Have you ever had problems convincing your boss? You have tried different approaches and angles, but he or she is not buying it? Well, I have a solution for you!
I have been coaching a CEO on Public Speaking for about five months, and during this time, his speaking skills improved quite dramatically and he became a proficient speaker. For one of our sessions, I told him to prepare a speech/presentation which he could present to the board. He chose an actual case, pitching a rather risky project, which he had already presented to the board. It was his first speech in front of the board since we started training and I was shocked! Things took a turn for the worse! He was just not good.
Does this sound familiar?
When you are speaking to your employees, peers, or clients, this is a piece of cake, but when it is time to speak to your boss or the board, the above-mentioned delicious cake turns into a piece of spoiled old bread? This happened to the CEO; he sat in front of the board and the dynamics changed. And in such an obvious way! His open and engaging body language was closed, his gestures were quite poor, as well as his body posture… He was leaning on the table the entire time. The biggest issue I could see was that he didn't use the secret formula for public speaking: High Energy, Enthusiasm, and Passion! Needless to say, the tools and techniques he learned were barely used.
The big question: Why?
The answer is surprisingly simple. He wanted to portray the image of a professional and serious CEO. He didn’t believe that the charming and enthusiastic speaker he had become was appropriate for the board. At the end of the presentation, we ran through a detailed analysis of the presentation, identifying his strengths and detecting areas that are in need of improvement. It was time to get him out of his comfort zone, so I challenged him with some exercises that were intended to bring out the great speaker within. Unfortunately, nothing happened. Nothing! I witnessed the same performance as before. After a while, I tried a different approach, and I asked him to have a discussion with the board. I wanted him to fight for additional resources. He did step up his game with the imaginary board members, but I still wasn't impressed! I wasn’t convinced. I wasn't sold. If it were for me, I wouldn’t have given him any additional resources.
We needed to shift gears! To turn this around, I instructed him to imagine that he is presenting the results of the project 12 months after the project got approved and now, he was supposed to present how profitable and successful the project was.
Guess what happened next?! MAGIC!
The CEO started with a big smile, and with an impressive level of confidence, he began speaking to the board. His body language, voice, and audience interaction improved drastically. He was still talking to the board, still being professional, but his energy level, presence, and conviction changed. I was delighted to witness this monumental rebirth of the great speaker he had become.
So what is the secret formula?
What made the CEO’s behavior change from Zero to Hero? THE MINDSET!It is all about the mindset that you have before you start speaking. You can present a project to your boss emotionally unattached, or you can present it like you would be presenting the greatest success of your life! Will your performance change? Yes, it will - 100% guaranteed!
Next time you are pitching an idea, asking for funds, or trying to sell a product, imagine you are standing in front of the audience and telling them about an accomplishment you achieved, and you will witness results beyond your wildest imagination!