I want to share with you my thoughts and experiences to better help you when conducting a speech at a venue whether personal or professional and on any subject. Three things that I will be covering are:
- Anxiety Kills
- Long Roads to Shortcuts
- Speak to One
The LACK OF PREPARATION is the #1 reason why speakers or “wanna” be speakers are deathly afraid of their performance on stage. The lack of preparation will kill the best speech or presentation you have ever created and anxiety will put the nails on the coffin. The single most effective way to alleviate anxiety is PREPARATION.
No matter how well I know my material or how comfortable I am with my audience, the greatest time I spend on an activity prior to me speaking anywhere is preparation. I am constantly preparing, practicing and rehearsing what I am going to say up until the night before.
By the time the night before arrives, I am ready, confident and able to perform at my best since I will have strengthened my brain and knowledge to a point that my confidence will flow through my audience. It’s that simple…KNOW YOUR MATERIAL. Your knowledge will create the positive energy and confidence that you need to deliver to your audience. You now will have greater success with your audience taking action on what you are teaching them.
Long Roads to Shortcuts:
When speaking, one of your main goals should be helping your audience get to your level of knowledge about the subject matter in a shorter time frame than it took you to get to that point. In other words, let your long road it took you to learn about the subject matter lead to their shortcut.
Your knowledge and experience about the subject matter should be delivered in a way that will make your audience get to your level of experience with minimal challenges. You already have been through those challenges and can use your experience in communicating what things to do and what not to do.
In other words, provide real life examples of your experiences. This will also make you come across to your audience as similar to them and not a special person which will help them relate to you quicker. The quicker you relate to your audience, the quicker you will win!
Speak to One:
One of the biggest fears about public speaking is the audience. Just imagine yourself looking at the crowd of people, all in silence, waiting for you to speak. Just thinking of this will send shivers running down your spine. One easy way to overcome this challenge is to speak to one person at a time.
If you are in a smaller room, choose one member of your audience and devote your whole presentation to him/her. Just think that everyone else is not paying attention. Look for someone that is providing good positive feedback and energy. You do not want to focus on that one person that is falling asleep or looks like they are about to attack you on stage.
If you are in a larger room, you may want to choose three people from your audience and dedicate your whole presentation to those three people. You should choose one from the left side of the room, one from the center of the room and one from the right side of the room and you want to give them a balanced form of eye contact.
If there is a question from the audience, then change your focus to that person and answer the question as if the two of you are having a coffee chatting away in a coffee shop. Now doesn’t that help with anxiety?
I believe that the above will help you immensely when you are conducting your next speaking event. I truly want all of you to succeed and I am sure you want your audience to succeed as well. Remember one thing that there are no failures, just different results. Jack Canfield once said…”Everything You Want is on the Other Side of Fear.”
Have a great and productive day. I wish you all the best of success.