Expressing dislikes is not always an easy thing to do. We should remember that we do not like rejection or being told no. So how do we express our dislikes. Should we bottle it up and bury it deep down inside? No, constructive criticism is in order here. We should always be professional and courteous when presenting an opposing view point. Bring solutions to the table, not opinions. If we only bring negative opinions, then our statements sound more like whining. We do not want to sound like whiners do we? In bringing solutions, make sure the solutions are tailored to what others want. We should never just focus on what we would want. Take for example sky diving. I would never sky dive and I have a long list of why. If someone stated that we should go sky diving, I never call them crazy for thinking I would be willing to skydive. Instead, I would suggest people that I know would be willing to go. I may even volunteer to meet them at the landing zone so that we could go out and celebrate afterwards. There is always an alternate way of expressing our dislikes.
When presenting a conflicting view we should always be aware of our body language. Do we have our arms crossed? Are we speaking in a loud voice? Are we leaning over the person we are speaking to? Sometimes we get over excited about a matter and forget to police our body language. The last thing that we want is to appear overbearing. Maintaining a professional stance is optimum. I have found watching a video of my speeches gives me a third person view of my presentation. The first time I watch it is with sound. I listen to how I am speaking. The second time I watch is with no sound. I ask, “Do I look angry?”, “Do I appear positive?”, “Am I a happy speaker?”. Sadly, it takes me a couple of tries to get it right. Most of the time I have my thinking face on as I am getting my thoughts straight. My eye brows are squished in and I am not smiling. Yep, I look angry. I am also pounding my fist into my other hand. this is not the appearance I want to convey to the audience.
Tone of voice.
Have you ever been in a bad mood and had to give a positive speech? As a speaker this is one of the worse situations to be in. If I am not upbeat and in a good mood, it will show up in my presentation. Most of my presentations cover Safety. It can get quite boring and dry to talk about. This is why it is imperative for me to keep and upbeat attitude. I would also like to point out that sarcasm is a dangerous tone to carry. It can send mixed messages and confuses the audience. I once seen a comedian do a whole routine in a sarcastic undertone. It was one of the best performances I have seen. The reason for his success is due to the fact that he prepared the audience for sarcasm. Without the preparation, his whole routine would not have had the same results. When speaking, it is important to pace ourselves. Everyone gets butterflies right before speaking. It takes practice to control this feeling. One advice I can give, do not speed through a speech. I once delivered a ten minute presentation in three minutes. My audience had no idea what I was saying or what my topic was. We live, learn, and move on. I learned to pace myself.
The military has given me a great opportunity to learn how to speak in front of people and to people. My audience is not sensitive. If I make a mistake they are more than willing point it out on spot. It’s nothing personal. It’s how we conduct business. I have learnt to slow down and think about what I am saying. I do implement power points. They correlate to the flash cards that I use. When using power points be aware of how long your presentation is. Flipping from slide to slide can turn a presentation into a slide show. I do not like slide shows. I want the focus to be on me and what I am talking about. In my efforts in being a “happier” person, I also want to make sure that I am conveying a positive attitude. The last thing that I want is to send a mix message. I am still learning with each presentation that I give. There is always room for improvements.
Thanks for taking the time to read, and may we always convey a positive and professional attitude.