“I know my material, but my friends say that I just don’t look confident when I’m giving a pitch,” my client, Abigail, said.
“What do you want in this situation?” I asked.
“I want to look confident. No, I want to feel confident,” Abigail said.
“How would you know that you’re confident?” I asked.
“I’d feel peaceful,” she replied.
“Interesting. I have some ideas that could be truly useful to you. Ready to take a look at some different ideas?”
“Okay. Imagine that these next ideas I share with you are like some different flowers, blossoming in a garden.”
“Okay,” Abigail said. Her eyes showed that she was intrigued.
“So, one idea is, ‘If I was confident, I’d feel peaceful just before I give a pitch. Here’s another idea—like another flower: ‘Confidence is NOT comfort.’ Now, stay with me. If you use this idea, ‘Confidence is NOT comfort,’ you FREE yourself,” I said.
“You free yourself because you stop waiting for some magic thing to happen to take any discomfort away. More than that, you’ll be able to jump in and take positive action. Here’s something valuable: Confidence is a toolkit—now work it.”
“A toolkit? What’s in it?”
“A number of techniques that I’ve learned in over 16 years as a professional speaker—and as an introvert,” I said.
“Yes. We talked about that. We’re both introverts,” she replied.
“We’re going to do some Effective Rehearsal today,” I began. “It’s not just about memorizing your text. And, it’s not about raising your hand to gesture on a particular word. Instead, I’ll show you how to Pivot in the Moment. I’ll show you how to read the audience and slide into another technique—into another speech pattern. You could slide into asking a question that engages the audience. Something that wakes them up. Or even a bit of humor,” I said.
Abigail was smiling.
“Today, I’m opening up that confidence toolkit. I’m teaching you the techniques of Extreme Confidence,” I said.
“How is it extreme?”
“We are rising to the Extreme Confidence level when you KNOW that you know how to adapt to anything. I’ll show you methods. We’ll find which ones really connect with you as an individual. You’ll be prepared to deal with tough moments: your mind going blank, an investor asking the WORST question. I’ll show you have to maintain your poise and STILL get time to think!” I said. “This is not just about words or memorizing. With Effective Rehearsal, the techniques become Part of You. We customize the process. I’ll show you. Give me the opening words of your pitch.”
“Hello, I’m Abigail. I’m CEO of XY Corp. Today, I’m going to—”
“Pause,” I said.
“You’ve just wasted the first 20 seconds of your pitch. I’m going to ask you about what you might prefer here. I’ll give you a couple of choices to start with. You could start with a question. You might start with a story. For example, ‘Sam steps into his officem and he finds something that he’s been dreading—’
Abigail leaned forward.
“You see, I’ve already got you. You’re into the story. Or you could start with a question. I’ll show the structure. “What is the XY thing that is doing the TERRIBLE THING to the 123_people?”
Abigail looked concerned. She asked, “Why is it so important to be so particular about the opening sentence?”
“It’s the first impression. The audience wants to know if they’re going to have endure another amateur. They want to be safe. They want to be in the hands of a pro.” I said. “So, Abigail, what feels better to you? Start with a story? Or start with a question?”
“I’d like to try a story first,” she replied.
* * *
- Confidence is NOT comfort.
- Confidence is a toolkit—now work it.
- Extreme Confidence is about practicing techniques so you can adapt to anything.
Special Note: My online course “Get the Big YES: Use Extreme Confidence to Get Clients and Get It Done!” launches (May 15, 2017). 20 videos and 11 audios are part of the training. Also, students will work with partners in the course. (See the image connected to this article that includes the benefits of this online course.)
Spoken Word Strategist
YourBodySoulandProsperity.com (visitors from 94 countries)
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