“If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.”
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett 1/
Successful businesses and public speaking are inexplicably intertwined in selling ideas and products. If you are afraid of public speaking, you are not alone. Public speaking and stage fright are considered to be the top phobia with nearly 74 percent of us suffering from speech anxiety. Sure, the overall percent is debated, and my guess is that the 74 percent may not be nearly high enough.
Even billionaire investor Warren Buffett suffered1/. He and many very successful business people recognize the need to overcome these fears in order to get their business ideas across and be successful at persuading investors, attracting customers, and inspiring employees. Think of this in terms of money and career: Statistics suggest that those who are afraid are paid 10 percent less2/ and that promotion to managerial jobs is inhibited by 15 percent.3/
There are several things that one can do to get over the fear of public speaking. I think everyone has a memorable ‘Eureka moment’ sometime in their life. Mine was losing a belt just as I was starting a technical presentation. Participants erupted with glee at my total embarrassment (they were probably elated it wasn’t their belt). Public speaking after that day became significantly easier. Now I figure that if I can finish a presentation with all clothing intact, I’ve scored. But now I also make extra sure that my clothing is fairly bullet proof...nothing is EVER going to fall off, unzip, or pop off if I can help it.
Why tempt fate? Careful preparation is often the best ‘go to’ tricks for presentations. No matter how well one prepares, there are always uncontrollable events that can mar a presentation. Minimizing the chance of as many problems as possible is the goal.
Ramping up your skills. There are many outlets for improving your skills in public speaking and confidence. While dropping clothing is unforgettable, it may not get you what you need. Consider joining a speaking group and getting a little mentoring or feedback, typically from folks who have a great appreciation for public speaking well done.
Practice. Look for opportunities to practice at low risk and informal events. You can even ask for a bit of feedback from listeners. Most of all? Talk from the heart, forgive yourself, and try again. Help your audience understand why you care about the issue. Your audience will forgive you, if you have done due diligence to give them your best and what they expect. The old adage ‘practice makes perfect’ really fits here for your career and your successful small business. Don’t let fear give away your profits or your dreams.
1 “How Warren Buffett And Joel Osteen Conquered Their Terrifying Fear Of Public Speaking” by Carmine Gallo https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2013/05/16/how-warren-buffett-and-joel-osteen-conquered-their-terrifying-fear-of-public-speaking/#114997c704aa
2 “15 Fear of Public Speaking Statistics” by Brandon Gaille https://brandongaille.com/14-fear-public-speaking-statistics/
3 “5 Shocking Public Speaking Statistics” Kelly Allison https://www.ethos3.com/2018/03/5-shocking-public-speaking-statistics/
Is your small company ready to expand and hire someone new? One of your best recruiting and retention tool may be a well written and current position description.
A position description is a living document that can change as an organization’s mission changes or even when regulations and requirements outside of the organization change. A well written position description can be used to help attract candidates (explaining key expectations of the job), guide new hires understanding of priorities and needs, and define performance expectations.
It can also help retain talent by describing the career path for an apprentice through a tradesman level. In this case, a separate description may be needed for each level. This description can detail specific elements of the job such as licenses, permits, education, experience, etc. As a retention tool, the position description can define performance reviews, critical elements, potential promotion requirements, wages and more.
Where to start? Creating a position description may seem a bit intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many online coaching sites and samples that are free. There is a good chance that someone has already created a description for commonly needed, and often relatively scarce jobs.... potentially saving you many hours of research. The following are just a few links to sites that help coach and often provide a wealth of samples:
How to write a job description (https://www.indeed.com/hire/how-to-write-a-job-description) promises to help the writer attract the most qualified candidates. The site has an exhaustive list of samples.
Position description template (www.mitalent.org/media/default/files/employer/position description template.doc) is a Canadian template that pops up a WORD template on your system. It is very easy to use and contains helpful hints as to what to include.
Job description templates (https://www.smartsheet.com/free-job-description-templates). Less coaching, simple to use template.
But those sites don’t do it all... they typically only focus on the description and not the other factors, such as wages, that go along with this process. The Oregon Employment Department (www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/jobseekers/Pages/Find-a-job.aspx) can get you started in the right direction. The staff, as you can imagine, are very knowledgeable about local trends, wage rates, and can offer suggestions and insights. This discussion or reality check may be the most important thing you can do as in discovering if you can actually find such a person willing to work for that wage in our area.... This is a free resource that has legislatively required confidentiality standards.
Two excellent sites recommended by the Oregon Employment Department include:
www.QualifyInfo.org--Follow the tab Jobs & Career tab/Occupation & Wage information. Enter the desired occupation and select “custom report.” This site will provide brief knowledge, skills, and ability descriptions and some basic “must haves” for the position. Additional requirements can be found by selecting the “more” option in very small print at the bottom of each category. It is also possible to drill down in this site to state-specific data including wage ranges often by the county.
O*Net OnLine—is a Federal site with excruciating detail. There is also a O*Net Toolkit for Business (look for the download link at the bottom of the page) that includes some really helpful things such as writing job descriptions, training needs analysis, workforce development and more.
Finally, employers and job seekers can benefit from the information on Worksource Oregon (http://worksourceoregon.org/Resources.html). Page listings can include workshops, training sessions, tips, techniques, templates, non-profit info, links to job listings, and much more.
Special thanks goes to the Oregon Worksource staff for their advice on this article.