And... Take 2 In India.

I had the rare opportunity to get a second chance. Facilitate the same 2 day workshop but have a day to reflect in between- "What can I do better?"-

I’m doing a value selling workshop in INDIA! A different culture and different values, I want to be respectful and more importantly, relevant. Of course, at the end of the training I'd love them to say: “WOW”.

I think take 1 in Kolkata goes well but not a WoW. Smart participants but there is a communication gap on my side. It's the opposite of my usual audience because in India you nod your approval first, then ask. It takes me some time to realize this.

  • Me : “Okay, lets do this exercise, does that sound fair?"

  • Heads nodding “Yes"

  • Me: “Okay, go to the flip charts…"

  • Nothing

  • Me: “Lets start... now"

  • Nothing 

And so this goes on for 2 days.
I read the evaluations after the first session. Positive, but one feedback stands out:

"Too much monologue from the facilitator!"

MOI? Talking too much? 

In my mind, I don’t have much to say and often skip slides to get learners busy talking and doing the exercises.

There it is, one person has the confidence to say what many are probably thinking.

So what can I do better next time around? 

1) Communicate clearer and engage participants more.

  • Repeat key points at least twice.

  • Ask for an example after that key point.

2) Get participants up and moving more.

  • Do fun type listening exercises like Zoom Zap.

  • Do on the spot role-plays such as: The life of a customer.

3) Be specific in instructions and illustrate accordingly.

Take 2 in Delhi goes much better. By implementing these concepts there is more trust and safety and a monologue changes to dialogue! 

Presentation Jitters? 3 Acting Techniques To Manage Those Nerves.

A common question I'm asked: "I get really nervous (before a presentation or a meeting), how do I manage that?". It's not just anxiety they are feeling, it's also how much of that is going to show.

My answer? Actors are used to high stakes, each audition could be their next pay-check and that is performance pressure.The first impression is of utmost importance and starting strong with voice, presence and intention can influence that. Here are three techniques they use:

#1 - Stop holding your breath

  • Get your breathing under control. A voice that sounds more confident is because it not full of short breaths but one that is more resonant.

  • Close your eyes, inhale for a count 3 and exhale for a count of 5 through your mouth. Do this 3x

  • Even better: Sing. You not only need to inhale quickly and exhale slowly as you sing the phrases of a song, but you also need to maintain proper posture. Sing in the car, at home or find a quiet place to belt it. (By the way, my go-to song is "Need You Know'' by Lady Antebellum... I can remember the lyrics.)

#2 - Practice the first line

  • You must know your first line. Don't improvise it, memorise it.

  • Now, practice by saying it out loud.

  • This is the first time you are going to say these words in front of an audience, make sure it's not the first time you hear them as well.

  • Bonus: You immediately create confidence by engaging with eye contact and audience focus. It's the opposite of head down & reading your opening line or starting with "Um..."

#3 - See it

If you were to watch yourself on-camera delivering your spiel, what would you want to see?

  • A calm physical presence?

  • A conversational and clear tone?

  • Eye contact with audience?

  • You gotta see it to believe it!

Practice your breathing, say your first line out loud and see yourself as you would like to see THE BEST of you.

When you put these 3 techniques into play, you will feel more confident and change perceptions, your own and your audiences.