How to be a confident, compelling and convincing advisor when engaging with clients on an online platform

Four weeks of handholding with Ges Ray to help you achieve brilliant results for your clients and yourself

Takes place at 11:00 on Monday Apr 6, 13, 20 & 27

These online small group interactive sessions (maximum of 12 participants) will give you the opportunity to learn new technical skills, share your challenges and get advice on how to improve your engagement and impact.

Investment: £195 (+VAT) for the entire programme.

CLICK THIS LINK TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE TODAY

How to be engaging when meeting clients online—the basics of 1:1 on a virtual platform

Register for this free event online: 23 March 11:00

Is this you?

#workingfromhome for a week now.

Comms sorted.

Platform installed (Zoom Video Communications, Microsoft Teams etc).

Ready to continue communicating professionally with your clients.

Or are you?

Yes, you’ve viewed the tech tutorial, but how do you appear on screen?

How do you want to appear on screen?

Join me for a nil cost ½ hr walk through on Zoom Monday 23rd March 11:00am. Register below.

Breath Leadership 1 – look out for that sabre tooth tiger…

You’ve been there; you know the feeling.

You are in your meeting, at your event. You’re about to speak. Not just speak, but stand up and speak, in public. Public speaking.

Tension rising, temperature rising, pace of breathing rising. Now breathing short and shallow. Heading towards a sense of panic…

Why does this happen? What can you do about it? How can you use breathing to control the room rather than the room controlling you?

In this series of Breath Leadership articles we will look at:

  • Your breathing; what has a sabre tooth tiger got to do with your rising sense of panic?
  • Fundamental exercises to help you understand and control your breathing
  • Your handshake with your audience; how you can change your initial impact on the room with your opening breath
  • Breath leadership; using breathing to help you control the room, tigers notwithstanding

First of all, let’s look at why this happens. Why you can end up feeling you have just climbed a mountain when all you have done is walk to the front of the room.

You are a member of a social species, a species that has evolved and survived by sticking together, supporting each other, surviving together.

A couple of hundred thousand years ago, when you were safely in your cave dwelling with your family, you were comfortable. To step outside on your own risked putting you within range of a passing sabre tooth tiger, who had evolved by seeing you followed by the immediately thought of “Hmm, lunch…”

Hmm, lunch…

Then, you risked death.

Two hundred thousand years later, as you leave the comfort and security of your chair (your cave!) you are not at risk of death. OK, perhaps a tumbleweed moment of stage death as the applause dies before you reach the spot to speak… But your brain doesn’t differentiate.

The default index card that your brain likely selects as you walk to the front is marked ‘DANGER! Leaving the security of my cave. Extreme risk of being a healthy, nourishing lunch for any passing sabre tooth tiger…’

No surprise then that the fight-or-flight mechanism kicks in, adrenaline floods the bloodstream, hands drip with sweat.

No surprise, but what can you do about it?

Breathe.

How are you breathing now as you read this?

Chances are you are sitting reasonably comfortably, shallow breathing into the top of your lungs, the top of your chest. I’ve probably made you think about it now. You are conscious of your breathing, whereas a minute or two ago it was absolutely automatic. Sorry about that! But we’re going to make use of that awareness for a moment.

You’re breathing now in relaxed mode, in comfortable mode, in the mode of most of your audience.

Look at what happens when you physically exert yourself, in sports, in the gym, or for some of us simply making it up the stairs… Yes, you breathe more quickly, but you automatically breathe more deeply, deeper into your lungs, deeper into your chest space.

So when you walk to the front of the room, stop. Before you say a word, take one good deep breath.

You are helping your confidence, also your audience’s confidence in you.

In the next article we will look at how this happens, also breathing exercises to continue building your confidence as a speaker.

Want to explore more? Let’s talk, whether that’s on LinkedIn, email or a good old-fashioned conversation.

Email                     : ges.ray@speakinginpublic.info

Tel:                         : 0794 108 3722

Twitter                 : @gesspeaking

LinkedIn               : http://www.linkedin.com/in/gesray

Facebook            : https://www.facebook.com/ges.ray

Websites             : www.speakperformance.online

: www.speakinginpublic.info

Wine for the weekend?

One of the joys of living where there was once an orchard is inheriting a vine, about which I know very little other than it now occupies a considerable amount of the fence ‘twixt us and our neighbours. The late sunshine this Autumn seems to have produced a bumper crop of grapes!

Left to their own devices, said grapes would deliver an adequate return. Some munched by us, some left to mulch, some pecked by passing pigeons and other winged visitors to the garden. Fortunately, we have access to a touch of expertise, magic and sparkle in the wine department, courtesy of a neighbour’s father in law, who has just collected several drums of those sweet, purple globes bursting with promise and flavour, at the same time delivering a bottle of ‘Dorking Red,’ produce of last year’s harvest.

Ah what delights! How can you put a value on sitting in the Autumn sunshine, supping your own glass of heaven, produced from your own raw materials? (OK, so it may be pipped slightly by another neighbour, Denbies Vinyard just a few yards round the corner, but you know what I mean).

So how does this segue into Public Speaking and presenting? Stay on the vine with me for a moment…. It’s about that touch of expertise; that set of skills and techniques, that magic and sparkle that can transform the raw materials of your (s)talk into something rich in flavours, subtle nuances and a taste that will be remembered by all that imbibe at your table or consume at your conference….

Do enjoy a wonderful weekend!

(Ges thoroughly enjoys talking about wine, albeit has richer and more flavoursome expertise in Public Speaking & Presenting. If a workshop to build these skills and deliver confidence for your team, or a talk for your conference would be welcome, please do get in contact at ges.ray@speakinginpublic.info or on 0794 108 3722 )

The power of breathing!

How can something as simple as breathing have such a dramatic effect on the initial impression you make on your audience? Let’s take a look, and use some practical, day-to-day examples.

Have you ever had to stand up to speak at an ‘occasion’? Perhaps you needed to speak a few words at a party, or read a speech at someone’s wedding, even a eulogy – it can be quite a step up when you have to speak in front of clients in a business presentation!

What happens? Your stomach has taken up gymnastics and is doing backward flips, all on its own. Your hands have turned into damp dishrags – please, no-one greet me with a handshake at the moment. You hurry up to the front, you’re going over the words in your head, you immediately started speaking and very rapidly run…out…of…breath, just like I’m doing now…

Very soon, you’re caught in a vicious circle of not wanting to stop talking, whilst also not wishing to embarrass yourself by taking great gulps of air, and so it goes on…your brain is torn between trying to remember the words and staying alive…

So what can we do to avoid hitting that panic button?

Relax. When you walk up to that lectern, that spot in the room, turn round to face your audience, smile, and take a good, deep, breath.

You may be worried that a vast chasm of silence has opened up in front of you, and that you have got to, you simply must, fill the gap with words…… But that’s not the case.

Your audience won’t be feeling the same as you do; time is relative. Your audience will simply have clocked that you are there, ready to speak, ready to address them, and by pausing for a moment you’ve a better chance of catching their attention.

Simply taking that breath at the outset makes you look more confident; you’re more poised, you’re engaging their attention, and helping yourself sound more confident. The breath helps lower your diaphragm, lower the tone of your voice, helping you sound more relaxed and authoritative. Try putting that into practise now