The Life-Changing Power of “Thank You”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2019 06:40 Written by Pam Chambers Tuesday, 16 April 2019 06:40

People who earn black belts in karate get there by being grateful for each kick that lands them on the floor. They scramble to their feet, bow, and say, “Thank you!” to the person who knocked them down.

When I first witnessed that, I knew I had to make an immediate change in how my public speaking students responded to feedback. Instead of explanation, defensiveness, or justification, gratitude was in order.

When you simply say, “Thank you” to feedback, the feedback has a chance to be absorbed. You then have three choices: Keep it, analyze it, or throw it away. But you can do none of these if the feedback doesn’t get in.

You might benefit by implementing feedback about your volume, rate of speech, duration of eye contact, willingness to think before responding to questions, and much, much more.

Feedback is the breakfast of champions.

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Tell Your Audience How Many Slides They’ll Be Seeing

Last Updated on Wednesday, 2 May 2018 03:26 Written by Pam Chambers Wednesday, 2 May 2018 03:23

If you plan to use power point during your presentation, create rapport with your audience before you start showing slides. Let people “take you in.” They need to sense whether they like you and trust you before they can be receptive to your message. They need to assess whether they’ll be safe in your hands.

THEN, say, “I am now going to show you (number) of slides that will help you get the most from this presentation.” People get uneasy and anxious when they suspect on-coming over-load. When you tell them how many slides they’ll be seeing (the fewer the better), they’ll know how much “band width” to allot for what’s to come.

After you’ve shown the last slide, finish up with a brief story, a conclusion, and a call for action. YOU should be the bookends of your presentation — not slides!

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Stage Fright Can Easily Be Explained

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2017 03:28 Written by Pam Chambers Sunday, 12 February 2017 03:28

Stage fright can easily be explained.

When you are seated at a conference table among your peers, you are equal to them, and part of them. From that physical position, it’s fairly easy to throw out a question, offer an opinion, or make a suggestion. But if you are required to “stand and deliver,” the equation changes. They are seated. You are standing. Thus, more is expected of you than when you were one of them. All eyes are on you and they may be watching in addition to listening. And, yes — sorry for the bad news — they are judging and evaluating.

A predatory lion, when stalking a herd of zebras, will asses which zebra it can most easily isolate. That isolated zebra is now as good as gone. When you stand to speak in the boardroom, Mother Nature may sense your fear and send adrenaline into your bloodstream so that you can fight or flee. But you will do neither. You’re too civilized to get into a brawl or run out of the room screaming.

Now, in addition to having judging eyes on you and being isolated from your peers, you also have to deal with the effects of having too much energy (adrenaline) in your body. This can cause head-to-toe trembling, a shaky voice, dried-up contact lenses, a blank mind, and utterances you can’t trust (or remember, once you sit down).

What’s the solution to stage fright? Speak often. Speak about what you know and love. Learn tips and tools for “what to do if . . .”

There’s an app for that. It’s called Pam Chambers. I can help. You can get my digital book, Life is a Presentation, for free by going to www.pamchambers.com. If you live in Hawaii, you can take my class or have one-on-one coaching. Even if you are far, far away, we can work together via video and You-Tube.

I am living proof that stage fright can be conquered.



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