Foliotek Blog

Four Tips for Public Speaking

alt "Nervous about public speaking? Picture the audience in their underwear." I don't know about you, but this little tidbit of information has never helped me calm down before a public speaking event. Why would I want to picture a crowd of people sitting and staring at me ... in their underwear? That does not make me laugh or calm my nerves! Let's talk about a few realistic public speaking tips that can help you rather than making you feel more awkward.

ONE

"Make eye contact with audience members one by one." WHAT? Literally look this crowd of eager and unfamiliar faces in the eye when I'm talking? No way! One of the top TED Talk Presenters, Simon Sinek, told Entrepreneur "If you can, give each person that you intently look at an entire sentence or thought, without breaking your gaze. When you finish a sentence, move on to another person and keep connecting with individual people until you're done speaking." Not only is Simon one of the top-watched presenters, but he's probably one of the most shy. It is mentioned in the article that he would rather not be at a social event, but if he is, he would like to just hide out in the corner. So if Sinek recommends looking people in the eye when you talk, he isn't messing around. Check out his TED Talk below to see how well he does this.

It's like you're having a conversation with your audience ... you're not speaking at them, you're speaking with them - Simon Sinek

TWO

Another tip from Sinek: turn nervousness into excitement. Transform these anxious symptoms into an excited energy instead. Oh, your palms are sweaty? That's because you can't wait to get out on that stage and start talking one-on-one with all these awesome people! Give yourself a pep-talk and rationalize all of your nerves as enthusiastic reactions to being ready for your presentation.

THREE

Believe that people are rooting for you. "They want a great experience. No one likes to see someone bomb. They really do want you to win" says Danielle LaPorte. People don't choose to go to a speaking event hoping to be bored, waste their time, or leave wishing they had seen a different presenter. They genuinely want to be intrigued, learn, and walk away from a speaker who has taught them a little something about themselves.

FOUR

"Know your strengths and weaknesses as a speaker, and accentuate the positive." No one is perfect. Understand how you excel and what you're still working on, and play on those traits as you speak. If you aren't a natural comedian, don't try to be; the audience will pick up on this. Instead, play on your intelligence and genuine care of the subject material. People appreciate true passion just as much as a joke or two. Plus, being true to yourself will make you feel more comfortable and in your element than trying to be someone you're not (especially in front of all those people just sitting around in their underwear).

The next time you're asked to speak or present and you start to get nervous, remember these tips and breathe a little easier knowing that you will present like a pro.

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Back to School Technology Tips

The semester is under way and our little college town has filled up with the youth and energy that the students bring. I really enjoy this time of year as it reminds me of my younger days when it was I roaming the campus at the University of Missouri. When thinking about what to write about for my blog post this month, the thought of offering helpful technology tips to all of the students out there made me smile. So, here it goes; five terrific technical tips to make life a little easier.
alt First, I wish to offer a simple technological solution to keeping track of everything that needs to be done. There are many to-do list applications that can be easily learned and utilized on a smart phone. This keeps the lists off of paper which often times gets lost and doesn’t travel well. I personally really enjoy a tool called ToDoist. It is quite simple to use. Create a project for each course and a separate list of things to do for each one. Any time you have an assignment or a quiz/test to study for, put it on the list with a deadline.

Second, using the calendar on your smartphone to plot out your schedule is very helpful. Put recurring meetings for each course time, planned study sessions, and other responsibilities. Organizing time is a key to success for college students. We all have this tool in our pocket, but many don’t bother to use it. Having this on your phone will ensure you will always have it with you. Notifications will pop up on your screen which will remind you to be where you need to be when you need to be there.

Third, use the alarms on your phone to remind you to do the little things. Schedules get busy; sometimes students struggle for simple reasons like being dehydrated or under-nourished. A little alarm that reminds you to drink some water or have your afternoon snack can help a lot in this regard.

Taking the time to update your resume along with other aspects of your personal brand at the start of each semester is a great habit to get into.

Fourth, take the start of each semester as a reminder to work on your personal brand. If you are going to college, chances are you are hoping to seek a professional position when you are done. Working on your Foliotek ID page, which includes an updated resume and links to your best artifact-filled projects, can help you build your identity incrementally. One big mistake young people make is putting this off until the end of college. This is not ideal as it is very easy to forget things like what the best projects were and what information is resume worthy. By taking the time to work on your professional identity each semester, you will have a lot to work with when it comes time to search for that first job.

Finally, I would like to suggest that you take the time to archive all of your work from each course into an online storage system. Again, Foliotek has a perfect tool for this. The files repository can be organized with a folder for each course. Simply upload every paper, PowerPoint, Excel file, video, or anything else you produce for each course. Uploading your work here will archive it safely. Hard drives crash, discs and thumbnail drives get lost, but your Foliotek account will still have your work in it even if your account expires. You can always come back to renew your account or click a button to download all of your files.

In summation, being a college student is a busy endeavor. It is easy to lose track of what must be done to maximize your opportunities. I am suggesting these five tips to help you be the best you can be: use a to do list application, use the calendar on your phone, use phone alarms to remember the little things, work on your professional identity every semester, and archive all of your work in a safe online repository. Taking these steps will help you keep organized and make the most out of your investment in a college education.

Related Posts:
How to Write a Resume
How to Format a Resume
How to Create a Personal Brand