To manage my nerves, there are 5 techniques I regularly employ:
- Don’t Be Arrogant - I gave a speech once without practicing. Why? I had given the exact speech with the same slides one month before. I was sure that I remembered everything; I didn’t. The audience loved the presentation. It lead to more paid presentations. I wanted to tell the audience, “If you liked that, you’ll love it when I prepare!” Even if you gave the same speech yesterday to the same audience, don’t be arrogant. Practice. That leads to my next point…
- Practice - When you practice, you feel more confident. Confidence relaxes you. I suggest that people practice 3 times. If you practice too much, you’ll start to get nervous. You don’t want to memorize every word. Practicing once or twice is just review. Practice so you know the material and can “free style” and just have a conversation. Audience questions won’t throw you off, and you won’t have to stare at the slides.
- Audience - When you know the audience, you get less nervous. Are they small business owners or 3rd graders? If you are speaking to family and friends, you aren’t nervous because you know them. You know how they will react. You know what they expect. You know how to speak to them so they will understand and remember what you said. Knowing the audience limits surprises.
- Be Prepared! - It’s not just the Boy Scout motto, it’s also good public speaking advice. My computer has locked up during the presentation. The Wifi stopped working. My remote control didn’t control. Just keep going. Be prepared so when (not if) bad things happen, you keep speaking. I saw Dr. Randal Pinkett (Rhodes Scholar and winner of The Apprentice) speaking at a conference when all the lights went out. He cracked a joke about the Superbowl and kept talking. The epitome of preparation!
- Breathe – Relax and take a deep breath before every speech or presentation. Deep breaths help slow the heart beat and regulate blood flow to the brain. When you practice breathing, it helps your body remember to breathe during the presentation. If you breathe during the speech, you’ll slow down and enunciate your words (hint: the audience likes that). If breathing works for elite athletes, it can work for you.
Remember, if you are nervous, that’s normal. It means you’re human, and there is no pressure to be a super hero. Transform your nervousness into the skills necessary for a great presentation.
Scientifically Speaking, of course.
Next Week: Speak Like Oprah (Forget Steve)
Twitter is my go to social media platform. I like it for the immediacy and quick headlines that it provides. This is a great tool for small business – and churches. Think of tweeting for your church as an on going bulletin. Here are the top 5 ways to use it:
I’m a BIG proponent of the church using technology as a tool to engage with existing members and welcome new ones. Like many small businesses, many churches don’t know how to get started and keep the conversations going with those online. Here are the five best practices:
- Live updates - Always encourage people to come to the church. If they cannot, use a hashtag they can follow every church service. When they go to the hashtag, they can follow the conversation. It can also be used as a bible study technique. example: #Jesusrocks
- Announcements - Set up a hashtag for announcements or a direct link to the document for your church bulletin. If there is a change, people can see it immediately. Tweet more than once per week to insure people see the information.
- Recognition - Reward and recognize your staff members with an announcement that contains their picture with their reward, what they did to win and the reward description. They can retweet the information to friends and family.
- Here’s What We Did! - Apps such as Instagram connect directly to Twitter. When doing work forHabitat for Humanity or planting in the church garden, take pictures and IMMEDIATELY tweet. Your audience will see that you are active. Post the pics on your Pinterest Board (for each ministry, too).
- Pray - Use local Twitter search tools to see who is asking for prayer. There are people who will use Twitter to ask someone to pray for them. That “someone” should be your church. Assure them that God (and you) are listening. Students sad about grades. Boyfriend / girlfriend / husband / wife drama? Your church is there for them.
Looking for other ways to use Twitter for your church? Try this link: Church Tech Today. Remember: it’s not one or the other. You can have paper bulletins, make announcements during service AND use Twitter. Make sure you are using as many avenues as possible to reach your church members.
Scientifically Speaking, of course.
Next Week: What To Do When You Get Nervous
The first time I got a website I was so excited! I felt like I was finally a legitimate business. I immediately told friends and family that I had arrived. My father never had a website! I had paid $1000 (pretty cheap), someone typed some code and there it was. I listed my website on my business cards, brochures and every flyer I printed.
That was 7 years ago – a lifetime in technology years.
I occasionally go to my website, but these days I direct customers to my blog, Fan Page and LinkedIn profile more often. Who will win? The old faithful website or the new kid social media?
- It’s Alive! - Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are dynamic entities. They change every day. Your Fans post things on your wall (if they have Liked you). You interact with customers in real time and conversations are generated online. By their nature, webpages are static. The code is typed and their it stays. Some customers will appreciate this because they are comfortable it. What happens when prices change? A new product is released? How do your clients communicate with you in real time with technical support issues? Your website wasn’t built for that. Social media was.
Advantage: Social Media
- It’s a Numbers Game - How many people visited your website today? Last week? 93% of Americans with internet access have a Facebook page! There are over 750 million active users on Facebook. Gang ‘nam style has exceeded 1 billion views on YouTube. People are almost spending more time on social media sites and computers than TV. Audiences are watching social media. The average Facebook user has 229 Friends andspends 55 minutes / day on the site. How much traffic is going to your website? Advantage: Social Media
- Control - It is increasingly becoming more evident that our data on Facebook is owned by Facebook – not us. When I paid $1000 for my site, I knew it was mine. Everything I put on my pages is mine. I can change the layout of my pages to my satisfaction. My branding is uniquely displayed on my website. There are no ads on my website. I control every aspect of it. The price of free social media pages is not free. Pinterest and other sites give guidelines from which all users must operate. There is a trade off businesses make to use social media: control.
Scientifically Speaking, of course.
Next Week: Website vs. Social Media
- Black History
- Dr. King
- John F. Kennedy
- personal development
- small business
- social media
- Steve Jobs
- visual aid
- visual aids