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Forget ‘Public Speaking’ Just Share Your Message
October 15, 2012 | Sue Lester
6 tips to help you become a public speaking veteran.
The fear of ‘Public Speaking’ stops many people in their tracks, and hinders them from sharing their expertise and growing their businesses and careers. Here are some great tips to help you change your mind and therefore your results.
- Never call it “public speaking”, to yourself or others, as there is a societal fear around those words we seem to be born with. “Presenting” or “sharing my message” are more empowering.
- Your body feels excitement and nervousness in exactly the same way. It’s only your self-talk that distinguishes between the positive (excitement) and the negative (nervous). So never tell yourself, or let anyone else tell you either, that you are ‘nervous’. You are ‘excited’ (admittedly at times ‘very excited’) to be sharing your message. Sounds simple, but words are so powerful.
- Never tell your audience you are inexperienced, nervous etc. We always feel more ‘excited’ on the inside than we look on the outside anyway, so if you don’t point it out, they won’t look for it. The majority are also very happy you are speaking, not them! You are the ‘expert’ so you have instant credibility. If you tell people you are nervous, they assume you really don’t know what you are talking about and there goes your credibility and their confidence in you.
- Practice, practice, practice. Don’t aim for rote recital, but be very clear in your own mind your key message, your main points, illustrative examples and what action you want your audience to take at the end. Visualise, hear and feel the audience’s warm response to you during and at the end of your presentation. Within that framework you can relax and connect with your audience on the day.
- As part of your preparation, ensure you are well hydrated as it helps you think clearly (during the presentation pausing to sip water gives you the chance to catch your thoughts too), well fed and rested. Have your Power Point notes on paper too, in case the projector doesn’t work, and aim to be there early so traffic delays won’t matter.
- When sharing your message it’s a good idea to always give out something, a handout etc, with your name and website address on it that people will want to keep. Smile!
When have you had to do public speaking? What helpful techniques did you use to overcome the jitters? Share your experiences by commenting below.