Public Speaking Anxiety

With it being the first work day of 2011, I’m sure a lot of us have some resolutions we are trying to live up to and trying to make happen. Whether your resolution is to lose weight, stop smoking, or overcome something that held you up in the past, I’m sure you have a set of goals to make your resolution happen.

If your resolution this year is to be a better public speaker, it can be hard to set goals that will help you reach what is, more than likely, an end result of making a public speech. Like all resolutions, the best thing for you to do is to set smaller goals that will get you more comfortable with the idea of being in front of people, before you tackle the idea of a long speech.

If you suffer from public speaking anxiety and want to overcome that this year, try starting small and working your way up the ladder of challenges. Here are some easy (free!) suggestions to starting down the path of conquering the anxiety.

  1. Volunteer time reading books to an after school program. Not only is this a great way to spend your time, but you’ll get used to reading out loud. You will learn the importance of pace, tone, and not to do the annoying robot voice that will put us all to sleep. Small children are also forgiving – so it’s an audience that can be very easy to make happy.
  2. Join an Online Forum. Joining an online forum will help you learn how to articulate your thoughts into a speech-like format. The great thing about forums is that you’ll get connections with people you wouldn’t usually come in contact with and it will teach you how to speak up in a situation when you’re dealing with people you don’t know.
  3. Watch other speakers. Attend free events at your local community college or university and watch how other speakers use the stage to their advantage. Take notes about what you like and what you don’t, then practice at home.

If you want to overcome this kind of fear, you don’t have to run out and spend a lot of money on different kinds of books and DVD’s. You can find some ways to get a little bit of confidence in your abilities right in your own backyard and never have to spend a dime.

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AccuConference | Getting More People To Attend Your Conference Call

Getting More People To Attend Your Conference Call

How to get the word out about your conference call? Bummed by the low attendance at your last one or two or ten? Read on.

Make sure the conference call is well publicized.
If it’s for a specific team, you’ll need to make sure the time is a suitable hour for everyone to attend. If it’s an open invitation conference call, you’ll need to make sure that a large number of people are even aware you’re hosting a call. Sending out email reminders is one very good way to do this, announcements on Twitter is another, even announcing the call on Facebook or LinkedIn has worked for our clients.

Send out a couple more reminders as the event approaches.
Try a week before and then the day before or the day of if you’re using email. Facebook reminds users with its sidebar scheduler, and you can also send out Facebook email if attendees have agreed to join a group or become a fan (all that Facebook lingo!). Make sure the date and time are clear and include a subject. What is your conference call about? Discussing budgets? Agreeing on a design? Advising entrepreneurs on marketing themselves better? A clear subject will get more people.

Use incentives to attract listeners and then wow them with content.
I can’t tell you how many times someone comes up with an incentive (win a 100 dollars!) and then drones on and on about stale marketing ideas for entrepreneurs. Or someone raffles off a dinner for two and then won’t entertain any ideas on a new design for the logo. Or someone promises the budget meeting will be worth the time to attend and then doesn’t even show up or sends a lackey to do the job for him. Match the content to the incentive and you’ll light up those phone lines.

The point of a conference call is to interact with others. If you’re worried no one will show up on your call, invite a few associates or coworkers to join you. Simply having someone guaranteed to be there will help you plan for a better conference. If you find that your team skips the weekly conference in favor of making more client calls, you’ve got to find some way to convince them that the twenty minutes spent together as a team will help to retain and attract more clients, and that’s the hard part. Spending some time brainstorming how to get everyone on the calls is a worthy task for you to-do list.

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