So Apparently my list of 101 Mingle Tips has not solved all of the dating and social skills problems in the world. There are still a lot of lonely, poorly mannered, and socially uncomfortable people out there. So here I am. Back with more tips for you, as I update my original posts. New information is below the original post.
I love the old Seinfeld joke about the study of what people fear most. Number two on the list was death. Number one was public speaking. So the joke goes that if you are at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy! This brings me to my tip for today:
MINGLE TIP #41: PRACTICE THE 5 KEYS TO GREAT PUBLIC SPEAKING
If you find yourself getting nervous when you are speaking publicly or meeting a new person, I have some suggestions for you. If you can master these five things, then public speaking will be no problem:
(1) Practice. Practice. Practice. An old Nike commercial says "Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong." This is great advice. Practice your speaking before a big presentation, even if that means mentally to yourself. Eliminate the fear and stress that come from not being prepared.
(2) Have a "just hanging out" attitude. This should not be a surprise. My answer to just about every social skills problem possible can be summed up with this tip. Be the most comfortable person in the room, even if you have to fake it.
(3) Take on every public speaking opportunity you can find. Call in to a radio talk show. Volunteer to say the prayer at Thanksgiving dinner. Take a public speaking class. Join toastmasters. Talk to strangers. Whatever speaking opportunity you can find, take it on. The more public speaking you do, the more comfortable you will get.
(4) Be rested. I recently spoke at a conference in Las Vegas on a Sunday morning. I could have stayed out late on Saturday night and rolled in and winged the speech on a few hours of sleep. But would that have resulted in my best performance? If you want the best results, get a good nights rest, if possible. Don't even stay up late to practice.
(5) Attack nervousness like it's an opponent. Treat your nervousness as if it is something totally separated from you. It is an opponent to be defeated. So, if you have an opponent, do you back down and hope it doesn't defeat you, or do you get a little swagger and make your best effort to win? The next time you feel some nerves coming on in a social situation, go on the attack against it. Get confident and be assertive, not passive and afraid.
UPDATE: (6) Avoid words that might get you in trouble. Anyone can get tongue tied during a public talk. It is probably a good idea to avoid words that might get you into trouble. Word number one on this list is "success." Avoid this word at all costs during your speech, or you may accidentally give the impression that you have a one track mind about something else.
(7) Just do it. I know this sounds obvious, but a lot of times our biggest mistake happens when we overthink things. Whenever I meet people who speak regularly on television or the radio, I like to ask them if they ever get nervous. The answer is almost always the same--they used to at first, but they just made up their mind to do it and they did it. They eventually got over the nerves. Simple as that.
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