5 Things That Happen When You Take Action – Just Do It

5 Things That Happen When You Take Action – Just Do It

5 Things That Happen When You Take Action – Just Do It!

06

FEBRUARY 2019

Samuel Osho
Nike’s iconic slogan – “Just do it” is a powerful tag line that creates an atmosphere of urgency needed for taking action. It has morphed from a famous motto to an axiom that embodies the criterion for success in life. Life naturally rewards those who take action. Yes, the doers and not necessarily the over-thinkers.

 

No one cares how much you know about writing until you begin to write. It may be hard for people to believe that you are a superb chef until you start cooking meals. In a nutshell, excellent knowledge about a subject matter is insufficient in the school of success, you must take action in the right direction with what you know.

 

When you are on the verge of executing a project, have you noticed how easy it is to be bogged down in the strategy room with volumes of data? You love to stay in the spheres of planning and analyzing because it gives you a false belief that you are making progress.

Often, a movement is confused with progress. When you are moving in circles, you are engaged in an activity because of your mobility, but progress is halted. The hardest part of any project is the launch because it brings you face to face with your fears and doubts. How then do you get results or measure impact when you do everything else but take action?

Unfortunately, the world only celebrates those who get results. I believe that getting results is pivotal to your overall success in life. Results amplify your impact, and it’s a testament to the quality of the knowledge you have amassed.

What are you waiting for? It’s time for you to take action – join a speaking club, enroll in the course, start the business, write the book, do the assignment, call the coach, or start the music lessons.

To be honest, it’s time to take a break from “analysis paralysis” and learn the art of getting things done. High achievers master the art of ruthless execution.

Taking action triggers a chain of reactions that will lead you to your success. These are some of the things that will happen when you begin to take action despite your fears.

5 Things That Happen When You Take Action

1. People take you seriously

Imagine you have always introduced yourself to your community as a writer but no one has seen any of your literary works. You call yourself a writer, but you do everything else except writing.

People won’t take you seriously until they see you do things that resonate with your professed identity. That’s the way it works. If you want people to start paying attention to you and the things you care about, you have to take action – step out today.

2. You attract people with similar goals

What happens when you take the plunge and start your business as a Master of Ceremony for Corporate events? You draw the attention of all the key players on that turf – both the newcomers and the experts.

Taking action means taking your foot off the brake pedal and joining the race to the peak of flawless performance. In this new venture birthed by taking action, you will produce results which will attract others to you. Some of the people you draw will support and encourage you.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth president of the United States

3. You learn from experience

Nothing holds people back like fears, doubts, and uncertainties. You are probably afraid that you don’t have enough knowledge required as a baseline for starters. You will be surprised that folks out there with massive influence don’t even know as much as you know. The difference between both parties is execution – they take action.

Former British prime minister, William Gladstone once said, “No man ever became great or good except through many and great mistakes.” What’s the worst that can happen when you step out? Let’s assume you make a mistake, you fail, and everything crumbles. Well, that’s not the end, you have to learn from your “great mistakes” and keep moving. Brace up and keep learning from your unique experience. There are many things you will learn when you decide to take action and face your fears.

4. You begin to get feedback

As a writer, when you start a blog or publish a book, it’s more like putting yourself out there. Criticisms will come tumbling down – both destructive and constructive. You begin to get feedback about your work from your readers.
In their book, The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson said, “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” When you take action, you open yourself to feedback which will stimulate your growth.

 

5. You gain clarity

No one has it all figured out, clarity comes when you immerse yourself in the journey of becoming. How do you know the prospect of a business idea you have not executed? How do you know if a book will sell when you have not published it? How do you know you will be a superb public speaker when you are yet to give your first speech? Taking action is all you need to sift the tares from the wheat. You will be equipped with insight to know what works and what does not work for you.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you have nothing to lose when you take action. Execution propels you on the paths of excellence and clothes you in the regalia of success.

 

What are the five things that will make you happy and drive you towards your overall goals if you can get them done before the week runs out?
Go for them!
Just do it!

Do you have an idea that you would like to share with me?

How to Ace Your Daily Goals Like a Pro: 7 Tips That Work

How to Ace Your Daily Goals Like a Pro: 7 Tips That Work

How to Ace Your Daily Goals Like a Pro: 7 Tips That Work

28

JANUARY, 2019

Samuel Osho

It’s the last week of the first month of the year and you may be lost in mixed feelings. Do you deserve a sharp reprimand for missing your goals or a pat on the back for a job well done? In this self-reflection class, you have to own up and be true to yourself. As 2019 strolls by, are you making every day count? A fabulous year can end in an ordinary way if you lack the energy and enthusiasm to ace your daily goals. 

To be honest, I know how it feels when you have a list of daily goals with unchecked boxes staring at you. If you pride yourself as one, who is a pro in getting things done, missing your goals could be worrisome. To make matters worse, the pace at which your days disappear, you silently wish that you can have more than 24 hours in a day. 

Time is one of the equally distributed resources – everyone has access to the same 24 hours in a day. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and you all have the same 24 hours but how come they seem to be getting more out of their day. Perhaps there is something they do, but you ignore. 

If 2019 will be different for you regarding results, then you have to be intentional about how to excel at your daily goals. Here are some tips that work:

 

7 Tips That Work

1. Create a list of your daily goals

The rule is if anything is important to you, then you have to write it down. Writing your goals gives you an opportunity to think things through and put these tasks in the front burner of your brain.

A list of daily goals serves as a reminder when you are lost in the pool of daily activities. In fact, research has shown that people who write down their goals on a regular basis are more likely to achieve them when compared to those who just have it in their heads.

I have a friend who has a daily ritual of writing his life goals in a journal every day. He described this habit as a powerful motivator and a superb drive for amplifying his productivity. 

What do you want to accomplish today? Do you have it on a list?

2. Do one thing at a time

The power of focus cannot be underestimated when it comes to productivity and execution. I have found doing one thing at a time extremely powerful and magical.

When you don’t narrow down on a single task at a time, you spread yourself too thin and become less effective. You can’t boil an ocean but can boil a jug of water – focus on one thing at a time, finish it and move to the next task. The Focusbooster app can be of great assistance in this regard. 

In the next thirty minutes, which task are you going to give undivided attention? Just focus and get it done. 

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein

3. Start with the big tasks

It usually happens that when you have a long list of daily goals, you unconsciously start with the easy ones first and end up not doing the hard ones. Often, you are unable to finish the difficult tasks when you follow this sequence because you are usually exhausted even before you start them.

Start your day with the execution of significant and challenging tasks. Expend your fresh energy on the tough assignments and finish them before moving to the easy and simple ones. Interestingly, when you muster the strength to complete an arduous task, you get the motivation to keep moving.

On your list of goals for today, which one is the hardest? Let it be the first task you have to face. Go for it! 

4. Reward yourself

When you get the job done, learn to celebrate your small victories and reward yourself. You deserve some accolades for a job well done.

The Pomodoro technique developed by Francesco Cirillo works based on the principle of rewarding yourself with a five minutes break after twenty-five minutes of uninterrupted work.

Surprisingly, this system works like magic. For example, you can say that you are only qualified to watch your favorite TV show if you score well above 90% in the execution of your daily goals. Watching the TV show is a reward for acing your goals.

The anticipation of relishing a pleasure you derive from your leisure time can be a driving force to complete your daily tasks on time.

After an hour of steady focus on completing a task, don’t you think you deserve a 10-minute break? 

5. Learn to say No

We are naturally wired to say yes to almost every offer. But to stay productive and effective, you must learn to say No. You just can’t accept every invitation to be of help to others.

If it clashes with your schedule, learn to say No or reschedule to what suits your priorities. If you say Yes to people and you don’t have the time to attend to their needs, they will eventually feel terrible when you let them down.

So, why don’t you just say No if it does not work for you rather than trying to please everyone?

Take a critical look at your commitments this week, maybe you need to say No to some of them to increase your productivity. 

6. Starve your distractions

In these days, you have more enemies of progress than you thought. In fact, your most prized gadget – your sleek smartphone can be an obstacle between you and achieving your goals.

Staying on your phone all day can rob you of the precious time that could have been invested in pursuing your goals. When you are set to get a lot of productive work done, you can put your phone in a “do not disturb” mode.

Another way of curbing distractions from social media is to have specific times of the day that you visit these apps on your phone.

Be sincere, do you really need to visit Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn every 20 minutes? Install these apps to block your access to social media accounts for a specific period of time – Freedom and Cold Turkey.

7. Get an accountability partner

If you know someone that believes in you and is passionately interested in your success. You can ask if they are willing to be your accountability partner.

Having someone to share the list of your daily goals with is priceless. At the end of the day, a five-minute chat can be used to evaluate how you fared and right there you will see the room for continuous improvement.

Draft a mail and send to two friends asking if they will be willing to be your accountability partners. You can stick to a daily or weekly review, whichever works for you is fine. 

Conclusion

Success does not come suddenly, but it builds up one day at a time when we imbibe the art of investing heavily in every passing moment. See each day as an avenue to bake a brick needed for building a monument of greatness.
I have listed only seven tips here and this is far from being exhaustive, please feel free to add more tips that can increase daily productivity in the comment box below. Thanks.

Eight Fascinating Facts About Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA

Eight Fascinating Facts About Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA

Eight Fascinating Facts About Ingvar Kamprad and IKEA
28
JANUARY, 2018
Samuel Osho

As furniture subtly crept into our daily lives, a unique entrepreneur from Sweden made life easy for humanity. Kamprad blessed the world with Billy bookshelves, Friheten sofas, Kallax shelf units, Lack side tables and many more. Ingvar Kamprad, the brain behind the outstanding success of IKEA, a furniture-making company, has died at the age of 91.

According to his family, he died “peacefully” in his sleep on January 27, 2018. He left quietly but the echoes of his footsteps as he departed has woken everyone in the neighbourhood.

 

As the world pay tributes, I am here to share about the ingenuity of a young industrious man who climbed the slippery ladder of wealth with a fortune made from furniture. I am naturally attracted to creative and innovative people – Kamprad, a trailblazer belongs to this clan.

 

I want to write about the ambience of intelligence and creativity that beam with smiles when you stroll into a store full of IKEA furniture. I want to add letters to the simplicity that flows from the frugal life of the Swedish business magnate and the excellence he left behind for unborn generations.
He molded a company that “cares” about the needs of the common man who can’t do without a piece of furniture. Kamprad started a revolution that has outlived him – you can set-up your furniture (chairs, sofas, wardrobes, cupboards) yourself from a flat-pack in 45 minutes. He pioneered the flat-pack furniture series – an innovation that raised him shoulder high above his competitors.
Here are some interesting facts about the exceptional business tycoon.
The Eight Fascinating Facts

1. Kamprad made his first business deal at age five.

At a young age of five, Kamprad started developing his entrepreneurial skills by selling matches in his village, Smalad. He started this business when he discovered that he could buy matches in bulk at a cheap price from Stockholm and make appreciable profits from sales.

The farm boy with a bicycle at seven traveled to neighbouring fields to sell his matches. He later expanded his line of goods by selling fish, Christmas decorations, ballpoint pens, seeds, and pencils.

2. He started IKEA at age 17.

Kamprad started IKEA in 1943, four years into the bloody World War II. He used some money he got from his father as a gift for performing well at his studies despite his dyslexia. He started out by selling carbon copies of his Uncle Ernst’s kitchen table. Five years later, he diversified his product lines and added furniture. He retired as CEO in 1988 and stepped down from the company’s board in 2013 at the age of 87.

3. Kamprad lived a frugal life.

Despite the success of his company, he was the billionaire with a reputation for penny-pinching and an epitome of extreme frugality. During the inventory of his estate in 2013, it was reported that he had only two cars – a 2008 Skoda and a 1993 Volvo 240. He was known for flying economy class and shopping for second-hand clothes at flea markets.

 

4. He was the second richest person in Europe.

According to The Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the worth of Kamprad before his death was $59billion. At the time of his death, he ranked as the second richest man in Europe behind Amancio Ortega and only seven men were ahead of him on the world map.

5. Kamprad left Sweden so he could pay lower taxes.

In a bid to reduce his taxes, Kamprad left Sweden for Denmark in 1973 and eventually settled for Switzerland in 1976. He lived in Switzerland for 38 years before returning home in 2014.
“Creativity and believing in your work is absolutely a necessary part of success.” – Ingvar Kamprad
Before I conclude, let’s look at some interesting facts about his multi-billion dollar company, IKEA.

6. IKEA is an acronym.

The first two letters of IKEA originates from his names – Ingvar and Kamprad while the two remaining letters came from the name of the farm he grew up, Elmtaryd, and the nearby village, Agunnaryd. His love for Sweden can be seen in the two main colors of IKEA which can be found on the Swedish national flag – blue and yellow. He placed Sweden on the world map.

 

7. IKEA is the world’s largest consumer of wood.

The furniture-making company has grown over the years with a total of 412 stores in 49 countries. To meet the demands of their ever-increasing customers, they munch wood and consumes 1% of the world’s supply of wood.

 

 

8. IKEA has a store on every continent except South America.

Well, there is an IKEA store in the Dominican Republic and this part of the world is often considered as the Carribean. Hopefully, South America will get an IKEA store soon.

 

Source: Store locations by continent as at Aug. 2016 (www.ikea.com)
In conclusion, this is the story of a young farm boy from the village of Smalad that rose through the ranks of life to become one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th century. Kamprad’s life teaches about the discipline to stay focused on an idea until it blossoms.

It unravels the power of an idea successfully birthed by a visionary leader that understood the essence of consistency. I hope this inspires you to chase success pants down and remain undaunted in the face of challenges until you lay hold of greatness.

7 Insightful Reasons Why You Should Keep a Writing Journal

7 Insightful Reasons Why You Should Keep a Writing Journal

7 Insightful Reasons Why You Should Keep a Writing Journal

21

JANUARY, 2018

Samuel Osho

Autobiographies are hewn out of accumulated sediments of daily journals and presented either in form of a compelling documentary movie or an inspiring prose. You don’t need to be a celebrity before you keep a journal. Regular journaling has immense benefits and can positively influence your personal life. If you are a writer, it will go a long way to make a writing genius out of you. Journaling helps you to make daily writing a habit.

Keeping a diary may sound like a tradition for exuberant teenagers who want to chronicle the minutest events of their days. Growing up, I remember how teenagers especially ladies hold on to their dairies tenaciously; they guard it jealously so no one was privy to its details. For diligent diary keepers, a diary serves as a compilation of varying moods and delectable memories. It’s a personal property, it’s their best pal and the one with whom they can share their deepest secrets. 

Well, people hardly keep diaries these days except for folks who are yet to get a hang of the crazy social media. All in the name of audience engagement and brand building, our social media pages gradually become the place to share what is usually considered “private” in the past.

 

This blog post is not a crusade for instilling the culture of having a personal diary but to encourage daily journaling of your most treasured moments. The benefits are numerous but the taste of the pudding is in the eating. It means you’ll never experience the reality of its merits until you do the act itself. In the act of journaling, you’ll engage in the art of writing but there is more.

 

The Seven Insightful Benefits

1. Journaling Helps You Find a Lone Time

In 2015, while reading Platform, a book authored by American writer Michael Hyatt, he talked about how he created time in his daily schedule to have a personal meeting with himself. At that time, it sounded weird but I now understand the importance of salvaging a lone time for yourself; the world is noisy, busy and constantly moving at top speed with strategic events meant to distract you. Journaling helps you create a lone time for self-reflection and meditation; this is how creative people recharge. This will help you do more and cover more grounds in no time.

2. Journaling Fosters Your Focus

Keeping a daily journal where you write your daily goals, achievements and shortcomings can stimulate your ability to develop focus. Focus means the strength and vigor to concentrate on a task and complete it. To remain highly creative and productive, you need to be focused on your goals. You may never know how daily journaling will increase your focus until you start.

3. Journaling Increases Your Imagination

Turning thoughts and memories of the day into words is a product of imagination. Chronicling the peak and low moments of your day makes you relive those experiences. The words in your journal crystallize from pixels of mental pictures and add positively to your imaginative acumen. If you can imagine the past, then you can paint the future.

4. Journaling Boosts Self-Esteem

Journaling opens your eyes to the steps you have made towards achieving your goals; it’s an accelerometer that shows your pace and keeps you in check. When you cultivate the habit of writing a daily journal, you will be able to see your progress along the line of your set goals. Be thankful for the little victories and the seemingly minute triumphs.

Gratitude makes your face the headquarters of joy by dishing out millions of smiles to people; it makes you look good. In her book, Things We Could Not Say, Diet Eman describes journaling as, “this pouring thoughts out on paper has relieved me. I feel better and full of confidence and resolution.” Keeping an attitude of gratitude boosts your self-esteem and helps you build confidence.

5. Journaling Unveils the Writer in You

I became an addicted writer through journaling. I started daily and conscious journaling in January 2015; it contributed immensely to what you see today as the writing side of me. Often, I will be in my room writing stories from my daily encounters with people. In this daily process of writing, I found the creative side of my brain deeply rooted in the love of letters. To be honest, something will ultimately happen to the writer in you when you are devoted to journaling your experiences. Journaling is an open secret to becoming a powerful writer. Journaling will assist you:

 

  • Develop formidable writing habits.
  • Help you find your voice.
  • Locate your tribe.
  • Produce powerful ideas that can fuel other projects.

“The young John Quincy Adams begins it lifelong habit of keeping a journal with reluctance that he might one day have to read it. He hopes, though, that the flaws in his earlier entries will be balanced by the progress he is able to see.” – Paul C. Nagel

6. Journaling Increases Your Sensitivity

Ever since I started journaling, I have developed an interesting habit of paying attention to the details of my day. Whenever I am having a random but rare conversation with people, I take notice of such conversations with an intention of getting something meaningful for my journal. They always turn out to be stories that can inspire others or serve as portals of lessons for me in my daily endeavor. When you start journaling, you will have increased sensitivity to your daily interactions.

7. Journaling Helps You Develop a Positive Habit

This is a grand opportunity for you to develop a positive habit – writing. You ultimately become what you consistently do, journaling adds one more positive habit to your list of daily routines. It may be hard and tough at the beginning but it will become easy with time. Journaling will steal some minutes from the hours you waste on social media; it will make you more positive about life and forge ahead with clarity.

How Do I Start Journaling?

Before I conclude, I think it will be great if I can share some tips for first-time “journalists.”
Location: 
Get a comfortable and quiet place where you can be isolated from distractions and disturbances. Preferably your bedroom or a place in your house with a reading table and chair. You can play a soft music in the background; I will suggest classical music or instrumentals. You can check out this playlist on Spotify.

 

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Time:
I will suggest you do it early in the morning before you hop on the social media train or late at nights before you sleep. If it’s in the morning, you should write about the reflections of the previous day and if you choose evening time, you can write about the just concluded day.
Resources: 
You can go for whatever is convenient for you, either a book and a pen or you write electronically using your personal computer or phone. If you are using your personal computer or phone, I will suggest you install Cold Turkey or Freedom to disable your internet and social media apps when writing.
Tasks: 
You can focus on the following when starting out before moving on to other areas:
  • Your most memorable moments of the day.
  • Your interesting encounters with people.
  • The places you visited especially the ones you visited for the very first time.
  • Things you could have done properly or ways you can improve the outcome of your daily output.
  • Completion of tasks that got you excited.

 

 

In conclusion, I implore you to commence journaling this week and you will be amazed at the stunning outcomes. It will help you steer your life in the right direction and help you become the best version of yourself. You are doing yourself a lot of good and creating a collage of history notebooks for the unborn generation. You have a story and it’s worth sharing with the world. Before you can share it, you must first write it down.

It is your turn to share with me. I am curious! What’s your take on daily journaling?

5 Effective Ways To Overcome Stage Fright

5 Effective Ways To Overcome Stage Fright

Five Effective Ways To Overcome Stage Fright
26
NOVEMBER, 2017
Samuel Osho

Get it right! It is normal for you to feel a gust of nervousness whenever you are called upon to speak in public. Do you hear the bumbling of butterflies in your stomach whenever you hold the microphone? It shows that you are human and a complete human being with a functional nervous system.

This reminds me of a line from American humorist, Mark Twain: “There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.” This quote posits that all speakers are nervous or liars – meaning that the liars behave as if the nervousness is non-existent.

If you are observant, you will notice that this nervous feeling also shows up when you are about to write an exam, talk to your boss, or ask a girl out. This feeling of fear is the result of a rush of adrenaline delivered to the body in a bid to successfully accomplish the task at hand.

The point is that nervousness is more physiological than psychological; it starts from the physiological point (heart rate, sweating, and so forth) before it leads to the psychological effects of feeling upset and nervous. I advise you to see fear as a normal physiological stimulus.

It is as simple as your body trying to help you, and it is your reaction to the help that will determine the result you get. What do you do with it? The most sensible step is to use it to your advantage. Don’t let the sudden surge of adrenaline toss you into the depths of nervousness. Instead, use it as the springboard to soar to the heights of impeccable delivery. It all depends on you. You can direct the surge into a profitable channel.

 

American public speaking instructor, Dale Carnegie, has a string of comforting words for you:

“The ability to conquer nervousness and speak with self-confidence is not difficult to acquire. It is not a gift bestowed by Providence on only a few rarely endowed individuals. Everyone can develop his own latent capacity if he has sufficient desire to do so.”

Having understood the physiological origin of nervousness and its psychological capability, we can explore ways of overcoming it. In agreement with the words of Carnegie, be fully aware that the power to defeat nervousness resides in you. I’ll share with you some practical and sure ways of using the natural adrenaline surge to your advantage.

 

The Five Effective Ways

1. Prepare Your Speech

Be prepared. If you go to the venue two hours ahead of the speaking engagement but with an empty head, you might end up not getting good results. Failure to prepare is preparing to fail. German artist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, sums it up this way: “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”

Preparation is vital in public speaking and shows that you respect your audience. You don’t want them to go home empty handed without something new to hold on to.

Preparation Makes You Bold

Boldness comes naturally when you know what you want to talk about. I have seen folks preach a wonderful message from the pulpit in church and then later, have seen them stammer at a public discourse. This is because they felt confident and sound in the church message but knew next to nothing about the topic up for discussion at the public discourse. American author, Michael Mescon, emphasized the connection between stage fright and knowledge in a profound way: “Best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you are talking about.”

Preparation entails doing elaborate research on the main subject of your speech by studying volumes of materials that can increase your knowledge. This usually includes reviewing potentially relevant quotations, statistics, biographical data, and transcripts. Be sure to separate facts from your opinions and ensure that the information is current and related to your topic.

Preparation Involves Background Check

Get your materials ready in advance, ranging from your visual aids to projectors (if any) to your index cards. The stage of preparation is very crucial and is synonymous with having a critical analysis of all the factors that can make your speech a success. If you’re not prepared and do not know what to talk about, you have just opened yourself to nervousness and it will enslave you until your time lapses.

Find out how many people will be speaking at the event. Will you be the first person to break the ice? Or will you be the last person to mount the podium after five other speakers? Check out the program for the speakers beforehand.

Ask yourself what you can do to get the attention of the audience, even if they are close to complete exhaustion, such as when you are the last speaker. Making a joke about being last can help ease the tension.

Find out how much time will be allotted to your speech. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, once said, “If I am given six hours to cut down a tree, I will use four to sharpen the ax head.” I hope you get the message. Preparation can never be overemphasized. Preparation of what to say and how to say it brings out the best in you.

“Best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you are talking about.” – Michael Mescon

2. Practise The Speech

Even the pros practise and you should practise your speech too. I was surprised when I saw the picture of Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo on Facebook training on the pitch of the Santiago Bernabeu just the day following the glamorous win of his third FIFA Ballon D’Or, as the Best Footballer in the world in January 2015.  He had just won an illustrious individual award yet he was back on the pitch practicing the next day.

American communicator, Somers White, insisted that the success of a speech is determined long before the speaker mounts the podium, “90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the Speaker steps on the platform.”

In his illuminating book, How To Develop Self-confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking, Dale Carnegie revealed how some famous speakers prepared for their speeches.

“Lloyd George, when he was a member of a debating society in his hometown in Wales, often strolled along the lanes, talking and gesturing to the trees and fence posts. Lincoln, in his younger days, often walked a round trip of thirty or forty miles to hear a famous speaker like Breckenridge. He came home from these scenes so stirred, so determined to be a speaker that he gathered the other hired workers about him in the fields and, mounting a stump, he made speeches and told them stories.”

Practise, practise, and practise! Practising is a sure antidote to your spell of nervousness. Just like Lloyd George, you can talk to the trees in your backyard and make gestures at the pedestrian lights on the walkway while going to work. Absorb the material as much as you can. You can even rehearse in front of your family members or close friends. Whenever possible, practise with the podium or a platform you are likely to use for the live delivery of your speech – this goes a long way to prepare your subconscious mind for the work at hand. Imagine yourself giving the speech and act it out.

3. Make Your Audience a Circle of Friends

Be early. Punctuality is the soul of business—perhaps the soul of public speaking too. In my first days of public speaking, I would go early to the venue and make friends. It is easier to speak with a group of friends than with a band of strangers. You feel comfortable and more at home while talking with them. This is a helpful pointer for starters in the industry of public speaking.

Going early to the event will remove any surprise that you might possibly encounter. It helps you understand your audience, and adjust beforehand if adjustment is needed in your speech to suit their social class or literacy level. Arriving early will also help you to have a feel of the platform/podium as you envision yourself standing there, ready to give your speech.

This rule has saved me several times because the audience often related to me as a part of them because I was yet to be introduced. Later on, when you are weaned from the fangs of stage fright and nervousness, you might not need to do this anymore.

4. Find The Smiling Face

In December 2012, as an intern in Schlumberger Nigeria, I knew I had to give a presentation on a tool to a group of field engineers and specialists. They were experts and they were also my managers. I had all the excuses in the world to panic and be nervous.

Having prepared well for the presentation, I stepped out to face the audience, about sixty people in number. I started changing gazes and speaking to every area of the room when I noticed a man sitting in the second row of the middle column. What caught my attention was the decorous smile which painted his face creating lovely ridges and contours.

Whenever I was about to succumb to the monster of nervousness, I would look at his face and strength would surge through me. This was when I discovered the power of a smiling face and how far it could go in boosting your confidence.

You’ll always have one person with a smiling face in the audience who is interested in your speech. Locate that light and harness the energy for your use. It is like getting a cookie at the beginning of the speech, and you delicately munch on it until the very last word.

5. Relax and Speak Like a King

Speeding through your speech is likely to accentuate your nervousness. Don’t be in a rush to start your speech. Take a deep breath and let the rays of your eyes acclimatize with the eyeballs of your audience.

Relax and speak like a King and a Queen, like that special person they have been waiting for. Whenever I take a deep breath, it is tantamount to letting out the wind of nervousness and mounting the wings of confidence.

Finally, if these methods are practically applied, then your stage fright and nervousness will be a thing of the past. I have used these methods and they have been of tremendous help, especially when I am to engage an entirely new audience.
It is your turn to share with me. I am curious! How did you overcome stage fright? Have you tried any of these five ways in the past?

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