Most of us have reached our most successful phase of our lives and some of us are also now at the top. But even with all these qualities, we all lack the confidence of speaking firmly in the public.
Anyone who has ever approached me for boosting up their reliance before stepping up on the stage , all they have ever talked about is :
“Am I looking good enough?”
“I hope the audience doesn’t get bored?”
“What if i fumble?”Hence, the first and foremost thing before speaking in public or even in groups is to stop thinking so much about yourself. Being self conscious is what makes a flop show. Letting this factor go away convoys in you a self confidence which is very necessary when speaking in public. This not only will help you not to mind what the audience thinks but also let you go on speaking smoothly.
Second thing to keep in mind while on stage is knowing about your audience. After being thorough with the kind of audience you have to speak in front of , start preparing for the topic accordingly . If your audience is a bunch of college students, try to avoid the technical jargons and similarly if your audience’s a bunch of office employees , be more formal.(As if they are going to care anyway.)
Now that you’re well prepared and also have an idea of the crowd , the third step that follows is be conversational to the audience. This will work as a magic mantra to all the anxiety that you’ve been feeling as this will help you relax a bit and also add to your calmness. Apart from this , only showing slides and just reading out notes will definitely make the audience judge you.
Hence engage with the audience and think about them as your friends and family. Sharing personal experiences will also make them more interested towards your work. But being too conversational can also land you in trouble. Thus ask only such questions that subsides within your knowledge boundary.
Speak clearly with lucid vocabulary and a pinch of humor so that the people sitting in front of you think of you as a knowledgeable person with proficiency in lexis. Be smart enough to chose only the words whose meanings are clear to you and you should also know to pronounce them in the correct manner.
It is normal to feel nervous halfway through your speech. Don’t be afraid of the sounds of silence. When you momentarily lose track of what you are saying, you may feel nervous and feel that you have been silent forever. But it’s probably no longer than a few seconds .
Even the best speakers today have faced this in the initial phases of their lives. Whenever you go through such a phase, take a deep breath , excuse the audience, take a sip of water while speaking two minutes informally with them. And then start with questions like, “well where were we?” , “so,let’s just get back on track”
Today we have excessive amount of videos on public speaking. Pickup any of your favorite speakers and go through their videos – their movements , their way of speaking , the way they interact with the audience , how they enter the stage. Don’t completely imitate them , rather develop them as a part of your personality. Remember you are just playing a character on stage who through various dialogues and gestures makes the audience comfortable and interested. Just forget about yourself , your fears and who you really are. Play the character and rock it !
Prior to your public speaking on stage introduce yourself to a few members of the audience in the front row. During your talk look these people in the eye to ease your nerves and connect with your audience. A short trick to successfully outcome fear is to make your friends sit at various places among the audience and continuously interacting with them in a formal way. They can ask you questions in a very smart way which has a hidden meaning that will help you in proceeding in your speech without any further struggles.
Don’t be afraid of the sounds of silence. When you momentarily lose track of what you are saying, you may feel nervous and feel that you have been silent forever. But it’s probably no longer than a few seconds, so simply take a few slow, deep breaths and proceed. Remind yourself that even if the moment of silence was longer than a moment, that’s okay, too. Your audience probably figured that the pause was planned and they won’t mind a bit.
The bottom line is that if something scares you, you will avoid it, and if you avoid it, you will not get enough practice, and when you don’t get enough practice, you will not get better at it, and if you are not getting better at it, you will continue to be afraid of it.
This cycle of fear can go on and on. But it doesn’t have to. With the number of options available, it is up to you to decide when and how to break this cycle of fear of public speaking. It will thus be better if you keep practicing the art of public speaking , sometimes making your family as your audience or your group of friends. NEVER! stop learning.