Tips for Presenters: from Bogdan Manta

(video transcript)

Tammy:        This is Tammy Parrish from The Clothing Compass and today I'm here with Bogdan Manta. I'm gonna give a quick introduction and then I'll ask Bogdan a couple of questions.

Bogdan is an expert on presentations and public speaking and he's a live communication strategist and a facilitator and speaker coach, so he has a lot of tips for presenters. Welcome Bogdan.

Bogdan:        Good morning and well thank you so much for inviting me, glad to do this together.

Best ROI From Public Speaking

Tammy:        My first question for you is What has your biggest return on investment been for public speaking?

Bogdan:       This always makes me smile a lot because it is seeing people grow, develop and get rid of that fear of public speaking, presenting, speaking in a meeting, facilitating and so on and that happens by realizing the fact that as human beings actually we are not meant to speak in front of big audiences, and I think that's if we start with that awareness and to give a little bit of context on that.

You know since the very beginning of time when language did not exist the way we would connect would be by throwing a bone and then there would be some sort of gestures and body language, and that's how we would connect.

So naturally human beings are not meant to speak in front of crowds or large audiences. Understanding that is understanding that cortisol and adrenaline are being released at that point to take us out of that situation. So the fear of speaking in public.

By the way, public speaking is the number one fear in the world — more than 76% of the people number two I think this fear of dying so someone says they prefer to die than to give a presentation statistically they're right.

But that fear, and I think that's probably the best ROI that I always see people understanding it. Cortisol and adrenaline are being released in your body, they're telling you to run away from it because it's not something natural.

But something wonderful happens with cortisol and that is cortisol will hit the amygdala our reptilian brain right for around nine seconds every time it is being released. What happens in those nine seconds is that the amygdala starts to release some neurotransmitters and that's where the magic begins.

There's a few of them, but two important ones are when it comes to public speaking and that is noradrenaline and glutamate. The glutamate is the excitation neurotransmitter or the excitement one.

So that's why a lot of people would say, “I was terrified, but I started to really like it.” Yes because you keep on releasing glutamate and then the more you do it the more you start to enjoy the glutamate which can be addictive.

The next one is also the noradrenaline that is the concentration neurotransmitter and that's where practice comes in. So you know, if you understand that you keep on doing it and you keep on practicing, the cortisol kind of, you can control it, become aware of it, but then the glutamate and noradrenaline start to be there and you start to have more focus on your content, and it starts to get addictive because you're enjoying it.

And it's always wonderful to see people first understanding this and then feeling it and experiencing, and then from there the magic happens.

Tammy:        So your best return on investment is the effect you're having on your audience.

Bogdan:      Yes seeing them grow, understanding/getting it and then you know understanding that fear and then just growing and developing.

Best Tip for Speakers

Tammy:        What's your best tip for speakers, people who have to present in an unnatural setting.

Bogdan:      My best recommendation always and that is become aware of the fact that body language, content, gestures are just the tip of the iceberg, and most of us we only focus on those. What happens is what is underneath and that is fundamental under the water.

And that's the biggest challenge, and that is emotions, neurotransmitters, contexts, the way we interact as human beings right?

Because you can have the best body language, the best content in the world. That is not what makes you memorable. That makes you a technically good speaker. But people cannot connect with you.

Maya Angelou is one of my favorite quotes, she said, “People will forget what you said, they'll forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

So my biggest tip recommendation, let's call it a recommendation, is become aware of the context. Context is king. It's not content, its context.

Bogdan’s Power Outfit

Tammy:        The third question I have for you is, ”What have, what's your favorite outfit to put on when you're going on stage, and How do you feel when you have it on?” I shouldn't ask a leading question.

Bogdan:      For me it's a little bit of an equation, of a mathematical equation, and my answer to that is always plan, produce, perform. Most of us we produce and we perform, but we don't plan. And your outfit is part of the planning part, understanding the physical context understanding the social context.

How is your audience? What is the demographic? What are their expectations? Where are they coming from? What is accepted and expected from them? How are you going to dress to adapt to the audience?

Because you are there to do something for your audience, to send a message, and your outfit is very important. But the link to that is also the physical context which is understanding where you present, because if you're not aware of where you're going to present, accidents can happen, and I'll give you an example.

Once we had a lady with extremely high stilettos and we did ask her to come for rehearsals. She refused. She came on the stage...Very often when you when you build a stage it's made out of modules right? So she got her stiletto stuck in between the modules, she fell. The the way something like this...the flowers fell over her, game over.

So it's always dress for the right audience. If you're a creative, do not wear a tie. If you're a finance person, don't show up in a t-shirt unless people know that you're slightly different.

Tammy:      What about you? So think of a time that you' present all the time...but think of a time when you were on stage and you felt really good. What did you have on?

Bogdan:      Red.

Tammy:      Can you say more about that? How did you feel in that red?

Bogdan:      It's it's just I'm color blind to begin with, so a lot of the colors I don't see. So then I will always wear two colors which could be blue and black, red and black and so on. I know that red gets the attention. At the same time you have to be careful if you were too much red you can look aggressive.

I think the moment I am aware of the fact that I like that color I also get quite some more self-confidence because believe me I am terrified of public speaking. Right? I am one of those people, those 76% who fear...

Tammy:      Still?...

Bogdan:      Yes of course and it's normal. I mean it is not a natural thing and I will always be scared of it, but I understood how to work with it, right?

Tammy:      I think this is a great point you're making is that you do this for a living. You're constantly in front of an audience and you've accepted that you will always be apprehensive about it, so it's not like you're trying to conquer it and get over it. You just say okay I'm gonna learn how to work with it.

Bogdan:      You cannot conquer it. Fear is a primary emotion. It releases cortisol and adrenaline. You cannot, you can disrupt it, you can understand there's different types of fear: of forgetting the content, of audiences, of being judged, of technology, of time. Break it down and become aware of it and then the more you are aware of it, the more that noradrenaline then you know glutamate are coming up.

Also I think that the moment you're no longer terrified or excited or scared when you go on stage, why do you do it anyway? Because if you don't feel anything, if it doesn't keep you on your feet to give the best for your audience, then you just go there and you just speak.

Tammy:       A healthy fear?

Bogdan:      Yes, yes.

More Bogdan

Visit Bogdan's website for a full list of The Essential Workshops on offer, and for information on one-on-one or team coaching.

And connect with Bogdan on LinkedIN:

Download Your Free Checklist

Are you preparing for an on- or offline presentation?

Download my free checklist and make sure your appearance is just as well-rehearsed as your remarks.

More Tips From Speakers

Click here to watch the whole series of video interviews with presenters, sharing their tips to give you more confidence and help you be even more successful.