A couple of tips to boost your public speaking.
Yesterday I published Brett Gurney’s blog post..
Improving Communication Skills – I Would Rather Just Run Away and the very first thing I thought about was how I personally feel when talking to people.
Now I can go into a store and talk my fool head off with no problem, but put me in front of people then anxiety overcomes me. I cant remember what I was going to say, I stutter and one of my all time embarrassments is I can’t pronounce words properly ( trust me it sucks)
For those of you who are comfortable with any form of public speaking, take a bow and trust me I applaud you, but for the rest of us who have the overriding feeling of running away then this can be a very difficult thing to do. Just as Brett said ” I guess all I can do is keep trying”.
But is that all we can do? “keep trying”? I don’t know about you, but to me the word “try” is giving me an out, Do you understand what I mean? No?
Then let me explain – some years ago I had a friend who hated with a passion the word “try” and of course I was the person who was always saying ” ya OK, I’ll give it a try”. One day he roared and said..stop using the word “Try” when you use that word, what you are really saying is you wont really do it, because you have already thought of defeat”! Those words have stayed with me ever since.
The fact is public speaking is here to stay and it’s not just in front of an audience off line that we may give presentations. Google Hangouts, webinars, Skype calls, YouTube, all of them are a form of public speaking, so we better come up with some good ideas to help us get through them.
Over time I have been learning to be more comfortable with public speaking ( although its still not easy for me) and one the first tips that I learned was to start breathing. It has been proven that deep breathing helps lower your blood pressure and helps you relax. Take deep breaths from your belly, hold each one for several seconds, and let it out slowly.
Another trick that I have been doing when I feel the anxiety starting to rise, I pick a number and count backwards. I have noticed when I do that I am breaking that nasty cycle of nerves. Try it the next time and this one tip can be used in any situation where you are nervous over something.
Another tip to boost your public speaking is to start thinking of any presentation you have as a conversation. When you get people involved in your presentation, then something remarkable happens, your not nervous anymore. Even though there will be those times when you are “standing” alone, then you put in your mind that you are having a conversation, then giving that presentation will be a lot less scary.
One bonus tip that I would never have thought of came from Mikael Cho on TNW ( The Next Web), titled: How to cure stage fright: The science behind public speaking and it got me really thinking – how to stop saying “ums” and “ahs”. I have a bit of a bad habit when it comes to the “ums” especially when typing, so this is a good tip for that also
One of the best ways to knock these filler words out of your vocabulary is to use a technique called chunking. Chunking means splitting your presentation up into short burst of words followed by a short break and then continuing on with another short burst of words.
If you want to know some other ways to reduce the stress of public speaking then I suggest that you go through this SlideShare and learn about the Lizard brain.