You’ve got to speak in front of a group of people … and you’re panicking.
How do you hold their attention? How do you make sure you deliver value? How do you hold it together, when all eyes are on you?
Even worse, doubts are running through your mind, such as:
“Who am I to talk about this topic?”
“Why would anyone want to listen to me?”
“I’m no expert.”
Communication expert Ashley Bright sees it all the time. He talks with amazing people who are changing lives but STILL don’t feel like they have the authority or credentials to speak up.
In this week’s YBTV interview, I talk with Ashley about why more women need to step out of the shadows, how to have tough conversations, and the 6 fundamental keys to great communication.
What You’ll Learn
Ashley Bright wants you to speak up.
“We just don’t realize how valuable what we have to share is,” he says.
He’s spoken with entrepreneurs who’ve started their own company, or changemakers who are having an impact on the world, and he’s been flabbergasted to hear them say, “Who am I to talk about this?”
He’s on a mission to change that.
“Often times,” he says, “we need someone else to look at what we’re doing and point out, ‘No, this is amazing! You need to share this,’ or, ‘You are an authority. You are a guru. Don’t deny people the value that you can bring.'”
The World Needs You
The world needs your voice now more than ever, as a leader and as a woman.
Women bring a different perspective to the table and a different way of approaching problems. Rather than plowing through, they operate in a space where they must balance competing needs, priorities, and egos. They get results, but they often take a different route to get there.
Ashley recognizes that not all working environments are conducive to women taking on a larger role.
“It can make a huge difference what sort of an environment you’re in,” he says. “But I still think looking for those opportunities is critical for personal growth.”
Busting Through Limiting Beliefs
What holds many of us back are limiting beliefs about what we can and can’t do. You may think, “No one wants to listen to me,” or “Who am I to talk about this topic?”
“I think it’s important to try to push those boundaries as much as you can,” says Ashley.
One way to push those boundaries is to use the TREEE method to get into “this mental space of, ‘I have value, I can bring tremendous impact to this, and I can change lives.'”
TREEE is an acronym that stands for Trigger, Response, Emotion, Effort, and Effect.
“If you take any situation—an upcoming job interview, a public speaking opportunity, running a meeting, whatever that is—the trigger is that event, and then how you respond to it makes all the difference,” Ashley says.
He explains: “Your response determines your emotions, which determine the level of effort, which in turn determines the effect you’ll have on whatever the initial trigger was.”
So “if you go into it responding with, ‘No one’s going to trust me,’ ‘I don’t have value,’ or, ‘I’m not sure I can do this,'” then you’re going to struggle.
But if you respond with thoughts like, “This is a great opportunity to show my value. This is a great opportunity to change that problem we’ve dealing with. This is a great opportunity to help our clients,” then you’ll find it easy to contribute value and make an impact.
It’s Not about You
One of the pitfalls he’s seen speakers make is fixating on themselves when they needed to be focused on their audience.
Speakers should ask themselves, “Who’s receiving this message? Am I being relevant to them? Am I speaking in a language that they can connect with?”
Ashley believes that a lot of the fear and anxiety we experience in social situations, from first dates to networking events, comes from believing that we have to show others how great we are, as opposed to listening and actively engaging in the conversation.
“One of the real fundamentals in any type of communication is your ability to listen,” he says. “Some of the most successful networkers rarely talk about their business, because they get to know people on a personal level.” They lay a foundation and build a relationship first.
Having Tough Conversations
But what if you’ve got something to say that people aren’t going to want to hear?
Ashley recommends framing the conversation in terms of what is most relevant to your audience.
“Don’t focus on what you want. Focus on what the people you’re speaking to are going to want,” he says.
“Much like public speaking, you want to be looking at what your audience needs to hear,” he explains. Ask yourself “What are they there for?” versus “What do you want to say?”
6 Fundamental Keys to Communication
Ashley has been working with clients over the past five or six years to develop his IMPACT speaking method.
These are 6 fundamental keys to any form of communication, whether it’s public speaking, one-on-one, or business meetings.
IMPACT stands for:
I: Irresistible messaging
“Messaging that is focused and aligned and relevant to your audience.”
M: Meaningful connections
“A display of empathy, creating that common ground with your audience.”
P: Powerful performance
“Hand gestures, body language, how you’re moving and owning a space.”
A: Activating hearts and minds
“Resonating with your audience and planting these seeds.”
C: Creating change
“Addressing that problem you’re trying to solve.”
T: Transforming yourself
“Stepping into the real you and discovering that awesome that you bring to the table.”
In his coaching practice, Ashley helps his clients identify a goal, whether it’s an industry event or a presentation, and then helps them develop their talking points, their messaging and their visuals, so that when they walk out on that stage, they deliver a talk that makes an impact.
Find out more about Ashley’s private coaching, group coaching, and speaking engagements at Ashley Bright Presents.
Jump to Topics of Interest
2:30 Why the world needs more women to step up
2:54 Limiting beliefs
3:40 Difficult workplace environments
4:23 Feeling like you have the right to speak
8:52 The stories we tell ourselves
10:01 Public speaking
11:41 Active listening
14:24 How to have tough conversations
15:28 How one girl got what she wanted without saying a word
17:20 IMPACT speaking method
20:56 Bust through limiting beliefs
Ashley is a father, entrepreneur and passionate storyteller. In 2013, after 16 years presenting to Fortune 500 companies in the design and marketing industry, he founded Ashley Bright Presents to teach experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders how to avoid communication mistakes that could cost them millions. HonorHealth, United Way and Arizona State University are among the many clients who rely on Ashley’s IMPACT Speaking Method to help their leaders conquer fears, avoid costly mistakes and get the money they need to succeed.