I used to be terrified of public speaking. Yep, I’d get so nervous speaking in front of a crowd, even a crowd of three! It seems crazy to me that public speaking is now not only my full time job but something I absolutely love.
I get it that it’s scary for lots of people but it IS something you can get more comfortable with. I’ve put together some of my top tips:
- Make sure you think through what you’re going to wear and give yourself plenty of time to get ready. You want to be feeling confident and usually when we make the effort, we feel attractive and that helps build confidence.
- Use humour liberally. Nothing relaxes an audience more (or anyone!) than having a good giggle – it breaks down barriers.
- Like with anything – the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. Be prepared!
- Even though I regularly speak to large groups, sometimes I still feel scared or vulnerable. When I sense that, I use the old ‘fake it ‘til you make it’. I know that to change how I feel, I need to act the way I want to feel. If you want to feel energetic, put on dance music, put your hair in a high pony, put on gym clothes. If you want to feel confident, act confident – stand tall, shoulders back. Look people in the eye. Shake their hand firmly (check out Amy Cuddy’s TED talk for this one). I also use a couple of funnies straight up – because I know that as soon as I hear the audience laugh, I’ve got them in my pocket.
- Know your stuff. Know it inside out. As in – know whatever you’re talking about! You don’t want to forget your subject material (been there done that and it ain’t pretty). And there’s nothing worse than someone trying to explain something that even they don’t understand.
- Try to remember that the audience is usually sympathetic and understanding, they want you to succeed!
- If you’re new to public speaking – I don’t recommend ‘winging’ it. You’ll probably get nervous. Script that speech word for word, rehearse it over and over to your friends, family, colleagues, anyone who’ll listen! Make like a scout and be prepared!
Good luck champs & let me know how you go at your next presentation in the comments below!
Until next time,
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