23rd October 2015
For many people just the thought of standing up in front of a room of people and speaking is enough to make them feel nauseated. In fact it may even be something they would avoid at all costs. Some may even turn down certain jobs as it may involve talking in front groups.
It is possible, however, to overcome this fear and teach yourself to become a confident public speaker. Here are my tips to help you make that possible.....
Firstly, it's like with anything in life, if you want to be good at it you have to practice! You need to learn to be a good public speaker. In order to do this it is really important to be kind to yourself during the process. So, if you have an opportunity to do a speech or even talk in front of colleagues in a meeting, it is vital that afterwards you only focus on what you did well.
If you zoom in immediately on what you did wrong it will put you off doing it again and won't help you develop confidence. There is always a positive to be found somewhere! Did you perhaps get a few laughs, did people ask you questions? Did you get compliments about it? Did you manage to get all the way through it in one piece without spontaneously combusting?!! There will always be something that you did well even if it wasn't the most confident performance. You need to motivate yourself to improve not berate and criticise yourself until the very thought of doing it again makes you run for the hills!
Talk slowly! If you rush (which will be your first instinct as you want to just get it over with!) you will not only appear very nervous but you will actually make yourself more nervous. Speak calmly, slowly and deliberately and it will help slow your heart rate and calm your breathing which in turn will relax you and make you appear and more importantly feel much less nervous!
Prepare! Even if you are sick and tired of repeating yourself practice until you know your stuff inside out. This will help eliminate some of the anxiety. You will feel much more confident if you know what you are talking about.
Use positive visualisation before hand. As you run through and prepare always picture yourself doing well and speaking calmly and confidently. The second you imagine mucking it up or being too nervous to talk this will take over and you will become instantly more nervous.
Finally, try and enjoy your moment as much as you can. The more you focus on the positives of your performance the more you will enjoy it. Be proud of yourself and challenge yourself to do it again and do even better the next time!