It’s common knowledge. One of the number one fears is public speaking. Let’s see how we can help you claim your victory with this one.
The key is to develop it like any other skill. Be fair to yourself and release any undue pressure. After all, without proper skills training and developed knowledge-why should we be expected to do our job well? We’ve all been put into a place where there is unfair expectation placed on us. Let’s not do it to ourselves. Let’ s get prepared.
Here are a few characteristics that I enjoy watching in a speaker and I practice them myself. Eye contact. Exude warmth. A genuine and sincere approach. Knowledge. Without being too serious convey the message with intent.
- Present Your Best Self
Being confident comes through knowing your content. Be prepared. Review it. Memorize a few key triggers to remember the content without sounding rehearsed. Learn how to recreate your most comfortable space. If someone asked what you love to do with family and friends – that would easy enough to answer right? Find that same space. Allow yourself to be yourself. You don’t have to be a different persona simply because you are presenting. Being professional doesn’t mean being stiff.
The challenge is all yours to think clearly. Push out the noise and the background static that distracts you. For me, it comes in pictures. Quickly, I replace the pictures with trigger pictures that remind me of the topic at hand. If it’s nagging voice – put on a new record. One that plays a positive, coaching, mentoring voice. Line yourself up with as many elements of support as you can. These are just a few that can be powerful and keep you focused and clear.
Look around the room and take a look at the people there. Take them in. People want to be noticed. Make eye contact. As you continue talking pause. It’s okay to scan the room and find a few faces to pause and speak as if you are only speaking to them. Trust that your audience will pick up on your intention. Do you genuinely want to connect with these people? Then they will pick up on that.
Your body language conveys so much in your message. Choose how you are going to posture yourself. If you have to stand- stand upright, yet relaxed. Breath from your abdomen and give yourself permission to pause if you need to take a breath. Sometimes we think because we are speaking to many we have to rush and speak nonstop. This isn’t so. It’s okay to have a conversational approach in front of a room full of people. Give them time to hear what you said and check to see if they seem like they understood.
- The Right Pitch
People have to hear what you’re saying. Project. A loud voice makes people feel that there is something important to hear. I’m not referring to yelling at people. Just loud enough so the back row can hear with the right amount of energy and enthusiasm. Have you ever taken a class where the instructor’s voice carried just enough volume and energy that it helped you to pay attention better? Fitness and dance classes are a perfect example. When the instructor is loud enough the back row can hear and everybody gets into it more!
- Tasty Bits
Did you know we only remember the first and last bite of what we eat? Our senses kind of dim in between. That’s right. No need for all those empty calories we stuff in between! Create an interesting first bite that excites the crowd. Don’t fill your time with too many empty calories. Just the right portion of substance and content. Fill it in with a personal story that is relative to the subject. Then, leave them wanting more with a delicious ending.
If some of this doesn’t come naturally for you, practice. Don’t waste time beating yourself up. We have older siblings for that. Give yourself permission to be who you are and support yourself with good techniques. If you still need help to confidently claim your victory – give us a call. We can help. This is only one pearl of wisdom we are happy to share.