For many, just the thought of public speaking is flat out scary. It’s described as one of the greatest and probably most common fears among us, so scary that it can actually generate sweaty palms! Public speaking impacts everything — the way we think, feel, and do. It’s one of the most powerful skills a person can develop because it gives you a confidence that improves every area of your life. There are many ways to help you stand out as a leader and tackle this anxiety in delivering a memorable speech. Here are a few ways to overcome any stage fright that you might deal with in front of large crowds.
ACCEPT YOUR FEAR
Accepting your fear rather than trying to fight it will accompany practicing these skills will make you feel unstoppable. There is no need to work yourself up by wondering if people will notice your nervousness. This will only intensify your anxiety my friend. Just try your best to harness that nervous energy and transform it into positive enthusiasm and you’ll be golden!
CREATE A STANCE
Having a good power stand will create good body language among your crowd. When your body is physically demonstrating confidence, your mind will follow suit, so don’t poke your chest out into an alpha gorilla your whole presentation. Before you go on stage, create a stance and hold your head high. This will held create a lasting sense of confidence and assurance. Standing or walking will also help a bit to harness those terrible stomach butterflies.
ENTERTAIN THE CROWD
Even if what you’re presenting contains a ton of useful information, your delivery is key in the success of your session. In other words, if it bombs, so will your presentation so be aware. Using light-hearted jokes in your presentation is a great way to help both you and the audience feel more comfortable, especially when there’s a great deal of information being presented. However, by sure to maintain a balance — depending on the presentation, usually people aren’t coming solely to be entertained.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Naturally, you’ll want to rehearse rather than taking chances winging it. If you get nervous about speaking, a script is your best friend, so try to do practice runs for friends or colleagues, or try recording your presentation and playing it back to evaluate areas that need to be improved. By listening to your recordings, you can clue in on bad habits you may be unaware of.
TAKE A BREATHER
When we’re nervous, our muscles tighten, so much to the point where you may find yourself holding your breath. Scary! Instead, go ahead and take a few deep breaths before your presentation to get oxygen to your brain. This will help relax your body and ensure a smooth presentation from the moment you walk on stage to the the moment you step off.