the first time I was not looking up at Everest I was looking across at Everest.

Time to go on stage Now. I’m feeling powerful, confident, happy and ready to go on stage with a big smile.

People often ask me how to get over the nerves when preparing for a presentation and I often say to them to think about a positive time in your life, but don’t just think about it, go back and re-live the moment when you ran across the finishing line, when you opened that letter saying you got the job, when you scored that goal.

If you focus on getting over your nerves you are bringing your nerves to the forefront of your mind – when you concentrate on a positive achievement of yours, then that is what you bring to the stage having forgotten about your nerves.

The Public Speaking Academy specialise in getting over the fear of public speaking, and our course are award winning, royalty endorsed. Check out our upcoming courses and jump in to an environment that just might change your life…

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7 Steps To Confident Communication, from Customer Service Skills to Job Interviews http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/7-steps-to-confident-communication-from-customer-service-to-job-interviews/ http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/7-steps-to-confident-communication-from-customer-service-to-job-interviews/#respond Thu, 09 Apr 2015 13:59:41 +0000 http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/?p=2446 You can communicate with confidence. We all have the tools at our disposal. It just takes a little bit more effort for some of us to use those tools. With the right know-how and training behind you though, you could be communicating like a pro in no time at all. The DNA of good customer...

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You can communicate with confidence. We all have the tools at our disposal. It just takes a little bit more effort for some of us to use those tools. With the right know-how and training behind you though, you could be communicating like a pro in no time at all.

The DNA of good customer service, a job interview, or any form of public speaking, is confident communication. The seven steps on this page will help to elevate those confidence levels, and you will be far more successful as a result.

Let’s imagine you walk into a shop. You have got your mind set on a new smartphone, but you have absolutely no idea which one to purchase. You go up to one of the sales team and ask their advice. They then spend the whole time focused on you, showing that they are confident in the product that they are selling. You would purchase, right? Well, now imagine if that person failed to make eye-contact, had a less than confident voice, and just failed to focus on you at all. This shows that they are not confident with what they are selling. If they are not confident, why should you be confident in buying it? This is why you need to learn how to communicate confidently. It helps make the sale.

I’m not saying need to become a sales person. But the truth is, selling and communication go hand in hand. We are always selling – our ideas, our abilities, our way of life.

It doesn’t matter what you are communicating. It could be the features of a smartphone, it could be a huge multi-million pound contract, or it could be you at a job interview. If you communicate effectively, you will be successful.

7 Steps To Confident Communication

  1. The first thing you are going to need to work on is that voice. You need to speak loud and clearly. Whispering or stuttering is just going to show that you are not confident in what you are selling. You will need to practise a lot. You can do this in front of the mirror or preferably with people you know as they can give you hints and tips on how to improve.
  2. Eye contact. It is vital. You do not want to be staring into somebody’s eyes constantly. That is creepy. Instead, make eye contact when you are trying to drive that point home. Be subtle. People will pick up on it.
  3. You need to be direct with what you say. Try to learn how to speak in short, snappy sentences. Don’t beat around the bush with your talking. Cut to the chase, otherwise you will look like you have absolutely no confidence. This means no saying ‘uhm’ between sentences. If you work hard enough, practise, you will be able to stop yourself and use a confident pause, before the ‘uhm’ even slips out of your mouth.
  4. Learn how to speak with a bit of inflection in your voice. This is again something which is going to take a while to work on, but it is the secret to a good delivery. Who wants to listen to a dry and monotone voice? That just shows that the person has absolutely no passion. Emphasising words to get across the true meaning of what you are trying to say is the secret to confidence and actually communicating effectively.
  5. Let’s veer away from the actual talking part with this step. Here you are going to need to work on your body language. Have control over your body. You don’t need to do drastic things with your arms. Just keep them hanging loose with your hands open. You will always want to stand up tall and proud. Being hunched is a sign of weakness. And, you really should not be crossing your arms at all. Don’t forget to face the person that you are talking (remember to maintain eye contact, as I mentioned in step two)
  6. Learn how to calm yourself down. One of the main reasons as to why people have difficulty communicating confidently is because they become easily overwhelmed. If you constantly find yourself nervous and stuttering, you should practise a few relaxation techniques. Quite often, just some light breathing exercises is all it will take for even the most nervous of people to relax.
  7. Finally, don’t go on the defensive when you are talking to somebody. You do not want to come across as though you are ‘attacking’ them. Take control of the situation by all means. Using words such as ‘in my opinion…’ is perfect. Telling people they are flat-out wrong is not. Aggression is not a form of confidence. It is just arrogant.

At the root of all communication is confidence, and the pinnacle of confidence is Public Speaking, particularly impromptu speaking – the ability to think on your feet, and deliver confidently and coherently.  This skills can be learned, and the Public Speaking Academy specialise in successfully creating amazing communicators that can deliver powerfully without planning or notes.  A life changing skill.  Check out our upcoming courses and jump in to an environment that just might change your life…

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5 Reasons Why We Get Speech Anxiety http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/5-reasons-why-we-get-speech-anxiety/ http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/5-reasons-why-we-get-speech-anxiety/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:10:31 +0000 http://publicspeakingacademy.co.uk/?p=2368 We have been analyzing the most popular reasons why people suffer from speech anxiety – here are our top 5. Self-consciousness in front of groups. If we are speaking one to one most people are at ease however when we add a group of people could even be to the same talk/subject- anxiety kicks in...

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We have been analyzing the most popular reasons why people suffer from speech anxiety – here are our top 5.

  1. Self-consciousness in front of groups. If we are speaking one to one most people are at ease however when we add a group of people could even be to the same talk/subject- anxiety kicks in leading to the plethora of anxiety symptoms. The most prominent being the intense self consciousness we feel when in front of a group of others.
  2. Fear of appearing anxious. Ironically the fear of the fear is almost as popular, the fear is based on our symptoms ‘giving us away’ it may be that we hesitate, trip on a word or go blush all alluding to the fact that we are fearful. This leads to a downward fear/embarrassment cycle for both speaker and event the audience.
  3. Being judged. When so many eyes stare up at you – it feels alien for most of us. The speaker feels more visible, in the spot light and cannot get the instant reassurance or positive feedback that we are used to in conversation as the formal audience will often simply not feel entitled to react. This leads to the inner conversation with the speaker making assumptions about what their audience thinks of them – often heightening anxiety.
  4. Poor Preparation. Presentation is formal communication which requires preparation just as you may prepare for interviews what most people will prepare is content and fail to prepare HOW they seek to deliver. This oversight naturally leads to errors and a fall in confidence.
  5. Comparison – How many times do we hear – ‘I can’t follow that’ –after a speaker is following someone they believe has done a good job! The right answer is that you shouldn’t have to. Amateur speakers often self combust before they have even begun as they are too preoccupied measuring themselves to others which leads to negative energy and self image. Doing this on stage is distracting at best.

So above are the top 5 reasons why so many people suffer from speech anxiety. However the good news is that with the right level of motivation, technique and support you can not only overcome the anxiety, but actually change that nervous energy to a positive and thrive on stage.

For more details on our speaking programmes see our current course (on the right) or email to discuss your own personal requirements: info@publicspeakingacademy.co.uk

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