My top tips for feeling the fear and speaking up:
Having had a huge fear of public speaking for many years and having overcome it, here are some of the things I wish people had shared with me that I hope will help you to overcome your fear of speaking up and actually go on to enjoy it…
Have your outcome in mind – have what you want to deliver in mind, how you want it to come across and the end result.
Get over yourself –realise that it is not all about you but the message you are delivering to the audience and what you want them to take away from it.
Run the picture in your head of giving your talk or presentation and delivering it well. Run the picture of it being well received and the positive response and feedback you are getting having delivered it.
Breath – remembering to breathe is paramount to speaking and living in general, but by taking a few deep breaths before you go on, and affirming to yourself with each breath that you are calm, confident and relaxed will help you.
Be passionate about what you are delivering – the best talks and presentations are given when you are passionate about and believe in the subject. It comes across in your voice and your body language and this will engage the audience. You are halfway there if you know and love your subject. If you are not passionate about it, find something about it or the reason for doing it that you are passionate about, there is always a way.
What if I get asked a question I don’t know the answer to? – That’s life. Knowing it is okay to say “I don’t have the answer right now” or depending on the subject you can ask the audience, “does anyone else know or have any thoughts on this?” or “good question, I don’t have the answer right now but I will find out and come back to you” or” I would be happy to discuss this in more detail afterwards.”
Remember, everybody wants you to do well – Think of all the times you have sat in the audience, you want the person giving the presentation or on stage to engage you and do well so you learn something, and so will your audience.
Believe you can and if you are unsure about this one, act as if you believe you can. It is only by going out and doing it you will find out that you can.
Plan what you want to say in the given time frame. It may not necessarily go exactly to plan but if you have your key points and your order of content and your well formed outcome in mind this will make delivery easier.
Practise it with someone who will be honest with you about how you come across and failing that, practise in front of a camera or a mirror. Notice your habits and your posture, imagine you have a gold thread running from your head to your toes that pulls you to stand straight and confidently.
Learn and move on – take the learning and the feedback from each time you speak and practise and improve for next time.
Be yourself and finally…Enjoy it, when you have delivered your talk or presentation it is over so, enjoy the experience.
I am sure there are lots more tips people can give you but I hope these help.
Apparently – Public speaking is the number one fear in America.
Here are some of my favourite quotes about public speaking:
“You can speak well if your tongue can deliver the message of your heart.” -John Ford
“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” -D. H. Lawrence
“What we say is important… for in most cases the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” -Jim Beggs
“There are always three speeches, for every one you actually gave. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.” -Dale Carnegie
“There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject, then to get your subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subject into the heart of your audience.” – Alexander Gregg
“The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives.” – Lilly Walters
“If you don’t know what you want to achieve in your presentation your audience never will.” – Harvey Diamond
“Best way to conquer stage fright is to know what you’re talking about.” – Michael H Mescon
“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.” – Martin Fraquhar Tupper
“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” – Somers White
“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Carl W. Buechner>
Life Coach, Feel the fear and do it anyway Trainer