Recently, Hubspot posted an article on the 12 Uncomfortable Things that Will Make you More Successful. Let me ask you something…if you could join and be a part of 1 group this year that will help you cross off 10 things on that list all at once, and create success for yourself this year – would you do it?? Would you be willing to overcome uncomfortable if you only needed one place to achieve that?
The Emerging Speakers Bureau is the ONE PLACE which helps with 10 of those things!
Those who know me, know I am all about making things work more than their intended reason, aka, multi-purposing. Sure the Emerging Speakers Bureau is all about empowering focused, committed, emerging speakers to perfect their presentations, hone their message, tackle their techniques, but we are SO MUCH more than that.
So when I saw Hubspot’s 12 Uncomfortable Things article, I just had to share, and elaborate on how the Bureau helps you overcome uncomfortable to gain even greater success, specifically with your speaking, but with everything else as well.
Here are the top 12 uncomfortable things which Hubspot recommends you do to create career success, with the two the Bureau can’t help you with (yet!) crossed out:
- Learning to Take a Compliment
- Public Speaking
- Working With Data
- Waking Up Early
- Taking Critical Feedback
- Giving Critical Feedback
- Fighting through Conflict
- Networking and Making Small Talk
- Admitting a Mistake
- Getting in Over Your Head
You’ll notice from the list above, if we cross off waking up early (which, miiiiiiiiiight actually count, especially if you leave your presentation to last minute and get up early to write it or participate in an all day twitter chat that starts at 7 ) and exercising, you’ll find that Emerging Speakers Bureau meetings and the group in general will help you with all the items on that list!
Learning to Take a Compliment
By default, most of us creative types cannot take a compliment about our work. We are way too attached to it, and it never matches up to what we want to convey. On the flip side, some of us think our message is way more solid and clear than it is. Coming to the bureau and using the stage to practice, and the other benefits to grow your skills, will help you to accept genuine compliments, graciously, which will ultimately help you when you are really out there speaking, and you are lavished with compliments. You will learn to use them not to blow up your ego, but to internalize it and make your messages more powerful to reach more people.
DUH! This is why we are here. Not just to help you overcome the stage fright, but to also help you master your message, perfect your voice, and master the stage. While toastmasters helps you with technique, we help you with everything else! Like helping you speak in front of more and diverse groups, getting you ready for the real time.
And if you are a business owner, typically confident by nature, you need this venue more than you think. It’s not so much about the ‘pitch’ and the ‘professionalism’, but it’s about being you, being genuine, being a more ‘connectable’ presenter.
Working With Data
We help you best present and represent data in ways your audience will understand. We also help you collect and understand the data about your audience so that you can better target and reach them. We help you to implement, to collect and to understand the data that your marketing efforts are yielding so you can achieve more and better results. We help you understand the stats behind what it takes to get butts in seats and to drive your conversions.
Taking Critical Feedback
Taking (and applying) critical feedback is the successful insider secret to exponential improvement not only to your presentation and its delivery, but ultimately to the power of your message and your belief in it. Many first time visitors and speech givers believe our presentation feedback and evaluations are excruciating and painful. Yet, those who are serious about making a career out of Speaking, believe that these evaluations are what led them to creating something bigger, better, and stronger.
It’s difficult to receive critiques from a personal point of view, let’s face it. You want to be a success. And if you have any level of esteem issues, receiving critiques can feel like the end of the world.
But when you change your slant, and change the lens through which you receive it, you are
- developing your emotional intelligence,
- improving the success quotient for your speech,
- understanding more about your target audience,
- forging a stronger, deeper connection with what you are trying to do.
It is common to get defensive when receiving feedback. You’ve put your heart and soul into the presentation you’ve just given (hopefully), so it’s natural to defend why you’ve said something a certain way, explain an analogy, brush off an evaluation because you don’t like who said it. But when you can absorb it, and peel back to the kernel of truth, you will find info and ideas on how to make your presentation that much stronger, to help you connect with your audience better.
More on making the most of evaluations in an upcoming post.
Giving Critical Feedback
Giving critical feedback reinforces what you are learning, and also helps you to share information that experience has taught you. It helps you to choose your words carefully, and explain clearly so the speaker you are evaluating can reach their audience better, and make their message clearer. This isn’t necessarily about the ‘sandwich’ method where you ‘disguise’ the not so palatable information within 2 great pieces of information. Emerging Speakers are here to perfect their craft, get more gigs, and #domorespeaking (preferably PAID). Therefore, it is important to listen to a presentation from 1, the target audience point of view, and 2, from an experienced speaker point of view, to help the speaker improve.
Fighting Through Conflict
When evaluations are shared, conflict can and sometime does arise. People absorb information through all kinds of filters. As an Emerging Speaker, you may not yet be aware of all the buttons you may push with a specific analogy or story. You may feel angered or frustrated, or hurt. You may even feel conflicted with what you delivered (awesome!) and what people heard (not so much), and lash out at the messenger.
But at the root of all that is becoming a better speaker by understanding how powerful words are. Whether in your speech, in your evaluations and critiques, even through your body language, words have impact, and the Bureau is THE only place where you can constantly attack, address, and resolve what you want your words to say, do, convey, and elicit. We provide the platform to help you work through the process.
Many Speakers are creatives, and suffer from ‘shiny ball syndrome’. The cure? Giving speeches at the Bureau meetings. Crafting the perfect speech, with a powerful message, delivered in just the right way, requires you to unplug and focus on the audience. What do you want them to take away from your presentation? What are you trying to accomplish with your presentation? How can you ‘sell’ without ‘selling’? What stories can you incorporate?
When you unplug, and go old school…paper, pen, a quiet space (or driving, or showering), it helps you focus on the task at hand. Sometimes it can be hard to quiet the mind, believe me, I GET it. But turn on a timer for 20 minutes and just think about things you’d like for the audience to ‘get’. You’ll find it can be extremely powerful after the first few sessions.
Networking and Small Talk
For Emerging Speakers in particular, whether a business owner already or looking to establish a business, or to build a speaking career, Networking and the Art of Small Talk are critical as well to the success of a Speaker, and to establishing yourself when you are an Emerging Speaker. Most planners look to referrals for speaker recommendations, many established Speakers will recommend other speakers for an event, many networking events can connect you to several planners and you won’t even know it. .
At the same time – many people dread networking. But at the Bureau, we’re all like minded people. You will find partners here, complimentary skill based support, people who’ve ‘been there’, people who could recommend you or that you could recommend… there is no better place to start becoming a networking master, and mastering the art of useful talk.
Admitting a Mistake
Man oh man this is a hard one. Especially if you are a coach, an experienced speaker, a mentor, etc, admitting you made a mistake is painful – you’re supposed to be the expert. Ultimately, it makes you more human, connectable and trustworthy.
We have people who won’t come back to the Bureau meetings, because it’s tough to do. But we’re a safe haven here. All of us are in the same boat, looking to develop our skills, to get our name out there, to get paid, to make a better life for ourselves by pursuing our dreams.
Getting in Over Your Head
Time and time again, we experience the same problem as Toastmasters and any other group. Someone gets excited by possibility, and the lure of success, signs up to do a presentation. Thinking they’ve ‘got this’. Come game day (aka speaking day) however, nerves get the best of them, and they back out. Using all kinds of ‘valid’ reasons to the tried and true ‘dog ate my speech’ excuse, that’s all those things are, are excuses. You’ve realized, as you left your speech prep to last minute, that you’ve gotten in over your head, and are WAY not prepared.
But what happens when you finally get a free speech. Even a paid one. And that same feeling comes over you?? You can’t back out. Especially if you want to speak again, and to make a career of speaking. You affect more than just your success when you don’t ‘show up’: your are ultimately impacting the audience and the planner.
Million $$ TIP: DO whatever it is you signed up for, simply making an outline of your presentation, with one item per index card. Craft a decent opening (this is what trips a lot of newer Emerging Speakers up), and a decent close. For the rest…… let the chips fall where they may. You will see that once you get up there, get past that open, and have all your ‘topics’ with you on cards, you’ll see how easy it is to tap into what you already know. It may not be your best speech, it may even BECOME your best speech, because you relied on YOU – not a chorepgraphed version of you. You’ll look much more respectable to the planner (aka me), who is sure to help you move ahead faster.
Like Nike says: “Just Do It!”
As you can see from the above, the Emerging Speakers Bureau is more than just ‘a stage’ to practice, practice, and do more practice of your speeches. It’s not just about helping you become a more confident and technically proficient speaker. It’s about allowing you to overcome uncomfortable. It’s about working through every presentation to ensure you are delivering the best message, in the best possible way, to reach people through their hearts, minds, and souls.
It’s so you can reach your goal of moving from an ‘Emerging Speaker to Watch’ to an Established Speaker that truly connects.
Get uncomfortable. Schedule your next presentation here, and show us the Success you can and will achieve.