Zap Your Butterflies When Speaking in Public
March 29, 2008
For many people, public speaking is akin to being a deer caught in the headlights of a roomful of cars. All eyes are on you, the room is silent, and it’s up to you to fill in the silence with useful, and hopefully motivating, information.
According to some estimates, upwards of 75 percent of the U.S. population gets nervous before giving a speech. This is quite understandable, as public speaking is, in essence, opening yourself up to be critiqued by the entire audience. Though some people thrive off of this type of challenge, many others experience intense anxiety from such vulnerability.
If you fall into this latter category, or if you just want to hone your public speaking skills, Lifehack.org has compiled 13 great tips for your next presentation.
1. They won’t notice. Think of any nervousness you feel as being your private secret. Most of the time, it will be.
2. Rehearse like a maniac. Memorize the key sections word for word. It will keep you from forgetting your lines in a panic.
3. Scope out the environment. Be comfortable in the room you are about to speak in.
4. Fail Often. When you realize that the worst that can happen isn’t that bad, it zaps your butterflies for good.
5. Unfreeze the audience with humor. If the situation allows it, and you can pull off a good joke, it will dissolve much of your fright.
6. Practice the art of pauses. Your audience needs pauses. Boosting your confidence starts by becoming comfortable leaving silence.
7. Avoid the Powerpoint crutch. Allowing the audience to focus on a screen instead of on you will destroy your speech and lower your speaking ability.
For even more public speaking tips, click on the link below, and also explore Toastmasters International, which is a group devoted to helping people become more competent and comfortable in front of an audience.
Changing Your Mindset to be a Better Speaker
Finally, consider changing your mindset about your speech well before you begin. Dr. Ben Lerner, who was a 1996 and 2000 Olympic Team Chiropractor, nutritionist, and strength and conditioning trainer, had this to say about speaking in public:
“While some people are afraid of public speaking and will suffer miserably throughout the entire experience, myself and many others thoroughly enjoy speaking in public and see it as an opportunity to entertain, teach and motivate.”
So rather than looking at public speaking as something you dread, practice viewing it as an opportunity to share your knowledge with others. The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an energy psychology tool that works remarkably well to help you release these types of self-limiting beliefs and anxiety so that you can focus on the positive side of just about any situation.