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401(k) Marketing

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401(k) Marketing, LLC is not in the business of providing legal advice with respect to ERISA or any other applicable law. The materials and information do not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice. The materials are general in nature and intended for informational purposes only. All content, including any brochures or other materials designed for potential use with plan sponsors, fiduciaries, and plan participants, must be reviewed and approved by the compliance and legal department(s) of the Financial Professional and/or Third Party Administrators firm prior to any use to confirm that they meet the firm’s legal and compliance policies and standards. The Financial Professional, Third Party Administrator,  and his/her firm are solely responsible for the use of content and any materials included herein, and for ensuring that all services provided by the Financial Professional and Third Party Administrators conform to the firm’s legal and compliance policies and standards.

3 Tips to Become a Better Public Speaker

 

In a conference room, forty financial advisors are sitting and waiting for the regional event to begin. My task is simple - welcome everyone to the Atlanta Regional Workshop and introduce the first speaker. With sweaty palms, heart racing, and thick tongue, I walk to the front of the room. Greeted by eighty glaring eyeballs, I begin. “Hi, I’m Rebecca. I’m Rebecca. I’m Rebecca Houuuuuurihan? Ughhhhh ummm ugghhh hhh hhhh hhhh” Mind blank, heart thudding, I feel the first speaker’s hands on my shoulders as he is guiding me off the stage. And with a big smile, he says, “Let’s give her a hand.”

 

I share this true story because no one is naturally good at public speaking; it’s a trained skill.

 

After that event, one gentlemen came up to me and said, “You know, we’re all here to hear what you and the other speakers have to say.” That sentence was the beginning statement that reframed public speaking for me. “We all just want to hear what you have to say.” How powerful. So the next time you’re in front of a group of people, remember they are there to listen, and they want to hear what you have to say.

 

With reframing, I learned that anxiety and excitement produce the exact same chemicals in your body. However, how you process those emotions has dramatically different affects. If you let fear, doubt, and panic take over (see the story above), your brain converts to primitive thinking (fight or flight). Whereas, if you position the emotion as excitement, you shine.

 

Tip one: Mindset
The only thing you can truly control is your mindset. Knowing that your body reacts the same way to anxiety and excitement, it’s time to trick your mind. Whether or not you’re truly excited, tell yourself a few times, “I’m really excited” (and mean it!) After a few repetitions, this statement will begin to resonate, shifting your mindset and ultimately becoming true!

 

Tip two: Confidence
Sure, “just be more confident,” she says. Exactly, confidence is a skill that needs to be learned as well. There are a number of confidence-building exercises, but here is one of my favorites. Ready to give it a shot? Stand up and make the shape of a human X: separate your feet a little wider than hip distance and extend your hands over your head a little wider than shoulder distance.  Now puff out your chest a little bit. Pause. Breath. Do it again. Do it three times. Do you feel more confident? (This is from a fantastic Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy about Power Poses, for anyone who hasn’t seen it, highly recommend).

 

Tip 3: Practice

Everyone knows that practice makes perfect, but often this step is skipped because it feels silly. I recommend practicing in front of a mirror. Do the presentation at least five times from top to bottom. Yes, five times. Sometimes we are our own worst critics.  If you need additional feedback or more challenging practice try one of the following:

  1. Set up a row of empty chairs. Then practice in front of them. Right, this one is goofy. However, try it. You will find that for being empty chairs, they sure are judge-y.

  2. Ask a colleague, spouse, and/or friend to watch; select people you know will provide support and constructive feedback.

  3. Join a public speaking or networking group that allows practice in front of strangers.

Public speaking is live theatre. Remember the people there want to hear what you have to say. Anxiety and excitement are the same chemicals. Tell yourself, “I’m excited”, and you’ll shine with excitement; and practice, practice, practice makes perfect. Have fun, let your personality come through, and I can’t wait to watch you shine on the main stage!

 

Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!

 

 

About 401(k) Marketing

Our clients are the best professional retirement plan advisors, TPAs, and industry partners in the business. They care deeply about saving America’s retirement future. We are proud to share their voices through industry writings, professionally-designed marketing materials (including websites), and expert content collateral. We lend support by promoting businesses through on-going awareness campaigns. 401(k) Marketing is based in San Diego, CA. www.401k-marketing.com

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