Public speaking is only as difficult as you allow it to be. Unfortunately, many people make it more difficult than it is because their fear or their nervousness is in control. If such is the case with you, then you should consider changing your approach so that you have the upper hand over your nervousness.
Personally, I love nervousness. That adrenaline rush helps me be more dynamic and allows for my passion and enthusiasm to be seen and heard. And, because I am in control of it, my audiences have no idea that I am nervous. They neither see it nor do they hear it in my voice.
By implement the following 5 steps into your presentation, you will discover that you are able to focus on your delivery and not on your fear:
- Treat your audience as if you were having a conversation in your living room. Imagine your speech or presentation as being one side of the conversation and your audience’s reaction to you, the other. If you can visualize yourself standing at the lectern, at the head of the conference table, or in the front of the room in this manner, you will feel much more confident.
- Speak to your audience with express, not only in the tonal variety of your voice but also your facial expression and your body language. Standing perfectly still with no physical or aural expression is a quick means of putting your audience to sleep.
- Know your material inside and out. This means practicing it out loud several days (if not weeks) in advance of your scheduled date. Reading it over in your mind is not practice. Only fools treat their material in that manner.
- Breathe with the support of your diaphragm. It is the best means of controlling nervousness you have. It is free; it is healthy; and, it will put an end to your breathlessness.
- Believe in yourself. If you approach your audience believing that you cannot do it, how successful do you think you will be? Do not aim for perfection. Strive to do the best job that you can do by incorporating the above 4 methods into your delivery. If you can accomplish that, then you will succeed.
Public speaking does not have to be your greatest fear. If you want to take control of your nervousness and actually allow it to work for you, I guarantee that these social, emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual components are all that you need to deliver a dynamic speech or presentation.