Public Speaking: It’s not that scary

It is often said that people fear public speaking more than they fear death, and honestly who can blame them? Fear of public speaking is real and its technical term is Glossophobia.

I am lucky. Public speaking has never scared me, or made me nervous, and I hope it never will. This could be credited to years of theater as a child, or just sheer luck.

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I know multiple people who are terrified to speak in front of an audience, no matter how small, and picturing the crowd in their underwear doesn’t seem to help.Everyone has tips and tricks that work best for them when public speaking. Here are a few tips I find helpful:

  1.     Be confident:

Regardless of how terrified you are to get up and speak, confidence will outshine any fear that you have. Think the audience is going to notice you’re nervous? They’ll notice your confidence and knowledge of the topic first and nerves won’t even cross their minds.

  1.     Tell yourself that everything is going to be fine:

This is similar to confidence. Tell yourself that you are knowledgeable about the topic at hand. If you tell yourself that you are going to give a great speech or presentation, you will.

  1.     Just start:

Starting is the hardest part. In theater I would sit backstage with my stomach in knots before going onstage, but as soon as the bright theater lights hit me in the face, every bit of nerves would leave my body. Once you start speaking, it’s hard to concentrate on nerves as the task at hand should require all of your energy.

For more suggestions, Forbes has a great list of tips that, although unconventional, are super effective in overcoming fears of public speaking.

There are endless amounts of articles online with tricks to help with public speaking. Public speaking can be very rewarding and once you’ve mustered up the courage, you’ll be proud that you did it!

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by Juliet Reingold, editor and assistant account executive

Confidence is key – How to be a confident leader

When it comes to the professional world, confidence is key. Successful people will tell you to have a confident handshake, a confident gaze and to dress like a confident business person.

If you do all these things right, you will come off as a confident person. But if your confidence is a façade, it can only last so long.

In my six weeks of being an account executive at Tehama Group Communications, I’ve learned you must have inner confidence before outer confidence can flourish. “Fake it ‘til you make it” doesn’t actually work when you are trying to lead a team of people who count on you to call the shots.

I have always thought of myself to be a self-assertive. Yet when I began my internship at TGC, I found that I was doubting and second-guessing myself. The time came for me to be a leader and suddenly that confidence was gone.

My confidence had never really been put to the test before. A firm handshake and a great business outfit got me through the door, but the rest was up to me to prove my self-assertiveness. From the first week of my internship to now, I’ve learned a lot about how to maintain my self-confidence, even when I’m feeling doubtful.

Screenshot 2015-03-05 12.23.26Image courtesy of leadersinhighheals.com

Get organized and take charge.

You cannot be a confident leader if you do not properly plan. When it comes to conducting a meeting, make sure to create an agenda and know what you will say once the meeting begins. Keep control of the conversation. There will be some off-topic comments, but keep control of the tasks that need to be covered so the meeting stays on track.

Connect with your team.

No one wants to take direction from someone who seems disinterested in the people around them. Connect with the people you are working with and establish a relationship in the first stages of a project. Not only will they see you as less of a tyrant just rattling out order but they will be more inclined to churn out their best work every time they’re tasked with something.

Create a power mantra.

I recently started taking yoga classes and made my mantra, “You are confident, strong and centered.” It sounds cheesy, but convincing yourself of your own abilities can have a hugely positive effect on your psyche. Even if you’re not into the mantra idea, yoga classes may help clear your mind, which can also help you steer clear of being an overbearing leader.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

It is good to remember that your confidence can always be improved simply by asking for guidance. Confident people are not invincible, and can still make mistakes.Asking for help is what led me to become more confident in my capabilities as a leader. It reassured me that being a leader is a learning process, that takes time and experience.

by Jane Eveland, Account Executive

Importance of Appearance in This Day in Age

 

Photo credit: Joserolando Bravo
Photo credit: Joserolando Bravo

Appearance is something that is often associated with clothes, hairstyles and accessories; something that is just a visual appeal and nothing more. However, appearance goes far beyond that.

As public relation practitioners, we are taught that maintaining a good public image is the key to success when it comes to clients, a lesson that should be taken far beyond the clients.

Maintaining a good personal appearance is very important for the public perception of an individual. We live in a time where people make social judgments on appearance alone. Some may call that prejudice, but it is a reality that can easily be shifted from a negative to a positive.

With first impressions, both on a professional and personal level, the first interaction conducted is through the eyes. Before you meet a person and get to know them, your mind makes an assumption based on what you see, and through conversation, that picture begins to fill and a full opinion is made.

Appearance is the silent description of yourself. It is the image you choose to show to the world that represents you, in the professional world and in your personal life. It can be used to show status, attitude and even creativity.

A good appearance isn’t a difficult task to accomplish. It has nothing to do with beauty or physical features. It is all about visual self-presentation, and the smallest details can make the world of a difference. So here are a few tips that may help.

Grooming is a priority. A haircut, and a clean shave for gentlemen are always ideal, however there is nothing wrong with a well-kept beard. It shows cleanliness and class.

Hairdos for the ladies don’t have to be extravagant, just as long as you stray away from basic. As long as it doesn’t look like you just got out of bed, any hairdo will do Make-up isn’t necessary, but can be complimentary when not overdone.

Any indication that there was thought and time was put into an outfit is already one step forward. Proper color contrast and accessorizing are a great place to start. One small detail that I think stands out the most.

Whether for ladies or gentlemen, a key detail that I find to make a huge difference is tailored clothing. It is inexpensive and can make a huge difference to any outfit.

Don’t be afraid to stand out. Sometimes it is as simple as a color or accessory that really makes you stand out of a crowd, which is not a bad thing.

Aside from the physical appeal, having a good appearance also makes a change in your attitude. It is incredible how confident and better you can feel about yourself when you know you look presentable.

If you would like to read more about the importance of appearance, here are a few articles you can check out.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/subliminal/201206/how-we-are-judged-our-appearance

http://www.succeedsocially.com/lookbetter