Many small business owners describe speaking about their businesses as uncomfortable and occasionally nerve-wracking, yet getting your message across is vital. After a successful exhibition at the FSB Expo in Rugby last month, a few thoughts came to mind about presenting at events.
Reframe negative chatter
Watch out for those messages you give yourself before talking to a group of people. Is it true that everyone will watch you with blank faces? And if they are watching you with blank faces, does that necessarily mean they are being critical?
Make a friend
The more events you go to, the more likely you are to get to know people. When there are familiar faces in the crowd it is far easier to focus in on them. If you don’t know anyone, start chatting with people around you. For me, this has led to some great business contacts and friendships.
Don’t do what you’ve always done
I’m fond of using notes on cards and plenty of preparation, but at this event a sudden change in running order meant I had to quickly present without being able to grab my notes. It went a lot smoother, so try mixing up your preferred way of working. It will get you out of your comfort zone.
Trick your brain
Make use of the fact that your brain cannot distinguish between reality and acting. Stand in your power pose – shoulders back, head up, smile and remind yourself that people want to hear what you have to say.
A final tip…Look Up!
Trying to find last week’s venue involved my car SatNav and then the app on my phone. After having no luck with either, I looked up and saw a sign 100 yards away directing me to the very place I was aiming for. The message could be one about moving away from technology but I chose to take it as a valuable reminder to look up and see the big picture. Don’t focus on only the fine detail, instead step back and really notice what’s around you.