For the last year and a half, I’ve taught people how to host their own Vision Board workshops. It’s a blast. People who are terrified make hundreds and thousands of dollars hosting and teaching and leading these workshops.
And here’s the deal.
Everyone gets scared to speak.
Everyone has fears about stepping on stage.
Many years ago, I was the same way.
Then I became a performer and did about 260 dates each year.
Now I’m on stage many times a year, hosting retreats and large events with my company Uplevel You.
I think you should do this. I think you should speak. I think you should teach. And I think you should do it live and in-person. On-line is great, yes. But nothing is as real as people learning from you in person.
Check out this email:
You get the chance to change lives when people experience you in person. Do it, okay? You’ll love it.
And here are my top newbie tips from 20 years of doing my thing on stage:
1 – Learn how to manage the emotions of your audience.
First, a caveat.
If your workshop is called “Tactical Management and Human Resource Compliance,” you won’t, perhaps, be dealing with highly charged emotions.
However, you’d be surprised at what can come up for people in a room. My students who host Vision Board Workshops share all the time that they were surprised at how many tears came up
How I Prepare for Emotions in a Live Setting:
Bummer, there’s no “9 point plan” for emotions.
For starters, just know they happen.
Here’s what will help…
When someone gets emotionally triggered at your event, your go-to plan should always be to get present. And I mean Jedi present. In your body.
You’ll be tempted to get mental and try to “fix” this person. Don’t try to fix them. Just listen and be there 100%. Ask guiding questions and have compassion.
You will know when it’s time to move on. If they are refusing to budge and becoming disruptive, here is some language that might help:
“I understand what you’re sharing here. And here’s the thing. We do need to get through this session, and I have lots of great material to cover here. Can you set this in a parking lot for now and return to it? I think there’s some great stuff for you there – but I want to honor the time of everyone else in the room. Does that work?”
This person may or may not be pissed at you for this. But at this point, you’ve been clear.
2 – Avoid the fire-hose.
The nervous energy of being on stage can make newbies a bit hyper. You will try to cram way too much in, talk way too fast, and throw way too much information at your participants. You fire-hose them.
And they glaze over, and you lose them.
How to prepare for this:
So you know that voice that likes to tell you you’re a fraud and that everyone will want their money back if you don’t give them every last tidbit of information you have ever known on this topic and then some?
Well, here’s the deal.
This voice never ever ever gets to join you when you’re planning your content.
When I stopped listening to this voice, I could then relax and find the best way to teach any given concept. And almost 100% of the time, the best way is to go slow and give less than you might think.
3 – People will blow you off. Don’t take it personally.
You will have no-shows if you’re hosting your own event.
(And sometimes, they won’t even be decent enough to email.)
This one goes into the file labeled “cost of doing business.”
No matter how high or low your ticket-price, it happens.
Most peeps don’t understand all that you had to do to make this event happen. So they blow you off without even thinking.
Let it go.
How Team Uplevel prepares for potential no-shows:
First, make sure you always require some kind of payment for a live event, even if it’s “free.” For example, at Uplevel, even if we offer a free ticket with a program I’m teaching, we always require a deposit to claim that ticket. The money is refunded upon registration at the event. It is not refunded if a participant doesn’t show.
Secondly, I stay in touch and keep the excitement alive after people register for the event. I add value to keep them anchored to the event as it nears. I don’t just send “reminders.” I always send content and to keep them engaged. This does wonders for our no-show rates.
4 – Be mindful of your energy.
When I was a musician, I learned the hard way how much energy the stage requires from you. It’s subtle and you might not even notice it. But it’s a reality of any kind of performing.
Now, when I do events, I’m not floored like I used to be. That’s because I understand how much energy it requires to hold a room for three full days. I have a set of core habits that are non-negotiable.
How to prepare for the energy of the stage:
First off, remember that your energy is the reason you make money at all.
Do not take that fact lightly.
It doesn’t mean you become a crazy diva. (But hey, why not?) It does mean that you be careful about nutrition, sleep, and exercise around your speaking or teaching dates.
It means that you drink tons of water when you’re on stage, and plan healthy meals in advance.
Oh yeah. Plan your outfits well in advance (including shoes and jewelry.) This eliminates all the potential time and energy you waste on clothing choices in the morning before you step on stage.
5 – Observe the committee in your head. And then ignore them.
For sure, you’ll love being on stage and the energy of the room.
But you may also have a few WTF moments when you doubt yourself… perhaps when something goes wrong (which it will) or someone looks at you with hostility (which is mostly you projecting) or you say something profoundly stupid (see #6).
Standing in front of people in a live setting is as real as it gets in a business.
How to Prepare for Self-Doubt:
This is called practice. Books like Tara Brach’s Radical Self Acceptance and Kristen Neff’s Self Compassion are must-reads if you are this sensitive. Also, read this article on overcoming the fear of being seen.
Beyond that, embrace all of this as soul training. This work is expanding you. (And you’re the luckiest person in the world to be doing it!)
6 – Lose the perfection illusion.
About two weeks before the event, a voice will appear in your head. It will say something like, “Oh shit! I’m not perfect yet!”
You will then obsess over the following things in no particular order:
Your weight, your expertise, how you dress, your hair, your weight, the embarrassing fact that you’ve watched Lake House like 32 times, or that you yelled at your daughter last night, or that you’re a total fraud, and the three ginormous zits that just appeared on your chin.
And of course, your weight.
You will always think a more perfect version of yourself should show up to the stage. Please let this go. She never arrives. Be yourself. Be not perfect. Your people will love you for modeling something they so need to understand as well.
How I Prepare for the Perfectionist:
No way to prep for this one. You already are your perfectly imperfect self. Go for it.
(If you want to feel better about yourself…ask ANY of my clients about my Spanx incident on stage. Sigh.)
Final thing to consider…
I learned all of these things by just doing them and then learning from them.
When you speak or teach, you will always walk away with lessons. Make sure you write them down – and make sure you list action steps for how to prepare when you do your next one. Use the wisdom from your experience.
And hey, since you made it this far in the article, I’d like to invite you to join us (as my virtual guest) at my SOLD OUT CLiCK Retreat next week, March 9, 2018. You get to join us in the room for three sessions of deep dive content that’ll help you Uplevel your income this year. (I promise there will be no Spanx issues. ) Click here for deets!
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