Learn To Love Public Speaking And Forget Your Nerves
Date: February 12, 2016
You might be a keynote speaker who regularly has presentations with years of experience. So what brought you to this page?
We deal with plenty of speakers from around the world who have worked tirelessly to get to where they are, but the anxiety they feel when they’re on stage is stopping them actually enjoying the experience.
If you’re asking yourself: Is public speaking for me? then you might want to read on and establish how you can reverse your negative thinking into positive thoughts.
You should enjoy public speaking because you are blessed with the opportunity to change people’s lives, build your confidence, network and share your knowledge to eager listeners.
Be Passionate About Your Subject Area
I’ve seen it time and time again. Speakers try to be so technically proficient and say the right things, that they totally forget why they wanted to be there in the first place.
So what if you stumble on your word or get a dry mouth with words? People are willing to overlook these “issues”, if they can see that you’re passionate and want to be a positive influence for others.
It’s easy to become so conscious of the sweat on your forehead and how your tie looks, that you disregard what really matters – your content and personality.
Instead of Thesaurus-ing every word in the English dictionary in an attempt to look intelligent, focus on portraying your messages clearly and simply.
Your audience want to be spoken to like you’re their friend, so go with a conversational approach.
Stop spending hours re-wording your script to make you sound like someone else. Speak as if you were talking to a friend. Be you and allow your personality to come across.
Sure, you should research your area and know what you’re talking about, but you’ll only be a success if you’re talking about subject areas close to your heart.
Don’t Over-prepare And Live In The Moment
Yes, that’s right. We’re telling you to stop preparing so much.
You might be confused as to why we’re saying this, but we’ve found that most speakers who rehearse their script word for word and try to plan what will happen, enjoy the experience less.
Now, we’re not saying that you should improvise the whole thing, or just make bullet points, but don’t be so hard on yourself if it doesn’t go exactly the way you want it to.
And it won’t. No matter how hard you try to organise yourself. There will be technical difficulties, your nerves will get the better of you at some points and you’ll lose your trail of thought.
You’re human, so mistakes will happen, and if that’s the case, it doesn’t make you a failure.
Learn to live in the moment and let the atmosphere impact your presence. You will beat yourself up if you have tried to plan everything and just one small thing doesn’t go how you expected.
Inject some of your personality into the talk and have fun… after all, you’re allowed to (and people will prefer you that way!).
Care And Respect Your Audience
Yes, caring about what your audience takes away with them will make a HUGE difference in whether you enjoy or don’t enjoy your time speaking.
Think back to a time when you wrote an assignment about something you didn’t care about. You hated the experience of writing and studying because you didn’t care about the outcome. Scraping a pass was fine.
Now think of an example of when you helped someone and really cared about their feelings. Contrary to the assignment example, you put your heart and soul into the situation because you wanted to make a positive difference.
If you can connect with your audience by helping them to feel good about themselves by the end of the talk or motivate them to learn something new, then you’ll make it your aim to do exactly that.
By setting goals for yourself you’ll be more willing to go the extra mile and make it a more enjoyable experience for your audience, and when you see how much they’re happy with your content, it’ll reflect on you too.
Don’t Be So Serious!
Most people feel uncomfortable in formal situations. They’re scared to cough or move their leg in case they disrupt the “perfect” atmosphere that’s been created.
Think of it like this. Nobody likes job interviews because of the intensity and high levels that you set for yourself. You can’t always perform your best when you’re being scrutinised.
But if job interviews were more informal and just like talking with a friend, you wouldn’t be as intimidated.
Don’t think of public speaking like interviews. You pretty much control everything that happens in the room that day – from what people listen to, how they react and more importantly how they and YOU feel.
Don’t make everything so serious. Smile more, crack a few jokes, be welcoming and even ask the audience questions, live.
If you take the pressure off of yourself and create a fun and welcoming environment, then it’ll be more entertaining for all parties.
Talk with energy, get excited about your points and believe in yourself. Nobody wants to be bored, so liven up the audience with a warm introduction and interesting content.
Ever wondered how singers don’t look nervous when they’re performing live to millions of people? Well, unless they’re robots, they ARE nervous, but they’re too excited to let that get the better of them.
If you want to be a successful speaker, YOU will be, because you will keep adapting your techniques in order to get the reaction you want from listeners.
Learn to let go, and accept that mistakes will happen. You can’t prepare for everything, so as long as you know what you’re going to say, you can’t do any more than that.
Don’t try to change yourself so much because you think that you have too many bad habits. Allow your personality to show whilst remaining professional… but with a smile!