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From Nobody to Being Unforgettable in Under 5 Minutes: 16 Ways to Connect with Anyone

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From Nobody to Being Unforgettable in Under 5 Minutes: 16 Ways to Connect with Anyone

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend. Scott Dinsmore is the founder of Live Your Legend and the creator of How to Connect with Anyone – an interactive online course to surround yourself with the world-changing people necessary to build your ideal business or career. The course is open for enrollment to the first 100 students until this Friday at 11:59pm PST. Learn more about the course here.

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard

There is no bigger life hack in the history of the world than the people you choose to hang out with.

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Whether you’re starting a business, leaving a soul-sucking job, trying to run a marathon or shed 45 pounds, it’s all the same.

The fastest way to fill the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be, is with the people in your corner.

Environment is everything  

The question is, what are you doing about it?

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I’ve spent the better part of a decade feeding an obsession for social dynamics, human interactions, rapport and simply making new friends. It’s allowed me to create relationships all over the map – from Warren Buffett helping me pick out my engagement ring, on down to finding the business partners and supporters who caused a dying project to grow by 160x inside of 18 months and turn into the movement that Live Your Legend is today.

The problem is that over 80% of the people around us don’t enjoy their work (According to Deloitte’s recent Shift Index study).

That means most people’s environment is terribly toxic. It reinforces the lives of quiet desperation so many of us so badly want to leave behind. The people around us tell us we can’t make a difference.

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So we absolutely must change our environment.

Over the past few years I’ve taken over a decade of studies & experiments and built them into the framework for our How to Connect with Anyone course.

As it turns out, surrounding yourself with inspiring, passionate people is not as hard as you’d think.

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Here are 16 simple things you can do the second you finish reading this, to allow you to be unforgettable instantly and surround yourself with the community that makes the impossible seem normal.

16 Simple Ways to Connect with Anyone & Be Unforgettable Instantly

  1. Make friends. This is the foundation. Making genuine connections is nothing more than making friends. When you’re about to approach someone, ask, “How would I treat this person if they were my close friend or someone I’d want to be a close friend?” You don’t have hidden agendas and constantly push products and talk about yourself with your friends. You put friends first. You listen to them. You hear their problems so you can help in any way you can. Act accordingly.
  2. Add immediate & real value. Meeting people is about making their lives better. Whether that’s by giving them a smile, a new job, your favorite book, a free logo sketch for their new business or anything in between – there is a way to help everyone. See everyone as a chance to add value. Give like crazy, embrace generosity and make others more successful.
  3. Know what matters to them. Do your research. The more specific your help can be, the better. This comes from learning all you can about the people you want to meet. Not to manipulate, but so you can actually do something meaningful for them. Read their blogs and books, take their courses, sign up for their newsletters, learn about their interests, family, passions and charity work. Anything is game. With today’s online tools, there is no excuse not to learn about someone before trying to interact with them. Rapport become instantaneous.
  4. Find common ground. Everyone has something in common. See it as a fun challenge to find what it is. The faster you can find shared ideas, beliefs and interests, the quicker you can relate. Start with a common school, restaurant, home town or favorite TV show. Continue to go deeper.
  5. Pay attention. The easiest way to be interesting is to be interested. Find excitement in what you can learn from others. Hear what they say. Listen and learn about what matters to them. Not so you can say  something back as soon as possible, but so you can get a window into their world. People want to tell their story. Be the person excited to hear it.
  6. Show your passion. You must be interesting. The best way to do this (aside from listening like crazy) is by embracing your passions, working towards an idea or cause and having a set of beliefs you’re deeply excited about that you openly share with others. Passion is an entire module in How to Connect with Anyone for just this reason. No one likes talking to lemmings. Live and connect with passion. This is the surest way to be someone worth talking to, and everyone is capable of it.
  7. Be uniquely YOU. Don’t try to look and sound like someone else, and don’t hold back! Be vulnerable and open. Share your real story and goals. Tell others about your wife, kids and parenting struggles. Talking about the weather does not build connection. Being real does.
  8. Use the most important word in the world. Remember their names. Nothing feels better than hearing your own name, especially from someone you just met. And “I’m not good with names,” does not fly. No one is good with names unless they practice! Write them down the second you hear them. Repeat it out loud. Associate a fun image or idea with the person. Do whatever it takes to remember. Sadly, this alone puts you on a whole new level.
  9. Be the connector. Bring groups together. Host events. Introduce friends who have similar interests. Make it your job to bring the right people together. There is no more powerful service you can provide.
  10. Lead an interesting life. Live a life worth hearing about – most importantly for you, but for those around you as well. Do things you don’t normally do. Just being in new surroundings will cause you to interact with a new group of people without even trying. The more things you do and try, the more things you’ll have to talk about and the more fun you’ll have!
  11. Tell stories. People connect on energy and emotion, not facts and stats. Communicate with stories as often as possible and encourage others to tell theirs. Know the fun stories of your life and share them with others.
  12. Wear a conversation piece. I’m not saying you wear a pair of swim goggles on your forehead (although that would certainly get attention), but having something that’s visibly and uniquely you, can give people a fun thing to talk about. Like the guy Scott who wears a name tag every day. When people ask why he has his name written on his shirt, he replies “so people ask about it – it makes meeting people super easy.” Maybe for you it’s crazy dress shirts, a bow tie or a fun hat. I always tip with two-dollar bills – one of the easiest ways to make someone’s day. Instant smile.
  13. Be grateful and say thank you. Never miss an opportunity to thank people for even the smallest things, and especially if they helped you with something important. We withhold gratitude far too often. I am constantly sending short texts, emails, books, gifts and notes to people for things they’ve done for me, others or the world in general. Learn unique ways to show thanks. Everyone loves being appreciated.
  14. See friends, not strangers. When you walk into a room, see the new faces not as strangers but as friends you have yet to meet. You see the world in a more similar way to others than you probably realize, especially if you’re at the same event or a part of the same communities. Approach accordingly.
  15. Care about people. None of the above matters if you don’t actually care about the people around you. If you don’t care about the person being a part of your life, you likely won’t do any of this stuff. If we’re going to connect in a powerful way, we must reframe the way we look at people.
  16. Show up (ideally, in the physical world). Connections don’t happen in your house or office. You must get out there, say hello and reach out. This can start with emails and online connecting, but that’s only the very beginning. Nothing makes a more powerful impact than meeting in the flesh. Don’t hide behind technology. Get out of your office and from behind the computer, work from a coffee shop instead of your living room and be in the places where other passionate people hang out.

The people around us control our world.

They can either kill our dreams or make them possible.

That choice is 100 percent on our shoulders.

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So, who’s in your corner?

Featured photo credit:a young woman shouting into a megaphone via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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