#1 Embrace Your Accent
Having an accent means you are bilingual, or trilingual, or even better -polylingual. A big percentage of your audience could be monolingual and guess what? A lot of them may have “Glossophobia” the fear of public speaking.
If you find an error or two in my article, just know that I did my best, being that English is not my first language, see my story here. Yet, I am here sharing with you what I find to be invaluable information. This is how you embrace your accent; You say something like: “Is a pleasure to be here with you, if you can hear my accent, I’d like to let you know, I may speak with an accent but I don’t think with an accent” Then, jump into your presentation.
Most people respect the fact that you are in front of the crowd speaking. Many studies have shown over 75% of people would rather die than to stand in front of a crowd to speak. Use your courage, take advantage of the opportunity, and wow them with the next steps I’ll share with you. Keep reading…
#2 Know Your Content
In my 3 years of speaking professionally, I’ve learned; If you don’t want your mind to go blank before speaking, know your content. Practice makes improvement, review your presentation, and give it a quick run a few times. Perfect practice makes perfect, craft your presentation. Perfection doesn’t exist, there’s always room for improvement. Complexity is the enemy of execution, keep it simple.
You can start off with the sentence I provided for you earlier. Then, you can say a short story about you and share a life lesson or business lesson you learned from it. A story you already know will help your confidence level increase since it is a story you are very familiar with. Don’t try to copy, keep it original, if you forget to say an important detail, no one will know because is your original.
Wear something that will remind you of your stories. Have an item in front of you that will help you trigger the memory, I’m not talking about notes. Listen to a song that will bring back the feeling you felt when you lived the experience you are about to share. Keep it at a high level so the details don’t make you lose track. Look at a person that can give you the “You’ve got this!” look.
#3 Make The Stage Your Playground
Remember when you were a kid? You were probably more animated than you may be now. Don’t stand behind the podium, use the stage. Don’t talk too fast, pace yourself. Use your body, open your arms to help them imagine a “Big” image of a “Humongous” (XYZ) object or goal you are talking to them about. It has been said that over 90% of communication is non-verbal, use this to your advantage since you have an accent –like me trust me 🙂
If you are talking about animals or something falling, make the sounds. If you’re talking about an emotion, show facial expressions. Not only are you communicating but you’re entertaining your audience as well. And, remember they already respect you for having the courage to stand before them to share an important message.
Don’t go too crazy running back and forth, pace yourself speaking but also walking. Create trigger spots on the stage if you talk about point A on one side of the stage, go to that same spot when you share more details about point A. If you share something important about point B, make your way to that same spot to emphasize point B as you continue to share details about it.
BONUS: Give Them More Than They Expected
You are now ready to test these golden nuggets for yourself. I like the phrase: Nothing happens until you move. You can start off practicing on your own, in front of the mirror. You can join a public speaking group like Toastmasters International. You can ask to speak at local venues where they may have an interest in what you have to say. Whatever you do, speak, speak, and speak more.
The way to get better is to get started. Fear can be defeated by taking action. I have faith in you because you have read this far. You have courage in you. You have a drive. There’s something in you that is calling you for the stage. Maybe your boss asked you to do the presentation. Whatever it is; My friend, take advantage of the opportunity to show your personal brand to the world, one audience at the time.
As Zig Ziglar would say, “You were born to win” “See you at the top” If you found value in reading this, share it so more of us with an accent can learn from it. I learned from writing it. I realized that I am becoming great because I got started. You can build your personal brand in a powerful way, that powerful way is; Public Speaking.
My name is Ovidilio David Vasquez. I am a farm boy from the sugarcane fields of Guatemala. Contact me if you believe I can be of service. Please pass it on so more professionals like you can benefit from it. Tell me your story. Make your voice count, share your thoughts below now, gracias!
I published this article on my LinkedIn months before I published it here.