Think for a moment how many business professionals there are. Yes, thousands! My question to you is this: “What is going to make you stand out amongst the massive sea of sameness?”

Steve Trister of Performance Dynamite

Paul Harrison sits down with Steve Trister of Performance Dynamite to gets their top three insights on the process.

Insight 1: How to connect emotionally to your content

People always remember you by HOW you make them feel, not by what you say. It’s critical when you communicate that your content has the right emotional tone to it. If you are talking to a potential new client and you say “I am really passionate about what we do”, yet the emotional tone you connect with is drab and boring, there will be a huge mismatch in the eyes of your prospect. You lose them.

In this instant, you must feel passionate when you say the word “passionate”. If you have an insatiable desire to marry up your content with the right emotional connection, your engagement will soar. It’s about your audience, NOT you.

Insight 2: Making gestures that support your message

Your audience is always taking mental pictures of you when you present. Think of them as a camera. This means making the right gestures is essential in creating a sticky message. In your mind, from now on, ask this question: “Are my gestures supporting my message?”

Eg. If you were talking about your company being a global enterprise, you wouldn’t make a gesture that’s tiny and small. You would make one that signifies the large scale, maybe using both hands to show a globe. This is a gesture that supports your message and your audience will “get it”.

If you don’t know if your gestures support your message, buy a camera, film yourself and watch it. Yes, I did just say that!

Insight 3: Be you and no one else

This may sound a bit “woo woo”. Who cares. The simple fact is, there’s only ONE you. How often do you give yourself permission to let all of your personality come out? Be honest. You don’t have the right to keep all that inside. You are awesome, so damn well show it!

You’ve heard that “people buy people”. They don’t buy a boring, lifeless, mind numbing personality in someone. Only those of you who aren’t worried about what other people think will truly stand out from the crowd. Go get ‘em!

Lebo Mdluli

Q&A: Steve Trister answers Lebo Mdluli questions on improving her public speaking

Lebo Mdluli is a London-based South African who is interested in furthering her career by further developing her public speaking skills.

How do I deal with my nerves?

Most of the time nerves are due to a lack of preparation. There will always be some, which is a good thing. This means that rehearsing on your feet as if you were delivering the presentation for real is very important. I go by this formula: repetition breeds familiarity; familiarity breeds Confidence; confidence breeds trust. When you trust yourself, you’ll feel much more comfortable.

How do I get rid of my “umm’s and eeer’s”

This is very common and can be solved if you are willing to put the effort in. It all boils down to awareness. Repeat this phrase in your mind: “I give myself complete permission to bring my awareness into every ’umm’ or ‘eerr’ and eradicate them forever”. Say this every day for 14 days and watch your awareness increase. Be warned, to start with, you may get frustrated with your new hyper-awareness.

What’s the quickest way to build rapport with an audience?

Very simply, share a story or anecdote with them. The quicker you can humanise yourself to them, the better. Choose one that you know your audience can relate too. If they see you are similar to them in some way, they will like you much more.

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