Picture this: You’re on a large stage with lights blinding towards you. Hundreds of audience members are there to enjoy your presentation. If you’re like most people then this image immediately strikes fear. As much as 75% of people have a fear of public speaking, known as Glossophobia. This condition isn’t just reserved for people speaking on a large stage to a large audience though. You may have felt its effects in leading a virtual training, speaking up in a group meeting, giving a speech at a wedding, or meeting a new group of people for the first time.
There are many exercises that help get rid of your fear of public speaking and make yourself a better presenter. You owe it to your audience to work through these and be prepared; because according to Laura Stack in SuperCompetent Speaking: 6 Credibility Killer to Avoid your audience “may allow you a flub or two…but even the smallest errors can undermine your credibility”. Without establishing credibility your audience (no matter how large or small) will not believe you. And you’re supposed to be the expert, right? To establish your credibility from the beginning and maintain it throughout your presentation, follow these rules outlined by Stack.
- Don’t use filler words like “um”, “yeah”, “like”, and “er”. Sounds pretty easy, but most people truly aren’t aware of how many times they use these filler words due to nervousness or not being prepared. If you start any presentation fumbling through your works and mixing in fillers, you’ve lost audience. Immediately they’re thinking you don’t seem confident. And if that’s the case why should they believe you know what you’re talking about?
- Get rid of qualifiers. Avoid using the words “hopefully”, “ideally”, “kind of”, etc. These will only make you appear vague and ambiguous about what you’re saying.
- Don’t embellish. You may be the best thing since sliced bread, but there’s no reason to lay it on too thick. If you really are that great (hooray!) than chances are your reputation speaks for itself and your audience has already heard through various third parties and/or colleagues.
- Avoid clichés and overuse of business buzzwords. By definition, clichés are already overused and played out. Find another way to strike your audience’s attention.
- Proof, proof, proof! You don’t want any errors or typos in your slide presentation or corresponding handouts. It gives your audience a reason to focus on something other than you and what’s you’re saying.
- Adapt your presentation to your audience. Do research beforehand to gauge the knowledge level of your audience. You want to strike a great balance of not going over everyone’s head without just stating obvious information.
By now you might be thinking to yourself “this is great information, but what does it have to do with BoomTown or the real estate industry?” Well, for one, many of our clients have the privilege of speaking on panels at the largest real estate conferences in the country. Plus, these tips can be applied to any form of communication to increase your effectiveness and raise your credibility. And, finally, one of the most important things in developing your lead nurturing plans is establishing yourself as a credible resource. You are making impressions with your leads through your day-to-day correspondence just as you would on a big stage.
Next time you prepare for a listing presentation or sit down for some prospecting time, look through this list and be honest with yourself on what you can improve on. There’s always opportunity to improve our skill set, especially when it comes to communicating with others.