As a leader you must be able to confidently speak in public, yet public speaking can hold fear for even the best of leadership candidates.
10 Sure-Fire Steps to take the Fear out of Public Speaking
Do you “feel the fear” when asked to do some Public Speaking?
Public Speaking is still one of our greatest fears and it turns grown men and women into nervous wrecks. The mere thought of it turns our tongue to cotton wool, causes our internal plumbing to act up and turns our knees to jelly.
Well, there’s no need for all of this because help is at hand. All you need to remember are your P’s and Q’s. Let’s start with the P’s
When you sit down to write what you’re going to say, bear in mind who you’ll be speaking to. Will they understand what you’re talking about; will they understand the technical stuff and the jargon? If in doubt remember the old saying – “Keep It Simple Stupid”.
Make sure that what you say has a beginning, middle and an end. Think of some anecdotes that help reinforce your story. People think visually so paint verbal pictures for your audience. And always remember, people want to know what’s in it for them – so make sure you tell them!
Have a look at the venue before the event if you can. It’s not always possible, however, even if you get there half an hour before, you can check out where you’ll be speaking.
Stand at the point where you will deliver from, imagine where the audience will be and check that they can see and hear you. You may even wish to place a glass of water where you’ll be able to find it.
Personal Preparation –
Before any Public Speaking event, think about what you are going to wear; when in doubt dress up rather than down. You can always take things off for a more casual look. Men could remove their jacket and their tie. Women could remove items of jewellery.
Part of your personal preparation should include some mouth and breathing exercises. Practise saying some tongue twisters to give your speaking muscles a good work out. Take a deep breath and expand your diaphragm. Then breathe out, counting at the same time; try and get up to fifty and not pass out.
As part of your personal preparation, write your own introduction. Write out exactly what you want someone to say about you, large font, double-spaced and ask the person introducing you to read it. Believe me they won’t object and will probably be pleased and impressed.
Poise and Posture –
Whenever you’re called to speak, stand up or walk to the front quickly and purposefully. Pull yourself up to your full height, stand tall and look like you own the place. Before you start to speak, pause, look round your audience and smile. You may even have to wait until the applause dies down. Remember, you want the audience to like you, so look likeable.
I’m suggesting you pretend you’re not nervous because no doubt you will be. Nervousness is vital for speaking in public, it boosts your adrenaline, which makes your mind sharper and gives you energy.
The trick is to keep your nerves to yourself. On no account tell your audience your nervous; you’ll only scare the living daylights out of them if they think you’re going to faint.
Some tricks for dealing with nerves are:
Before you’re called to speak, get lots of oxygen into your system, run on the spot and wave your arms about like a lunatic. It burns off the stress chemicals. Continue reading →