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Public Speaking Failure? How to handle criticism like a pro!

By: Spencer Smith Tuesday June 21, 2016 comments

It has been said that people fear public speaking more than death. Do you? I’m going to share a public speaking failure that (at first) left me questioning my abilities. I’ll tell you what I did to get through it and share three lessons you can learn from my experience. Public speaking criticism can really mess with your confidence so master these three tips today!

Public Speaking Criticism

Have you ever done your very very best at something, only to have somebody tell you afterward, that – in their mind – what you’ve done wasn’t very good at all? All of us in business, all of us who CREATE things, know it’s inevitable. We have an impossible time separating ourselves from our work because our work embodies who we are. As much as we want to tell ourselves our work is separate from us personally, that’s never the case.

I had an extremely important experience back in May of this year following a presentation. I do a lot of talks to a lot of groups – this is something I’m really comfortable doing – and I feel like I do a pretty good job. After this particular presentation in May, however, I received an email from a guy who said, “Hey, you know the presentation that I saw? It wasn’t very good, and in fact, the last one I saw that you did wasn’t very good either.”

This was a hard email to receive, but it taught me three valuable lessons.

You Can’t Please Everybody When You’re Public Speaking

Lesson #1 – I know this is cliché, but here cliché is good for a really good reason. The fact you can’t please everyone is really hard to reconcile with yourself when it comes to that criticism that you just received. Keep in mind: know that what it is you do IS NOT for everybody. The more you can segment your customer population – your audience you’re trying to serve – the better off you’ll be. So when you hear the inevitable criticism from somebody who said they didn’t like what you’ve done, you can simply say, “Hey, it’s not for you.”

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After Receiving Criticism, Acknowledge It and Move On

Lesson #2 – How can you do this? How do you go about acknowledging criticism and then immediately moving on? I don’t want you to ignore the criticism. By that I mean – I don’t want you to just to put it on a shelf and leave it. Someone opened a door on your behalf, and I want you to close it.

So here’s the way I did that – I wrote him back and I said, “Hey thanks for your email. Good luck at what you’re doing.” So if he was trying to troll me, he was trying to get me engage in a conversation with him as a result of his criticism, he didn’t get that satisfaction. I ask you to do the same as well – acknowledge it and move on.

View the Original Post to  Learn About Persisting With Public Speaking

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Spencer Smith

About the Author: Spencer Smith

Spencer Smith is the founder of Spencer X. Smith Consulting, and an instructor at the University of Wisconsin, where he teaches digital marketing & social media marketing classes. He's had the privilege of working with seven Fortune 500 companies, and has been featured and quoted in Forbes, The Huffington Post, Money Magazine, Yahoo Small Business Advisor, MSN Money, and dozens of other publications. ‚Äč

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