Are you more scared of public speaking than of dying?
I was one of those people. Dying has never been an issue. (See the “Bluffer’s Guide to Public Speaking” for that statistic)!
Last week I got massively stressed out about speaking about Women and Wealth at a big women’s conference, “Maximise” in Cheltenham.
A couple of weeks before I got massively stressed about speaking about women and money at a women’s conference, “Soar” in Arizona, USA.
Just before the talk in Cheltenham, I realised why I was stressing so much. (I also left my laptop in the car park afterwards, never to be seen again!)
I had committed one of my own cardinal sins. I wasn’t only speaking to my ideal clients. I was worried about anyone who might be in the room looking at me critically, trying to pick holes in what I was about to say, who might interrupt me or ask an awkward question.
I didn’t meet anyone like that at all… just nice women and one man who were really interested in what I had to share and were there to learn and pick up some tips. These are my ideal clients, the people who might want to work with me one day… not the bankers I was stressing about, or the judgmental financial advisor who doesn’t believe in money coaching, these people in my fantasies who wouldn’t even bother to attend a talk like mine!
So here are a few lessons in public speaking! Lessons were learnt, lots of them.
1. Get really clear on who you’re here to serve, your ideal clients, your niche and gear your communication to them. Contact me if you need help with this, it’s one of my skills!
2. I won’t accept speaking engagements unless they are potentially my ideal clients. These are the people I am absolutely sure I am here to serve. It’s just not worth my energy and time to speak to other groups. And I get too damn stressed as you can see!
3. Prepare well but keep some wriggle room for divine inspiration to pop in… I found myself talking about adrenal exhaustion in the talk… I have no idea why but someone stopped me afterwards, so delighted with my talk and told me she was off work with adrenal burn out. The talk really resonated with her and she said other talks she went to, by men, were missing something. Interesting! It was a women’s conference after all.
4. Be your authentic self. You can’t really be anyone else. I’m honest, I say “I’m a work in progress with money”. I let a little of my spiritual side come through too. It’s me, it’s who I am and my ideal clients want that, it’s them too! Some of the women said that to me after the talk.
5. Let your freak flag fly! In Arizona I didn’t realise I had no shoes on for my entire fifty minute talk! I couldn’t find them afterwards and they were outside on the lawn! I was so grounded though so I asked the ladies in the audience in Cheltenham if I minded if I took them off again.
Straight away I was at my ease and words flowed better. I also wore Dollar glasses and gave everyone chocolate coins… a little lightness around money goes a long way!
6. Keep in touch. We take time to get to know each other, to explore what they have to offer, to grow together and maybe we will invest in working together a couple of years later. I’m not the best at sending weekly emails but I do keep in touch. I connect on LinkedIn, send personal messages and invite people to events. If someone unsubscribes, that’s great, one more non-ideal client gone so less worries about being judged!
7. Get some help with your preparations. I was helped by Helene Musso, Public Speaking coach with using my voice and by Kayla Conley with preparing my content. Both were hugely valuable and I’m very glad I invested.
Enjoy your sharing… If you would like any more tips or business or money coaching, do get in touch or book a Discovery Call, a complimentary thirty minutes with me. https://rosemarycunninghamcoaching.as.me/