I don’t have a lot of musical talent. In fact, I can’t play any instrument at all, short of Chopsticks on the piano. Standing on a stage and performing a piece of music is the last place you’ll find me, and it may be a long shot for you, too. The spotlight is a stressful place even when we’re just talking about what we do. But you need to get comfortable talking about the work you do and what you’ve accomplished. You need to “toot your own horn” regularly.
Giba Group has created several communication strategies for clients lately — action plans to get past the fear and speak up. We follow the philosophy that if you don’t say it, no one else will. It’s our job to make sure our clients are ready to seek out the spotlight and shine.
Talking about ourselves may make us really uncomfortable and maybe even a little dubious that it works. “What have I done that’s so great? We just do our job every day, and hopefully people remember us.”
Clients are naturally hesitant about speaking up, and then we discover they offer patented products, they’ve designed award-winning projects, or they have served with distinction in the community and impacted the lives of their neighbors in dramatic ways. All of these things are worth celebrating and sharing. Why do we get stymied? And how do get over the stage fright?
Pretend You’re Someone Else
Sit down to write out that quick bio and imagine you’re the journalist who interviewed you. Words come a little easier when you don’t self-edit before you get something on paper. Now you know my secret. Write it out by hand and use an ink pen, not a pencil.
Use the Buddy System
An alternative to pretending you’re someone else is teaming up with a partner to interview each other. This can feel a little more authentic because you are really being interviewed. Be sure to ask follow up question to get more detail. A well placed “What else?” at the end of the conversation tends to produce results.
Once you have written it down, say it out loud over and over again. Sure, you can say it in front of a mirror first. Then graduate to sharing your bio with your spouse or trusted friend. As you practice, you’ll get more comfortable sharing your accomplishments.
It’s time to start warming up. If you don’t say it, who will? If it isn’t said, how will anyone know how great you really are?