As business owners, we often have to speak publicly to promote our business. But sometimes when it’s time to speak, we get scared, even the ones who don’t seem to be nervous. Fear of public speaking is the number one fear in Australia. Approximately 97% of the population would rather be dead than speak publicly.
Tips for shifting the nerves.
Firstly, do plenty of practice. Remember the 5 Ps: Prior Practice Prevents Poor Performance. You do not need to practice in front of a mirror. However, you do need to see yourself up there before the actual or imagined audience.
You should précis your points down to point form and have them on a little piece of paper. If you do need to have, the whole thing written out, put it on the podium and look at it if you need to very discretely.
Practise the voice changes as well as the gestures in your head, if not in reality.
When its time to present, go to the toilet before you speak and drink a glass of water to keep the voice lubricated. Focus on what you are saying the entire time. As soon as you become self conscious, you will start to be di, and then you could become nervous, wondering what they’re thinking of you. All of your energy needs to be on what you are talking about and not what you imagine they’re thinking about you!
(I know that’s easier said than done.)
If you believe what you’re saying and talk to a mixture of logic and emotion, connecting with the crowd, even cracking an occasional joke, they’ll love it.
Don’t forget to breathe deeply and slowly as this allows your voice to develop. But, don’t overdo the deep breathing or you could hyperventilate or even faint.
Above all else, learn to enjoy the experience and be in the 3% of the population who love public speaking.