They Say Public Speaking is The World’s Biggest Fear… Well, Maybe so.
But why are we so afraid of Ourselves? …how we look, how we sound….and what other people think?
We’ve worked hard to get this far, we’ve earned the right to Stand and Deliver.
For Starters, remember that Nobody is beating up on us the way that We Beat Up on Ourselves.
There are preparation techniques to help conquer the Jitters and turn these anxieties into a very pleasant and positive “rush.”
We’ll cover these techniques gradually, in the meantime, here are a few thing to remember:
1. NOBODY wants to hear a ” SPEECH” anymore, anyway.
No matter who is in your audience – whether you’re presenting a Boardroom Report, an Announcement of some kind, a Training Session, a Court Room Argument, or a Wedding Toast – they’re tired of ‘speeches.’ And they sure aren’t interested in hearing you READ what you have to say. No more reading. If you’re only going to read it to them then you might as well go down the hall, make a bunch of copies, hand them out, and sit down. All they really want is a Conversation, and you have lots of different Conversations every day. You’re probably pretty good at that by now.
2. They’re rooting for your success already, because YOU have the wisdom and composure ( = guts ) to get up there and speak. And, they have spent a lifetime of listening to boring, unorganized, often arrogant and rarely sincere Speakers, Leaders, Teachers and Ministers. So they are STARVING for someone to surprise them with an honest-to-goodness informative message, delivered with a little confidence and some “heart.” Even if it is something simple, but important, and it’s a message which you’ve delivered in a way that they can remember it . Better yet, a message they can use TODAY to get or change some results. Please remember this, always. The Audience is On Your Side.
3. Your “style” is just fine, right now, just the way it is…..just the way you are.
All of us – each and every audience member – have a finely tuned ‘ Reality Detector Sensing Device ‘ in our heads, so it doesn’t take us long to realize that you are not being yourself. This makes us uncomfortable. Okay, sure, certain performance tactics help, like gestures, eye contact, and visual aid props which are relevant and informative. ( Hint : Props and Visuals help us remember……..) But if you are a reserved, thoughtful, quiet or even timid type of person, that’s fine with us. All we want is an honest conversation from an honest Speaker who belongs at the front of the room simply because they have something to say. Our Sensing Device will keep us interested if we can tell that you care about your message.
4. Quit worrying about what anybody thinks.
You’re the One with something to say, not them. You’re willing to embrace this “rush” in order to deliver this message, but they aren’t. When we get the pictures back from Weddings, Vacations, Picnics, Reunions, or our Softball Team, we ALL only look for ourselves. And we beat ourselves up over our hair, our wrinkled collar or stupid necktie, or our own silly, gaping grin. We don’t really care about anyone else. Not one bit. So quit beating yourself up while worrying about what anybody else thinks. We start worrying about this in the days and weeks ( and minutes ) before we Speak to The Group, and our imaginations run away with our thoughts. But when YOU speak We’re not looking at You the way that YOU look at You when you see yourself in the pictures.
There are many more Tip Sheets to come regarding How To Handle The Jitters. Nearly every other technique is built upon one or all of these 4 Principles, above. So start with these, prepare, rehearse, calm yourself down and cook up a logically ordered CONVERSATION that you can have with others.