Mirror Neurons, Glossophobia and A Thousand Paper Cuts

Spotlight

You are standing up on a stage bathed in the blue-white light of a spotlight. You know there is a crowd before you, but you can’t see past the very stage you stand on. Tremors buzz through your chest that turn your stomach into a hollow knot. The feeling works its way to your limbs as your heart begins to race and your mouth goes dry. You try not to breathe too hard, but surely they can see you practically panting up here. Your hands begin to tremble as you take hold of the microphone. You begin your speech, praying that this time your voice doesn't shake.

Good grief – I’m stressed out just reading that. Glossophobia: the fear of public speaking. 74% of Americans in 2013 suffered from speech anxiety. Interestingly, the feelings we create for ourselves in public speech situations do not really change even when presented with a similar smaller-scale situation. I recently spoke with a friend who said she panics when speaking in front of a handful of her colleagues at regular meetings. It doesn’t matter if we’re standing up to give a presentation in front of 5 people or 500 – we still feel the glare of that spotlight.

I realize public speaking for most may be akin to death by a thousand paper cuts: slow and painful. You may never be a world champion Toastmaster, but you can still be an effective and engaging speaker. There are a few things I’ve learned over time that have helped me with addressing a room full of people: boost your confidence – talk yourself up before you begin. No one can do a better job than you right now. There is always someone in your audience who is a worse speaker than you are. Just strive to be better than them. Regardless if it’s true, the confidence you give yourself will make all the difference in your presentation.

Be mindful of your body. How we move says more than our words ever could. Video tape yourself – even just the first couple minutes of your speech. You’ll be critical of yourself, but be sure not to overdo it. Just identify the nervous habits that are distracting, and change them. We all have mirror neurons in our brain which help us to mirror how another person is feeling. If you are passionate about what you are talking about, even if I typically don’t care, at that moment I’m engaged and passionate with you. If you are nervous, I am just as uncomfortable as you are.

So the next time you sit down with a potential client, a roomful of co workers, or the whole world, sit up straight with your shoulders back, raise your chin and smile. You are a fabulous speaker, if only for the moment.

Contributed by Ashley Hudson.

Ashley

The Introvert Bias

Quiet

Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is one of my favorite public figures. She herself is an introvert, but has found it within herself to speak to the world about the power of introversion and why the world is leaving them behind.

Cain explains that there is a difference between shyness and introverts, yet as a society,  we've come to regard them as one in the same. She says shyness is a fear of judgment and introversion is simply introspective, reflective and quiet.

She goes on to question why we have started emphatically using group work, open office spaces and stimulating environments. Introverts feel most alive, creative and capable in a quiet, less stimulating environment. The ironic part is that up to half of Americans are introverted – so nearly half of the population’s needs are being either ignored, or worse, shamed.

Something I found very interesting that she said was that extroverts get so excited that they put their own stamp on things, and other people’s ideas might not as easily bubble up to the surface. Recently I took a leadership class, and this truth was very self-evident.

As a class, my professor took us out of the classroom and outside, down the stairs and past the parking garage until we had walked a total of about ten or so minutes from the classroom. He stopped us all and started passing out bandanas (to which we gave him very confused looks). He stated we’d have to make it back to the classroom…blindfolded. And we had to do it all together, never letting go of each other. If that wasn’t enough, we had only 5 minutes to make a plan and get ready, then only 1 hour to reach the classroom.

What happened next was interesting. In a room full of leadership students, chaos broke out. Quickly and subconsciously the group broke in two, with the loud students shouting their ideas and the quiet, more introverted speaking quietly amongst themselves and observing the other group. Eventually the decision was made (in well under 5 minutes), and the plan was executed. Was it the best solution? Maybe. Maybe not.

When all was said and done our professor stood before us and recapped what he saw. He told us that while the group was deciding on a solution, the extroverts completely shut out the introverts, who were in fact coming up with the more creative ideas. But because they wouldn’t yell above everyone else, their ideas were never heard. His lesson for us that day was that sometimes a great leader isn’t the one who will yell the loudest, but rather the one who won’t.

Susan Cain did a very entertaining and informative TED Talk , which you can watch below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4

Contributed by Ashley Hudson

Reap the benefits of hosting your clients at a sporting or off-site event

This past Sunday, it was RSVP Cleveland/Akron day at the Akron Aeros baseball game. Families from RSVP and clients from the local area were in attendance and it turned out to be an exciting day for everyone.

Bill, owner of Closet Factory talking with Tony Succatto, owner of RSVP

Bob Pietrick, owner of Closet Factory talking with Tony Sucato, owner of RSVP

Thanks go out to the Akron Aeros management for providing such a wonderful facility and food for all of our guests. We highly recommend it for any business looking to host a fun day for their families and guests.

Renting a suite at a sporting event is well worth the effort. Having access to such a comfortable facility and the ability to entertain prospects, clients, and families really helps to make those important connections with people outside of normal business hours. Unlike networking events, attending a game is relaxed and fun. Everyone is there with the purpose of having a good time without the worry of having to be business-like or the pressure of industry talk. You'll find that you will learn more about your prospects and clients in casual talk at the game within the suite environment which will lead to better relationships and communication going into the future.

For instance, we learned things about our clients such as where they come from, how their careers have evolved, and personal things that in many instances are entertaining.  It's funny how in a relaxed setting clients will open up and share things about themselves and families that you wouldn't have found out under a more formal business setting.

Jim Inama, RSVP Cleveland talking with ***, owner of ****

Jim Inama, RSVP Cleveland talking with Lisa Matthews of Audio Video Interiors

The Aeros played well but couldn't overcome Curve outfielder Alex Dickerson who nearly hit for the cycle, eventually losing 9-4. In the end everyone still had a good time.

Hosting an event isn't limited to just a baseball venue, obviously, other sporting venues would be appropriate.  Don't forget about the "minors" also.  It doesn't have to be the big leauges in order to have a fun and productive event.  In addition, it wouldn't hurt to ask for customization of your event from the facility you would be renting from.  Many of them would be happy to help add special touches or little extras to make your event memorable and stand out from others that your clients may have attended in the past.

Here's how to get in touch with each of the professional baseball teams within the RSVP Kentucky Ohio Indiana footprint to schedule your company's day to the game and personal suite:

www.akronaeros.com

www.batsbaseball.com

www.indians.mlb.com

www.clippersbaseball.com

www.cincinnati.reds.mlb.com

www.lexingtonlegends.com

www.indyindians.com

www.daytondragons.com