Remember the last time when you were to deliver a presentation before an audience or the time you kept praying silently , Lord save me just one more time , please ! Call off the session before the next turn is mine!
Cracked voice , shaking legs , sweating palms, I am sure all of you are familiar with these symptoms while facing an audience. One thought that haunts every time you rise to speak is “When would this nightmare end?
Most of us have found ourselves in a similar situation. Haven’t we?
Do you refrain sharing your views in public for fear of being ridiculed?
If yes, then probably you are a shy speaker. But don’t you worry you are not alone.Most of us are victims of self imposed fears and restrictions. In fact, according to famous writer Ralph Waldo Emerson “All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.” You are no less, prepare yourself today to be the best tomorrow.
Speech is a natural gift to us humans. We are the only creatures who can speak up our mind and articulate our emotions through spoken words. While speaking comes naturally to us, public speaking is an art which needs to be cultivated. Whether you are a manager, a doctor, an engineer, an educator or a student at one point of time or the other you would be required to attend business meets, conferences, participate in personal interviews, deliver presentations or address formal gathering. How then to overcome the fear of public speaking?
There is no magic potion that you could drink and watch the magical words spill out of your mouth even as you could hypnotize the listener with your oratorical charm. However there are tested and proven practices that can nurture your skills and help you overcome your qualms.
So while there is no secret formula, there are simple things that you could follow to overcome your fears. I call it ‘ My Rule of 9’. Read and discover the hidden speaker in you by practicing the following simple tricks:
Here we go…
- First thing first ; stop playing safe: Come out of your shell, be brave. Rehearsing in front of the mirror is no good until you climb the stage.
- Speak ; there is no alternative: Read , read read Yes! Of what use if you never speak. I would suggest, “Converse, converse and converse” as Bacon , the great Renaissance essayist said, “ Conference makes a ready man”. Reading enhances knowledge but it is the conversations that empower your speech.
- Speak to be understood, not to impress: Do not stress yourself to demonstrate your knowledge, rather try to express yourself in simple, clean, clear and crisp language. Avoid jargon and cliche to easily connect with your audience.
- Have faith: They say ” To err is human to forgive divine”. Close your eyes and believe in the divinity of your audience. This will help reduce much of your anxiety
- Love your subject: If you love your subject you will certainly work hard to know more about it, the more you know on your topic, the better you are.
- Remember communication operates at two levels: logical and emotional- Speak your mind but touch your listeners heart. Persuade your listener by appealing to his logic and emotions.
- Be genuine, be yourself: Audience appreciate originality of thought and expression. Just be the way you are. Affectation in speech, accent and style is more sinful than what you could imagine.
- Be confident and cheerful: Do not look apologetic for not being the best. Indeed your are the best! Nothing is more infectious than your self-confidence. Radiate confidence , it will boomerang. Positive body language and a smiling countenance are your priced possessions. Use them to your advantage
- Don’t be Shy; take a leap: The world is waiting to hear you ; What are you waiting for?
Take a leap…
Be outgoing critics…