Archive: November, 2019

Post from Transformation Tom- It’s Alright to Have a “Stage” Me— Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “The Anxiety”

Posted by tomdowd - November 25, 2019 - News
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It almost seems contradictory to have a section about finding your personal niche immediately followed by how different you may appear on stage. Let me explain. My wife watched some of my speeches and videos in disbelief and commented how different I was on stage. I was different on stage, to some extent, for many reasons. My confidence level had been rising, and I was developing an emerging personality comfortable enough at a podium to send strong messages. All of this is much different from sitting around the dinner table chatting. The stage me is still the “real” me; I am not being an actor up on stage. I couldn’t be acting and still genuinely believe that my message would effectively relate and connect with the audience.

As my confidence continued to soar, I began to reconnect the stage me with the off-stage me. I’m sure I’ve narrowed the gap a little, but there will still most likely be differences. The important point is that it is still me up there. If you remember, I am typically introverted naturally, so I had to work hard on my stage presence to ensure I had the right impact. When I first videotaped myself, I had to ask, “Is that really me?” The answer was always yes. When I received feedback that I looked different on stage or on camera, I was all right with that. It is always fun trying different material and in some cases pushing the limits of my personality, to meet audience needs. You need to be comfortable knowing that there may be a different stage you, and feel good about the fact that that can still be the real you.

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Be Different—Be You- Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “The Anxiety”

Posted by tomdowd - November 18, 2019 - News
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We see a speaker we enjoy, and we often want to be like him or her. Instead of emulating that person, however, try taking some of the things you like about the speaker and adding them to your repertoire. Some great things about great speakers should be copied: some speakers use vocal variety well, others have a strong stage presence, and still others can tell a story simply with their hand gestures and facial expressions. You should, however, find what makes you who you are and strengthen that. Your success will be based on your ability to connect with an audience and have them take away your messages. Audiences should remember you for your signature style, not because you speak like (insert name here). While you grow as a speaker, find what has worked for you and keep refining it. Your niche is there; it just needs to be nourished. I watched plenty of videos of Toastmasters World Champions of Public Speaking and other successful presenters, but it was when I began to simply watch, listen, and enjoy the speeches rather than trying to copy them that I truly felt like I was making progress in achieving my goals.

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Stop Comparing Yourself to Great Orators- Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “The Anxiety”

Posted by tomdowd - November 11, 2019 - News
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I can’t speak like that! You see someone on TV or go to a presentation and see someone who can speak circles around you. You might say I will never be like him or her, so why try? And so, our fear increases and our confidence falters because we have set the wrong bar. The bar is you. It may be nice to aspire to be someone whom you admire and want to emulate. The goal should be to reach the level of the better speakers, but the comparison should be how much you have improved yourself. If you said “um” and “ah” thirty-seven times in a five-minute speech, then your goal should be something less than thirty-seven the next time around. If you put others on a pedestal, you may never get on it. Set small improvement increments and aspire to attain them. Once they are reached, set more goals. Keep raising your own bar. You may be surprised at your own ascent.

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

Post from Transformation Tom- Don’t Let Personality be an Excuse- Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “The Anxiety”

Posted by tomdowd - November 4, 2019 - News
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I’m too shy, too introverted, too loud, too boisterous, too extroverted, too technical, too judgmental, or too energetic to be a decent public speaker. The list can go on and on as to why people lack the confidence to speak publicly. Many other reasons seem to revolve around being too quiet and withdrawn; however, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a message to send. Conversely, attention-grabbing extroverts have told me that they fear being in front of a group of people because of the risk of blurting out something ill-advised or untimely.

No two public speakers are exactly alike.  Public speaking needs all types of personalities in order to relate to the many diverse audience’s expectations.  However, this is not just about the business of public speaking; it’s about the personal side. You can use your own personality and interests as strong tools. If you are a “sports junky,” find ways to include that in your presentations. It is important, however, to make sure you are being thoughtful and inclusive when talking about your own personal topics, such as sports and adventures that make you happy and comfortable. When using sports metaphors, for example, you should ensure that audiences will understand your references. I would avoid a baseball metaphor like “it was a home run” if I was speaking in the United Kingdom, for example, since the popularity of the sport is not necessarily widespread there. As long as you are certain you and your audiences are on the same page, you can recount personal experiences playing or even watching events. You can describe how you felt when pushed to the limits or lessons you learned after a loss.

I like to share a story about when the 2004 Boston Red Sox were losing the American League Championship to the New York Yankees three games to zero in the seven-game series. I was invited by a friend who was a Yankees fan to go to game four at Fenway Park in Boston. No Major League Baseball (MLB) team had ever come back to win a series after losing the first three games. The Red Sox made a dramatic comeback in the ninth inning to tie the game. They won it in spectacular fashion with a home run to win the game in the bottom of the twelfth inning. The Red Sox eventually became the first MLB team to ever win a series like this. The story and its messages have so many different twists and turns that can be tailored to many different audiences’ tastes and expectations. I typically share that my Yankees friend conveniently needed to leave with the game tied at the top of the twelfth inning. In one of the arguably greatest baseball games ever played, I simply say that I heard the cheering outside the stadium since I was walking to the car. I never saw it. The message, which I temper with humor in the story, is: never walk away from potentially historic moments.

You can try infusing your personality and interests into a presentation to play to your strengths if you can ensure that there are messages and points that relate back to the audience. This allows you to control the content that is meaningful to you and allows your own personality to shine because it has significance to you. You can also test and share your personality with others. Maybe you start with a more intimate audience sitting around a conference table. I often felt when I was first beginning that one of my strengths was one-on-one conversational teaching, and the smaller audience gave me the base to build my confidence and public-speaking skills. I began to expand my messaging to a few people around a table before taking it to a class of fifteen to twenty people. The process expanded as my strengths grew with my confidence. Your personality is who you are, but it should never be used as an excuse to avoid the opportunity to make you stronger. You can use your personality to your advantage, while also pushing further to transform over time into the person you want to be. No two speakers are exactly alike, and that is a good thing. Regardless of the personality, you have shaped for yourself, you can grow into a successful public speaker.

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby