These 5 practical tips will help you control your emotions during a speech or presentation! [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
Some people find the act of being in the spotlight a privilege.
For them, being able to speak on stage and receiving thunderous applause from the audience is both an honor and a reward.
However, not all speakers feel that way…
For some, especially novice speakers, the customary consequences of standing in front of an audience are pounding hearts, cold and shaky hands, quivering voices, and stomach cramps.
Have you ever felt the same way too?
If you have, then allow us to help you overcome your fear and nervousness of public speaking through these tips!
In the book, “Successful Public Speaking,” author Arina Nikitina said public speaking skills are not inborn; they are learned.
This means it’s normal to feel afraid or nervous during your first few public speaking engagements… but that is something you can handle and overcome!
Here are Nikitina’s 5 practical ways to use fear to your advantage as a speaker:
- Take deep breaths.
One of the things you should do whenever you feel fear creeping in before delivering a speech or presentation is to take deep breaths. This will help calm your nerves and steady your emotions.
What is the science behind taking deep breaths in public speaking?
According to the Moxie Institute, a business communication and leadership training organization, deep breathing helps you focus and gives you the strength to face your fear.
Furthermore, having enough oxygen in your body enhances your voice, enabling you to speak with a full sound. This makes it easier for your audience to hear your message clearly!
So, whether you’re delivering a talk in front of a large group of listeners or in front of your team, make sure to take deep breaths and breathe properly before and during your presentation.
- Shift your focus.
Standing in front of an audience triggers physical symptoms like shaking, sweaty hands, or a quivering voice.
… and sometimes, the more you think about your emotions and how to control them, the more you’ll display signs of fear or nervousness in front of your listeners.
What can you do to avoid or overcome that?
Shift your focus!
Instead of focusing on yourself, think about your audience. Shift your attention towards your message and how you’ll deliver it so your audience will get the most out of the discussion.
As you do that, the fear or nervousness will eventually subside and you’ll be surprised at how composed you’ll be as you get your message across!
- Visualize your actual presentation in your mind.
While practicing your speech or presentation, make sure to dedicate around 10 to 15 minutes of your time to pause, close your eyes, and imagine.
As you enter “the zone,” imagine yourself speaking confidently in front of your audience on the day of your talk.
Visualize yourself delivering your message effectively and communicating with your listeners in the venue where you’ll be speaking.
As you form that positive vision in your mind, you’ll be more motivated to do well during your rehearsals and perform even better on your actual presentation day!
- Treat the public speaking process and result with equal importance.
According to Nikitina, the public speaking process matters as much as the results. This means you have to make sure every step of your speech or presentation preparation will work to achieve your goal as a speaker.
Avoid taking the preparation process lightly. After all, without good preparation, you won’t deliver an impactful message―this could also add up to your fear!
Prepare for your talk by:
- Researching about your topic
- Consulting with other experts or professionals about your subject
- Focusing on facts about your talk
- Making your speech or presentation conversational and engaging for your audience
… and others.
With proper preparation, you’ll not only become more confident and knowledgeable about your topic but you’ll also make your listeners enjoy listening to your talk!
- Choose clarity over complexity.
As a speaker, you must always remember that in relaying an important message to your audience, clarity is the way to go.
Keep in mind that your job is to help listeners understand your subject in the simplest way possible and not to present complex details that will make them even more confused.
How can you do that?
One way is to use a throughline.
This will help you create smooth transitions for a better flow of your talk and lessen your chances of straying away from your core message in case you get distracted in the middle of your speech or presentation.
Another tip to make clear presentations: Avoid using jargon that your audience doesn’t understand. As much as possible, keep your words and statements simple. If a jargon is essential to get your message across, then make sure you explain its meaning to your audience so they won’t feel lost and confused.
When you see your listeners’ smiling faces and other gestures that signify acceptance of your message, you’ll feel less afraid or nervous to present on stage.
Nikitina said that to take advantage of your fear, you have to work on your goals and vision for your speech or presentation. This will help boost your confidence on the day of your talk.
Once your audience sees that you’re enjoying what you’re doing, it will be easier for them to welcome your message and even your call-to-action.
Take note of Nikitina’s 5 practical ways to overcome your fear of public speaking!
As you apply these tips, you’ll find yourself presenting your topic more naturally and you’ll also engage and connect with your audience more effectively.
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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