Stage fright – and public speaking? – is nerve wrecking and downright scary. Not all of us are bestowed with the ample confidence and charm to come on stage and speak. In fact, very few of us are naturally confident on stage or any forum for that matter.
But the good part is, we all can develop the confidence to speak a few words with all the enthusiasm and passion.
Personally, I have watched and listened to hundreds of videos and talks on multiple topics of interest. In fact, sometimes I just chip into any business or personal talk and observe how these people present themselves on stage and speak so fluently – in a fine, articulate manner. Particularly in my college times, I learned the nuances of what it takes to be a fine presenter – and over a period of time, I became more and more confident in my skin to go and present a book, an idea, a business proposal or just plain talking on subject with ease and comfort that I couldn’t have imagined if I didn’t do this one simple thing.What’s that now?
This sounds quite trite but this is largely uncommon among most of us. The best way to become a phenomenal public speaker is to be a personal listener – and practice. Ironic, right?
Well, not quite.
When you listen to your own voice and concentrate on the emotion, articulation, modulation and speech delivery, you can empower yourself with the right pitch for words that make you sound like an impressive speaker.
But that’s not all.
Almost 7 years back, my executive communications professor recorded my ‘before’ video presentation and ‘after’ video presentation – and there was a tremendous difference in the way I spoke and delivered my speech.
So how did this all pan out?
I practiced my lungs out in front of a mirror for hours before I could realize that I am just fine for the speech. Sometimes, I would go outside of the college and sit near the woods and practice – and practice – making sure I am comfortable with any kind of setting or place.
So here are three lessons that are still etched in my DNA whenever I am giving my next presentation or a speech:
- Make your vulnerability your biggest strength. Feel giddy, nervous and anxious when you greet a few hundred people in a room? You’re not alone. Sometimes people are looking for just that! They want an emotional human and not a rattling roller coaster who just doesn’t pay any attention to what the audience wants to listen to. Make sure your vulnerability connects with your audience’s listening [receiving] expectations – and you will soon start wearing confidence with every sentence!
- Give time to time. Don’t be in a hurry to simply mug up your speech, spiel or talk, and disappear. Speaking is not a chore. It is something which reflects your inner realm of thoughts and personality. Let it flow at its own pace. Don’t rush. Your speaking should culminate into an energetic aura that people can’t get enough of, and that only comes with a little time and patience.
- Understand your audience and their emotions. More than any form of communication, oral communication is by far the best way to connect with anyone. Whenever you plan on giving a speech or a talk or even participating in a discussion, ensure that you have researched on every single person who is a part of the audience. This increases your chances of landing more speaking gigs!
- Be full of energy and passion. It’s true – emotions are contagious! Nobody likes a speaker who doesn’t emote via his words or speaking style. Exude energy and passion – and that will invariably attract more people to what you have to say. Even introverts, who may not be a bit loud like extroverts can still play with words and create an emotion that spreads like wildfire! It is all in the way you emotionally connect with people – sometimes through words, sometimes through voice, sometimes through your story, sometimes through your personality – and sometimes through your intention.
So when you get that momentous opportunity to speak somewhere, grab it and make the best use of it!