Do you hear “public speaking” and break out in a sweat? You are not alone! It is estimated that up to 70% of the population experience this form of anxiety – glossophobia, the fear of public speaking – and will do just about anything to avoid it.
Primarily, the fear comes from a concern of being rejected or embarrassed in front of others, however there are strategies to help you overcome your anxiety of speaking in front of others, whether it’s at work, at a social function or even in a meeting.
The fact is that public speaking is a skill – one to be learnt, finessed and practiced, like any other skill you’ve learnt in the past. The key is to address it like a skill you’ve already learnt – driving, dancing or cooking. Look at others who do it well, understand the mechanics, and then practice, practice and practice.
Here are some tips to help you uncover the art and science of public speaking; note that we have only started to scratch the surface!
Find your voice
What is important to you? What do you believe in? How can you use a speech to express a value, a thought, idea or principle? Consider your speech, making it more about others, and what you believe people need to hear; turn the inward-looking fear outwards and inspire others into action.
Prepare, plan and practice
The key to delivering a good speech, is to write a good speech. Here are the top 3 points to writing and delivering a good speech.
- Have a purpose in mind. What is the goal of your speech?
- Have an outcome in mind or a ‘call to action’ – think about what you would like your audience to do with the information you provide them.
- Practice! It is important to have the words free flowing and familiar to you.
Finally, we share some of the do’s and don’ts of presenting to get your message across in the most powerful and attention-grabbing way.
- Set the mood and grab attention from the very start
- Make your introduction brief and get into the story, message or content
- Ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date
- Add a personal touch – a personal story, learning or reflection
When you are “on stage”, you are on stage. It’s important to be conscious of certain physical manifestations of being nervous, often performed subconsciously, these could be:
- Tapping your fingers
- Toying with coins, jewellery, pens, etc.
- Adjusting your hair, clothing, etc.
- Exaggerated body language and moving around too much
Public speaking can be hugely rewarding and personally satisfying. It is a lifelong skill to be tendered and refined. We know it is a key skill in the development of one’s career, reputation and credibility. If you can put the fear down and learn the craft, you’ll be amazed at what you can do, and you’ll probably have fun doing it!
Need help crafting your perfect speech? Contact us today!