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How To Lock Away Your Fear of Public Speaking

Written by Lisa van Reeuwyk

public speaking tips

Do you love public speaking? Do you aspire to stand in the spotlight and let your light shine brightly or does it send you into a cold sweat running for the lavatory in a state of panic? For some of us, a speech in front of a room full of our peers is an opportunity to connect, inspire and teach.

Recently I was invited to my 10 year old daughter’s classroom, where my introverted, big-hearted daughter took on the challenge of public speaking by embracing her love of the animal kingdom, and she impressed me with her dedication to her 4 minute speech written all by herself to educate her class on bears — in French; hand-crafted on cue cards; and memorized.

Now let’s rewind a few months earlier…

Somewhere on her way to school, my daughter took a big gulp of performance anxiety with a self-doubt chaser. Rather than proudly sharing her speech with her class, as she stood before them she broke down into tears, unable to get past the first word.

Can you relate? Has the adult version of you ever choked up or froze in the face of judgement?

Likely you didn’t break down into tears, but there may or may not have been a margarita and some emotional eating and some retail therapy behind-the-scenes. Success looks different for all of us.

When invited to present at a conference or lead a workshop my heart sings, “Ooh… YES! What an honour and blessing to speak to a room full of smart, talented interesting people and foster innovation, creativity and growth… YES!!!!!”

Most people who meet me as an adult are more than a little surprised to learn about my paralyzing shyness as a child. The 42 year old version of me talks to people everywhere I go, especially now that I market non-toxic shampoo that re-grows hair (crazy I know!).

Yet, the 10 year old version of Lisa broke into tears and ran away on the playground when a well-intentioned child said the unimaginable and horrific word, “Hi!” to me. A panic attack, not public speaking, would have been the only option for me.

What is this huge truth about public speaking?

Continue reading How To Lock Away Your Fear of Public Speaking

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Tips for Using the Media to Grow Your Brand

Written by Dawn Mucci

breaking news banner for media promotion of small businesses

You created a great concept and now you are ready to let the world know about your brand. The trouble is, you only have so many marketing dollars in your company coffers to get the word out. If you are a new or emerging brand with minimal capital this can be a huge challenge. I’ve been there myself and I know the struggle is real. If you find yourself in this situation or simply want to learn how to save some money in this department, consider using the media to grow your brand. I did this successfully albeit out of sheer necessity and I did it by spending time crafting my story and sharing it passionately, forming relationships with key contacts in the industry at all levels. There are many forms of media for you to leverage and I will touch on the top ones in this article.

In all honesty, I was not really using the media. I was helping the media engage their audience with relevant and timely content they needed and wanted to grow their perspective interest. This can be accomplished through traditional media such as TV, radio, and print or via platforms like social media, YouTube, events, podcasts, article writing etc. When I say to ‘use the media’, what I mean is to use what you have to offer in the way of a story, expertise or educational content. When you realize it is not about what the media can offer you but what you can offer them, it becomes less intimidating and much easier to approach people to create those mutually beneficial relationships.

I asked a couple of my franchise industry friends who have done an excellent job in this regard to provide me with their insights; they were more than happy to share these tips:

Make it easy and be timely with your content

Fellow Mompreneur member Ruthie Burd of The Lunch Lady is a media darling, appearing on countless TV shows and in articles teaching families the importance of healthy eating and showing them creative lunch options. She had the following suggestions:

“Be prepared not only with a compelling story but to also have pictures and props, which will eliminate the need to send a photographer or do extra production work. People have too much coming at them already. Anything you can do to reduce their time stress and make it easy for them is appreciated. Be timely with your content as well; for example, we make school lunches a subject of interest in September when the new school year begins. Tell everyone your story, you never know who is listening or who knows who. Finally, hire an agency or someone professional to help you be prepared with ideas to pitch for their advice and feedback. You want to create synergistic partnerships with anyone representing your brand to ensure your voice is authentic in the public space.” Continue reading Tips for Using the Media to Grow Your Brand

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Press Releases that Will Get Your Business Noticed

You have a great product or service and you want to start getting the word out.  Where should you begin?  It seems like a huge task, but if you take it step by step you’ll be able to create some buzz.

press releases for mompreneursA press release is not as intimidating as it might seem. Essentially, it’s a document written for specific journalists to encourage them to announce something claimed as having news value- the hook.  It is important to note that a press release is different from a news article.  A news article is a compilation of facts developed by journalists and published in the news media, whereas a press release is designed to be sent to journalists in order to encourage them to develop favourable articles on the subject.


 

Why do you need a press release?  A press release is the best way to get your information out to your target audience via the media. It provides a credible, unbiased third-party who is talking about you and your business.  The release provides the media with all the information they need.  It makes their job easier and it provides you with a platform to say anything you want about your news- provided it is factual. It is your time to shine.

Before we get into the mechanics of the release, here are the guidelines to keep in mind when creating the release. This next part may seem a bit technical, but a good press release makes all the difference in the world. Journalists are sent press releases each day by the dozen.  They are looking for specific things and if your release doesn’t measure up, they won’t even look at it, let alone consider writing anything about it. Continue reading Press Releases that Will Get Your Business Noticed

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5 Conversations You Should Never Have Over Email

ID-100224908While email is convenient, it is not always the best way to communicate.  When you are trying to explain a complex concept or if your message is emotionally charged, it is probably better to talk over the phone or face-to-face.  Here are five conversations that you should never have online.

We can’t deliver on what was promised.

Since there is a good chance that your customer will be upset by this news, it is best to talk on the phone where you can better explain the situation.

We no longer require your services.

Don’t terminate someone’s contract over e-mail.  Pay them the respect of a face-to-face or telephone conversation. Continue reading 5 Conversations You Should Never Have Over Email