Stage Time, Stage Time, Stage Time

Stage Time, Stage Time, Stage Time

I’ve been reflecting on my journey as a speaker and I wanted to share my very first professional speaking gig with you. Now pay attention! Not only is this a story that speaks to your journey of a speaker, but it is also a living example of story telling - a skill that every great speaker must master! My philosophy as a professional speaker who coaches others on their public speaking on stage and camera is that we can all learn from everyone’s experiences: good and bad. This one was quite a ride for me! I met a guy named Napolean through a real estate friend who lived in NJ, not too far from me. He was a speaker who was starting to put together workshops locally and he liked my energy. So he invited me to speak at an upcoming event that he was producing. Napolean was charismatic and enrolling and I thought he was cool so I said sure. I did not ask a lot of questions because I was just thrilled to have the opportunity to speak! (lesson #1) I assumed he’d done producing before and so I committed to the date, took off from work, and I declined another gig because I’d already given him my word. (lesson #2) He and I spoke briefly as the date approached and I practiced what I was going to do. It was the first time I’d be telling my addiction stories out in public. I planned to weave in my jokes too, but this was a big step for me. I was excited but also terrified. I arrived at...
Want to know the secret to stage presence?

Want to know the secret to stage presence?

Want to know the secret to stage presence? People come up to me after they’ve seen me speak and they often say: Wow, you have such stage presence! Which is lovely. I appreciate them. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You can cultivate stage presence too. Always come on the stage from a place of movement if at all possible. It’s better if you can be backstage or off camera, stretching, moving, breathing, walking, not pacing, but moving. The worst thing a speaker can do is to have to sit and wait and be nervous and just be shrinking. The tighter you feel, the less you breathe, which causes you to get more nervous, and then even tighter….it’s a vicious cycle. So get off your butt and stretch, move, breathe or at least walk around.  Remember the audience is more scared FOR you than you are of them. They need you to be good. I also want you to take a deep breath the second you step on stage or camera: a deep belly breath. Then take a moment and scan the audience if you’re on a stage or look right into the camera lens if you’re on camera. This pause is powerful. This pause says: Listen, what I’m about to say is important. So you’ll want to lean in and really listen. It’s a way to draw people in. It also conveys that you are powerful, that you’re coming from a place of power. You aren’t rushing because you believe whole heartedly in what you’re about to say. Communication is only 7% words. Body language speaks volumes in seconds.  When you stand up straight and strong, proud and...
Drop the Rock

Drop the Rock

I saw that title and it pierced me in my heart. Drop the rock. Just love the simplicity of it. It made me think of myself and my clients and our “stories”. We get attached to our rocks, our stories, our attachments. I’ve been working with a client named Scott. He is just so much fun to be around. He’s a Brooklyn boy who grew up in a tough family. Scott has a fabulous sense of humor and is a great business coach. He’s never had problems selling products when he worked for other people, but when he started his own business, it was a different game to try to sell his coaching services — and Scott’s not alone. Learning to own our own value and sing our own praises is a whole different can of worms. And I have yet to meet an entrepreneur who hasn’t struggled with this at least a little. As we’ve worked together, he has uncovered his “story” about himself. He has this whole “Not good enough, imposter thing,” going on. We’ve also uncovered “that if he was truly a great coach, he would have already made it,” even though his coaching business is literally only a few months old. I share this with you, dear reader, because I’ve been there and I imagine that you may have been there too. Or maybe you’re there now. We’re human. So therefore, we have limiting beliefs we don’t even know about! And they’re running the show. This is one reason I love coaching: being coached helps you take the blinders off, so you can see. A...
What Louis CK can teach you about screwing up

What Louis CK can teach you about screwing up

Most people love Louis CK and I must admit, I do too. But not for all the obvious reasons. I respect his writing and his delivery. I think he’s a great actor too. Sometimes I think he takes it too far. It kind of depends on my mood. But that’s not the point. I admire him because he is truly a master. I’ve watched his early clips and he was very forgettable. Maybe they just picked him to be on TV because they needed a red head (that’s the kind of stuff that happens in TV, seriously). My point is that he kept working on his craft. His writing, his comedy, many of his creative outlets. He wrote for other comics on TV and he kept doing stand up. And he got better. He kept honing his skill. Then he got his first show on his own - Lucky Louie, and it didn’t last long. It was not a great show (even though I did do voice-over on the show). But again, my point is that he learned from it and he kept going. And then he got his next show and he knocked it out of the park. And he’s never stopped writing and working on his craft. He’s talked about his writing, directing, acting, and all of the other things he’d done and he always comes back to his comedy. He thinks that that’s the hardest and he loves it the most. This is his brilliant opening monologue for SNL, but I must warn you, it’s rated R and you might get offended. My intention is that...
Do you sweat at the start of your videos or talks?

Do you sweat at the start of your videos or talks?

Do you sweat over the beginning of every speech? Have you wondered how to come across as confident when you feel like there’s a big wall between you and the audience? What if I could give you 1 simple tool that would have you create instant connection with any audience? So the first thing I do when I work with a speaker is to ask them how connected they are with themselves, first. We can’t really connect with other human beings effectively unless we are in touch with ourselves. The fastest way is to sit quietly for 5 minutes, close your eyes, and take deep breaths. Just notice your thoughts as if they are clouds going by in the sky. Just notice and then bring your focus back to your breath. Next, pause and reflect on your purpose, your reason for speaking. Remember how you’ve helped your clients in the past and what a difference you made for them. If you haven’t had clients yet, think about the friends, co-workers, and family members you’ve helped. Now you are connected with yourself and your mission. I go more into getting connected with your “why” here: Next, now this is for if you’re speaking at a live event: when you are getting close to going on, you’ve got to get a read on the audience before you walk onto the stage. You want to read and match their energy. If they’re tired or checked out, you want to have energy but you don’t want to “attack” them with overpowering energy. More about this later. If you’re about to do a shoot,...
I had a surprise last night…check it out!

I had a surprise last night…check it out!

Happy Monday! Hope you had an awesome weekend. I had a few ah-ah’s last night, so I made a special video just for you. It’s all about non-linear learning, speaking, comedy, and more. As we head into the ending of summer, this is a great time to reflect on the summer fun you’ve had AND see what else you’re up to so you can end your year powerfully. Stay tuned, I’ve got some cool things coming your way! Have an awesome day, Elaine Williams Your Captivate the Crowd & On-Camera...