Do you get sweaty and shake even thinking about public speaking and doing presentations. How are your palms right now? Has your lack of confidence got in the way of sales or promotions?
In this podcast Brenden of MasterTalk shares with us 5 tips to help you relax and enjoy public speaking.
Tony skinner 00:02
Hi, and welcome to the podcast channel, www.podcastmybusiness.com.au And today we have a special guest all the way from Canada. And Brenden from Master talk. How are you, Brenden?
Very good, Tony, How about yourself?
Tony skinner 00:18
I am awesome. And I’m supposed to say that with American sorry. It’s an American thing that a Canadian thing as such. I don’t know. Canadians can nuke so what’s what is it in Fargo? Fargo is up near that area, isn’t it?
Yeah, I think the only thing to know really about Canada is that we all live in igloos. And we’re all happy people. I think that’s pretty much the summary.
Tony skinner 00:42
That’s right. And we ride kangaroos to work.
Man, I can’t wait to visit Australia when this whole thing is over.
Tony skinner 00:53
It’s funny how people have perceptions like I perceive that you are in America, and you’re not. And I should know better. I should always say somebody’s Canadian. Because Canadians don’t like being called Americans. Americans don’t mind being called Canadians. Understand that, because Canada is a beautiful place. You’ve got to help us and that works inside of Australia.
This is true.
Tony skinner 01:17
And I don’t understand No, I will move on from all that wonderful stuff. So today, you’re joining us to discuss five public speaking tips. And it’s really important in business, that you are able to converse and speak about your business and your passions and just talk to people in a podcast channel. You don’t have to worry about it quite so much with the eye contact. But we all attend business meetings. We all do business presentations, we’ll do pictures. And it’s really important to I guess, hit those touchstones of what would be the five key public speaking tips. So what do you think would be the first tip, Brendan?
Absolutely. So the first tip would be pauses and silences. Tony, when you’re able to emphasize specific parts of a message. That’s how you really guide your audiences and the people you speak to in conversations towards the points that matter. So even the way I’m speaking to right now, notice how I’m pausing at strategic points to emphasize the point that matters.
So how do we how do we focus on this more as a speakers, the way that we want to do this is what I call forced silence drills. So what you want to do essentially, is you work with the partner. So let’s say we’re doing this exercise together. As an example. And I’m giving presentations, what you want to do is you want to pause me at specific parts of a presentation where you think I should be pausing more often, what this exercise does, is when you compare the recordings of when you pause, versus when you don’t, and you watch both you realize very quickly, that you’re a lot more effective as a speaker when you do pause. So having somebody else do that exercise for you will help you speed up your learning curve.
Tony skinner 03:07
Look, I completely agree with that. And I learned many years ago, and in doing a presentation to a new customer is that you get to the inevitable stage where you give the price. And I give the price, and then I shut up.
Yep, I can really do that one. Huh.
Tony skinner 03:33
And I just sit there. And of course, in podcasting, I can’t use the silences for as long, but I sit there and leave it up to them to break the silence. And it can stretch on for a bit and can get a bit uncomfortable. But if you’ve built enough report, then you can get away with that level of silence at top silence but it’s really important. And again, in podcasting, silence is gold.
Absolutely. In a part two to that, Tony is for those who want to push that even further. I call this the long stairs exercise. So essentially what I make clients do is, is I forced them to go up to their partners that have family members of the people in their house, and I forced them to stare into them for three minutes straight without saying a word. And most of them can’t do it. And it’s a but if you can do it, you get a lot more comfortable with pausing for five or 10 seconds in a regular presentation.
Tony skinner 04:25
I love that exercise. I do that as an exercise, but I do that regularly and people just blank me.
Tony skinner 04:34
I like it doesn’t Creep them out, which I’m really annoyed about. I do it to creep out but anyway. Cool. All right. So what would be the second tip?
Absolutely. So the second tip is getting rid of filler words. You know the good old blood? How do you stop that? How do you replace that with something more effective? So what I recommend people do is filler words and silences work manyways in a cause and effect relationship, so the more better you are at silences, the more effectively you’re able to remove your filler words. So if you’re able to pause for three minutes straight, obviously wouldn’t do that in a presentation. But just normally in the context of life, or when you’re practicing, it’s much easier for you to replace your filler words with nothing. Because the filler words they come up when we forget what we want to say next. So lets you ask me a question. I’m not sure what I do what normal people do is they go, Oh, yeah. What does Tony asking me? And then we answer the question, here’s what you want to do, as you get better is the same pause that you took to think about your answer instead of filling it with space. And with arms and ahhs and all that, those small words, you fill it up with nothing. And that’s how you do better.
Tony skinner 05:50
I’m very guilty of using filler words of talking to before I have just finished recording, I think was about 28,29 videos, for a podcast training course that should be uploaded pretty soon. And that’s my filler word. And so I’ll get someone I got. And, and, and all but not so much. But But and. And I thought, well, that’s a string that string things together. But you’re right, it is a filler word. So it’s difficult. And you’re right about the silences. And they’re breathing in all of us techniques, but right, it’s practice, practice, practice.
Absolutely. In one, one constellation, I’ll give people you know, to not worry too much about this is as long as you decrease your filler words by certain amount at some point people won’t notice them. So let’s say I say one, or one on a conversation, and it doesn’t get edited out. Well, people won’t really realize as long as the mass vast majority of the conversation is well done. So you don’t have to worry too much about making it zero. As long as it’s lower than it was before you listen to this episode.
Tony skinner 07:07
Yeah, and I’ve heard that you should be editing out amms and aaaass and filler words and what have you, then I think a video looks choppy, and so on and so forth. So yeah, I think it’s always interesting. So what would be your third tip?
Absolutely. So So after filler words and silences already, I want to point out so far in this video, or this presentation, that we’re having this conversation is this idea that if you can master filler words in silence, it’s already in the top 10% of speakers in the world, I can pretty much guarantee it, or at least the top 10% of the people I’ve coached over the years, I’ve done this.
And the reason is, I’ve seen a lot of executives who sign multi million dollar contracts, who can’t even do these two things, right. So if you’re already worried about public speaking, let me give you some reassurance. If you just do those two things, you’ll already be incredible. So the third thing is audience mastery. So a lot of people think about this idea of knowing your audience, but I push that analogy further. And I and I force people to think about obsessing over your audience, understanding the psychology of who they are, what they dream of what they aspire to be, who do they want to become.
And it’s from those conversations with them, that we’re able to say, Oh, this is what they actually want. And this is how they want to be communicated to. And a personal story I can give you is when I started to keynoting. I was fairly young. So I started giving these workshops when I was 23 to a lot of senior executives and big companies. And one one day I gave a give a workshop to a group of teenage girls from an underprivileged community who kind of had beyond as a give back speaker to teach some communication skills. And I was flaunting all my accomplishments. I worked with the CEO of this company I did the end of the girls came up to me one by one, they just looked at me, they said, What’s the CEO. And that’s when I realized that I wasn’t obsessive enough, but my audience, and I also had a lot of insecurity when I started speaking. So I was able to change my tune, instead of starting my presentations, how great I was, I started with the reason why I was scared of public speaking to begin with, you know, growing up in a city like Montreal, I had to learn French, and I didn’t know French. So all my presentations I gave in my French education system, I didn’t know the language. That’s why I struggled so much. And so by sharing that story with them, it gives them a sense of confidence and aspirations that if Brendan could become a speaker like this, I can do it too. So by understanding your audience, you’re able to spin your analogies, your stories, the way that you communicate and message them in a way they want to hear it.
Tony skinner 09:39
Yeah, and I think that’s quite critical. And again, as a business audience, get to know your customers get to know your prospective customers and what they’re looking for. And I would say most important thing is looking for a solution to a problem is really important. So what would be number four?
Absolutely. So number four, Fourth eye contact. So I’m going to keep, yeah.
Tony skinner 10:05
makes it interesting,
right. So I’m going to keep it simple for this conversation since most of our presentations are virtual these days. Though I talk more in details in my video that we’re talking about right now, right breakdown in person eye contact, but also for virtual, all you need to do keep your eyes on the camera lens. And a lot of people struggle with this, because they want to look directly at someone in this on the screen. But when you do that, the the image that appears on your video call, it actually doesn’t seem like I’m looking at you directly at all. So what you want to do instead, even if it is counterintuitive, is you want to have a picture of somebody that you love or something that you like, and put it right next to your camera lens, you’re always looking at the lens.
That’s what allows you to maintain a rapport with your audience. Especially if you’re giving a webinar, you don’t want to be looking at the screen, because it’s going to seem from the audience’s perspective that Brendan isn’t looking directly at them. And I know this is odd advice. But that’s how you prep for that type of situation. Want to keep your eyes glued. And this is obviously different. When you’re in person, you want to change up your eye contact depending on how many people are in the room. And you also want to prioritize their eye contact depending on who is in the room. And what your goal of the present what the goal of presentation is. But of course, for the purposes of the virtual, I would just keep my eyes on the prize.
Tony skinner 11:24
Yeah, absolutely. So what you’re saying is that have a picture of someone you know, love, next to the camera that you’re looking at, because a little bit is laptops these days are above or near the camera. And that way, when you look at it, you’re staring at them and sort of wandering your eyes because you know, zoom, you can have 20 people or whatever. And you’re wondering your eyes all the time.
Absolutely, completely agree.
Tony skinner 11:50
Fantastic. Okay. And before we get to number five, so tell me a little bit more about yourself.
Sure. What would you like to know the origin story?
Tony skinner 12:04
Now I warned you, I throw in little curly questions. And I thought now this is going to easy in too fast. And yeah, I want to make it a little bit curly, because I’m looking at your YouTube channel. And there’s one here five public speaking tips, which is where this has come from. So look up master talk and go to five public speaking tips. And then here there’s a lot about when you’re a university students and students and people you went to university with saying, Look, you’ve been quite good at public speaking and presentations for a long time. And you’ve inspired a lot of people. So you mentioned you started off quite young, and you’re not old by any stretch of the imagination. So you said it was because you have had a struggle with speaking French. But what has motivated you to be good at or being one of the best public speakers out there?
Right. It’s very kind of you’d say it’s very humbling Tony, so thanks for that. But But I think what happened really, I went to business school and i had a pretty normal life. And I wanted normal goals, which was to be an executive at a company that was it. You know, I just wanted to make ends meet, get my parents out of poverty, like any other second generation immigrant would with the opportunity that we’ve been handed to, since my parents worked really hard to bring me to Canada. So So I worked really hard.
And I wanted to get a job at IBM or McKinsey at one of those big, big, big accounting firms, those big jobs. And what I realized in that journey was the best way to get there was not only just to master communication, but to be dominating at it. It’s really the key differentiator for any one there. And there’s these things in business school called case competitions. So think of it like professional sports, but for nerds. So other guys my age were playing football or playing rugby or cricket. What I was doing is I was doing presentations competitively This is actually an international is actually a lot of sincere you’re from Austria, there’s actually a lot of universities who competed these competitions that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and having fun with with like the University of Melbourne and us who are in this indoor country. And what they do, essentially, I know that sounds crazy.
But the people the students from NSW take a flight to Canada every year, at least not this year, but most years spent $10,000 to enter the competition, 10 grand as a team, hotels, accommodations, all of its paid by the business faculty, just for them to give PowerPoint slides. Absolutely. And that was my life for three years I gave I competed in probably 50 of these competitions myself. I presented over 500 times between the ages of 19 and 23. And I coached dozens of people. So the direct benefit as for anybody who does these competitions is you have multiple job offers after you graduate because a lot of companies sponsor these that’s how I landed the job at IBM as a as a business consultant, which is what I do now. But what happened was the interaction benefit that I didn’t realize at the time was I became the youngest speech coach in the world without knowing it. So because I started coaching C level executives when I was 23. So and that’s because of that, that experience. And I realized also that a lot of people couldn’t afford me, and that nobody was democratizing the information on public speaking. And I got frustrated by that, you know, I was thinking, a 16 year old girl who wants to make a difference wants to raise money for charity, she should have access to the tools that I’m preaching on the channel, but nobody was doing it before me at a level that I was doing it. So I just started making videos in my mother’s basement didn’t think much of it, but uh, a year, I guess two years now since then, I’ve grown a pretty successful coaching practice. And it’s turned into a business, which is fascinating. But it’s been it’s been a fun journey for sure.
Tony skinner 15:49
And this is the thing that I’ve interviewed a lot of business owners and managers and so forth. Since early March, my startup podcast, my business, I do have another business. And I started that up. And of course, Rona came along. And I like, it’s much easier just to name it. And it, I’d always been doing well wanting to do online podcast interviews anyway. So I was quite lucky like that. But what I’ve discovered is that those who are gonna recover well from Coronavirus and continue on as a business are those who’ve got a passion for their business and a passion for helping others and delivering something worthwhile to others, especially again, solving a business problem, you’re solving a business problem that’s straightforward for people to understand. And that is the mastering public speaking, or public presentation, or one of those business skills that you got to have, when you’re interacting with people in business. That’s what I think is the key to having a successful business as well. Okay, so we’re up to number five. So what would be number five?
Right, so the video gives a different tip. So I’ll close actually something else, the one that we don’t really talk about that much. And number five for me would be mirroring. So I’ll give you a small context there. So let’s say you wake up in the morning, right? You’re getting ready for work, let’s assume a normal day without COVID you’re kind of going outside and stuff. And there’s two, there’s two types of energy that you bring in a day. So the first person looks at the mirror and says the following. This day is amazing. I got meetings get to listen to a podcast with Brendan and Tony, I get to talk to my friends dinner with my family. This is incredible. So the energy that you have, you then project onto everyone else around you, your friends, your colleagues, your friends, and more importantly, your audience. But the opposite is also true. This day sucks. I got to listen to a podcast episode Brandon and Tony, what is this boring stuff anyways, then I got to get dinner with my family. I see them all the time. And that energy is also projected onto everyone else around you, your friends, your colleagues, your co workers, and more importantly, your audience. So what’s the punch line? the punch line is the mirror that you look at in the morning isn’t just an object, but rather the very thing that you are, because as speakers, we are mirrors, we project our own emotions onto the audiences we speak to. So a good way of closing this off is asking your audience and giving them a choice, which is which emotions will you decide to show up with? Are you going to show up with boredom? Like most speakers, or maybe even anger? Or will you show up with calmness, excitement, positivity? And more importantly, during these times, reassurance?
You know, in all my speaking engagements got cancelled Tony overnight, I woke up to so much loss in revenue. And I was pretty depressed for a couple of days. But at the same time, I had to say, Okay, how do I reinvent myself? How do I share my ideas with them? Or how do I still serve people with the same energy, even if I’ve been stuck in my basement for the past six months of this whole thing started. This is the point that I’m trying to drive here. The emotions that we take to a presentation are entirely our choice. We choose to show up with kindness, we choose to show up with positivity. And if we choose the right emotions will be better than any speaker on the planet.
Tony skinner 19:39
I completely agree and I sort of say what I do. Okay, I do this because it’s fun. And also because I’ve got one of those voices. And I guess one of those personalities is the checkout people. When they asked me how I’m going I loudly go awesome. And it makes them jump, but they laugh. And they love it. Now they all know me, now I get better service, because I’m talking to them. And I’m not just blaming them, which is what they get from everybody. So, in Japan, they make you do these things publicly and whatever. So everyone should think about doing something like that being a bit more engaged, being a bit more engaging with people that you don’t normally talk to. And that will help your presentation skills as well.
Absolutely, I completely agree. You know, I think the better that we are, you know, the way that I see it anyways, is communication is a multiplier effect. If you get really good at one area, you’ll get better at all of them. I was really bad at presentations, and then all of a sudden, it was much better. But I was still bad at conversations, then I got better at conversations. And over time, what happens is you get better in all areas. So just start with one that you’re the most excited about. And keep working at it. And in no time you’ll be you’ll be multiplying your communication skills like Tony over here.
Tony skinner 21:00
Yeah, absolutely. And I and that’s what I say do something every day. share that passion. It’s that simple. Just talk about what you like. Right. Alright. Thanks very much. Brendon. Look, thanks so much for joining us. It’s 111 20 6pm where you are. So I really appreciate your time. And we might get you on again, because I’d like an add on one here. You got why introverts make excellent communicators because of course, I’m an introvert.
And you’re the most introverted podcast That,s I’ve met so far.
Tony skinner 21:38
But yeah, I do get asked, freaking I go to business meetings. And people do ask me how how can you attract so much attention? How can people notice you and hakam all of this and no more? Because I take every opportunity to publicize myself and publicize my business and what I’m doing, because I love doing that. And so when I go into a room, I don’t just walk into a room, I burst into a room. Even if I don’t say anything, I still burst into a room. So we might do a few more of these if that’s okay with you.
Few more sure.
Tony skinner 22:13
Every other day. No, I’m joking. We might do a couple. We’ll see where we end up. Alright. Thanks so much for your time, Brenden.
My pleasure, Tony. That’s for me.
Tony skinner 22:21
We might do a couple. We’ll see where we end up. All right. Thanks so much for your time.