public speaking

Woman practices her public speaking skills

Public speaking can’t always be avoided in the business world when you’re tapped on the shoulder to give a presentation to your peers or to an important client.

Even in the age of home video conferencing, it’s still very natural to feel like you’d rather do ANYTHING other than turn on that camera, take a deep breath, and feel everyone’s eyes on you…watching.

Ever wonder how actors push through stage fright?

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Have you ever lead a meeting or a discussion at work? If so, you've probably encountered that person who's not paying attention to what you're saying. He or she might be on the phone, staring off into space, or writing emails on the computer. This behavior is distracting and disrespectful, but how can you stop it from happening? Here are a few ways you can deal with a rude colleague during meetings:

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Everyone likes to be liked, especially as a leader. You want people to trust you, look up to you, and enjoy your company. You want people to listen to you, share things with you, and ask for your opinion. But what’s the secret to being a likable leader who gets things done? According to Katie Wake, a presentation coach at Own The Room, a communication skills training company, we like people who are smart but humble. So, how can you accomplish this? The answer is simple... don’t pretend to have all of the answers when you don’t. Instead, ask your audience for help. You could be very talented and knowledgeable in one area, but relatively clueless in another. You can’t possibly know everything, but if you ACT like you do, people won’t take you seriously and/or start resenting your authority. Instead of acting like you know the answer when you really don’t, tap into those who CAN provide some solutions. Think about it: when you solve a problem, you feel good about it. You feel proud and accomplished. Solving problems is satisfying, and because it makes you feel good, you want to solve more problems. If you can tap into this need, everyone is happy. The problem gets solved, and your team or audience feels valued and successful. As a result, you’re more appreciated as a leader. “Give your audience something meaty to do,” said Wake. “and then you have them eating out of the palm of your hand.” Being a likable leader isn’t as hard as you might think. Successful leaders don’t act like they know everything when they don’t. Instead, they tap into the people around them for help. They include people in the problems they are trying to solve.

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