Puds & Co podcast featuring Ariatu PR founder, Ronke Lawal discussing the importance of personal branding and crisis management in the digital age.
One of the most powerful aspects of public relations is media relations. Many brands and individuals seek PR agencies to undertake a media relations campaign in order to get featured by the press and it is a great way to build credibility. Media coverage raises awareness of your brand and the work of your business and encourages people to pay attention to your business. If you or your PR agency has been fortunate enough to get you media exposure then it is important that you take the time to prepare especially if it is your first time in the media spotlight which is why media training is so important. Media training is often focused on any video or audio interviews but you may find that you need to seek advice on making the most of written interviews. Making sure that you bring your best to a media interview will reap rewards in the future and allow you to capitalise on the content which is created with that interview. Media training will also give you the confidence that you may find that you are lacking due to fear of failure. Effective media training also prepares you for some of the pitfalls that comes with media exposure. Remember that everything you say whether it is written or recorded can make or break your brand, you might go viral for all the right reasons or you could even have a PR crisis for the wrong reasons.
I wrote this easy to use media training Ariatu PR eGuide provides constructive tips and advice on how to prepare for a range of media interviews via traditional media and new media. This is ideal for individuals who are about to conduct their first media interview and is an ideal tool to prepare for press coverage.
Make sure you order your own copy here.
For one to one media training sessions book here: http://www.ariatupublicrelations.com/bookariatuprservices/mediatraining
One of the most powerful PR tactics that an entrepreneur/business founder can use when undertaking a public relations campaign is public speaking. Aside from boosting your personal brand visibility, by allowing you to share your expertise becoming a confident public speaker enables you to build your own influence and solidifies your relationship with an audience, who in turn can become "micro brand ambassadors" by sharing their experience after listening to your talk. The impact that regular public speaking has on strengthening credibility and enhancing public image is something that is all too often underestimated. There are a number of reasons why this might be the case; fear of public speaking, uncertainty in brand values, inexperience or lack of awareness of where to start. Fear is a serious progress blocker and it stops us from doing some of the very things that are best for us. It is natural to feel nervous about speaking in front of groups of people, large or small but we must not let those fears stop us from moving forward. As the saying goes "feel the fear and do it anyway" - use the energy of fear to push you towards your goals.
Here are some tips on how you can become a confident public speaker and start using your voice to make an impact:
Start from wherever you are - either at team meetings, during board meetings or even at home. Challenge yourself to speak up in spaces in which you would normally not feel comfortable doing so. That is not to say that you should just speak for the sake of it, anything you say should add value to the conversation/meeting but through developing a habit of speaking in front of people, even small groups your confidence will grow.
Work on your story
Before you can step onto any stage you need to know your story, not just your own personal story (of which you should have already created a bio for) but your business story. Know the "why?", "how?", "where?", "who?" behind your business. Create a compelling narrative that highlights your expertise but also enamors the audience. This is not about being fake or copying anyone else's style, this is about being bold in the way you speak about your brand story. Try to be original too - when you tell your story, give your speech or presentation try to make it memorable - that could mean sharing an anecdote, using humour (tactfully) or encouraging audience participation. Learn the art of being yourself and you will become a truly confident public speaker.
Know your subject matter
If you will be speaking on industry themes, make sure that you research and stay on track of what is happening in your sector. So if you're a food entrepreneur make sure you know about what is hot in the food sector, if you're in fashion understand market trends, if you're in tech keep up to date with the drivers in tech and so on. Don't stop learning, the more you read fact based resources the more confident you will be as a public speaker and subject matter expert. Remember that this does not mean that you have to be perfect, just know your stuff! Set up google alerts about your specialist area so that you receive regular updates and be mindful of who you follow on social media. It is good to follow people in your sector but also try to include a diverse and dynamic group of people in your social media network.
The worse thing you can do is get on stage and try to copy anyone else's style. You can watch other people's speeches for inspiration and to learn the art of stage presence, timing and body language but when it comes to delivery you have to be yourself. Being authentic means that you will relax and give off the best energy on stage. Be yourself, that is the best way to build your confidence as a public speaker.
Look for opportunities to speak
Sometimes the very thing you are waiting for is actually waiting for you. A good example of this of this is the Tedx initiative, local TedTalks that you can apply to take part in. You don't have to wait for TedTalks to come to you! If that stage is too big for you or you don't feel ready then consider approaching other events, introduce yourself to event facilitators in your industry. There are so many to choose from and there is absolutely nothing wrong with sending an introductory note letting an event co-ordinator know that you would be willing to speak for them. If all else fails why not consider hosting your own event? It might take more planning and time but it's worth it!
Don't allow the fear to stop you.
It is inevitable that you will be nervous, especially if you're new to public speaking but you are worthy and capable of speaking publicly. Don't let the fear that you feel deny you of your right to shine brightly! Watch this video to help you get over the fear of public speaking:
Once you can conquer the fear you will find that you start to enjoy the opportunities that are offered to you and you are more likely to say yes when invited to speak. If you want to work on those nerves undertake some confidence boosting activities which can include giving a speech as a social gathering like a party or wedding. Be daring and ask for feedback from colleagues and friends, positive reinforcement is a real confidence booster (but don't become too reliant on this otherwise you may miss opportunities to learn and grow).
Be of value
One of the most powerful things that you can do as a public speaker is to be of value to the audience. This means leaving them with something that they did not have before hearing you speak, teaching them something and leaving them with a message that lingers. Do not simply regurgitate your life story without turning it into a life lesson. As a public speaker you can add value to the lives of the audience. This also works even if you are chairing a panel for example, you can direct questions that brings the best out of panelists. So remember to always think about the value you will be adding to the audience through your speech or presentation.
Hopefully this piece has helped you, when you start undertaking speaking engagements make sure you promote the events at which you will speak, share images and testimonials from any events that you speak at and keep momentum going by seeking new opportunities or maintaining your visibility enough to attract them.
Book a public speaking coaching session here: http://www.ariatupublicrelations.com/bookariatuprservices/publicspeaking
Originally published on http://www.ronkelawal.com/2018/06/how-to-become-a-confident-public-speaker.html