10 Sure-Fire Steps to take the Fear out of Public Speaking

September 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Entrepreneur Help

Do you “feel the fear” when asked to do some Public
Speaking?

Public Speaking is still one of our greatest fears and it
turns grown men and women into nervous wrecks. The mere
thought of it turns our tongue to cotton wool, causes our
internal plumbing to act up and turns our knees to jelly.

Well, there’s no need for all of this because help is at
hand. All you need to remember are your P’s and Q’s. Let’s
start with the P’s

Preparation –

When you sit down to write what you’re going to say, bear in
mind who you’ll be speaking to. Will they understand what
you’re talking about; will they understand the technical
stuff and the jargon? If in doubt remember the old saying –
“Keep It Simple Stupid”.

Make sure that what you say has a beginning, middle and an
end. Think of some anecdotes that help reinforce your story.
People think visually so paint verbal pictures for your
audience. And always remember, people want to know what’s in
it for them – so make sure you tell them!

Place –

Have a look at the venue before the event if you can. It’s
not always possible, however, even if you get there half an
hour before, you can check out where you’ll be speaking.

Stand at the point where you will deliver from, imagine
where the audience will be and check that they can see and
hear you. You may even wish to place a glass of water where
you’ll be able to find it.

Personal Preparation –

Before any Public Speaking event, think about what you are
going to wear; when in doubt dress up rather than down. You
can always take things off for a more casual look. Men could
remove their jacket and their tie. Women could remove items
of jewellery.

Part of your personal preparation should include some mouth
and breathing exercises. Practise saying some tongue
twisters to give your speaking muscles a good work out. Take
a deep breath and expand your diaphragm. Then breathe out,
counting at the same time; try and get up to fifty and not
pass out.

As part of your personal preparation, write your own
introduction. Write out exactly what you want someone to say
about you, large font, double-spaced and ask the person
introducing you to read it. Believe me they won’t object and
will probably be pleased and impressed.

Poise and Posture –

Whenever you’re called to speak, stand up or walk to the
front quickly and purposefully. Pull yourself up to your
full height, stand tall and look like you own the place.
Before you start to speak, pause, look round your audience
and smile. You may even have to wait until the applause dies
down. Remember, you want the audience to like you, so look
likeable.

Pretend –

I’m suggesting you pretend you’re not nervous because no
doubt you will be. Nervousness is vital for speaking in
public, it boosts your adrenaline, which makes your mind
sharper and gives you energy.

The trick is to keep your nerves to yourself. On no account
tell your audience your nervous; you’ll only scare the
living daylights out of them if they think you’re going to
faint.

Some tricks for dealing with nerves are:

Before you’re called to speak, get lots of oxygen into your
system, run on the spot and wave your arms about like a
lunatic. It burns off the stress chemicals.

Speak to members of your audience as they come in or at some
time before you stand up. That tricks your brain into
thinking you’re talking to some friends.

Have a glass of water handy for that dry mouth. One word of
warning – do not drink alcohol. It might give you Dutch
courage but your audience will end up thinking you’re
speaking Dutch.

The Presentation –

Right from the start your delivery needs to grab their
attention.

Don’t start by saying – “Good morning, my name is Fred Smith
and I’m from Smith Associates.”
Even if your name is Smith, it’s a real boring way to start
a presentation. Far better to start with some interesting
facts or an anecdote that’s relevant to your presentation.

Look at the audience as individuals; it grabs their
attention if they think you’re talking to them personally.

Talk louder than you would normally do, it keeps the people
in the front row awake and makes sure those at the back get
the message. Funnily enough, it’s also good for your nerves.

PowerPoint –

And for those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s a
software programme that’s used to design stunning graphics
and text for projection onto a screen.

As a professional speaker, I’m not that struck on
PowerPoint. I feel that too many speakers rely on it and it
takes over the presentation. After all, you’re the
important factor here. If an audience is going to accept
what you say then they need to see the whites of your eyes.
There needs to be a big focus on you, not on the technology.

Use PowerPoint if you want but keep it to a minimum and make
sure you’re not just the person pushing the buttons. Why
not get a bit clever at using the faithful old Flip Chart,
lots of professionals do.

Passion –

This is what stops the audience in their tracks. This is
what makes them want to employ you or to accept what you’re
proposing. Couple this with some energy, enthusiasm and
emotion and you have the makings of a great public speaker.

Give your presentation a bit of oomph and don’t start
telling me – “I’m not that kind of person.” There’s no need
to go over the top but you’re doing a presentation to move
people to action, not having a cosy little chat in your
front room.

That’s the P’s finished, so let’s look at the Q’s.

Questions –

Decide when you’re going to take them and tell people at the
start.
In a short speech it’s best to take questions at the end. If
you take them as you go then you may get waylaid and your
timing will get knocked out.

Never – never – never finish with questions; far better to
ask for questions five or ten minutes before the end. Deal
with the questions and then summarise for a strong finish.
Too many presentations finish on questions and the whole
thing goes a bit flat.

When you’re asked a question, repeat it to the whole
audience and thank the questioner. It keeps everyone
involved, it gives you time to think and it makes you look
so clever and in control.

Quit –
Quit when you’re ahead. Stick to the agreed time; if you’re
asked to speak for twenty minutes, speak for nineteen and
the audience will love you for it. Remember, quality is not
quantity.

One of the most famous speeches ever – “The Gettysburg
Address”, by President Lincoln, was just over two minutes
long.

Right, that’s my cue to quit when I’m ahead.
Now that you’re armed with this information you too can
minimise your fear of Public Speaking.

Advice About Setting Up Your Own Business

September 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Entrepreneur Info

Are you thinking about setting up your own business? Have you an idea for a new business but are unsure about how to proceed? If you have answered yes to either of these questions, this article could be of benefit to you. I am going to write about how to plan and create a successful small business.

Many people are looking at ways in which they can become self-employed as they have had enough of being dictated to and fed up of long and frustrating commutes to work. They want the freedom of being their own boss and to be able to choose their own hours of work.

Leaving a full time career can be quite a scary prospect however. The security of having a regular income and other benefits such as a pension and a share save scheme can seem hard to let go. I am sure many people whether rightly or wrongly have opted to stick with this security and to merely keep their business plan as an idea, which they never see through or use.

Other people are willing and happy to take the risk and see it as a way of getting out of the rat race.

When you have an idea for a new business you then need to think of a name to call it. I would keep this name quite short as it makes it easier to remember for people. It obviously needs to have something to do with the business sector you are entering.

You will now need to work out how much money you will need to set up the business. This can be quite daunting but is essential. In the short term I would advise to keep these start up costs as low as possible, you can always buy or rent better machinery in the future as an example.

Once you are aware of how much money you need, you then have to find it. You may have enough yourself via savings or a redundancy payout, however most people are not in this position. If you do not have enough money, you could try and raise money via the family, by seeking a partner or by releasing the equity from your house. There is also the option of a business loan.

The next stage is to market your product or service. There are many ways of doing this including:

The internet via a website

An advert in the newspaper

Direct marketing in the form of leaflets

An advert in the yellow pages

Exhibitions

Trade fairs

I would advise finding out where other people from your industry advertise as they will have tried and tested many of the above options.

You then need to work out how much to charge for your product or service. I always keep these charges fairly low at the outset in order to attract as many people as I can and to get some income in. I then hope that word of mouth will take over and the idea is that after a few months I will be in a position to increase my fees.

It is also important to realise that we will make mistakes along the way. When this happens we need to think positive and not to beat ourselves up. It is an experience we can learn from.

Always have belief in yourself. At times any business will go through a rocky period, this is when we need to be strong. In my opinion the more work we put in, the more rewards we are likely to obtain.

Self-discipline is one of the keys to your success. Being able to choose your own hours of work may seem like a dream but it can prove to be many peoples downfall. We have to ensure that we work the required amount of hours. It is far too easy to stay in bed for that extra hour or to arrange yet another game of golf. These things are fine once you are established, but this is a long way off at this stage.

Aspects of Creating a Mobile Concession Business

September 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Entrepreneur Info

The ability to be one’s own boss and make lots of money doing it is all part of the American Dream. An up and coming segment of the small business world is food concession vending. This is a form of food service that does not involve being stationary. Mobility is the key to the food concession industry. The ability to pick up and move whenever you have an event or want to switch locations is paramount in this business; which brings attention to the fact that there are several things needed to begin a concession business. One of the first important things is location. Another important aspect is choosing the type of food you will serve. One more vital thing to consider is advertisement.

One of the first things to consider when starting a food concession business is the location where you will set up your vending equipment. You’re best bet is to set up in a highly trafficked area where many people live and work. One of the biggest parts of your clientele is potentially the work force around the location. Even better would be to find a highly trafficked area that also had little choice of food. People are more tempted to think outside the box and eat from your concession trailer. Many of these workers do not have a lot of time for a lunch break. Quick, simple, cheap, and delicious food is the key to drawing people in and creating loyal customers.

Another thing to consider when you start a concession business is what type of food you will serve. You must first consider the part of the country you are in. Goulash may not appeal to New Yorkers. Another thing you must consider is financial history of the area you are serving. Some people may neither desire or be able to afford sushi or caviar for lunch so be careful about offering food out of the economical means of those to whom you are planning to sell. Another thing to consider about food is how easy or difficult it may be to prepare in a mobile style kitchen and how long it will take to prepare. You definitely don’t want the items you are selling to take a long time to prepare. If so, people will be more tempted to just go into a sit-down restaurant to eat. Quickness is definitely a way to go for the food concession business.

One other thing you may want to weigh when setting up a food vending business is advertisement. Roadside signs and billboards are a great way to go, albeit expensive. A great way to make sure you have great advertising is to have exceptional food and service. With these to attributes, your company will be advertised by one of the best and most powerful means of advertisement: word-of-mouth. Get people to enjoy your food and the friendly face you offer in the middle of a possibly hectic workday. Having a great relationship with your customers is definitely a must when dealing with the food service industry. Other forms of advertisement include fliers, sale signs, and coupons. Bags, napkins, and containers with your company name and logo on them are also great ways to advertise. For the business with the larger budget, t-shirts, hats, and bumper stickers might be a way to go.

Whatever decisions you might make about your mobile concession business, there are certain things you must consider to make having a successful company easier. In the mobile food service industry, important options include location of your vending equipment, type of food served and advertising your business in order to make it more successful. By considering these things, you will have a better chance of making a name for yourself in the food industry.

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