As we round up 2021 I know many of us will be facing end-of-year recaps, reviews, presentations, and meetings. I asked myself, ‘Who knows the most about this stuff?’ and immediately thought of Jessica Chen! As an Emmy Award winning journalist, CEO of SoulCast Media, and most recently the instructor of a #1 ranked LinkedIn Learning course on executive presence, Jessica is undoubtedly a pro. In her last talk with the CWK community she taught us how to speak confidently at work. This time we’re learning how to overcome the fear of public speaking, keep our audience engaged, ace performance reviews, and more!
Believe it or not, public speaking wasn’t always Jessica’s thing. Her career as a journalist helped her grow more confident in front of people and the camera. But don’t go applying to reporting jobs just yet, try this tip from Jessica first.
“Record, rewatch, and evaluate yourself before your presentation. You’ll see any fidgets or quirks and have an opportunity to work on it.”
I used to always practice with recordings before meetings with an old boss. Not only are you more aware of your movements, you also get a chance to work on your facial expressions, speed, and speech!
According to Jessica there are two major components of a presentation:
“Your delivery may be great, but if you don’t hook the audience and tell them explicitly why it’s important to them you could lose their attention.” (Tweet this!)
How many are guilty of nailing a presentation but getting really nervous for the Q&As, especially if you get asked something you don’t know the answer to? *raises hand*
Jessica shared a great way to combat this.
“First, get rid of the notion that you sound stupid or silly. Change your mentality to be positive and practice your response for questions you don’t know the answer to. Use nonverbal communication like nodding your head and eye contact to give clues that you’re listening.
Validate the person who asked the question with ‘That’s a great question’ or ‘I didn’t think about it that way’ and tell them you’ll get back to them with the answer. Lastly, transition the topic. Remember this is your presentation so you’re in charge of the conversation. Thank them for the question, share what else it made you think of and talk about that instead.”
Jessica’s free LinkedIn Learning course will help you develop executive presence during video conference calls. She also gave three surefire ways to keep your audience engaged:
Bonus: Download my on-camera starter kit freebie!
It’s that time of year for wrap-ups and performance reviews. Jessica and I agreed you shouldn’t let anxiety get the best of you, make a strong case and advocate for yourself instead.
“Show evidence of why you deserve that raise or promotion you’re asking for. Give examples of the things you did that were outside of your scope of work. Most importantly, have a good attitude, that always goes far.”
Also, don’t be afraid to hear no. No means you’re pushing the envelope and stretching toward more. It doesn’t end a conversation, it’s an opportunity to present more options.
If you’re looking to have better conversations, a great place to start is with small talk. In my opinion it’s one of those things that is hard for everyone but totally necessary. Jessica says we should be proactive, ask good follow up questions, and stick to broad topics like food, happenings in your city, and weather.
If you’re looking for even more answers to your communications questions join Jessica’s Soulcast Media membership program.
We’re on a roll of talking about scary things. We’ve talked about public speaking, presentations and next week we’re talking to Todd Dewett about risk taking. His latest book Live Hard is all about living fearlessly and taking necessary risks. He’ll be joining us to talk about getting outside of our comfort zone and defining success on our own terms. Hope to see you there!
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