The 5 Most Effective & Tactical Solutions to Recruitment Marketing

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.   So many organizations are searching for new and more effective means of recruitment marketing.  Well, over the last two months we researched this topic, and definitively … Continue reading The 5 Most Effective & Tactical Solutions to Recruitment Marketing

The 22 Tactical Tips To Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

Fear of public speaking is a very common form of anxiety.  It can range from sweaty palms, shaky hands, a blushed face, a quivering voice, or a stomach tied in knots, to outright panic.  But by using the following proven public speaking tips, you can not only overcome your public speaking anxiety, but also deliver high-quality and memorable presentations.

  1. Passionately know and fully understand your topic.

The following prerequisites can ensure that you select the right subject:

  • The topic energizes you and is something you are absolutely passionate about.
  • The subject has had a major impact on you.
  • You feel intensely that others could benefit from your knowledge about the topic.
  • The subject is something that gets you excited to share with others.
  • You can, and do, speak about the topic “from your heart.”
  1. Bring a heightened sense of energy to the venue.

Recognize that you are not just a speaker, but also an entertainer.  This fact is one of the most important pieces of advice given to me by my former speaking coach.

  1. Get organized.

Being organized before your delivery is critical.  In fact, when you have clear and organized thoughts, it significantly reduces your public speaking anxiety, because you can become much more focused on the end goal: giving an absolutely awesome speech.

  1. Eliminate your fear of rejection and visualize your success.

 Make a concerted effort to eradicate your fear of rejection.  As such, remember that the audience is there to listen to you for a reason.  They came.  Visualize the coming applause and ideally, the standing ovation at the end of your speech.

  1. Know your audience.
  • Who are they?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • What motivates them?
  • What topics are they most interested in?
  • What are their pain points or fears?
  1. Overdress.

 My former speaking coach taught me to never dress below the level of my audiences.  By out-dressing them, you give the appearance and impression that you ARE knowledgeable, professional, and an impressive presenter.

  1. Pre-circulate with your audience.

Meet your audience members before your speech.  Talk to them.  Ask them questions.  Make eye contact with many of them and especially those people who will be sitting in your front rows.

By pre-circulating with them, you will be far more relaxed, which is ideal for conquering your public speaking anxiety.  You will see friendly faces from the stage and it will calm you.

  1. Try to get your speech scheduled at the very beginning of the event.

Your audience will be fresher at that time.  Avoid the post-lunch speaking time slot when peoples’ stomachs are full and they are naturally more likely to be sleepy.

  1. Ensure that the room you are given for your speech fits the expected size of your audience.

The last situation you want is to be given a room that is far too large for your audience.  If the room is too large, it can give the impression that you are unsuccessful from the start, since it looks like people either “did not show up” or seemed uninterested in your speech.

  1. Use an outline in your head to stay organized and remain on track.

 If you’re nervous, speaking off the cuff is not recommended.  Have a plan and stick to it. 

  1. Practice, practice, and practice.

There is a very sage truth to the phrase “practice makes perfect.”  Leverage this fact.  One of the related best public speaking tips is to practice your speech in front of a mirror or in front of your friends, family, or better yet, experienced speakers or a speaking coach.  Speaking in front of another person will not only help you relax, but also get you the feedback you need to improve, whether you’re a professional keynote speaker or you’re giving a one-off talk at an industry conference.

Get this feedback and most importantly, act on it. While watching yourself in the mirror, pay attention to:

  • How welcoming you appear.
  • Your gestures and body movements.
  • Your facial expressions.
  • Your energy level.
  • Your speech patterns and use of pauses (discussed later).
  • Your beginning and close, the two most judged parts of your speech.

Alternatively, videotape yourself.  Listen to it and watch it with wonderful critical judgement.  Take notes on what you can do better.  Raise the bar and practice more.  Record yourself again.  Practice more.

  1. Make sure you request a teleprompter and “walk-up” music from your event planner.

The former prevents you from turning your back on your audience (a big speaking no-no) to read your slides.  The walk-up music assuages your public speaking anxiety and gets your audience “fired up” for your speech.

  1. Get some light exercise before you speak.

This is one of the most overlooked tips for public speaking.  Not only does the exercise get your blood circulating and “wake you up,” it also sends oxygen to your brain.  Furthermore, the exercise relaxes you and thus, helps you control your public speaking anxiety.

  1. Make sure you have water at the ready in case your throat goes dry.

Adding lemon to the water also helps lubricate your throat and keep your voice crisp.  It is also important to avoid sugary drinks as they tend to dry out your throat.

  1. Do some deep breathing.

This is recommended for reducing your stress level and making you feel calmer.

  1. Use your nervous energy to fuel your passion for speaking.

Simply put, learn to channel your nervous energy into positive energy which extinguishes your public speaking anxiety.

  1. Avoid talking too quickly.

Talking too fast restricts your breathing and thereby heightens your public speaking anxiety.

  1. Use “The Speech Pause.”

One of the most powerful speaking techniques is known as “The Speech Pause.”  Pausing at certain points of your speech helps quell your public speaking anxiety and also allows you to master your control over the emotional impact of your speech.  Pausing also helps you regulate your breathing, further calming your public speaking anxiety.

All of the best speakers recognize, and regularly use, powerful dramatic speech pauses.  For yourself, begin by testing where these pauses should be sprinkled throughout your presentation.  Then test whether where you put the pauses is having the dramatic impact intended.  Get feedback on your chosen pauses and act on it.

  1. Don’t overthink your audience’s reactions.

Just because some one is yawning or using their cell phone does not mean you are doing a poor job with your speech.  Know upfront that there will always be people in your audience who are tired, bored, or disengaged.  None of these reactions have anything to do with how you are performing your speech.  Don’t let them distract you.  Stay focused.

  1. Hire a Speaking Coach.

There are many keynote speakers out on the speaking circuit and all of them know and have a clear recognition of how competitive a landscape it is, including me.  I’ve been on the speaking tour for almost 10 years and have learned a lot, especially those little secrets that are key to securing paid engagements regularly.  All of the best public speakers have valued and hired an independent Speaking Coach.  If you want to fast track your paid public speaking career, you should seriously consider hiring a Speaking Coach.

This link will give you a great idea on what you should expect from a speaking coach you hire.

  1. Recognize your success.

Celebrate the high points and success of your speech.

  1. Create a detailed plan to improve your next speech.

Once again, practice makes perfect.  Ask yourself the following questions after your speech:

  • Did you get feedback from the audience? (By the way, make it a regular practice to ask your event planner to conduct a confidential post-speech survey of your event attendees.  Ideally, you should review this survey document in advance, such that you can tailor your speech, increasing the likelihood of getting positive feedback and survey scores).
  • How do you think you did? Be your own worst critic.
  • How effective were your speech pauses?
  • How was your pace and timing? Did you start and end on time?
  • How was your close? Did your speech end with a bang?
  • What were your audience’s reactions during and at the end of your speech?
  • Did you get the standing ovation you were hoping for?

Write down the answers to all of these questions and keep practicing and improving.

Jerry Seinfeld once said:

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death.  Does that seem right? That means to the average person, if they have to go to a funeral, they are better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

By using all of these tactical public speaking tips, you will successfully bury your public speaking anxiety for good.

 

Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For six years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.

 

Links:

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Email: kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com

Web site:  www.kevinsheridanllc.com

Corporate Social Responsibility: One of the Key Drivers of Employee Engagement

This guest blog has been provided by Kevin Sheridan, best-selling author and innovator in the field of Employee Engagement.

In late February, I had the honor of giving the Opening Keynote at The Doolittle Institute in Niceville, Florida.  In their words, “The Doolittle Institute has the privilege of providing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education to thousands of underserved students, many of them military personnel.  These hands-on programs include robotics, coding, computer-aided design, managing job stress, time management, and others.  One of our primary goals is to inspire and educate our country’s future workforce.”  About half of my audience were in military uniform.  Needless to say, I was inspired to bring my “A game” and deliver a kick-ass keynote speech.

This interaction with some of our nation’s serving military got me thinking about a key, and often forgotten, driver of employee engagement: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).  CSR is getting more and more management attention, primarily because it is one of the key drivers of employee engagement for the two youngest workforce generations, Millennials and Generation Z.  In fact, 9 out of 10 Millennials would switch jobs in order to work for a cause or charity.1  And 94% of Gen Z believe companies have a responsibility to address social and environmental issues.2  Companies are realizing that charitable-giving can help attract and retain top talent and also lead to improved productivity, employee engagement, reduced turnover, and higher profitability.  As such, U.S. companies gave about $20.7 billion to charitable causes worldwide in 2017, up 8% from 2016.3

During my speech, and in the spirit of “giving back,” I offered all attendees free career coaching with me after the presentation.  Five of the service men and women took me up on that offer, and I will continue to give them advice on their career and/or help them find a career that they could become more passionate about than their current role.

Here are 6 great ideas on how you can leverage the power of CSR and show your team members that you are indeed “giving back” to the communities served by your organization:

  1. Offer cost-free services to the communities you serve.
  1. Provide a free volunteer day to each of your team members at the charity of their choice, so they can give back without losing a day’s pay.
  1. Plan a team volunteer day where the whole staff takes the day off work to volunteer together. Volunteering at Habitat For Humanity and/or at a local soup kitchen are employee favorites.
  1. Offer pro bono career development help to local high schools and/or universities. Just two weeks ago, I gave a speech to the Business Leadership class at my daughter’s high school, New Trier, in Winnetka, Illinois.  It was not only rewarding to teach these aspiring business people, but I fielded some questions I’ve never been asked in my nine years of doing keynote speeches.  Interacting with these young people also helps keep you young.
  1. Establish a charitable giving matching program. Shockingly, only 18% of companies have a gift-matching program.4  Needless to say, this represents a huge opportunity for improvement.
  1. Give your employees a greater say in your charitable giving. Many employees are yearning to express their personal values at work, so give them the opportunity vis-a-vis charitable giving.  And by matching their contribution, you are showing them that you endorse and support their  Importantly, when doing your annual “State of the Company” address to your employees, make sure you include a listing of all of the charities to which you matched employees’ contributions.  When you do, you will likely see people tear up since many of those gifts positively impacted a friend or family member.

While I was selling my company about nine years ago, I knew the sale would ultimately lead to me receiving a significant sum of money.  (This is known by investment bankers as “a liquidity event,” which is just a fancy way of saying someone is giving you a shitload of money for the company you built from scratch.)  I wanted to share my success with others and continue giving back, even though it wouldn’t be through my company anymore.

I was mulling this over on the Sunday before the sale of my company, while I was reading the newspaper.  I came across the Parade magazine insert, and it featured the Actor Gary Sinise, who of course, brilliantly played “Lieutenant Dan” in the movie Forrest Gump.  Sinise expressed that it was an enormous honor to play this disabled vet, and he made a commitment to always pay for military service members’ meal and drinks when seeing them in any airport.  He thereby gave me a gift as I was searching for a way to give back after my “liquidity event.”  I made the same commitment to always pay for military personnel’s drinks and meals while traveling and thank them for their service.  Doing this has repeatedly warmed my heart.

Years later, I realized that helping veterans with their careers is another way I can give back.  If you are a veteran who is in need of career development help, I’d love to speak with you.  Whether you need advice with job interviews, developing certain skillsets, or finding a position that better leverages your talents and interests, I’d love to help.  Please contact me directly.

Whether it’s through your company or on your own, the greatest gift you can give to yourself is a gift to others.

kevin-csr-vet.jpg

Sources:

1  2015 Cone Communication Millennial Study.

2  2017 Cone Communication How To Speak Gen Z Study.

3  Indiana University Lilly Family School Of Philanthropy Report, 2017.

4 Society For Human Resource Management’s 2018 Employee Benefits Report.

 

Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For six years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017 & 2018.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building A Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. 

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.

Links:

www.kevinsheridanllc.com

Twitter
LinkedIn 

https://www.instagram.com/kevinsheridanllc/
Email: kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com