For some people – public speaking is the last thing on earth they would enjoy doing. For many, it is nerve wracking to take the stage in front of a crowd of people. Perhaps you are getting nervous right now just thinking about it! If so, this is a perfect post to help you adopt some new techniques for controlling the way you feel about speaking in public. Here are my best public speaking tips and secrets to completely quell any fears you may have about addressing an audience.
1. Just be yourself!
That’s right! Know that natural is best. When you speak to an audience from your heart you are automatically more relatable, and likeable! Try to imagine you are speaking to your best friend.
2. Don’t Worry.
All too often people get themselves worked into a frenzy backstage just before their cue is called. The most important thing you can do when it comes to speaking in public is to remain indifferent and carefree while backstage. The object here is to trick your mind into thinking it’s about to do something fun. In fact, you are training your brain to relax. To omit worry is to win. Watch your thoughts closely and take the stage calmly and with purpose!
3. The lights are bright. Most times you won’t even be able to see the audience.Some people adopt a specific level of comfort based on the number of audience members. Maybe you’ve heard someone say “I could speak to 10 people just fine, but addressing 100 people is scary!”
See the above photo? That’s usually what it looks like when you hit the big stage. Sure, you’ll start to make out faces once you’ve solidified your place in the spotlight; but try to remain at ease about facing the audience.
Allow your eyes to adjust to the bright stage lights; Try to minimize your stage shock (ie/ get on stage and relax your face and open your eyes.)
The great news is you can forget about keeping track of the number of people you are standing in front of.
4. Be Well Prepared
Allow yourself a lot of time for preparation. Practice your lines or your speech until it becomes second nature. This is key when preparing to take the stage. If, for any reason, you must work ‘on the fly’ or ‘MC’ an event – refer to tip #1 & #2
5.Everyone loves you if you smile.
When all else fails, smile. When in doubt, smile. Smiling always helps.
And smiles are contagious. Regardless of what happens on stage, you can always smile, thank the audience, and exit at stage left.