In a recent article from BRW, actor turned corporate coach Tom Henschel describes the techniques that actors use in auditions and how they can be applied to business situations, particularly job interviews. Many of his points also apply to small business owners (like me!) who have to go out and pitch for business.
I found that the article had plenty of useful tips and advice for anyone who finds it challenging to get out there in front of an audience and sell themselves.
Here are the main points that I took out and how you may like to use them to help improve your performance in meetings and presentations:
• Practise beforehand. Knowing what you are going to say and how you are going to make your point is a great way to enhance confidence. Practice your non-verbal communication as well as your sales spiel. Body language is an essential part of communication and the wrong body language can put people off before you have even said one word.
• Keep a positive attitude. Visualising a positive outcome is a commonly known technique for success and it works. You may not win every time but maintaining a positive attitude makes it more likely that you will persist and not fall at the first hurdle which can make a big difference to the long term likelihood that you will achieve your goals.
• Stay in the moment. Try to avoid getting distracted, especially by negative self-talk. If something goes wrong or you forget what you were going to say don’t panic, just try to improvise and turn the conversation back in the direction you want it to go. If you are too busy listening to your inner voice or worrying about how you are coming across you run the risk of appearing distracted or distant and you could miss valuable cues from your audience.
• Learn to cope with rejection. If you don’t get the job, or the client doesn’t accept your proposal it is important not to take it personally or dwell on it for too long. Consider what you can learn from the experience and then move on to the next one.
Next time you go into an important presentation or sales meeting try treating it like an audition (what a great idea!).
Using the same techniques that actors use to overcome nerves and fear of rejection can help you feel more confident which can in turn increase your chances of getting the best outcome for your business.