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  • MALE SPEAKER: Hi everyone.

  • Thanks for coming.

  • I hosted this talk-- I initially was introduced

  • to Clarity Media when I was interviewing.

  • As many of you know that the Google interview process

  • can be a little challenging, especially from the outside.

  • And it's even weirder when you see it from the inside.

  • So I worked with Clarity Media to become more effective

  • in interviews and learned how to prepare

  • to be more effective in general in speaking.

  • And I was able to take the things I learned from them

  • and apply them to wedding speeches I gave,

  • to be more effective in meetings.

  • Even one of the wedding speeches I gave

  • was actually in Japanese, and I don't speak Japanese.

  • So there's a lot of really incredible stuff.

  • So hopefully it's really useful to everyone.

  • And a pleasure to introduce Bill McGowan.

  • [APPLAUSE]

  • BILL McGOWAN: Thank you.

  • I had no idea we specialized in bilingual wedding toasts.

  • That's actually even a surprise to me.

  • I appreciate everybody coming.

  • And presumably, everybody here or watching

  • is here because you'd like to be better

  • at public speaking or external communication.

  • So I want to give you a bunch of tips today

  • that I think would up everybody's game.

  • Right off the bat, just about every year

  • some kind of publication comes out

  • with a list of what the biggest fears in our life are.

  • And every year, the list stays pretty much the same.

  • Our fear of our own mortality is usually at number one,

  • getting on a plane is number three,

  • and I'm sure it comes as no surprise to everybody what

  • the number two fear is.

  • Everybody knows that it's public speaking, right?

  • And there are a number reasons why

  • this can throw us and send us into angst before we

  • have to get up and present.

  • Most of the people we work with are

  • on the left side of this spectrum.

  • They either have a fear of doing it,

  • or they can tolerate it if they're asked to do it.

  • They're on a team and it's their responsibility.

  • But very few people actually get a buzz from doing it.

  • And what we tend to do is try to get people from apprehension

  • to being OK with it.

  • And the encouraging news is once you get to being OK with it,

  • there is a way to actually get to the point

  • where you enjoy it.

  • And that's really the sweet spot,

  • because the more you enjoy it, the more you'll raise your hand

  • and volunteer to do it.

  • And the more you do it, the better you'll get at it.

  • So my key advice would be embrace every opportunity

  • to get up and talk when somebody on your team

  • suggests you do it.

  • Or don't shy away from an opportunity to public speak.

  • It's the best way to get better at it.

  • The one thing you should definitely

  • stay away from though is winging it.

  • And I find this is not a strategy.

  • Thinking that magic fairy dust is going to sprinkle down

  • on you and you're going to be eloquent and articulate and

  • effective and persuasive in the moment is really not realistic.

  • And this isn't just about giving a keynote speech

  • or giving a presentation.

  • This about heading into a meeting where you may think,

  • I'm probably going to be a spectator in this meeting

  • and I'm very likely not going to be asked for my input.

  • You can't assume that.

  • You should even go into a meeting

  • that you think you're going to be a spectator at with an idea

  • of what am I going to say if somebody wheels around asks me

  • for my opinion on this subject.

  • Let me plan what my point of view is and make it succinct.

  • Sometimes we work with very accomplished, grade A speakers.

  • And we'll be in a private session with them

  • and we'll be role playing, we'll be videotaping them.

  • And their energy level is not that great,

  • and I'll tell them I think you need to bump this up.

  • You're sort of mailing it in here.

  • And oftentimes what we'll hear from a client is don't worry,

  • when the adrenaline is going and I'm doing the real thing,

  • everything's going to be fine.

  • I'll be great.

  • And my urging to them was about practicing

  • the same way you play for real often fell on deaf ears

  • until the first presidential debate of the last election

  • cycle.

  • And if anybody has read the dissection of what

  • happened there, the present went out to Las Vegas

  • and he set up debate camp.

  • And he was handed videotapes of Mitt Romney

  • and his primary debates, and he was

  • asked to take a look at them.

  • Next thing you know, he was off at Hoover Dam

  • shaking hands and doing some photo ops

  • and he's just not engaged.

  • And David Axelrod, his chief adviser, came up to him

  • and he said Mr. President, we're a little concerned.

  • You don't seem plugged in.

  • You don't seem like you're investing the time.

  • And the president's response to Axelrod

  • was very much what I hear from people

  • who realize that they have a tremendous aptitude for this.

  • So my point is if that guy can't magically flip a switch

  • and be great because he has short changed the prep,

  • there's actually very little hope for the rest of us.

  • Same thing with Bill Clinton.

  • Somebody very close to him said best communicator

  • I've ever known, I've ever worked with,

  • when he was prepared.

  • But when he wasn't and all hell was breaking loose

  • and we were crashing in the limo on the way over to an event,

  • it always showed up.

  • So don't think that there is an elite crew

  • of gifted communicators who can just

  • mail it in and be spontaneous and great.

  • It actually doesn't happen.

  • And when you're rehearsing, when you're practicing a speech

  • or presentation-- which you absolutely should do-- the four

  • words you should never say is let's just start this again.

  • When you make a mistake in rehearsal, don't give up.

  • The important thing is to teach yourself

  • how you pull out of a moment where you're having brain lock

  • or you've lost your transition, or something's gone wrong.

  • If you don't practice that in rehearsal,

  • you'll never know how to do it when you get up

  • and give the speech for real.

  • It would be almost like a pilot in training

  • going into a flight simulator and then

  • just giving totally normal conditions,

  • never making them fly through turbulence

  • or learn how to navigate the plane in trouble.

  • So try to force yourself through those rough patches

  • when you're rehearsing.

  • How many of you here battle with this?

  • Feel anxious and you get a little sick to your stomach?

  • It is a perfectly natural byproduct of public speaking,

  • and it's what usually keeps us from doing it.

  • The very simple equation is the more you're prepared,

  • the less anxious you're going to be.

  • It happens every single time.

  • And you're probably going to be most nervous in the first two

  • minutes of a presentation.

  • Until you get your feet under you and you relax into it.

  • So really know that opening backwards and forwards.

  • And I mean the first line of what you're going to say.

  • Don't leave the first 15, 20 second warm up to ad libbing.

  • Even know that.

  • Whenever you hear somebody at a podium who

  • has that little shake, that little tremble in their voice

  • which is a dead giveaway that they're nervous,

  • those are a product of nerves.

  • But it's also a result of not breathing properly.

  • And when we get really nervous, we start mini hyperventilating.

  • These short shallow breaths which actually winds up

  • depleting our lungs of air, and that's

  • what gives the shake to our voice.

  • So if you find your pulse is running away with you

  • and you're extremely nervous, find a nice quiet place

  • down the hallway before you go on.

  • Three or four deep yoga breaths, long intake through your nose.

  • Hold it.

  • Long, slow, steady exhale through your mouth.

  • It's going to slow your pulse, it's

  • going to replenish your lungs with air,

  • and it's going to bring stability back your voice.

  • Because you don't want to be up at the podium

  • and looking like you're a wreck.

  • But even if you don't battle real anxiety,

  • we all get a shot of adrenaline when we get up to speak.

  • And that can have a good result and it can have a bad result.

  • You're probably going to talk a lot faster in the first five

  • minutes from just being a little anxious.

  • So make sure you come out of the gate

  • in a nice, controlled pace.

  • Your eye movement is going to accelerate the more nervous

  • you are.

  • So right now, I'm communicating directly with you.

  • And I'm going to move off and connect

  • with somebody else in the room.

  • That is ultimately what you're after.

  • What you don't want to do is what

  • I'm doing right now, which is actually

  • ping ponging around the room and not

  • landing on anybody specific.

  • I'm looking at all of these heads as an abstraction,

  • or I'm drifting over the tops of people's heads.

  • And it doesn't have the same level of connection

  • that landing on people actually does.

  • And we have all this pent up physical energy

  • from this shot of adrenaline.

  • And our bodies like to get rid of it.

  • And our feet typically wind up being the portal through which

  • we like to expunge this energy.

  • So many times, you'll see people in front

  • of a room doing what I call the stationary march.

  • Which is, I'm not really moving anywhere,

  • but I'm also not standing still.

  • There's a lot a rocking, there's a lot of swaying.

  • And I see this all the time.

  • It just gives a fidgety, nervous appearance

  • to your presentation.

  • To avoid that, you want to stand with you weight a little bit

  • forward on the balls of your feet.

  • You should feel a little bit of pressure in your toes.

  • What that does is it keeps you off your heels

  • where you wind up swaying and rocking the most.

  • The only place you want to be leaning

  • is actually into the audience to connect with them.

  • And I'm going to show you a clip of Reed Hastings who

  • commits this.

  • [VIDEO PLAYBACK]

  • [END VIDEO PLAYBACK]

  • BILL McGOWAN: Reed's feet actually never planted

  • that entire time.

  • They were in constant motion, and it's

  • only because his body is trying to get rid

  • of that excess physical energy.

  • It looks a little antsy.

  • And you should probably stay away from it.

  • Good news is all that nagging we got

  • as children was absolutely right.

  • Don't stay up until 3 o'clock in the morning working

  • on a presentation you have to do at 9 AM.

  • You'd be better off going to bed early, getting up at four,

  • and finishing it.

  • You're going to be a lot more alert.

  • And never do anything-- public speaking,

  • presentation on an empty stomach.

  • It's been proven medically that the synapses in your brain

  • do not fire as efficiently if you

  • don't have fuel in your body.

  • We just talked a little bit about making sure

  • that you're not slumped.

  • And if you're tall-- anybody really tall in this room?

  • Don't be apologetic about your height.

  • There's a lot of times I see people just trying

  • to compensate for their height.

  • Totally own your height in the front of a room.

  • And we talked a little bit about that connection.