What separates achievers from non-achievers? I believe it’s partly due to having the self-confidence to believe you can do something. Fear of public speaking is a classic example. Most of us experience public speaking nerves at some point, but don’t let this stop you.
If you’ve never tried public speaking before you’re going to feel nervous as you’re stepping into the unknown. Even if you’re an experienced public speaker you’re probably going to have nerves before you start.
Feeling nervous is a good thing as it gets the adrenalin pumping and lights a fire in your belly. Even the most seasoned speaker gets nervous as you have no idea how the audience will react to you. Things to bear in mind:
- You have no idea whether your audience will like you or what you’re saying
- Your audience may challenge what you’re saying
- The audience may switch off completely or look bored. In this case you need nerves of steel to keep going and appear unfazed by this
- If the audience is interested in what you have to say they will give you the confidence to keep going
- If you’re completely oblivious of your audience then you’re simply on an ego trip
Here are 7 quick tips to help you step up to the plate:
1. Always give the impression of confidence – even if you don’t feel it. This will give your audience confidence in your ability
2. Never tell your audience how nervous you are or say “I don’t do this very often” as neither inspires confidence
3. Speak confidently, and give the impression that you will be a hard act to follow
4. Speak enthusiastically about your subject. Enthusiasm is infectious
5. Adjust the pitch, tone and speed of your presentation to help keep the audience interested. A monotone voice makes for a dull presentation
6. Never read your entire presentation from a script as this sounds wooden. Instead simply use the script as an aide memoire
7. Typical signs of nerves are – sweaty palms, voice catching in your throat, heart pounding, face and neck becoming very hot and flushed
You may never truly enjoy public speaking, but more and more it’s become a part of the workplace. Certainly if you’re looking for a senior role in most organisations your job is likely to involve some public speaking. The sooner you can make friends with public speaking the better; and remember ‘It’s going to do wonders for your self-confidence’.
I’m privileged to work with some amazing personal and professional coaches so if you would like a helping hand to improve your public speaking skills please get in touch – http://shepherdcreativelearning.co.uk/coaching/
Finally, you don’t have to be the ‘best’ in your chosen subject matter to be an engaging speaker. Let your personality shine through and that will engage your audience.
Until the next time…