Afraid To Put Yourself ‘Out There’?

Afraid To Put Yourself ‘Out There’?

Afraid To Put Yourself ‘Out There’?

I had a new client in my office earlier in the week who said they were reluctant to post about their business on social media, write blog posts, or go and speak to groups.

The reasons?

Fear of being judged. Getting negative feedback. Saying something wrong and looking stupid.

While it might seem like everyone is putting themselves out there these days, it’s actually still quite common for people to feel reluctant about jumping in.

So, if this sounds like you, here are few bits of advice to help you take that step…

1. The fact that you have a self-filter is a positive thing

The philosopher Plato is quoted as saying, ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”

Caring about the quality and value of your message will serve you well. Lord knows a bit of humility in the ‘selfie age’ is a refreshing thing. But…not everything you say has to be earth shattering and there comes a point when it’s time to just get on with it (see next tip).

2. You can’t expect to be perfect all the time

If you are waiting for everything to be completely perfect you’ll probably die in the process. If you have a valuable message, why deprive people of it just because the presentation is not immaculate?

3. The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Research conducted at Cornell University (by David Dunning and Justin Kruger) found that the higher someone’s level of skill related to a particular task, the lower they rated their own ability. Meanwhile, the same research showed that people who were incompetent at the same tasks, yep you guessed it, were quite happy to blow their own trumpet blissfully unaware of their lack of skill.

If you have reservations, feel reassured it’s a good sign. It science after all!

4. Some people just aren’t worth worrying about

You will need to accept that once you start making some noise not everyone will like it. The good news is that the haters are probably just that – negative people with little else to occupy them. Focus on the people who you can help and who value your advice.

Here is a great article that discusses some of the people you can feel free to ignore.

5. Test your ideas on someone else and give them time to soak

Let’s be honest, there are times when people do show a lack of judgement that comes back to bite them. So yes, if you are prone to a bit of ‘foot in mouth’ it is a good idea to have someone you trust to run your ideas past before you unleash them on the world. The good thing is, if they see value in what you have to say, you can be certain there will be others who feel the same.

Of course, by planning ahead what content you are going to put out, you might find you feel differently when the time comes to publish. What seemed like a good idea on the spur of the moment a week ago might not seem so now. I know there have been times when I have felt compelled to write a post with the wrong motivations but giving it some time has saved me a lot of hassle.

Over to you…

How do you feel about  putting yourself ‘out there’?

Do you have any more tips that might be useful for someone feeling this way?

I’d love to hear from you.





David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

Five Absolutely True Quotes About Public Speaking

Five Absolutely True Quotes About Public Speaking

Five Absolutely True Quotes About Public Speaking

Public speaking has always been, and always will be, one of the most effective ways of building influence, persuading others, and improving your personal and professional lives.

Becoming a more effective speaker is a goal we should all aspire to.

Here are some pieces of wisdom from others who have walked the path that I have found to be absolutely true.

1.  They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. – Carl W. Buechner

Regardless of the whether the objective of your speech is to inspire, entertain, educate, persuade, or to simply inform, you won’t achieve it if you don’t create an emotional connection.

Remember, the best speeches you’ve ever heard weren’t made by professional speakers. They were made by your relatives and friends at weddings, funerals, birthdays and special occasions. They spoke from the heart and you loved them for it.

2. No one ever complains about a speech being too short. – Ira Hayes

Going over your allotted time is disrespectful to the organiser who has invited you to speak, the other speakers/performers whose stage time you steal, and ultimately your audience.

I’ve never heard anybody say “You know, I really wish that speaker went fifteen minutes over time so I could be late for the rest of the day.”

Time limits are there for a reason. Respect them.

3. Speakers who claim to be as cool as a cucumber are usually about as interesting as one. – Dale Carnegie

Most people who seek help with public speaking do so because of their lack of confidence. However the biggest problem with speaking is people who DON’T seek help because they don’t realise what they don’t know.

They are very pleased with their public speaking prowess but the audience is subject to a very different experience.

4. 90% of how the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform. – Somers White

I always advocate preparation and practise for an important presentation. Even for a more informal occasion such as a social event, you should at least give some thought to what you are going to say and have a basic outline in mind (or written down if you can’t rely on your memory).

With the exception of a gifted few, most of speakers I’ve seen try to ‘wing it’ have just ended up dribbling pointlessly and the ultimate message to the audience has been “I didn’t respect you enough to do any preparation for this.”

But there is one other important thing that comes before preparation and practice.

If you haven’t earned the right to speak about the topic through putting in some hard work to develop your knowledge and experience, you’re probably speaking BS and have no right to feel confident.

5. A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt – long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest. – Winston Churchill

I doubt that Winston would get away with saying that these days but the premise still holds true. You can create interest and buzz without exposing all your secrets or trying to account for every possible scenario.

While you might know some of the basic things your audience has in common, you can’t possibly know all of their individual situations.

So the idea is to serve the needs of the audience and give them just enough that they can go and adapt what you’ve said to their individual situation, or seek more information.

Got any more great tips? Feel free to get in touch and let me know.

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications

The Five Types Of Story & How to Choose One

The Five Types Of Story & How to Choose One

The Five Types Of Story & How to Choose One

According to Dr Nick Morgan of Public Words there are five basic types of stories in western culture.

1. The Quest

The hero must achieve some difficult goal or reach a certain place within a certain time. Along the way they must overcome a series of obstacles.

2. Stranger In A Strange Land

In this story the hero is placed in an unfamiliar situation and has to learn to play by a new set of rules.

3. Rags To Riches

The hero starts from a position of disadvantage and through luck, hard work, and determination is ultimately rewarded with riches, fame, glory etc.

4. Revenge

The hero has been wronged by their enemy and sets out to avenge the wrong that has been done to them.

5. Love Story

The classic boy meets girl. Boy does something stupid. Boy has to win girl back again.

Which story applies to you?

Some examples in business might include: Venturing into a new market – stranger in a strange land.

Meeting a product launch deadline – the quest.

The classic entrepreneurial start-up from someone’s bedroom to multi-million dollar company – rags to riches.

Doing something that doesn’t sit well with customers then making it right – the love story.

Succeeding despite having to deal with tough competitors who do everything they can to stop you – revenge.

Whether you are preparing a campaign, coming up with an entire branding strategy, or making a presentation, figure out which of these basic themes applies to you, your business, or product, and craft a compelling story around it.

David Wise

David Wise

Owner, Wise Words Communications