Voice

3 Tips to Get Over Your Fear of Speaking Up

We’ve all been there.

You’re in a meeting that has been going on for hours, and yet doesn’t seem to going anywhere at all. You have the answer, or at least a useful contribution. How do you speak up?

Is talking during a meeting public speaking? You betcha. Use these presentation tips every time you speak publicly- even in a room of your peers.

3 Tips for Speaking up in a Meeting:

  1. Prepare a few bullets in advance. One senior executive we worked with was deathly afraid of public speaking early in her career. In order to overcome that fear, she challenged herself to speak up at every single meeting and prepared comments or questions in advance. That executive is now a role model within her organization and is considered one of the most confident and authentic speakers in her industry. Don’t wait for inspiration to hit in the meeting; prepare in advance.

  2. Ask, “why you?” This is a question we recommend people ask before they craft a presentation, walk into a meeting, or even prepare for a networking event. It means, why do you care about what you do, about your organization, or about your role? Answering this question helps you connect with a sense of purpose and builds your confidence. It reminds you that you’re speaking up not to show off but because you truly care about the subject. It reminds you that your credibility doesn’t come solely from your title or years of experience but can also comes from your commitment and passion.

  3. Pause and breathe to build your confidence. Speaking up in a meeting takes courage. You have the ability to affect the trajectory of the conversation, potentially guiding your client towards saying yes to a deal when your colleagues have taken the meeting off track. Pausing and breathing helps center you and strengthens your voice so that when you do speak up, you speak with the full weight of your conviction. While you pause, ask yourself, “If one other person in this room has the same question, am I willing to ask on behalf of that person?” The answer should build your confidence. A client recently shared that she had used this technique to ask a question — in public — at a large conference, and her question changed the direction of the entire panel discussion, shedding light on a critical issue that the panel had been avoiding.

So what are you waiting for? Go in there and rock the room.

Stay Cool,
The Cool Beans Team

Video Presentation Tips - pt. 2

Last week we talked about some important skills for working through video presentation anxiety. What now? In order to feel more comfortable and prepared for any virtual conversation, make sure you’re set up for success with these tips:

  1. Utilize front-facing lighting: Get that Instagram-influencer-glow by facing the sun when you record, buying a ring light, or even using your phone’s flashlight to add an extra shine.

  2. Angle your camera down: By positioning your camera at eye level (or a bit above), you’ll show off your best angles and be ready to rock.

  3. Make eye contact with the camera (instead of yourself!): While it’s very tempting to watch yourself as you present, focus instead on the tiny pinhead camera at the top of your phone, monitor, or webcam. It will give the illusion of making eye contact with your audience!

  4. Pay just enough attention to your surroundings: Like a good wingman, your recording room should support your presentation, not distract from it. Check your surroundings for anything that could draw the audience’s eye, and make sure you want it to do so.

Break down the barriers that keep us from recording ourselves. You can grow your audience or perfect your speaking style with video!

Just like last week, these tips were borrowed from our friends at BombBomb, the masters of re-humanizing virtual communication.

Stay cool,
The Cool Beans Team

Respect the Punctuation

Contrary to popular belief, Public Speaking isn’t always about speaking.

You know this topic like the back of your hand. Your audience doesn’t.

Give them time to absorb with some punctuated pauses.

The trick? When you see a period, take a breath. 

Good morning and welcome. [Breath] Today we’re going to talk about the importance of exceptional customer service. [Breath]…

Stay Cool,

Cool Beans Coaching