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What you really need to know to be a powerful speaker (anywhere!)

I’ve presented hundreds of presentations on powerful public speaking and communication skills although today took a slightly different angle and wow was it powerful!

The irony is never lost on me that 15 years ago I couldn’t (and wouldn’t!) speak to a large audience. I was the person pretending she had a call just as it was my turn to talk. My fear was not just in my head, it manifested itself as a closed throat, a red face, a heart that felt like it was trying to escape and the inability to even remember my name let alone something useful, relevant or interesting to say!

While I could sell ice to Eskimo’s on a 1 to 1 basis (My boss’s word’s not mine) or in the good old letter format, my skills had not grown to actually communicating with people in groups. That had to change if I was going to succeed…

So over the years I read books, studied, went on courses, listened to a plethora of experts (and realised a few of those knew little more than me they just had the confidence to stand up and recite the same stuff I’d read!) and wind forward to January 2019 you could phone me and say “We’ve been let down and we need a speaker for tomorrow!” And I’d say “Great, see you at 9!”

I wouldn’t be panicking about;

  • “What will I say?”
  • Or “How will I handle difficult questions?”
  • Or “What if I run out of things to talk about?”

Things have changed drastically. And having coached thousands to overcome their fears of public speaking I can say with hand on heart that I can fight the fear of public speaking for you too and help anyone become a better speaker.

So what was so powerful today and how can you benefit too?

  1. If you’ve heard me speak about powerful communication, you will know that I say that I could write you the best speech in the world however if you lack confidence or have an internal dialogue of negativity then you will damage your results. And in business that means less sales, profit, opportunities and success. So get your head in order. ACTION – Listen out for what you let hang out in your head. I’ve enough stuff for free, low cost in books and courses (maximum cost is £25) articles, reports and solutions to help you shift your mindset permanently.
  2. Check out some of the best speeches in the world and you will see that Gandhi, King, Pankhurst even Thatcher were themselves. They didn’t pretend to be someone else. Not sure this is true? Think of Mahatma Gandhi and ask yourself if his style of communication would suit Dr Martin Luther King? Would Gandhi shout and gesticulate in the same way? How would his style differ? I know it can be scary to be yourself (see point 3) however by being yourself people can buy into your passion – without you selling once! And passion is addictive! ACTION – Check out powerful speakers you love and ask yourself what is their style? How is my style similar or different? If I could be any kind of speaker what style would I have? Who are my role models? How do they behave, act, talk, stand?
  3. Be yourself. The true authentic you. This means you have to find out what stops you being you. What fear is hiding? For my audience today we discovered that they feared what people were thinking, or what would they do if they said something wrong, or what would happen if they fumbled their words? I’m the only person I know that is invited back despite saying sex instead of success in multiple speaking engagements! The moral of that story is that if your passion, genuine authentic you is shining through then your audience will forgive (and forget) your mistakes. However big you think they are! Which leads on to…
  4. After a great debate on social media (are we connected there? I’d love to.) I asked “Could charisma be taught or was it something you had to be born with?” Interestingly it depended on the individual and if I’d coached them or not! My clients absolutely believe they can change and that it will work, those that were less convinced felt trapped by who they are and that change wasn’t possible, doesn’t that speak volumes? If you check out the definition of charisma in the dictionary it is “compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.” Translate that into your professional life and it’s going to be good to learn how to be more charismatic. That in itself is a blog article so for now;
  5. Concentrate on being an awesome active listener (Da Vinci was an expert on this and so many of the skills we still utilise today are from ancient Greece and the renaissance period).
  6. Ensure you are thinking nothing as the other person talks.
  7. Make quality eye contact – dodgy eye contact makes your audiences nervous. It says “What do they have to hide? Or What are they not telling us?”
  8. Ensure you are totally in this moment. Not looking at your phone. Not gazing out the window, not wondering if you had a reply to that email. I have tons of little techniques that help you be in the now. Although you may already know one. Google it, because that way you will find a simple tool that will resonate with you and can help you to feel calmer on a tough day too. Win win, right?
  9. I’m fine one to one!” Most people who fear public speaking or feel their communication style is letting them down are over thinking. They think that to be a powerful communicator it has to be more complicated than it is. Have you ever convinced a love one to do something for you? That you need a certain necklace/car/holiday/phone? Have you ever managed to get your own way? Then you already have the ability to be a powerful communicator! A great tool I use with many clients is looking at how to migrate skills. If you rock at it else where, what skills, attributes, styles of communication were working for you? Now migrate them to the area you feel you are lacking.
  10. And lastly fear. Of all fears I hear about (and I hear them all!) the biggest fear in the world that is hiding behind all fears is usually the fear of what other people are thinking. As a speaker usually you are in an environment where the audience want to hear what you have to say. It is only in your head you’ve assumed they don’t. When I break down that fear for my clients they can see how their head has the facts on what they are capable of (and what they’ve achieved) but their heart is running into fear land and wanting to run for the hills never to return and usually with untruths that escalate the fear. As humans we like smiles and reply with smiles. We are saddened by other people’s losses and want to hear of people’s wins, which means people are looking forward to hearing you speak!

There are a ton of things that I touched on today including how with the right body language you can talk gibberish and still get a positive outcome.

And that being comfortable in your own skin comes down to constantly re-evaluating your own emotional intelligence and checking who you think you are and what you think is going on. Our perception of reality and assumptions can cost us dearly.

And that the confidence to love who you are makes you concentrate on successes which help release the right biological chemicals which then helps you further to come across as the passionate, successful, powerful person that everyone should know and not as the bumbling brain fried fool that you feel you become on a stage.

Whether you feel your presentation skills need a boost, you are so awful at it you’d rather chew off your right arm or you feel you are damaging your success because of something you feel you do (or don’t do!) I’m happy to have a chat anytime.

And if you are on the Insiders I will add some work sheets that we touched on too. I love to over deliver, because I never want anyone else to wish their gall bladder would explode to get them out of a speaking engagement, as I did.

Not one person.

  • January 27, 2019

A little algorithm that could change your life (and your results!)

An interesting little question that I helped a client create this week has had massive levels of impact on their chosen thoughts and actions and as result impacted on their performance.

It is like a little algorithm that I’ve found working on myself and other clients too. It is this;

“If I choose to drop xxx then I can choose to get xxx”

For instance;

  • “If I choose to drop my corporate career then I can pursue my lifelong career.”
  • “If I choose to drop my insecurities then I can go for senior management.”
  • “If I choose to drop my fear of public speaking I can further my career”

Interestingly as a coach I’ve helped people to;

  • Get on the board of directors.
  • Become management material.
  • Quit their corporate life.
  • Set up/grow up/close a business.
  • Find/fight/fix fears.

The fact is this little algorithm, works powerfully in so many ways for so many people.

As so many great thinkers, leaders and philosophers over time have proved time and time again it is when we can explain things in their simplest format that we are able to understand the most.

And with this little algorithm, it enables a client to get to what really is holding them back in their ambitions, dreams and big goals for success.

That little algorithm is very beautiful and perfect. It makes my work sound so easy and simple. It is in the process that we create that the client can use that algorithm with power to get what they want in life. My clients are all incredible, finding their own way to process what is going on in their head.

Together we create something very powerful, even more powerful than an algorithm!

  • August 15, 2018

How to turn conversations into customers

Have you ever walked away from conversations thinking “Why didn’t I say that!”? or found that you lose your true voice when talking business or waffle on and then think “Why did I say that!” or that you wish the ground would swallow you up when asked “what do you do?” or “speak for 60 seconds about your business”? Do you struggle to find the right words to turn a conversation into a customer? Public speaker Mandie Holgate

Communication can be incredibly powerful for enabling a contact to turn into a client. In this article, I would like to share with you 8 top tips to be a compelling, confident communicator that does not fear the competition and can speak powerfully to anyone, anywhere.

I see people in business make fatal errors in the way they communicate, when I host a training session on this Conversations into Customers topic I often get them started with the simple question “What do you do?” Because unless you can tell someone what you do in less than 20 seconds, you risk not engaging with that new connection. Ideally, if you learn this skill and the science behind what could be powerful for you to say, people will be saying things like “that’s interesting, how did you get to that? or “How does that work, tell me more?

Top Tips to turning conversations into customers;
  1. Your perception of reality  Before we even look at what you say and how you say it you need to appreciate your own perception of the world around you. Because your perception of reality will differ from anyone else’s, when I present this topic as a speaking engagement I will often the audience to describe the room to me in one word. There are always various words called out, rarely any two the same and they can range from descriptions of the decor to comments on its cleanliness and the height of the ceilings to the temperature and comments on the people in the room. This showcases to people that what we think everyone else is concentrating on is rarely the same as us.That’s because we forget that our perception of reality is different to everyone else’s. Our brains filter out information. Our eyes have millions of rods and cones in them that help us created our image of the world around us, and research has proved that while we used to think that we only saw what we needed to see, studies tell us that our brain see’s everything but only gives us the information that it feels is relevant to us. And your perception of reality that your brain brings you is distorted in part by your beliefs and experiences in life.
  2.  Hot Buttons. By knowing what your hot buttons are you can ensure that Mandie Holgate shows her passion for success and her bookyou control the way you communicate around these areas. What things get you riled up? What do you have definite opinions on? What are you passionate about? Imagine you are speaking with someone at a networking event or party and you are passionate about exercise and healthy living, what you don’t know is the person you are talking to has just lost a loved one at a very young age and they too had been keen on health and fitness. How well do you think you are likely to connect on a level that allows the conversation to progress from the shallow to the deeper level of connection if you speak passionately about this topic? Our passions are our passions, not necessarily everyone else’s, so as my Hubby’s Teacher used to say “Wind your neck in” ie, great you’ve got an opinion, now stop force feeding it to everyone else. Don’t get me wrong passion is essential for your personal and professional success, however, expecting another to feel as passionate about it as someone else can lead to alienation. (And that bored look!) And that is not good for powerful conversations.Take a moment to write them down.
  3. Confidence. If you want to turn conversations into clients you need to boost your confidence. And first things first I want to teach you is the scariest word in the world. Showcasing how to devalue the pain that this word can mean to us is often carried out by encouraging people to get into pairs and take in turn to just say No over and over to each other in different styles, with different tonality and in different speeds. What this does is enable people to see how much gravitas people give to this word. You see in your professional life so many people hear no and instead of hearing two letters they hear something like “No, go away we hate you and never darken our doorstep again.” or “No you smell.” The word has had a strong meaning to us since we were born, and so for many we still have in built conceptions about what that no is saying to us. It can seriously damage your ability to communicate powerfully if you are expecting a no, and cant’ handle that. Take the fear out of that word.
  4. Turning a no into a yes exercise. Take a piece of paper and create this table. Write a long list of the reasons people say no to you. Now the way to make this exercise powerful is instead of you replying, think of the client that loves everything you do, never pays late, recommends you to their friends, etc etc, they know why they buy from you and that information is powerful to your communication.
    What reasons do people give for saying No? Perfect Client

    What would your perfect client say in reply to this No?

    (Not what you would say)

    Too expensive   You won’t regret spending a penny because this works?
    I don’t have the time   Making the time to do this will save you thousands in the no time and could increase profit.
         
         
         
         

    Look through your table, what pain and pleasure words have you created. If you have bought a course recently you will have received the free gift with 111 pain and pleasure words that can make your communications and marketing more powerful. This above exercise will help you to start to create that list. Knowing the powerful words for your target audience is critical to knowing how to engage powerfully.

  5. Find your true voice I often hear people use my words and phrases and it sounds a little daft. They copy me word for word and it sounds wrong. Why? Because when I’m speaking I am known for being bouncing across the stage, acting and inspiring (Think Tigger on Redbull powered by Duracell) I do have a lot of fun and get the audience, not ly involved, but engaged and thinking due to my laid back style. As such I communicate in a certain way. Someone who is very serious, or who lacks confidence is going to not connect with their target audience with my style, and vice versa. You need to appreciate what do you stand for? What do you want? What is your mission statement? What is our ethos? It doesn’t have to be the same as other people. And by finding your true voice, talking about what matters to you, you will build confidence in yourself because you will naturally be attracting your target audience. Showcasing what you are passionate about enables others to experience that passion too. Just remember to wind your neck in at the right time!
  6. Listen.  There are many benefits to this, however, the 2 that we will look at today are that 1) It enables Mandie Holgate coach and speakerthe person you are talking to feel respected and cared for. And by making someone feel like this you can start to build rapport. 2) You get powerful clues on what to say to power up the conversation. For instance, if someone speaks in detail you will know that this matters to them (so in an email, later on, to follow up ensure you get grammar correct, no apostrophes where they shouldn’t be or mixing up your there, their, they’re! It also enables you to use their own words in the conversation too which not only builds rapport it is also a form of mirroring. Let’s look at that more…
  7. Mirroring Powerful body language to connect is not just about body language. Matching someone speed of communication and utilising on their words will also help you connect on a deeper level. Just remember if you overdo this it can feel creepy. Not sure your natural speed of communication? While it can differ on whom you are talking with, you will have a natural style and become aware of this you will be able to note when you may need to speed up or slow down. If I use my normal voice (for instance) which is quite fast, full of gestures and energy and passion, and I’m communicating with someone who clearly lacks confidence, could be shy and have fears that they wish to speak with me about, if I use my natural way of communication, I’m likely to make that person feel like a bunny trapped in headlights. I need to slow it down, speak quieter and give that person lots of space to speak at the space with their own thoughts. So consider your natural style and how this could impact on powerful communications? By using Top tip 6 and 7 this is not only powerful face to face you can then ensure that this is someone who could be an awesome client for you that you utilise that style of communicating in your online communications too. Would it work in your marketing because this is a style that you note applies to a lot of your clients? 
  8. Ask for it. Lastly, something I think many people are scared to do (in part due to top tip Number 3) is asking for what they want. I appreciate its scary to do because what if they do say No? The thing about No’s is they give you powerful information for your marketing and to gain other clients. No is “rarely no thank you go away”, it is often “no thank you we are too busy with this, could you contact us in 6 months”, or “no we’ve happy with our current supplier” (that again was not a no forever, your competitor may make a mistake and then if you’ve communicated powerfully with them they may give you a chance) By appreciating that no’s are fountains of knowledge in disguise you can learn what leads to a yes. And this doesn’t mandie holgate anxiety I can't do thismean hiding behind copious mountains of email! Pick up the phone, arrange a meeting, be concise, be honest, and ask for it. If you have qualified the person you are speaking to and you know they want what you do if you have used the powerful language and you have listened one thing that people are very good at not doing is asking for what they want. If you don’t want to do this, try asking in different ways to people you know will give you an honest answer on your style of communication. For instance, on the Insiders (a group I vigilate and coach its members on confidentially) you could trail the way in which you ask. ie “We’ve noticed you use X, did you know there is a way of making these that stops you getting that problem you are getting here? Could that be interesting to you?” or “Do you use x in your business, is it something you could see yourself trialling?” Trial different questions and see what feels comfortable, however, be confident to ask for what you want, the no’s lead you to the yes’s with the right language.

So remember to remove the fear from the word No, build your confidence (and if that is still tricky I’ve a course that you can work on at your own pace to help boost yours, learn more here) appreciate your perception of the world and how it could impact on conversations, learn to listen powerfully and mirror other people in tonality, words and speed. Get over your fear of asking for it (which is probably connected to your fear of what they may think – both of which are covered in my new book Fight the fear – how to beat your negative mindset and win in life.) And if you want to know if you are winning on this. Use the pain and pleasure power words from your list or the gift I give with every course to create a powerful sentence that trips up so many people….”What do you do?” Feel free to share what you decide on my social media. And if you are bit scared to do that, why not post on the Insiders for a bit of confidential feedback? And if the confidence is rocketing, what about sharing on Facebook live!

 

 

 

 

 

How to turn Conversations into Customer

Notes;

Compelling, confident and capable speaker

Why didn’t I say that?

Why did I say that?

Or what did I say!

Simple questions can be a mine field. What do you do? And you ramble on for five minutes instead of reply that in 20 seconds gets them interested enough to want to know more.

First we need to consider not what we say but how we see the world

Pee forget our perception of reality is different to everyone else’s.

Brains filer out information.

Millions of rods and cones, research proved that we used to think our brain only saw what we needed to see in actual fact the brain sees everything and filters out what it thinks is not relevant.

Need a pad, meeting at one, next thing you know you are spotting gorgeous shoes

What does that have to do with powerful communications? Your perceptions are distorted by your beliefs and experiences and values

So realities differ.

Hot buttons. What riles you up? What are you passionate about? What do you have definite opinions on?

Being aware of your views on everything from Family, friends, sex, to business impacts on how you communicate.

Exercise – you love others hate.

Moment to write down what you think they may be. Need some help?

Next lets look at how to feel confident. Let’s look at the most scariest word in the world. No I want to de-fear you to this word because its part and parcel of running a business.

Get in pairs and say no – How did it feel?

Lower the fear factor. How to turn a no into a yes. This helps you find your pain and pleasure power words – my course for 111 of them These need to feature in your marketing and conversations.

Find your true voice – don’t say other peoples words, I hear people copy me word for word and it sounds daft. Find your own voice. What do you stand for? What is your mission statement? Know your values?

It doesn’t’ have to be the same as other people. By talking about what matters and using your true voice not only will you gain your own following which boosts your confidence you will natural attract the right target audience too.

Listen – 2 reasons – 1 gives respect and shows you care 2 powerful clues on what to say to power up your conversation.

This enables you to mirror body language with their words.

Adjust the speed you speak at. In pairs speak fast and slow – how did it feel?

Trial the speed you speak and be aware of other peoples choice of speed, pace, tonality.

Use in marketing and if someone likes detail in conversation be aware of that for your emails – you don’t want to get your there their and they’re mixed up and risk alienating them.

Ask for what you want. Women don’t ask for what they want.

Trial how you say it. The insiders is a great place for this.

How can I help you further.

     
     
     
     
     
     
  • September 9, 2017

Oi Fatty!

Not the best headline right?

But it got your attention no doubt!
The fact is we all have days where we actually say this kind of thing to ourselves.

We look in the mirror and we berate our appearance, we moan at our stomach’s, our thighs or our wrinkles. Now let me ask you this,  “Is that likely to power up your day or rob you of your inner strength, belief and confidence?

And now with my business coach wanting more success for you hat on What does that do to your success rate? To your ability to pick up the phone and ask for the sale? To present and win that contract? To get out there and make it happen?

I say this because this week I shared with a vibrant, vivacious, professional business woman who during our session confessed to feeling like she was a “bit of a fraud” and so when the coaching session had finished, (I never interrupt a clients thoughts with my own, I only share after the session if they wish me to) I shared with her something rather personal.

I told her how I had just stood up in front of a room full of business women and I said I knew to those business women I’m a professional natural public speaker who oozes confidence. I know those business women see me that way because many come up to me after a public speaking engagement and say “I wish I could stand up there and be a natural like you.” I told this business woman how on this occasion I had to employ my own public speaking tricks to get me through it. This lady had been in the audience and she looked shocked. “Really?” she said. “You!” It shocked her that I could feel anything other than confident and successful. So I shared with her what I share with you now and it is personal, but I share so that you can see that it effects every single woman. From the Mum at the school gate and the Home Secretary to the business women about to present;

I have Lupus and its a balancing act to look after my health, the medicines and also ignore it all and get on with my wonderful life. My theory is I’m having far too much fun to pay attention to an illness. But it can be a bit tough when your hairs falling out, your face turns into a balloon and you struggle with a ton of rather un fun side effects from the drugs and Lupus. Most of the time I smile and say “Hey I’m not stuck in bed on Morphine, so its all good!” Well I was, so I know I’m not lying right? But the fact is sometimes, the physical differences Lupus has caused upset me. I miss looking in the mirror and liking my appearance. I’m not vain but it was hard to have my hair cut into a style I didn’t want just to disguise the hair loss. And when I stood on that stage in front of those women I had somehow lost my inner strength to not care, to rise above it. But here is the thing. I can bring it back, I can know and love me again in a second. I just have to create the right thought in my head and I’m back on track, as I was that day.

I suppose that is where I differ from so many awesome business women, in that I don’t allow a negative thought to hang around. I appreciate my brain is a powerful computer that I can reprogram so that it works in the way I want it to.

So fabulous business women (because lets be honest, you are!) here is my advice to you.

When you have to present or speak to an audience that could potentially deliver more  business to you and thus it feels more important and you feel pressurised. Start with the end. Imagine yourself walking out of the room thinking “Woohoo, nailed it!” See yourself driving back down the road grinning from ear to ear singing along to the radio thinking “Got the contract!”

Practice. Okay so you know that right? But practice in front of a mirror, it will feel so odd, but right away you gain an audience. It will help you, trust me.

Now I could carry on sharing the tips for the public speaking, but the fact is THE most important tip I can share with you, is the one that you take into every aspect of your business, into every goal, ambition or obstacle and it is this;

Believe in you, trust you, like and love you and know that you are awesome. One of the biggest parts of my job as a coach to business women is helping business women appreciate just how chuffing amazing they are. When I’ve helped them appreciate how amazingly awesome they are we can quickly start achieving together because the biggest barrier has been broken.

So look in the mirror and say “Hey good looking, how shall we rule the world today?” give yourself a smile (there are physical reasons why you should do that too!) and get out there and make it happen. And when that negative thought sneaks in, kick it right back out again, because trust me, it will really impact on your success!
I hope sharing a personal story helps you and if you would like to power up your public speaking, how you deal with phone calls to get the results you want (and the meetings and the contracts) and if you would like to speak effectively everywhere, join me on Tuesday when I will be spending the whole morning with business men and women helping them do just that and more!

Learn more here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/powerful-communications-for-business-success-anywhere-tickets-9457133541 there are a couple of places left and it would be great to be working with you.

  • June 21, 2014