5 Things Public Speakers Have on Their Christmas Lists

Heaven High, everyone! How was your Thanksgiving? How many pieces of pie did you have? What post-turkey-day leftover recipes are you looking forward to?

In honor of Black Friday (AKA “Customer Appreciation Day” AKA “Commercialism At It’s Best/Worst” AKA #buyallthethings), I have compiled a list of things that public speakers would appreciate for the holidays.

I hate being asked what I would want for Christmas because I never know what to say. Loved ones always want to buy you something that you will enjoy. Just because it is for professional improvement, some of them assume that it is no fun. However, for some of us, improving our lives (no matter what aspect of our lives) is fun!

#1) An Improv Class

Acting classes are great for speakers because they don’t just teach actors how to act, they also teach them how to annunciate, project, and about stage presence. This is one of the many reasons why Thom McFadden is such a great asset for every kind of speaker. He is a man who wears many hats (including acting coach) but he can also offer so much to speakers who run their own businesses, work for any company, or any other speakers. If you need to work on overcoming your stage fright, consider joining Thom’s community for some great speaking and presenting tips.

#2) Office Supplies

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Just because you are buying this person office supplies, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. You don’t have to get paperclips and pencils. There are plenty of cool office supplies that you can snag for your favorite speaker: a handful of thumb drives (always important for backing up important files), speakers, a desk plant (so important for atmosphere, clean air, and health), business cards, even new headshots.

#3) A New Website

A spiffy new site would be a fantastic present. It is imperative that businesses have up-to-date websites. If you want to give your friend a new website, you can do it in a number of ways. The simplest way that you can help is by purchasing a domain name for your friend for a few years. You can also buy the services of a web designer and/or web developer (yes, they both do different things).

#4) A TEDx Convention

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Watching successful speakers do what they do best is one of the most important things for a speaker to see. Speakers can earn from example. They can take notes on their favorite techniques and speech styles. A TEDx convention is one of the best conventions for a speaker to go to. If not one of these, consider gifting a different convention which is specific to his or her field.

#5) Something to Read

When it comes to personal and professional improvement nothing helps like a good book. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about public speaking. Learning about new things breeds innovation, even when it comes to public speaking. If you need a stocking stuffer, why not pick up a copy of my book, ACTING FOR REAL, for free. All you have to do is click on that big, beautiful, green button below!

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BONUS TIP:

It is autumn (actually it is almost winter), which means that we are officially head-first into soup season. My favorite leftover turkey recipe is for Homemade Turkey Soup and you can find it here on the Taste of Home website.

B BOP!

Surviving the Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we can sit back, stuff ourselves full of food, and reflect on how good we have it. Yes, no matter what you have gone through in 2014, there is always something to be thankful for. It could be your health, the fact that you have a job (even if you’re looking for a better one), or just the fact that you don’t have to see your nagging family members for the rest of the year.

“No, I’m not married yet.”

“Yes, I’m still unemployed.”

“Yes, I know my biological clock is ticking. It’s all I hear when I try to sleep at night.”

If you’re like me, you’re excited to see your family during the holidays. Despite the inevitable “What is it that you do again?” (this is – hands down – the number one question I get every time my family comes together), I still enjoy seeing my extended family and spending time with them.

And I have a big family…

How big? My parents had a grand total of 19 brothers and sisters. I haven’t met all of my cousins. This is probably why my mom and dad stopped at two kids. Either way, this usually makes for big family reunions around the holidays. I like to consider myself well-versed in the art of “surviving the Thanksgiving table.” If you are frightened of what your family may throw at you tomorrow, here are my top three recommendations:

#1) Don’t Look Your Drunk Uncle in the Eye

If we don't move, it won't see us...

If we don’t move, it won’t see us…

Generally speaking, most families have that one black sheep of the family. It might be the drunk uncle. It might be that weird cousin that likes to lick windows. It might be the aunt with the fifty-two cats. No matter who they are, they are often like a magnet for drama.

In general, I like to avoid the drama during the holidays. I may not always be successful but I do try my best. However, if you do get caught up in some kind of drama, don’t let it ruin your day. Did your drunk uncle spill his beer on your shoes? Just help him sit back down on the couch and wipe off your shoes. Then maybe offer him a cup of coffee.

We may not be able to choose our family but we can choose how we treat them. We can also try our darnedest to love them with every ounce of our being.

#2) Grandma Knows All

"Come here! Let me pinch those cheeks!"

“Come here! Let me pinch those cheeks!”

The one thing that I regret (and to emphasize this fact, I want to make sure you know that I hate having to use the word “regret”) is not spending time with my grandparents when they were around. I missed the change to really know either of my grandfathers and I lost both of my grandmothers when I was still in grade school.

That being said, I don’t want you to make the same mistake. If you can spend time with your grandparents this year, don’t take it for granted. Grandparents have a wealth of knowledge and all they ever want to do is love you and they have so much to share with you.

So suck it up and wear the ugly, itchy, Christmas sweaters to make them happy because seeing a smile on their faces will totally make it worth it. In addition, make sure to give them an extra hug – from me.

#3) Mom’s Food Will Always Be the Best

Mmm...turkey...

Mmm…turkey…

This is the rule in everyone’s house. Mom’s food is always the best. My parents are Filipino so my mom’s cooking is no exception to this rule. She makes the best lumpia and there is always a platter of it next to the turkey every year.

You know what else is next to the turkey? My pinecone turkey that I made for her when I was in elementary school. Yup, I love my mom.

Not sure what to get for stocking stuffers this year? Why not get test run a FREE COPY of Thom’s book, Acting for Real? You’ve got nothing to lose! Just click that big, beautiful, green button below to get your FREE COPY!

B BOP!

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Business Insider and Tony Robbins Talk About Public Speaking

Tony Robbins is such a fantastic speaker. You might not be his biggest fan but you can’t deny his stage presence and influence. He is charismatic and charming on stage. He is also brutally honest and funny. He recently did an interview with Business Insider where he talks about his best 3 Public Speaking Tips.

#1) Know and Respect Your Audience

Robbins talks about how understanding someone’s wants and needs helps you add value to your speech. So do your homework. Research your market and your audience.

#2) Add More Value Than Anyone Expects

Adding value to your words helps:

1) Your audience take you seriously

2) Get your audience’s attention

3) Them remember your words

#3) Tap Your Audience’s Emotions

“You need to be in the moment and flexible to make it real and raw,” Robbins says. “You’ll enjoy it, they’ll enjoy it, and you’ll be memorable.”

This also means that your passion must come out in your words. Your audience will know if you’re not passionate about the topic and in turn they will mimic your enthusiasm (or lack thereof).

When I first saw Tony Robbins, it was in a TED Talk video. Specifically this one:

It was one of the videos in a TED Talk series about mind power. While it’s not specifically a part of the Netflix TED Talk LifeHack series, the videos that are in that series will help you become a better speaker as well. It’s still on Netflix so I highly recommend that you take in a video a night. Rewatch the videos too. The fantastic part about TED Talks is that they are incredibly “rewatchable” and short.

Know what else will help you develop your public speaking skills? Getting a FREE COPY of my book, ACTING FOR REAL. Check it out in the link below. Go ahead. Click that “big, beautiful, green button” and don’t forget…

B BOP!

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The Ultimate PowerPoint Presentation

Heaven High! It’s Friday, can you believe it? I don’t know about you but this week seemed to take forever for me. I love being busy and often it makes my day just speed on by but this past week, it made my day just drag along. I’m just lucky that I love my job, or else I would have had a miserable week.

How was your week? Did it speed by or did it just drag like mine?

I don’t want to bog your Friday down with a bunch of information about work, since most of you will are looking forward to the weekend (I know I am!). Today I wanted to talk about one small part of presentations: PowerPoints.
A lot of presenters stress the importance of a good PowerPoint presentation.

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If your slides are all out of whack, you will be too. Unfortunately, this is somewhat true – unless you’re prepared and have a good back-up plan.

The advice that I have seen – over and over again – is:

Use no more than 10 slides in a PowerPoint presentation. Don’t go longer than 20 minutes. No slide should have more than six bullet points. Use only six words per bullet point.

While this advice has lasted throughout the years and has proven to be effective, I can break it down into three simple rules with each rule being only one word. Ready?

Fun, Punchy, Visuals

Yes, you can even take it as one phrase:

Fun, Punchy Visuals!

PowerPoint presentations are a great tool for any presentation but they can get complicated and bog you down if you don’t do it right. So how do you do a PowerPoint “correctly”?

You have fun with it!

Just like with any other type of presentation, if you’re not having fun the audience will feel it and they won’t have fun either.

I’ve had many different presentations over the years. I was a student and a teacher; I’ve been in front of people my whole life. While I wasn’t always a strong speaker (I normally have the voice of a mouse and the stage presence of a deer in headlights), with the right tools and people to back me up, I can feel right at home in front of an audience.

"Wait, what?"

“Wait, what?”

One of my favorite presentations was a PowerPoint presentation. In college we made presentations that presented our Bucket Lists to the class. It was wonderful. I had a blast researching it and presenting it to the class. The class could tell that I had fun too – they could tell because of my punchy delivery, the appealing visuals that I chose, and because I was smiling the entire time. My professor even told me that I was smiling through the slides.

For some of the slides, I didn’t follow the 6×6 rule (six bullets with a max of six words each) but it was still a powerful and effective presentation because I was as energetic and informative as my slides.

Remember: Fun. Punchy. Visuals.

All right, before I go I’m going to leave you with one last tip. If you want to give a good PowerPoint presentation, you have to be a great presenter and you can do that by picking up Thom’s book. The best part? He’s offering it to you FOR FREE! Yep, all you have to do is click that big, beautiful, green button below:

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All right, have a fantastic Friday and a great weekend everyone! Get some rest and have some fun! B BOP!

Scheduling Time for Success

Do you own your own business? Do you run your own business as a side project to help pad your income? Are you a small business owner or a CEO of a corporation? You could benefit from this post on scheduling essential blocks of time into your workday. You could be working your way up the ladder to success or you could already be at the top of your professional ladder. No matter your stance, scheduling your day is an important part of success.

#1) ”This is King 5 News with the Latest Updates…”

Staying informed is important. I don’t just mean the news, but also on the latest technological programs, apps, and advances in your field of expertise. You may have a doctorate’s in your field but every subject (no matter what) is constantly changing and advancing. Make sure you are scheduling in a little time to stay informed.

#2) Networking and Social Media

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Part of your efforts as a businessperson should be spent networking with other businesspeople and also putting your face and personality out on your social media accounts. And, I’m not talking about your personal social media account but your professional account. You may own your own business, run your business as a CEO, or even have a side business to supplement your income.

No matter what work you are in, you should be putting in a little bit of time to get to know your followers. You may have hired a social media coordinator or marketer to handle your accounts but you still need to make an occasional appearance so that your followers know that there is a person behind the figurehead.

#3) Know When to Hold ‘Em…

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You may be a workaholic or perhaps you just started working as your own boss. No matter which boat you are standing in, you need to be able to have business hours. Not just any business hours either but regular business hours so that people know when they can get a hold of you. Post your business hours on your door and on your website.

#4) …Know When to Fold ‘Em

It is equally (if not more) important to have off-hours. You need to know when to stop working so that you can wind down. That is one of the important tools to innovation, after all – taking your mind off of work.

This is especially important to people who are starting out on their own. You can’t work 24 hours a day. You also shouldn’t be answering business calls in the middle of dinner. If you have a family, this is even more apparent.

If you don’t rest, your work will suffer. So know when to shut off your work phone and stop checking your e-mail.

#5) Spend Some Time Reading

Reading improves your mind, keep away Alzheimer’s and other aging and mental conditions, and aids in your development of new ideas. You don’t even have to read a book in your area of expertise. You could read the Game of Thrones series, a newspaper, or even get a copy of Thom McFadden’s book (a FREE COPY).

All of these options will aid you in becoming a well-rounded, intelligent person, and will aid you professionally as well as personally.

To get your FREE COPY of Thom’s book, Acting for Real, just click on that big, gorgeous, green button below.

B BOP!

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Monday Morning Inspiration: Be YOURSELF!

Heaven High, Everyone!

I hope you are having a fantastic Monday. I know that Monday’s can be difficult – especially if you didn’t get to relax over the weekend – but the best way to overcome the Monday drudgeries is to just power through it. After all, you can’t get to Friday without first going through Monday.

In my personal opinion, Mondays are for inspiration. So here is an inspirational story that I found online. These days, people share the most mundane things on Facebook. They check in at restaurants. They talk about events that happen in ever day life.

If not that, then there are complaints and negativity everywhere. For me, Facebook is a platform that you can use in order to connect with people (be it loved ones that you don’t normally see or people that you’ve just met).

It can also be a platform to share achievements, successes, and inspirational stories. The other day, I was “stuck in a rabbit hole” (that’s when you go from one site to another, getting more and more distracted from your initial intention in the first place), when I happened upon this story.

The story of Devonte Hart. He was a little boy who struggled early in life. He grew up in an abusive and neglected household and was exposed to drugs and violence on a daily basis when he was about four years old.

Flash forward to present day, he and his siblings were adopted by Jen Hart and her wife Sarah. While difficult at first, they raised Devonte to be an incredibly generous, kind, and beautiful human being. He is a sweetheart and to illustrate this point, here is a story that Jen wrote about on her Facebook page:

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An elderly man was standing at the end of the bagging area conversing with the woman checking us out. He spots our son — looks him up and down.

Man: I can tell you are going to be a baseball player when you grow up.

Son: *Pauses, tilts his head and gives a closed mouth grin* Actually, no. Baseball isn’t really my thing.

Man: Well, I can tell you are going to be a ball player.

Son: (As his mom, I can tell there is a slight frustration inside of him) No, I don’t even play baseball.

Checkout lady: Oh, I bet you’re going to be a basketball or soccer player then!

Son: No, I don’t play any sports. It’s just not my thing. There’s nothing wrong with sports or anything, I just have other interests.

Checkout lady: (in a befuddled nearly astonished voice) WHAT!?!? I have NEVER met a kid that looks(!!!) like you that doesn’t play sports.

Man: *chuckling* Right?! Never. They all do!

***My face was as red as my hair at this point. It was so obviously clear what was happening. While I wanted so badly to step in and protect my son from the ongoing racial stereotyping, I didn’t. I let him step into his own power and he handled it brilliantly***

Son: Well, of course you’ve never met a kid like me. I’m one of a kind. There’s not another person like me.

Man: Well, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Son: I’m here to help people. I’m here to inspire. Now.

Man: Oh, so you’re going to be a doctor? (as he laughed while he said it — not kidding)

Son: No, I’m not.

Man: Well, being a doctor is the best way to help people. What are you going to do to help and inspire people?

Son: (putting the last of the bags in the cart) I’m going to be myself. No matter how much people try to make me something I am not. Have a great night! *flashes ginormous smile*

So I’ll pose that question to you now. How are you going to help and inspire the people around you?

Have a fantastic Monday and B BOP!

And don’t forget to grab your free copy of Thom’s book! Let him inspire you to be great!

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Happy Friday! Let’s Talk About Balance…

Heaven High! How are you doing on this wonderful Friday? I (for one) am excited to start my weekend! But before I go out and enjoy my hobbies and the company of my loved ones, I wanted to talk about meditation.

Meditation?

Yes. It might not sound like it has anything to do with communicating and public speaking but it is actually a vital part of communication. All right, hear me out…

Meditating has a stigma to it.

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Now breathe in and out…

In western culture, it has a religious connotation and is strictly bonded with cultures like Buddhism. While certain cultures practice it, this of it this way: you probably do too. If you pray at night (or anytime) or if you sit and reflect upon your day, you are doing a little bit of meditating. That being said, there are different ways of meditating and they can all achieve different things.

How Will It Help Me Communicate?

We communicate best when we are balanced. When we feel balanced, we’re not overly worried about one aspect of our lives when we are in the midst of another. For example, if you are balanced in your personal and professional life, you won’t be overly worried about what’s going on at work when you are at home. Meditation can help you achieve that balance by letting you hit the pause button which will help you put everything in perspective. That’s not all. though. This short Healing Power of Meditation article says that simple breathing exercises can even help:

  • Every cell becomes fully oxygenated and flooded with new life
  • It flushes out negative emotions from the body
  • It releases tensions, frustrations and anger
  • It clears anxiety, depression and lethargy
  • It gives relief to both the mind and body

Breathing and meditation, who would have thought?

Basic Meditation is Like Ice Cream…

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Am I the only one craving ice cream right now?

Clear a little bit of time out of your day. At minimum, it could be fifteen minutes but I strongly suggest at least a half an hour. It can be at the beginning of your day or at the end of your day. Find some place that’s comfortable. Make sure that you aren’t wearing clothes that are too restrictive. You can diffuse some calming essential oils or incense if that would help. You can even play some soft classical music (something without lyrics). Find a nice place to sit and close your eyes. Picture a place that makes you feel calm and happy. Stay there for a little while.

Now try to really feel each of your five senses.
You can experience them in this place or in the room that you are currently in.
How does the ground feel underneath you?
What does the room smell like?
Can you taste anything?
What do you hear?

It can be as simple as that. 

If you can’t fathom sitting still and doing nothing for a half an hour, then instead of meditating this way, why not do some journaling or reflect on your day? You can sit back with a warm cup of tea, your favorite chair, and a nice quiet atmosphere.

So how is meditation like ice cream? Some people rush through it and get the minimum amount of pleasure out of it. Sure, it tasted great but I got a little bit of a brain freeze. The best way to enjoy both meditation and ice cream is to sit down and really savor it. Feel the sensations: the cold feeling of it going down your throat, the sweet taste on your tongue, etc. etc. The same goes for meditating. Really sit down and enjoy it. Also don’t be afraid to REALLY get into it…

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Yeah, kind of like that…

Why not do some meditating this weekend to help you unwind? Turn it into a ritual to help you turn that switch off from work to play.

 

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

 

B BOP!

3 Ways to Get Ready for a Presentation

Heaven High!

It’s Joy again! Today I want to talk to you about presenting and speaking in public. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the strongest speaker. Thom has a presence in his voice that my “regular” voice often lacks. My voice is naturally soft-spoken. When I get nervous, I talk too fast. I have a tendency of skipping over important points as well. When I met Thom, I had already accepted the fact that I was just going to be a weak presenter for the rest of my life. However, in speaking with and learning from Thom, I’ve learned that there is a powerful presenter in everyone. You just need to find your inner “Communicator” and perfect him or her.

He has aptly named my inner communicator “Joy Wonderful” and I have to say… I’ve totally fallen in love with her. She is my alter ego. She is my powerful presenter. Together, “Joy Wonderful” and I have learned how to utilize “our” strengths and work on “our” weaknesses. Here are some tips that I’ve picked up from Thom and from my own research on perfecting my own personal presentation personality.

#1) Practice, Practice
 
I used to play the piano when I was a kid. When I say “I used to play the piano” I mean that I was forced to practice at least an hour every day. I didn’t see the point in practicing. I knew most of what to do and I figure that I could just wing it when I got on the stage. Let me tell you, there is a time and a place for improvisation and sitting in front of my piano teacher, family, and strangers in monkey suits while I played in an auditorium when I was six… is not one of those times.

Yeah, it was kind of like that...

Yeah, it was kind of like that…

I learned at a young age, the importance of practicing what you have to perform. Practicing piano was a bit different than speaking though. I didn’t have to worry about how strong my voice was – I just had to hit the keys. Practice is even more important when you have to speak. There are so many variables involved.

#2) Don’t Memorize

I know, you’re not supposed to read (verbatim) your presentation either. However, if you’re relying only on your memorization of your speech, there’s too much of a chance that you’ll forget something important. Believe me, I know. Firsthand experience.

It’s way too easy to forget things when you’re standing in front of a huge crowd. Instead, learn the concepts that you’re trying to convey and practice your phrasing. If you must memorize something, memorize key words not your whole speech.

#3) Reward Yourself

Reward yourself after you’re done. Make it something that you’ll really look forward to. Have a massage. Treat yourself to a cup of coffee and a piece of decadent chocolate cake or have a piece of tiramisu and a caramel macchiato. Before you get up on stage or stand in front of that crowd, picture the cake and know that if you do a fantastic job, you can give yourself the green light to get extra whip cream on your mocha.

Sweet, delicious chocolate...

Sweet, delicious chocolate…

While the tiramisu and caramel macchiato is a weakness for me, I suggest not rewarding yourself with food (especially if you have to present all of the time). I like to reward myself with hobby trinkets, books, or fancy office equipment. Better yet, reward yourself with a small token that you can place in your pocket or take with you for your next presentation. It will help remind you that you’re a fantastic presenter. You just need to believe in yourself.

#4) BONUS TIP! Get Thom’s Book for FREE

“Acting for Real” has a plethora of different lessons, tips, and ideas that you can use to help you become a better presenter. Thom is giving this book away for free so why not snag a free copy today! Just click on that beautiful, green button below.

B BOP!

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The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Inner Communicator

By Joy Bernardo

Thom wants to share his product with you: The Communicator. In truth you already have it, but most of you don’t know how to access it. Deep within you (behind all of those anxieties and fears), you’ll be able to find the courage and the strength to overcome all of your social and professional hang-ups. Let Thom help you find The Communicator in you.

You may want to talk to your significant other about something that is bothering you or you may need to give a presentation about the numbers from last quarter. You may need to meet with a client to convince him to stay with your company. No matter the reason, these tips will help you find The Communicator within you, so that you can effectively pass along your message or give a powerful presentation.

1. Know Your Message
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If you don’t know what you’re trying to say, then you’ll find yourself at a loss. It would be like wanting to do a presentation on “natural disasters” for your seventh grade science project. Sure, it’s a great topic, but there’s so much to cover. You won’t be able to give a good presentation in 15 minutes on that whole topic. Instead, narrow down your field so that you’re only focusing on one thing (or one thing at a time, depending on what you’re talking about).

If you’re in marketing, then you know that finding your niche market is important in order to focus your marketing techniques. You may want to venture out and test the waters in other areas but your main focus when you start should be on your niche market.

If you’re selling a new gaming console, you’ll want to focus your efforts on teens and college age students, not on businessmen and senior citizens. Sure you may get a group of senior citizens who love the game, “Get Off My Lawn!” but you’re not going to focus your sales approach on that particular market at first.

2. Write a Summary of What You Want to Say

Before you go out and make your presentation, speech, or talk with someone about an important topic, write down a quick summary of the things that you want to say. Then turn that summary into an outline.

If you’re making a speech or presentation, go over the outline in the beginning in order to help you remember your goals. You want to hit all of those bullet points. If you get stuck during your presentation or if you forget what you want to say, repeat your previous statements, and (if you need to) repeat the whole outline to yourself or out loud.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice
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Practicing is important. Practice your speech at home. Practice it in front of the mirror. Watch your physical cues. Look at your facial expressions.

Practice it in front of your loved ones. Ask them for their input. A lot of people find that they get more nervous when they present their speech in front of their family (versus in front of strangers). So if you can present in front of your family, you may be even more comfortable in front of strangers.

4. Stand-Up Tall

Posture does a lot for your self-esteem. Not only that, people perceive you as more confident as well. As they say, “Fake it ‘til you make it!” So even if you’re scared out of your mind, pretend like you’re confident and stand-up straight. Soon, you won’t have to pretend. It’ll come naturally to you. One day you’ll find that you’re not afraid of presenting anymore.

5. Get Thom’s Book For Free!

Thom has a lot of great advice and is willing to give you some for free! Click on the link below to get a free copy of his book, “Acting for Real”.

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6. Join Our Community

Once you receive the book and find that you absolutely love it, opt in to join Thom’s community to learn more. There are so many ways that you can join us including receiving our newsletter and joining Thom’s course! It’s a fun, interactive, and informative way to learn how to better your professional and personal life.

Now it’s your turn! What tips do you have for people who have stage fright or social anxiety? Share an experience that you’ve had when you weren’t able to effectively communicate your needs or message. What frightens you the most when you’re in front of a crowd? We’d love to hear from you! Share your experiences and thoughts in the comment section below.

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