For Influence and Confidence, Question Lazy Labels

For influence, question lazy labels We label and put people and ideas into boxes all the time: and we need to. These short-cuts for our brain are vital to let us get on with our day without stopping to second-guess ourselves. And it's much faster to label than to try to understand. However, by their very nature these labels stop us from thinking more deeply and being curious. And if you follow me regularly you'll know that I believe curiosity to be a major super-power for successful communication. The good news is that avoiding or questioning these label shortcuts can be a major...

Your truth or universal truth, get to the point, and a self-worth reminder

1. To influence: are you speaking a universal truth, or your own? If as a presenter we generalise about things that aren't true for our audience, they'll usually disconnect, and the opportunity to influence disappears. And if you think this doesn't apply to you, it's worth a check-in: it's surprisingly common. Some sentence starters to be aware of when you speak: “We all appreciate that…” – are you sure? “Of course you know…” – do we? “We’ve all felt/done/heard…” – have we? Any of these can create a barrier between speaker and audience. If I feel “you’re not talking to me” , you lose me. The...

To influence have an opinion, virtual speaking engagement, and how to feel more confident

I. Influencing others when you speak To be influential when you communicate or present you need opinions, and you need to share them. (Tone and context are hugely important too of course - and for today's tip, I'm assuming they're appropriately in place!) Too often in my work, I see people with great knowledge and credibility who still prefer to deliver only information and hide their opinion or recommendation. This is a completely understandable – it's a lot safer to fly under the radar than voice ideas out loud to people who matter, or who have power over us – we're afraid...

Communication Challenge: Talking Too Much When Trying to Convince

Talking too much when trying to convince or persuade others. Does this communication style sound like you? Talking too much when trying to convince! In my experience there are common reasons for talking too much, especially when trying to convince or persuade others. Here are 8 - see if you recognise yourself in one or more: You don't trust in the merit of your ideas (my last post on this is here) and are trying to convince yourself - even more than your listeners. You may think that if you just keep talking, something will click and work out. How many sales...

Communication Challenge: Not Fully Trusting Your Own Ideas

Do you ever diminish yourself or your abilities? A real communication challenge comes from not fully trusting your own ideas. There are many ways we can short-change ourselves when we communicate our ideas - whether that's to one person or a big audience. Today I'm talking about a common issue, with more to come in future posts. Not trusting our ideas fully enough. This one's particularly for you if you're in the business of creating change, influencing or persuading others. Not trusting in the power of our ideas to make a difference in the world is often the biggest internal block we have...

Intimidated by People with Power over You at Work?

It's so easy for this to happen. Whether you’re giving a presentation or having a conversation, feeling intimidated by people with power over you at work - either higher up the food chain, or with some other power over you - it can be a real challenge. Intimidated by People with Power over You at Work? My experience I vividly recall working with my first CEO client, years ago now. We’d spoken on the phone, and I turned up for our first coaching session. I remember getting into the lift of this expansive, echoing marble foyer, heart pounding, as I tried desperately to...

9 Things I Wish I’d Known about Confidence When I was Younger and Struggling

I’ve struggled a lot with low self confidence at certain times in my life. Particularly when I suffered from the skin condition eczema as a student and then again in my 30s. Here are some things I wish I’d known about confidence when I was younger, as I battled myself and my misery. Nearly all of these 9 elements can apply to you if mindset and low confidence are getting in your way when you speak in public. So I thought it might be helpful to share my thoughts with you on how I built my own levels. Self-talk. My endless...

How to Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others as a Speaker

How do you avoid comparing yourself to others as a speaker...and maintain your confidence? How do you stop comparing yourself to other people and thinking that they look like they're doing fine — just great in fact — when you’re feeling vulnerable, and not confident at all? The most common triggers are often our work colleagues, peers or our competition. Firstly, some thoughts on comparison: Avoid Comparing Yourself as a Speaker 1. We’re wired to compare ourselves to others We’re wired for comparison: particularly when we’re feeling insecure, which just makes it harder to deal with. In general, we compare for two main reasons: one positive, the other less so. We’re...

Do you Struggle with Public Speaking?

Do you struggle with public speaking? Do you struggle with public speaking? Does the battle with fear or dislike of presenting exhaust you, or stop you from achieving your career goals? In this article I’ll discuss four lenses through which to look at your challenge. My hope is that it will help you with a different perspective and some fresh ideas - or to see old ideas in a fresh way! First, a quick back-story on my own experience and struggle with public speaking. I used to be one of those incoherent, incapable "I'm only pretending to be here, don't look...

How to Show Warmth to Any Audience

How can we deliberately show warmth to any audience? Or to a person we're about to communicate with 1:1? No matter what sort of a mood we're in before we speak, or how we feel about that audience? And fast? I've been working with a client this week on exactly this concept. I asked him how he believed he came across in meetings with his team when he opened the conversation - was there any specific process that he followed at the start? His reply was basically "No process...and how do I come across? It depends on how I'm feeling". This is...