Tag Archives: Confidence

Slay the Impromptu Dragon!

Has this ever happened to you? Maria arrived at work early, got a cup of coffee and settled into tackling her highest priority task of the day. When, out of nowhere, her boss Tony approached her cubicle and asked the question that strikes fear in the hearts most of employees, ‘Hi Maria … you busy?’

Without waiting for an answer, he indicated that some of the executives from Glitztronics were in for a project status review meeting. Andy, the team lead, had just called in sick, so Tony asked her to fill in and do a five-minute quickie overview for them … right now. ‘After all’, he said, ‘you’re the senior member of the project team anyway.’

Instant stress, panic and fear would overtake most people in a similar situation. They couldn’t say no, but would be terrified that they’d blow it and look foolish in front of their clients … and their boss. Not Dragon-Slayer Maria … she’s a real pro at workplace presentations.

Impromptu presentations can be the workplace communicator’s worst nightmare … if you let them. But, having a ‘what if’ plan for just such emergencies can save the day.

Here’s what Maria did to Slay the Dragon:

First, she took a deep breath, smiled at Tony and told him she’d be happy to help out with a tone of confidence, even appreciation.

Maria then asked him what three or four brief talking points he wanted her to discuss and who specifically would be in the room.

She jotted down some quick notes and followed him down the hall.

Tony briefly introduced Maria, indicating she was filling in for the absent Andy and turned the meeting over to her. And she had them at ‘hello’.

She welcomed the clients, said she was delighted to give them a brief project status and discuss its background, current activity and next series of milestones.

Then, Maria did a very smart thing … she asked them if that agenda worked for their needs and if anyone had any specific questions they wanted to make sure got addressed.

Since she hadn’t even seen Andy’s slides, she didn’t use any.

She simply did a brief review of the project and asked if they had any other questions. In her quick summary, Maria thanked them again for the opportunity to work with Glitztronics and said she looked forward to their next meeting.

So, you can all learn from a pro like Maria and Slay Your Impromptu Dragon. Have a basic structure in mind that can quickly adapt to most any topic and quickly decide on content points and support facts as you walk down the hall. Project confidence, enthusiasm and enjoyment, especially if you’re faking it, and never let them see you sweat.

Hey … it worked very well for Maria. She got applause from the clients and glowing comments from Tony, who didn’t forget her stepping up at performance review time. 

Slay the Impromptu Dragon!   

Has this ever happened to you? Emma arrived at work early, got a cup of coffee and settled into tackling her highest priority task of the day. When, out of nowhere, her boss Bob approached her cubicle and asked the question that strikes fear in the hearts most of employees, ‘Hi Emma … you busy?’ Read More »

Gesturing BEST Practices

Looks like you enjoyed our discussion of Gesturing Worst Practices last month. Except, of course, for those of you who thought I was describing what you do – sorry about that! So, how do you gesture more effectively? Fasten your seat belts for a quick spin around Gesturing BEST Practices. Read More »

The Eyes Have It!

If I only had time to teach my executive coaching clients one presentation delivery skill, it would be to maximize their eye contact. Properly done, it produces several positive results for both audiences and presenters. Nothing says more about credibility, power and confidence than what presenters do – and don’t do – with their eyes. Everything else is a ‘B’ priority. So, here’s your quick overview of why The Eyes Have it! Read More »

More on Confidence

‘Present with Confidence – Fear No More’ by Micki Holliday, National Press Publications, 2000.

A quick refresher of basic presentation tactics and strategies.

Speak with Confidence!

Presenting with confidence is critical to your career and business success. It’s that simple. And these contemporary expert professional speakers and authors really get the importance of confidence:

  • ‘Your ability to speak confidently on your feet will impress people and open more doors than you can imagine.’  Brian Tracy, author of ‘The Psychology of Selling’.
  • ‘Not being able to communicate with confidence and skill can barricade the door to success. Susan RoAne, author of ‘How to Work the Room’’.
  • ‘Speaking before a group stresses many otherwise capable people, and as a result their anxiety cripples their careers.’ Dianna Booher, author of’ ‘Speak with Confidence’.
  • ‘If you can’t speak confidently before groups, you’re going nowhere.’ Sherron Bienvenu, Ph.D., author of ‘The Presentation Skills Workshop’.

Presentation Anxiety Revisited

My colleague Steve Petti runs New Image Media here in Cleveland, specializing in effective video for the web. As part of his content marketing strategy, he’s inviting local experts to create two-minute video bites on interesting and useful business-related content to post on his website under ‘Grow Your Business/Cleveland’. Read More »

Slow Down … You Talk Too Fast!

It’s time to slow you down. An important component of your vocal delivery, your pace or rate of speaking can also impact your audience’s attention, interest and opinion of you. So can your ability to pause effectively. Read More »

Look the Part

Another step in enhancing your Workplace Presenter’s Tool Kit is to polish your facial expression. Remember that your audience only knows what it hears and sees. Not only is your face a great natural visual aid, it can also show nervousness or lack of confidence very quickly and clearly. So … look the part you’re playing – that of a confident and credible presenter.
Read More »

Give Them a Hand

I hope you found the recent summary of Gesturing ‘Worst Practices’ an interesting and mildly amusing trip. And if too much of it sounded like you … we have an app for that. So, fasten your seat belts for a quick spin around Gesturing Best Practices and how to give your audience a hand.

Read More »