Here’s a great interview with Paul Ryan of Improve On You.
Paul shares his top tips on how to be confident when presenting to your audience during a seminar or be it in front of a camera for your YouTube video. You will learn some great tips from Paul who teaches you how to conquer your fear of speaking in public and make you a great public speaker.
Hello Everyone, my name is Uzair and thanks for joining in today, a very special guest and a friend with me, Mr Paul Ryan of Improve On You. Paul and I are going to discuss, well Paul is going to give you some great tips on how to present yourself in front of an audience, be it in person or in front of your camera, and it’s quite important that we have some kind of tips, not tricks, but techniques to use when we are presenting ourselves because video is playing a huge part in the marketing mix for most companies and there’s no better person I can think of other than Paul to give us some, uh, some tips and advice. Hello Paul, how are you?
Really good, lovely to see you Uzair. What a wonderful, wonderful build up and I feel really honoured. I agree with everything you’re saying. I’m definitely the right person to ask. Should I talk to everybody a little bit about what I do and who you are, what you do. OK. So I’m an actor primarily, but my second business, my lifestyle business is called Improve On You. And I have to teach people to speak at their best when it really matters the most and as Ozzie just touched on that. That’s moving. It’s moving alongside. There’s still an awful lot with live work face to face stuff, but when we think in terms of video and the power of video online and online products, online marketing to create passive income, etc. It’s really interesting in growing market. And I’ve got lots of people coming to me saying, how do I speak in front of the camera? So if you’ve got any questions Ozzie you want to fire at me and I’ll give everyone really clear answers.
So let’s, let’s get started. Um, so the first thing Paul is, is there a big difference when somebody is talking in front of a camera, whether be it a smartphone or like a video conference call like this or, they’re creating a professional video for themselves or when they are presenting their pitch or the 60 second pitch at a networking event or presenting in person at, in front of an audience.
Yeah, of course, there are many differences with all those particular scenarios that you just gave me. I think the one common denominator is that people are most likely to feel a bit nervous if you’re not used to speaking in front of a camera. If you’re not used to getting up and speaking in front of a live audience, your nerves kick in. So the first thing I could suggest is to gather your nerves. Take some time to think what you’re going to be saying, particularly if it’s an informal video being shot on your phone. For example. Think about what you going to say. There’s a lot of blither in my opinion, happening out there, now we want our, our phone movies if you like, to have a sense of spontaneity and to have a sense of immediacy. But by the same token, there’s a lot of stuff from seeing where people just think that they’re about, well, they forget what they’re talking about or they just get up and start talking nonsense.
Stuff that is not important where there isn’t a real quality of message where the data, the, uh, the information, the content has real value. And remember, if your content doesn’t have value, people are going to switch off, so rehearse what you’re going to say or at least have a few bullet points if you’re out and about shooting on your phone. With regard to live presentations, this, that’s an absolutely massive subject and Ozzie you’ve been on my seminar and uh, as you know, you can’t just squeeze it all into 15 minutes which try to do here. But if I were to give you one tip, it would be uh, listen, I spend an hour and a half teaching what I’m about to tell you, an hour and a half, all of the signs, everything to do with preceptive psychology. That sounds posh, doesn’t it? But basically, you do. You will fail. If I were to boil it down to one thing is when you stand up to speak to your audience, stand up straight and stands still, because that will give you immediate authority and power.
When we fiddling fidget, it can distract us what we want to do. What I say stand still is I mean, stillness. From there, start talking. start saying what it is you want to say. Stop giving your message and don’t be locked down. Allow yourself to express as you would were you having a conversation with any of your friends. Now, obviously, from my point of view, I am wildly physical, when I speak to people in real life. So consequently, when I get upto talk to an audience that really is part of who I am and if I were to lock that down, that would stop my communication process working. If you’re not particularly, um, what’s physically dynamic when you speak? Try it, try stretching yourself so that you add some, but don’t go so far, so that you become uncomfortable because again, that will act as a blocker, but know that you know, 55 percent of how we communicate is our body language. So if we look confident at standing up straight, we’ll make you look confident. We will feel confident. And as I said, the preceptive psychology, the basic notion of that is what you do. You will feel the state of the human body determines the state of the human mind, so listen, try it. Just let me interrupt one second, Paul. Sorry. I know when I came to your workshop and you talked about
feeling confident outside even though you feel very nervous inside, but that nervousness inside people can see it. They only see the exterior. The outside confidence don’t. They make a very interesting point. James Taylor, who’s a very well known American folk rock star.
He says showbiz is 96 percent. What you look like when you’re nervous, if you can fake it, you’re going to make it, and actually its worth saying that by standing in a positive way, you are going to stop feeling positive and energised and focused and in the moment almost immediately. So what I’d like you to do, Ozzie, I’m just going to lead your audience for a second to try something. You could probably see right here. I’m sitting in quite, quite an upright position. How does that. How does that make me feel? Low Energy. It’s a. it’s a fight or flight posture, so I’m not going to be able to take deep breaths, so he’s the other big tip before you get up and give your presentation, is sit up straight, so sit up straight before and stand up straight as you start and you’re going to be breathing correctly, feeding your brain with lots of really good, rich oxygen to help you think,
Now, I’m pretty certain that you are one of the best persons to ask this next question. Being an actor obviously, you come across a lots of makeup, especially for men. How important it is, especially men using makeup for their videos.
Well, I’ll. I’ll make a little confession to you on zoom. A little button that says make me prettier or something. Well, hey listen. makeup is good. I mean it don’t be afraid of it. I know that Ozzie, when I came to you because you did my website and Farzana took my photographs, I actually looking back on it, well I could’ve done with just a little bit of base, just to flatten out some of the, um, the imperfections that time and nature has given me, so little bit of makeup is actually a good thing that we call that base foundation. You know, don’t worry about eyes, do that with your lips to bring some colour to it. I wouldn’t go berserk for a man, but do have an awareness that it’s quite helpful. So for example, here today you can see I’ve got a, I’m 53, so I’ve earned these lately. Yes, it’s impossible, but uh, but I can put something we’re doing, um, the, the lighting will be better. Lovely bags there and I might put something called tissue cleats on there just to take your way as those shadows, if it really matters to you. It depends how you feel, but that’s my view.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself. What other things do you do and how do you help companies? Uh, with presentations and if there’s a team of people who need a bit of training. Yeah. So I’ve been working in, Improve On You has been going on for seven years. I’m very proud of that and I started doing public workshops through my networking group 4N and that was a really wonderful way of reminding myself of the skills that I’ve developed a number of years earlier, I was in Mama Mia in the West End for three years and in that time I didn’t have to do anything, just be an actor, marvellous, so in the end of it I started thinking, oh, this is going to come to an end and what do I want to do to continue being able to have the roof over my head? Am I going to have any money?
So I decided I’d set up on my own, Improve On You. Marvellous. So from moving on from doing public workshops, networking friends, I then took that to all that wonderful fresh experience and was able to go into corporate. So I worked for Ernst & Young, Glennon Child. One of our major clients at the moment, they’re having a wonderful time with them and all their people is Clear Score, credit rating on your phone. They advertise on TV. I’m part of their onboarding process and everyone is really important that you understand that communication skills are incredibly highly valued by management, by employers, not only on a one to one basis, but if you can speak well in public, if you can take that golden moment, somebody’s going to get up and do a presentation. We need it now. We need to on this subject, hands are you’re the person that goes, yeah, I’ll do it.
That’s a golden moment. So people who can give good presentations, tend to go up the, the promotional ladder quite quickly. So that’s it. So I’ll just say one other thing. Is that in, in, in, uh, in open to grow my business from having a presentation skills or confidence building, I’m now doing one to ones so that it’s much more granular and I’ll develop a masterclass. So from the foundation course, which is more about body language, nerves control and how to ping your message out, then we stopped talking about structure and you grab your audience. How do you keep them there? They’re really tell that story so that they stay with you so that the learning stage within said even engaged, informed and motivated your audience to act on what they hear. I’m just gonna say one last thing. Go on then. It’s all good stuff. To grow your business I’m now doing executive coaching. Wonderfully rewarding because of it all kind of goes back into the whole idea of confidence and being empowered in the moment, so that’s me.
Brilliant. Well, thank you. One last question, Paul, before we wrap this up. Everyone including myself has made a fair few mistakes and blunders in front of an audience. What’s your top tip? How to recover and dig yourself out of that hole
rather than digging a deeper hole? Sure, sure, what I would say is the first thing that there’s a great deal of value in remembering is that we all make mistakes and if it’s a small mistake, don’t worry about it. Literally just say yes, that happened and park it and carry on. The worst thing you can do is focus on making the mistake. If you drop a brick, don’t kick around. If you drop some papers and you panic and you quickly go to pick them up, you smash your head on the podium which knocks a light, which drops the water on the cable and the theatre burns down! You’re not going to be forgiven. However, a small mistake nobody minds. They probably won’t even register them because we magnify the mistake, but if you make a small mistake, I understand as well that if you get, if you get over it, well talk with gusto. You’re actually gonna win brownie points from your audience, from your listeners because they tend to admire the fact that you overcame that minor difficulty with style, so don’t worry about it.
Brilliant. Thank you so much, Paul. One final thing is how can everyone reach you?
Absolutely. So my website is www.improveonyou.co.uk and on there there’s all sorts of lovely free gifts. The videos, there’s some articles that you can grab hold of this podcast all to do with presentation skills, all to do with empowering you in the moment. My telephone number is, if you want to give me a quick call is 07973 241 289. If you prefer to email me that. Hey, it doesn’t matter. It’s a mistake. If you want to email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much and thanks for being a great guest. Thoroughly enjoyed it and for your sharing, your experience and your knowledge, really appreciate that. So that’s it for this interview everyone. Thanks a lot for joining in and I look forward to seeing you very soon in our next videos. Bye for now.
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