Tag Archive for Public Speaking

Overcoming Fear at the Big Show

The Cover Slide for my presentation at the Big Show

A key factor of personal development and growth for any of us is overcoming our fears. For me 2012 was a year of breaking down barriers and ended with me finally overcoming my fear of speaking in public, something that used to terrify me.

In fact, the thought of public speaking is something that sends a chill down the spine of even the most confident individual. In his book ‘…and Death Came Third!: The Definitive Guide to Networking and Speaking in Public’ Andy Lopata refers to a New York Times Survey on Social Anxiety that listed people’s biggest fears. Perhaps surprisingly, ahead of the fear of death in third place and walking into a room full of strangers on second place came speaking in public.

I, like so many others, can remember anxious, sleepless nights before having to give presentations in front of my high school peers. The fear of making a fool of myself was overwhelming. At university I decided to confront the problem and signed up for a public speaking class. I gradually became more confident and must have appeared more at ease than I felt as I achieved the top grade in the subject and walked away with the award for most creative presentation.

It was a few months ago that I was approached by Quach Tuan Khanh, widely recognised as Vietnam’s top public speaker. He asked if I would be interested in joining him as a key speaker at the Big Show, the largest public speaking event in Vietnam last year. Although the idea was daunting, and I had arranged to spend Christmas with my family in Sweden,

Nick presenting at the Big Show in HCMC

I knew the chance was just too big to turn down. I cancelled my travel plans and started researching topics I felt qualified to present. Together Quach Tuan Khanh and I decided my subject should be ‘Failure Before Success’. I am no stranger to adversity and I have had my fair share of failures. However, I have always tried to rise above them, learn from them, and turn those failures into success.

During my time with Oriflame and Sophie Paris Vietnam I have delivered hundreds of talks, training seminars and lectures; the largest of which was in a stadium filled with 3,000 people. However, I was now being asked to speak for one-and-a-half hours in front of business professionals. Each was paying US$60 to come and hear what I had to say, a significant portion of their monthly income. This was serious and I knew I would have to prepare and practice thoroughly if I was going to pull it off.

Nick with the most famous speakers in Vietnam

Throughout December I toured Vietnam with a number of well known public speakers addressing some 1,700 business professionals in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Can Tho.

It was after my final major presentation to a crowd of 800 in HCMC that I realised I was facing my fear of speaking to large numbers of strangers and winning. Following my talk I was thrilled to be asked to pose for photos with members of the audience and sign autographs. I was even asked to sign books. Many of the people I met on the tour were moved to tears and thanked me for inspiring them. The feeling was incredible and I have had endless emails, phone calls and texts since. I cannot describe how proud I feel to have been an inspiration to others or how thankful I am not to have let my fear of public speaking beat me.  I am looking forward to more presentations and to further inspire and help other people overcoming their fears. As Brian Tracy puts it “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help other. Unsuccessful people are always asking. What’s in it for me”.

The Importance Of Goals

During October 2012, I had the pleasure of giving 3 trainings on goal settings to the top leaders of Sophie Paris Vietnam.

I started the training by making a bold statement, “during this training I will show you how you can get everything you want, faster than you ever thought was possible. If I was given only five minutes to speak to you today, and I could convey only one thought that help you to become more successful, I would tell you this: “Write down your goals, make a plan to achieve them, and work on your plans every single day.”

I then continued to take the participants through a hands-on workshop where they were told about the importance of writing down and defining their goals and how to achieve their goals and how to overcome obstacles in life.

Write Down Your Goals:
“Start by writing down exactly you what you want”, I told them. Why? “Because you need to find your purpose in life” I continued. Once you know exactly what you want it is possible to achieve it. Success comes by choice – not by chance, I added.

A Dream Is Not A Goal:
I asked the participants what their goals was, they all said things such as “to make more money”, “to have fun” and “to have a house or a car”. I then told them that were just dreams, and most likely they would not fulfill them since they are not specific enough nor did they come with a deadline. Instead, I told them to further define what exactly they want and then give it a deadline. As Brian Tracy said “Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines”, I added.

Why People Don’t Set Goals:
I explained that the most people in the world do not set goals because they think that goals are not important. They also do not know how to set and write their goals as well as that they are scared that they will not achieve them. Join The 3% That Has Set Goals: I then demonstrated how to set goals and join the 3% in the world that has done that. I told them to write their goals in presence tense and with a specific deadline as well as to start each goal with “I”. I gave them one example “I earn as a Distributor VND 50,000,000 from Sophie Paris each month by July 1, 2013.” I then invited all participants to write down their goals in this format. I encouraged them to write at least one specific area for each key part of their lives, including:

1. Income
2. Family & relationship
3. Financial situation
4. Health and fitness

How To Achieve Goals:
I told the leaders to use future orientation to achieve their goals. They were encouraged to think and talk about where they are going in the future on all their key areas of their lives. The way to make it happen is to make a list of things to do, prioritize that list, make it into a plan and then, most importantly to take action on that plan immediately. “You are advised to do something every day towards your major goals” I guided them.

Overcome obstacles:
I then shared with them that life is full of obstacles and challenges. Within every obstacle or difficulty, there is an opportunity or benefit. It is up to you to learn more to come over your difficulties and then enjoy the rewards that come with it. The only real limits to what you can achieve are the ones that you put on yourself by your own doubts and fears.

My Goals:
I ended the training session by demonstrating how goal setting had worked for me in my life. I wrote 5,5 years ago a goal to become General Director within five years, a goal that I achieved in just three years despite many obstacles along the way. I also wrote a goal to have a child, a goal I achieved in two years (my son Percy now being 3,5 years old), and now I am working on my goal to reach perfect and healthy weight along with several other key goals. “If goals work for me, they will work for you too. See you @ the top!” I ended.

The participants in Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City all enjoyed the training session and said that it was very useful for both their personal development as well as their career with Sophie Paris.

One of the Ho Chi Minh City leaders, Ms Dao Luong, said “Actually, I had my goals and objectives already before, but I had never written them down in detail, and therefore, I never achieved them. Now, thanks to Nick’s great training, I have finally fully understood the meaningfulness and importance of goal setting. I have from today promised myself to become a Silver President by December 2012, and achieve other specific goals that I wrote down during the training. I will work on my action plan every day to make my life more satisfying!” Photos from the training course at the Head Office – HCMC

Ms. Mai Pham, a leader in Danang, expressed “What Nick said has impressed me deeply. Right in this afternoon, I am soon planning a clear goal and objective that help myself to be better, right here with Sophie Paris”.

Ms Van Mai, a member in Hanoi also said “I have red several types of motivation books before, but this was the first time I am aware about the importance of planning and writing down what is my mind and what I want to achieve in life. I am regretting the past time was a kind of waste, but from now, every minute counts to me.”

Nick’s training was inspired by his five years of MLM experience as well as from the book Being the Best in MLM by MLM guru John Kalench and the book Goals by Brian Tracy.