Public speaking remains a top fear for most people; lots of us are more afraid of public speaking than dying.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way, because all of us are already competent public speakers.
Why do I say this? Well, before we answer that question, let’s define public speaking. Some people think that public speaking is giving a presentation to your boss. Others think that public speaking requires a crowd. But “public speaking” is simply speaking, in public. Given this, you’re already a pro; you do it all the time. How else would you communicate on your job, at the supermarket, at the mall, or anywhere else outside of your home?
You are currently an experienced public speaker, so today I want to give you four steps that will help you realize your skills and organize your thoughts so that you make the most profound impact whenever you speak.
4 Easy Steps to Amazing Public Speaking:
1. Stop Being Selfish
Why are most people so afraid of public speaking? It’s because public speaking makes them feel self-conscious, it makes them feel exposed, and vulnerable. Some people are concerned that if they don’t perform well they will be embarrassed in front of others.
All of these reasons stem from one thing, selfishness. The reality is, if you’re presenting , the presentation is not about you; it’s about the people you’re presenting to. Let me repeat that statement, “it’s not about you, it’s about the people you’re presenting to.”
Your focus, when you’re presenting, should not be on how you look, or how you feel, your focus should be on ensuring that your audience understands your message. You are the servant of the audience; so focus on conveying your message, the way you would convey your message to a friend, forget about you, and focus on the need of the audience. They need what you have to say; otherwise you shouldn’t be saying it.
If the audience is better served with you using a PowerPoint presentation, then use a PowerPoint presentation. If they need handouts, then provide handouts; your job as a public speaker is to serve your audience.
There’s no need to fill self-conscious, you’re the least important person in the room when you’re speaking; it is your job to serve the listeners.
2. Rename That Heart Pounding Feeling
So it’s almost time to speak, and your heart is pounding out of your chest, what do you do?
Here’s your answer, “you rename that heart pounding feeling,” don’t dare call that feeling fear, call it power. Without that power you can’t deliver an amazing speech.
The key is to use that power the way a surgeon uses his knife, carefully. Recognize the power, be thankful for the power, and harness the power like a laser: with focus.
All public speakers get butterflies, it has been said that the secret is to get those butterflies to fly in formation.
You have to control your “fight or flight” instincts. If you “flight” then you will rush through the speech, if you “fight,” you may not even give the speech. What you want to do according to Susan Leahy is to “stay” right where you are, and let those butterflies’s fly in formation.
Recognize that the “heart pounding feeling” is about to give you the ability to give a great presentation, so be glad it’s there.
3. Organize Your Thoughts
If you want your audience to easily comprehend your message, then your message must have order. It must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Beginning: You should begin by telling your audience what you’re going to tell them. Then tell them why you’re telling them this. In other words, why is your message important to them, and why they should care to listen.
Middle: Secondly, you should tell your audience what you told them you were about to tell them. Keep the core of your message between three to five main points because that’s all most people will remember. Let everything you say, support those three to five main points.
End: Finally, tell your audience what you just told them by giving them a quick summary and see if they have any questions, comments or concerns.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Some speeches are spontaneous or impromptu and you can’t practice for them, but whenever you have the ability to practice for a presentation, you must practice.
Practice gives you the ability to get all of the kinks out of your presentation. It helps you to prepare for the unexpected. It allows you to get more comfortable with your material, and it helps you to anticipate questions or concerns that people may have. Proper practice will make you sound profound.
If at all possible, record yourself with a video recorder when you practice. Do this to make sure that your words, your tone (pace, volume, etc.) and your body language are all saying the same thing. Additionally, if you can get someone to listen to your speech prior to giving it, that will give you an added edge.
Perfect practice will make for perfect performance.
BONUS: Learn the Profound Power of the Pause
Instead of saying “Ummm,” or using filler words such as, “so,” “and,” or “well”….learn to use pauses.
A multitude of “ummm’s” during a presentation can make you sound unprofessional, but a pause, where you would have said “ummm” will make you sound more profound, and in control. So don’t forget to pause, they won’t even notice.
Remember that you are already a great public speaker and following these keys will just make you amazing.
Photo Cred: TrainToSpeak.WordPress.com