Rejection hurts as much as getting punched in the face… but not if you apply these tips! [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
Imagine this scenario:
You’re about to deliver a talk about an amazing product or service that you want to share with your audience.
You’re super ready to promote your brand!
However, as you get on stage, you suddenly feel weird and uncomfortable sensations in your body.
Your heart feels like it’s about to jump out of your chest. Your mouth feels as dry as the Sahara Desert even though you took a big gulp of water before going on stage. Your stomach twists and turns so much that you feel nauseous.
… and just like that, you can’t even get a single word out!
Experiencing situations like this is frustrating.
According to American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer Jerry Seinfeld,
“At a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.”
Seinfeld made this comment in 1998 when he was on air for his comedy special called, “I’m Telling You for the Last Time.” While this statement was meant to be a joke, there’s a hint of truthfulness in it.
Talking in front of an audience can be nerve-racking and terrifying. However, once you’ve mastered the art of public speaking, you’ll experience incredible benefits from it.
According to Arina Nikitina in her book, “Successful Public Speaking,” delivering a speech or presentation in front of an audience is a great way to sell your business and attract potential clients or customers.
The thing is, around 75% of the population fear this activity more than heights, spiders, and even death.
Why is this the case?
Several experts provided explanations as to why public speaking is such a daunting task for some people. The main reason is…
Public speaking triggers physical reactions similar to what we feel during life-threatening situations! These reactions include:
- Pounding heart
- Dry mouth
- Shaky hands
- Quivering voice
- Cold, sweaty palms
- Stomach cramps
Meanwhile, a UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) research on MRI brain scan results shows that the shock and stress of rejection activate the anterior cingulate cortex, or the part of the brain that responds to physical pain.
In other words, experiencing rejection from an audience can hurt as much as getting punched in the face or in any other parts of your body.
Additionally, a study by Cognitive Neuroscience Director Edward E. Smith states the feeling that results from rejection is one of the most painful emotions. Smith even said that this emotion is sustained even longer than fear!
The stress and discomfort you feel whenever you think about the possibility of listeners rejecting your message or ideas are amplified because there are lots of people present in the event where you’re speaking.
Picture it this way: Being rejected by tens, hundreds, or thousands of people is significantly worse than being rejected by just one person.
So… as a speaker, how can you get over this fear and transform it into positive energy and enthusiasm?
First, acknowledge your fear because it will lead to acceptance.
Accept your fear. Accept that you are scared and intimidated to speak in front of an audience.
By knowing what you’re afraid of, you’ll be able to take proactive steps to address your stage fright. This could be in the form of doing vocal and breathing exercises before you go on stage or practicing your speech in front of your friends and family.
Whatever method you use to deal with your fear, remember that you should let your adrenaline rush work for you and not against you.
Practicing is one of the best ways to be better at something. In the case of public speaking, doing rehearsals will help you overcome your stage fright because you will know what aspects of your talk need to be improved before delivering it to your audience.
… and by knowing those areas for improvement, you will be able to correct your mistakes and adjust your presentation for a more effective speech delivery!
You may do this by recording your rehearsals. Make sure you clearly record both your movements and your voice.
Before watching the recording, think about what you felt while speaking. Do you think you did well? If so, in what aspect? Is there anything you wish you could’ve done better?
While watching, take note of the things you did well, the possible distractions, and the parts of your speech where you find your attention waning.
After that, reflect on your overall performance during your practice. Was there something you thought you did well but you actually didn’t? If your attention waned at some point, think about how you can improve that part so you will sustain both your and your audience’s attention.
Knowing whether or not you are delivering your speech in the best way possible will help you gain confidence to hold yourself up in front of your listeners.
Third, speak in front of a lot of people more often.
Let’s say you want to learn to drive a car. How will you achieve that goal?
The answer is simple: You drive!
You get into the driver’s seat and practice with a professional. There’s no other way.
Similarly, if you want to learn to swim, the solution for you is to get into the water and swim. You practice the sport. There’s no other way.
Theory alone will not help you become a better driver or a better swimmer… and this concept also applies to public speaking.
You can’t be a better speaker by simply talking to yourself or reading books, articles, and tips about public speaking.
Sure, talking to a room full of strangers is intimidating. However, as you accustom yourself to speaking in front of people more often, the fear will eventually subside and you’ll be more confident as a speaker.
The bottom line?
The more you speak in front of people, the more you’ll feel less frightened or nervous on stage.
Going back to what Nikitina said in her book, being able to communicate a verbal message effectively is a useful and helpful skill whatever your career path is.
So, take advantage of every public speaking opportunity that you have! This will help you practice your communication skills and build your confidence as a speaker.
Overcome your fear with the help of the tips discussed above!
As you get past the stage of fear, you’ll experience great wonders and benefits from mastering the art of public speaking.
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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