The average person ranks the fear of public speaking higher than the fear of death. Standing up in front of a room of people can be paralyzing but every single person will be called on to do it professionally at some point in their lives. Entertainment reporter, Teri Hart shares her ways and tips to help you get better and feel better about the experience and overcoming Glossophobia!
- Find your tribe to run things by
Those friends or family members who are really going to listen to you and are going to tell you what works and what doesn’t work. Run it by them, not excerpts or snippets. Your tribe will want to listen to the entire presentation or speech.
- Be personal
Use anecdotes to make it yours. People want to know about a person, your person when you’re speaking. Find ways to make what you’re saying truly yours. Inject your own experiences into your presentation.
- Use your nerves
Nerves are your body’s way of reminding you that something matters, something is on the line. This is good. What you’re doing is important. Don’t let your nerves freak you out a night or a day before your presentation. Always remind yourself that it is just your nerves playing tricks on you. You want it to be great, you want it to make an impact, that’s why you are doubting yourself, because it matters. Just reminded myself that you are the expert and trust yourself.
- Familiarize yourself with the environment
Always know where you are presenting. Is it a boardroom? A hall? Do you have a podium? Will you be mic’d? Do you have to hold a mic? Ask these questions. And anytime you can check out the space in advance. Get a feel for it. Even if you’ve been in that room a million times, go in that room and know what it feels like to be sitting in a different space and presenting. That familiarity with the space will be invaluable.
- Slow Down
If you hate public speaking you probably speak too fast. When we don’t like something or if something feels uncomfortable we want to get through it as quickly as possible. As much as you know what you’re saying and you have rehearsed, the people you are presenting to are hearing it for the first time. Let them hear it. Let them absorb, and let them learn.
So many times I see presentations and at the end somebody takes a big old sigh. This isn’t a sigh it’s over… this is inevitably a big sigh because they haven’t taken a real breath for their entire speech or presentation. Take a breath, it’s natural we all need to breathe.
I’ve broken these do’s down into an acronym (BRIEF) that is a good check list for every time that you are presenting or public speaking.
In everything that you are saying, we are often given words from communications or marketing or our bosses to say that don’t ring true, make these words your own and believe in what you are saying.
There’s no formula that is right here, but as a general rule your presentation should be firm 2 days before your event. Read it out loud as many times as you need to know what you are saying, not memorize but know what the words are and what the structure is. The night before is a good time for a couple of out loud reads and the day of, run through a few times.
This is the most difficult for many people and of course the most important. You are presenting for a reason. You know what you’re talking about because you believe it and you’ve rehearsed it. You are the expert. People need to hear what you have to say. Whether it is to do a better job or to learn something you are there for a very good and specific reason. Respect the place that you are in.
Be sure that you aren’t repeating yourself and don’t worry about time. Don’t try to fill a block in the agenda. Concise is always best.
Let yourself smile, everyone looks nice smiling. Enjoy being the expert. And remember that you’ve done the hard work to be here and having people listen to you, that should be FUN!
Mark Twain quoted “There are two types of speakers, those who get nervous and those who are liars”. Making a speech or presenting an idea doesn’t come naturally to anyone. Like every other skill set in your life you practice and get better and find a groove and build on your experiences.
Join the conversation