Why I Still Believe In Educational Communication

Build Value To Build Relationships

In an age where content creation means that you can equalize your relevance to the market place, being “pitchy” is a given. Most platforms, be it your traditional or the social media route, wants you to be beaten into submitting to the paid advertising pathway.

So how did a 3 decades old way of marketing or communicating your unique propositions, start becoming relevant again?

Or did we just manage to dumb ourselves out?

In the past, most sales communication centered around the manipulation or conviction of emotional triggers to elicit a response. Copywriting manuals did not just exist about 5 years back. It has always been around. Propagated and expounded by charismatic individuals. Back then, the medium of such messages came about via televisions.

These days, the same methods are applied, only this time around via well scripted paid online advertisements. Where people are coaxed subconsiously into submitting details or queries, thus pre qualifying them as leads/possible clients.

However, this method seems to always appear too slick and gimmicky for me. The premise has always been about a trade off, between…”Why not you sacrifice your time and details, in exchange for the secrets I can share with you?” And of course this premise works superbly well for consultants and salespeople.

On the flip side however, I am a big advocate of an educational communication model. Where I share over a period of time, educational contents for you to leverage on. After which I build an established trust in your mind as being credible and an authority of my subject matter. Then I invite you to share your resources in exchange for mine.

I know it sounds a tad idealistic and slow, but will you not want to buy or work with people who provides value first? Instead of asking for your time and resources first, to then demonstrate their propositions?

If you can provide tangible and intangible values, with your content and communication over a sustainable period of time, the key likelihood of me being a returning client and user is higher.

We have seen countless individuals who made it bigger in their personal pursuits by providing their resources and contents first, before asking nicely for a reciprocation.

Justin Bieber for example (I know it’s a poor example), dished out songs after songs, even from his younger days,to finally coming on tops in terms of following and influence. He provided value first, and educated his listeners on his styles and resources. People were hooked.

Educational communication is not new. But it has taken a backseat due to the nature of it being cultivating rather than an immediate profiting. In this unprecedented time, maybe you and I can do a little better by reliving its effectiveness and impact.

How To Overcome Your Anxiety During Public Speaking

It is not that far fetched for me to say this.

Even professional speakers feel the jitters when it comes to speaking in public. Yes, even if they have done it a gazillion times over the course of their professional lives. Cause no audience is ever the same.

So what does that make you? A non professional aspiring public speaker. Or even perhaps an aspiring content creator on YouTube. And perhaps a small business owner who is trying to create branding videos. Will you feel the same fear and get anxious all over?

The need to manage and overcome performance anxiety is real. Most public communicators go through a zone of fear and uncertainty, that zooms them into an unexplained state of irrationality.

So how do you manage a bit of that dreadful anxiety?

Here are some quick hacks I use for myself.

Minimize Your Preparations

This may seem contradictory to the norm of being competent. However, I have discovered over the course of my coaching engagements, that 7 out of 10 aspiring speakers fluffed as a result of being over prepared.

Yes. Over preparations.

Over preparations in most cases put a level of unnecessary stress on the speaker. The speaker will have that immense need of wanting to tick off all that preparations in his head. Leaving no room for errors can sometimes be the exact reason why people become more anxious than they should be.

Preparations should put you in a state of being able to navigate expertly and flexibly during the presentation. It should not be a straight jacket that paralyzes you.

Regulate Your Breathing

What has breathing got to do with managing your anxieties as a speaker?

Plenty.

There have been many times when my inability to control my breathing, led me to losing my voice and stage presence.

The anxieties you have as a public speaker or presenter can be the cause and effect of irregular breathing. A speaker who is anxious will not breathe properly. Likewise, when you do not breathe properly, anxiety will set in. Therefore it is important you take note of the following with regards to breathing in managing your anxities.

  • Be aware of your positional posture. A wide and relaxed posture aids in allowing more air to be breathed in and regulated.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly. Take intentional deep breaths before you speak.
  • Pause and regulate. Speaking fast is the surest way to lose your breathing patterns and create unnecessary stress. Relax
  • Breathe through your nose. It is amazing just how many people are not aware that breathing through the mouth is not just more taxing, it also does not help with anxiety management.
  • Relax. Relax. Relax. While it may seem easier said than done, it actually is quit manageable. Relaxation requires the practice of being able to quieten or shutting down your lizard brain. When you relax, your breathing becomes manageable.

progression not perfection

Most speakers believe in that unverified claim that competency lies in the perfect delivery of your speech. Where your voice does not crack, you are maintaining eye contact, your words come out fluently and everything is done in one perfect take.

Well, here’s the great news. You need not buy into that “perfect” bullshit.

Delivering a speech is not an Olympic sport. Meaning that there are no actual parameters by which you can be judged and marked with. The pressure and anxiety of “meeting some invisible benchmarks” can be crippling. What you need to do is to manage the controllable aspects of your delivery or presentation. Understand that most of the anxieties is actually happening inside your mind, rather than it being manifested in reality. So, if you can instead manage your priorities and expectations, you are more likely to succeed at managing your public speaking anxieties.

Some of the progressive expectations you can have for yourself include,

  • To speak freely with sincerity
  • To have a good networking session
  • To share your expertise with love
  • To teach a good knowledge

Public speaking anxiety is manageable and definitely not something that you have to suffer in silence with. Usually, all it takes is a bit of perspective framing coupled with practical techniques to help you out.

How To Tell A Story Like A Bad Ass

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I conducted an online workshop yesterday evening on the topic of story telling. Specifically, I was aligning my message for those wanting to be a speaker. How to incorporate story telling techniques into your speech crafting and delivery.

There are a lot of workshops, programs and masterclasses these days, that dwell on story telling. Most of these focus on the importance of stories in any message. Story telling is definitely not new, but has been renewed to serve a more compelling reason.

I touched on the new era of Data Storytelling and Visual Storytelling, as some of the areas, speakers like yourself should read into. An example I gave was that in the past, most businesses had separate departments that seemed disjointed. The Marketing Department and the Statistics Department. The Marketing team were responsible for crafting out stories and narratives, for salespeople to go out and bring profits. These profits will then be translated into figures and statistics by the Statistics team. On the flip side, the Statistics team will then provide the Marketing team with proofs and evidences to highlight which segments within a business needed more branding, marketing and exposure.

However, these days, most business have warmed up to the idea that both departments need to be mashed up. Thus the term Data Storytelling. In essence, can you tell a story from my data? Or can you generate data from my story?

So question is, how can you excel at being a bad ass storyteller?

Am going to share with you only one insight in this post. For you to ponder and apply in your next narration. Ready?

All right. The idea that I want to expound here is this aspect called,

Be Specific!

Yes, be specific. Be meticulously detailed when you narrate and share your story. The more details you are able to shed light into a character or the message of your story, the more engaged your audience will be. Why is this so?

There is a science to this, which I found perfectly illustrated here in this article.

There is a reason why we vividly recall stories of our yesteryears, like Rapunzel, Snow White and the poisoned apple, Beauty and the Beast, The 3 Little Pigs and such. Most of the characters or stories had a visual or specific connotations attached to them. It could have just been a wolf for the little girl. Yet, we remember the story as the cunning wolf who dressed as the Grandmother of Little Red Riding Hood. It could have been just a pig. Yet, masterful storytellers used 3 little pigs that were hounded by the big, bad wolf. And Snow White had an evil stepmother who was also a witch that had a magic mirror. Amazing!

In short, your audience and listeners are dying to play your stories in their own imaginative minds like a movie reel. The chances of engagement are higher when you are able to craft and deliver a story that deep dives into very specific details.

So the next time, you are trying to craft out a story into your speech, remember that paying attention to the details, is more important than the delivery itself.

Remember Harry Porter? He was not just a boy wizard. He was the boy wizard that had a permanent scar on bis forehead, etched on by a maniacal bald wizard.