If anyone ever asked me to make a top 5 reasons why I think my business is so successful, I'd put public speaking in the number one spot.  I truly believe it is the biggest reason why Red Canoe Media thrives.  And a lot of that is thanks to today's guest Fred Miller.  Fred wrote the awesome book No Sweat Public Speaking a few years back and I read the entire thing in one night.  I still go back to it for tips.

If you are afraid of public speaking, you're really missing out on a super way to increase your visibility and authority, there's no doubt about it.  And if you're just petrified of crowds, you can always do video.  People love to see who's talking and they feel a closer connection to that person or brand because of that.

You're going to like this episode of NTR!

You'll Learn

  • Why speaking is important for every business owner
  • Why so many people have a fear of public speaking
  • How the fear of speaking can be lessened
  • Fred's "Expert Stool" approach to public speaking coaching
  • Tips on using PowerPoint
  • Tips on closing your presentation

Links Mentioned in This Episode

About Fred Miller

Fred E. Miller is the principal of “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!”

He is a speaker, an international coach, and an author.

His first book, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” was published in 2011. It is being bought internationally, and has rave reviews on Amazon.com.

He recently published a new and revised edition of one of his other books, “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!” This is one of the topics he speaks and gives workshops on. Many people struggle with this Personal Mini-Infomercial.

Fred-and-Book--2His website, NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com, has over two hundred articles and videos on Public Speaking and Presentation Skills.

In St. Louis, he has been interviewed on KWMU, Fox 2 News, KSDK, and KMOX.

His Ladue News column, “Talking Points,” is a monthly favorite.

His Mantra is: “Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.”

No one ever challenges that statement. Why would they!

His received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Missouri before taking his first sales position with Proctor & Gamble.

His entrepreneurial business background includes being the owner, or partner, in five successful business-to-business companies.

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Transcript:

WH:
Hello welcome to todays’ shows. This is navigate the rapids where we help business owners get through tough waters of online marketing. Today’s guest speaker is speaker (0:33) coach and author Fred Miller. Many people find climbing the career ladder or succeed in one own business usually means doing speaking in front of groups. It is a credibility builder. However, because of the fear of public speaking, many dread an activity. It consistently rank as the most common fear people share which holds many people back from reaching their potential, personally and professionally. If you have this fear or want to be a better presenter, our speaker has a messaged for you today. His first book “No Sweat Public Speaking” is being bought internationally and has rave reviews on amazon. Locally, he has been interviewed on radio stations KWMU and (1:15) and on television, stations fox two, and KSDK TV. His (1:20) Missouri news columns talking point are monthly favourite. Help me introduce Mr. Fred Miller
FM:
You personified my mantras. Speaking opportunities are business careers and leadership opportunities. I always run into you at speaking events and learn a ton of stuff from your presentation.
WH:
I appreciate that. It probably one of the most well-known secrets of building my business, the opportunities to speak in public
FM:
Take those videos of those opportunities and put them on your site so that people can view it again. When I was interviewed for the first time on KSDK that is one of the top videos on my site, and that is a lot of credibility.
WH:
I can imagine that people are just drawn to you because you were on a TV show. Tell me how you got into public speaking.
FM:
For years, I was a fan of Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracey and (2: 36). I was in toastmasters for many years and it was something I always wanted to do. I had several small business and I got out of them because the time was right. In 2011, I published my first book “No Sweat Public Speaking” because public speaking most people greatest fear, it holds so many people back.
WH:
Why do you think people have that fear?
FM:
Well that is a good question. First, when I am asked that question I asked why not. If you think about it, most of our conversations are one on one, usually one the phone, so you do not see the person. Young people are texting, emailing and they do not see or hear the persons, so when they get up in front of a group of people, they are out of their comfort zone and they feel uncomfortable.
The second thing is people’s fear of failure. It is shame because we learn more from failure than anything else that went right the first time. Another reason is they do not know their subject. Never go up and talk about what you do not know. Some people do not know the structure of a presentation. You need to practice presenting, practicing is not optional. Steve Jobs is my presentation hero, he used to practice for weeks, and he is the best of the best.
WH:
I practice a lot, but I still get butterflies, but they are less than when I started.
FM:
What you want to do is take that nervous energy and channel it into your presentation, because presentation without energy is boring. You do not really want to get rid of the butterflies completely, because you might get too comfortable in front of the audience and lose your edge. There are two parts to presentation, content, and delivery.
Delivery trumps the content, you can have the greatest content in the world, but if you do not delivery, it in an interesting way the audience will never value the content.

WH:
You should also videotape yourself presenting and use them in online marketing as well.
FM:
People feel a better connection, when they can see and hear you. The smart people then would videotape their presentation and put it on their website. There are three learning styles, visual which is done by most of the population, auditory, which represents 35%, and then there is kinaesthetic which is learning by doing. If you can combine at least two style, the audience will get. The goal of communication in any form, verbal, written, or oral is to get the recipients as quickly as possible to get it.
WH:
I think the video on my website is another way to reach people.
FM:
People like to work with people they know.
WH:
We have talked about why people are afraid of public speaking, but what can people do to lessen that fear?
FM:
Never wake up and say I am scared, I am not prepared or I hate this because that is negative talk, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. In addition, when you are about to present you need to meet and greet people as they come in. It is easy to talk or present to people you have met before, so I have walked up and down in the aisle and introduced myself to the audience, to ease them and myself into the presentation. I have found that nametags help the meeting and greeting process so, I insist on nametags because people do not remember names. Although it is best to take off the nametag when you are speaking because it is a distraction to the audience. In addition, the presenter must make it clear the moments they plan to handle question and how. Usually questions are done before you close.

WH:
I like the nametag idea; it helps me remember their names.
FM:
Here is another tip. You want to find a friendly face in the audience, finish the thought, and look at another person. Do not keep staring at that one person, because it would become uneasy and make them uncomfortable. Do not take it personally when you see a sour puss face, there are a lot out there, and they may have a lot on their minds just find another face to look at.
WH:
You got ton loads of videos about the different level of the elevator pitch and something about the expert’s tools. I was hoping that we could talk about the expert’s tools
FM:
It goes hand in glove with internet marketing. Everyone wants to be seen as an expert because we like to work for experts. We experts command more money for the product and services. They want to build their expert tools, which comes in three legs. Speaking, writing – on and offline- and promoting that through the internet.
If you meet people and they ask how do I find out more about you, you can tell them, google me and it would be like a third part endorsement. When they google you and find all the hits, they are only going to look at a few pages and that is great credibility building.
WH:
Do you typically take the videos and put them on your website or do you link to them for that third party?
FM:
I would take the YouTube and embed it into my site.
WH:
I have some clients that use vemo and they seem to have some control over it.

FM:
I use slide share. It allows you to have links going back to my site.
WH:
Slide share has this setting where a pop up comes in the middle of the screen at the end of a presentation and says if you want to find out more click this link.
FM:
Really, that great I have to check that out thank you.
WH:
Since we were talking about slides, let us talk about PowerPoint.
FM:
Everyone loves PowerPoint but most of the time it is done incorrectly. There is just text and more text. We cannot multi task. You can be reading here but people are looking there and there is a disconnect. The best option is use a high quality, universally accepted image and you provide the information with your mouth.
Use the beam button on the keyboard to make the screen go blank, so that the audience looks at you. Let us go back to presentation where delivery trumps content. On the delivery side, there is verbal and non-verbal. Non-verbal trumps verbal. If they are drawn to the light on the screen they are not looking at you, and it is important that they look at you.
There is voluntary and involuntary communication non-verbal. If your one of those people that roll their eyes when you do not believe what you hear you need to keep that in check because people believe what they see.
WH:
Do you use anything besides PowerPoint?

FM:
I stick with PowerPoint but I may have some physical things. Here is the thing about props, if you take them out and you are finished you need to put them away. It is distracting; the audience are going to focus on the prop, not you or your message. PowerPoint is a tool but it has to use it correctly. Here is another tip, as the audience is looking at you; you need to stand to the left because we read left to right. It is a little thing but it makes a big difference. Blanking the screen is such a big thing, I remember the first time I did it, and everyone shifted and paid attention to me
WH:
How can business owners get started in finding gigs to speak at?
FM:
There are certain places that always have speakers, chambers of commerce, associations, clubs or even where you work, persons could also join toastmasters. Toast masters is an international organization have all kinds of chapter everywhere. They use two tracks of learning, public speaking, and leadership skills each with its own flavour.
I made a huge mistake when I started. The first club I joined all belonged to Mensa. It took me six month to figure out I was not fit. I eventually dropped out and I realized later on that I really want to do this so I joined a different club.
It is a nurturing environment. One of the things that people really like about it is that you will give a presentation and people will give you an evaluation, they will tell you what they like where you can improve and something else you like. Moreover, companies have lunch and learn, they have continuing education programmes but you have to go on and seek those, we are looking for those gigs and we want to go out and speak.
WH:
I recently have a chamber president tell me she was worried about her 2015 schedule because she did not have enough speakers lined up. I stuck my hand up and said I could do one of the twelve.

FM:
Well that is an opportunity for somebody.
WH:
Another way to get speaking gigs is to create them yourself. Three years ago, I started a meet up group hear in St. Louis, specifically around search-engine marketing. I tossed myself out there saying I am going to be teaching this class, if you are going to show up please do.
FM:
Yes, I think you should make your own speaking opportunities. I hope that I am going to start one next year called “No Sweat Public Speaking”. People can also teach a class. I teach at St. Louis community college continuing (23: 58) for three nights. There I am getting credibility and great stories and improve my speaking because I have a regular chance to speak. Here is another tip, make an audio recording of presentation or article and use it for podcasting.
WH:
Do you ever think that there is an audience too small for you?
FM:
The worst audience I have ever had was a video camera. Just make my own video, looking at the lens without any feedback was toughest thing in the world. I finally learnt that I could flip around the viewfinder. Yes, smaller audiences are a lot tougher. If you go to a movie theatre, and find a small number of people in there you kind of hold, back your enjoyment. The bigger the audience, the better because you get more feedback.
WH:
I really enjoy the bigger audience for the same reason. It takes longer to warm up a small crowd, they do not want to laugh in a small crowd or they have their arms crossed and you just know it is going to be a tough crowd. I spoke at a group session last month that had only four people which was a bummer. One of them eventually turned into a client for me so lesson learnt.
FM:
Another important point is although you have done this presentation countless of times, it is the first time that particular audience is hearing it so you need to do your best and present regardless of the size of the audience.
WH:
What about humour in a broadcast?
FM:
Humour is like icing on the cake. Do not expect everyone to laugh at it but make it appropriate to your material. Never say before I get started I want to tell a joke. Self-effacing humour is good in certain doses therefore never overdo it; it can have a negative effect. Never make fun of the audience.
WH:
Let us talk about questions. I like to take questions as they come because it makes the presentation more interactive but sometimes, I let the questions wait until the end. How do you handle typically questions?
FM:
I think somewhere in between is better. I always took them at the end, until I realized that if I had three different modules, for example, I probably should take a limited number of questions after each and more after the presentation. One of the problems I have found in taking questions during the presentation is that I am not good at time management. Another problem that I have found is that someone asks a question unrelated to do the topic that is currently being addressed and it throws off the rest of the audience.
Sometimes if someone raises their hands during the presentation, tell them to write that question down and ask you again after the presentation. In addition, there is no problem telling persons that you do not know how to answer the question, simply ask them to meet you after the presentation so that you can have a discussion with them. Never throw that question out to the audience because the discussion can go off into a tangent.
By the way, when someone asks you a question, you look at him, or her, finishes the thought, look at someone else with another question, and do the same thing, because what is going to happen is that you will end up in a conversation with one person and that not is good. The point is to be able to control the progress of the presentations.
WH:
During a presentation do you like to use the tips ideas, or is each one of your presentations different.
FM:
Tips are good idea; I did that with the nuggets lesson. People rather have a number to how many steps to do something for example 5 ways to overcome public speaking. What is also good is having a strong beginning and end because those are the moments people remember.
WH:
I have heard of the hammock moment, where people fall asleep during the presentation and wake up at the ends, so that tip you gave is good. It is also recommend having these moments of heartbeats in the presentations. Those moments you can change the way you are presenting to grab the audience’s attention again. It would be similar to do blanking the screen so they are focusing on you. So do you recycle any of your presentation for similar events?
FM:
I use modules in the presentation, and I tweak the presentation based on the modules. It is easier to present if you already know what you are presenting.
WH:
I remember this one time I was so nervous that I left my laptop; I had to use someone’s laptop that had the file.
FM:
Having dropbox or keynotes, pdf, or a printout of the file reliefs a lot of stress when you are anxious about presentations. Some people do not realize that PowerPoint and key notes have presenter view.
This allows you to see the slide the audience is looking at, the upcoming slides, and some notes. It allows you not to read directly from the slides, the audience hates that.
WH:
How do you finish of a presentation?
FM:
My slide has an exit door on a black background. Then I say time for the closing, blank the screen and then I say before I close. The closing have two parts: summarize what we talked about and challenge them to take of find a speaking opportunity and grab it. I have a signature presentation sign off that the audience does with me sometimes. I say “No Sweat”
WH:
Tell me about the book that you wrote.
FM:
“No Sweat Public Speaking”, it has the components, parts, and elements of a speech. It is great book, it on amazon. I wrote another one about “No Sweat Elevator Speech”. Everyone struggles with his or her elevator speech. An elevator speech is a mini presentation.
WH:
What is the best way to contact you?
FM:
Go to my website, http://www.nosweatpublicspeaking.com/ get the book, I do a lot of videos and blogging. I would love to hear from people.
WH:
This has been one of my favourites you always have a ton of advice.

About 

Will Hanke owns Saint Louis' top independent Internet Marketing firm, Red Canoe Media. In addition to helping some of St Louis' most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.