If you can speak you can improve your public speaking. What is your passion? When you are doing a presentation think about how it will lead you to what makes you happy. Maybe use a story about your favorite thing to do to describe what you are trying to say. Relate what you are trying to say with something you are passionate about – or perhaps something your audience is passionate about!
Let’s talk about fear!
The fear cycle: How we create it – How we use it – How we lose it?
- Nobody lives without fear. Trying to rid yourself of all fear is not only taxing and frustrating but ultimately deprives you of an important source of motivation and energy. I have been a professional keynote speaker for over 10 years and I still feel that adrenaline surge each time just before I go on stage, but I use that energy to improve my performance. Fear causes most of our stress. If you have no fear you are playing it too safe or you are out of touch with your feelings..or maybe dead. Something to think about: Heroes and cowards feel the same fear. The only difference is the action they take.
You succeed by facing your fear. Don’t be afraid of fear: Look the monster in the eye! If you deny it or run from it, it will track you down and torture you in one of its many disguises.
Let’s take a look at the fear cycle
1. Fear exaggerates everything
- Imagined consequences: People will walk out or I’ll put them to sleep.
- They will not like me: They will think I’m an idiot or amateur.
- They will feel pressure that I’m trying to sell them something and not like me.
- Fear run amok destroys confidence.
2. Fear distorts perception
- You SEE what you BELIEVE. Your perceptions are based on your belief system. You look in the front row and everybody looks like the jury that just found you guilty. You see one person look at their watch and you think that NO ONE is interested. Somebody made the mistake of not giving anyone a bathroom break for two hours and you see people getting up to leave right when YOU begin talking.
- You see imagined obstacles.
3. The physical response
- Heart pounds, mouth dry, palms sweat.
- Your larynx tightens, you drop stuff and your voice voice gets high.
4. The fear response: Freeze or frenzy
- You stop and procrastinate or you make fast bad actions.
- You slow down or speed up and your mind starts racing. Most likely you will say say “weird stuff” and will wonder later why that came out of your mouth.
5. Thumbs down: Your worst expectations fulfilled
- In the mist of fear your performance matches your bad expectations.
- Your performance is below your actual ability.
Then the next time you perform you remember your last time and worry even more! It’s not a lack of skill. Fear took control.
How to use the fear of public speaking to your advantage
- Use the fear for excitement and energy and channel it into positive action.
- Fear is a survival tool not a handicap.
- Remember that fear tells lies and lies cause failure!
Stage presence: Commanding attention
- Know what your are going to say.
- Practice makes polish and polish makes money.
- If you have stage presence they will forgive you must anything else.
- Do you desire to have attention? Is it important that people pay attention to you when you speak?
- What do you think you can do to have people notice you more when you speak?
- What do you think people see when they look at you, what do you think you sound like?
- Practice talking about your favorite thing.
Practice letting your passion out
- Don’t be Mr. Meek, Mr. Fake or Mr. Boring. Be yourself – only LARGER
- Finding your voice: Where does it go? Try talking as loud as you can and then back down to a natural leve.
- Practice theatre style warm ups like saying over and over as fast as you can: red-leather-yellow-leather or you know you need unique New York
- Everybody is charming: somebody somewhere thinks your charming (your mother at least).
- Let’s talk about ourselves: “Enough about me, what do you think of me?”: Remember that no matter how interesting YOU are, the audience is always going to be more interested in themselves!
- Get feedback from practicing: Ask friends, family, co-workers and especially a coach if you have the opportunity to work with one.
Do you have to be funny?
- No! you have to be sincere If you really want people to respond when you speak, speak from the heart, speak with passion. When you speak with passion you are a lot more likely to be funny charming and touch an emotional chord. Talk about real stuff.
- What’s Funny?: Words that have K sounds, short stories, making fun of yourself.
- Praise people’s ability and honor them, listen and look for the similarities
- Be yourself! People are attracted to people who are themselves, plain and simple.
Let’s go over the specific techniques: Make it happen
- Never talk with your back to a window.
- Never talk when people are eating.
- Get all the information you can about your audience.
- Lower your voice to make an important point and look people in the eye.
- Tell stories that describe your information (True stories are best).
- Give wisdom from your point of view.
- Do your best not to say anything anyone has ever said.
- Repeat important points: Use call backs.
- Make good use of natural hand gestures: Don’t point at the audience.
- Remember to channel fear into energy.
- Enjoy the attention!
- Each point you make should have three parts: Say what you are going to say, say it and then tell them what you said. Don’t worry about the audience being impressed with you, let them be impressed by what they can do with your information.
- Memorize your introduction: It should include: Your topic, why your topic is important to the audience and speaker qualifications.
- Be real, be yourself, tell the truth.
The structure of your speech
- The first and last 30 seconds of your speech will have the most impact.
- Answer the questions that keep CEO’s up at night: It’s not their job to remember you. What have you done today to make them remember you?
- An intro is meant to get their attention. Memorize you intro.
- Back Ground: What are you going to talk about
- Body: Cover 3 points or one central point that everything relates back to.
- Using a point-story-point format is very effective.
- Conclusion: Summarize so that they understand where they have been and what they got from it.
Practice: What professional speakers do
- Hone your skills in front of a mirror, if you have to memorize information, do it one sentence at a time, get in front of a real audience as much as possible practice in the car.
- Fear tells lies but YOU don’t need to. Remember to tell yourself: I am an interesting person and I have good information
- Practice makes polish and polish makes money.