Public speaking is a fear that is right on par with skydiving and childbirth. Many people who are afraid of public speaking often lack the confidence and self-esteem to express themselves well. But you can become a great public speaker with practice, preparation, and time.
The goal of a great public speaker is to be able to express your thoughts and ideas in front of any crowd authentically, naturally, and intelligently. So, how do you do that? Here are my seven tips for shining bright as a public speaker (even if you are afraid!).
BEFORE THE SPEECH
Study a Master Speaker. Identify your favorite speakers. Observe what you like about their delivery style. Pay close attention to their tone, timing, and body language. Look at how they connect with their audience. If you are watching via video, mute the volume and really connect with how they are conveying their message and being with the crowd.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. I enjoy working with my clients to help them organize their thoughts authentically and naturally. But my work alone is not enough. Taking the time to prepare your speech will boost your confidence and enhance your presentation.
See Yourself Shining on Stage. One of the hypnotherapy tools that I like to use with my clients is visualization. The practice of visualization will help you relax your body and create ease and freedom around your speaking. Start by closing your eyes, breathing in deeply, and taking five minutes to visualize yourself on stage in front of your audience. Picture yourself standing with good posture, using a confident and relaxed voice, and authentically engaging with the crowd.
Get Ready to Go Live. Before you hit the stage, rehearse your presentation. See how fantastic you already are! You can get the most from your rehearsing by doing the following:
Create a similar set-up to your presentation.
Rehearse your presentation in front of a mirror.
Record your presentation. Creating a recording will help you listen to how you pace your presentation and add in pauses for emphasis. Listening to your recording will help you clean up any weak points in your speech and sharpen your live performance.
DURING THE SPEECH
Relax. Take three, deep diaphragmatic breaths. After you breathe, start building up your energy. You are here and you are ready to shine.
Be Excited. Your audience will feel your enthusiasm and your excitement. You natural excitement and engagement will help you properly deliver your presentation and give your audience what they are expecting.
Enjoy Yourself. Most people are so afraid of public speaking that they forget to be in the moment and just enjoy themselves. Be with your audience. Hook them in with your smile. Know that you are amazing. When you enjoy your presentation, you give you audience the freedom to engage with you and receive your message.
Sylvain Coulon is a hypnotherapist practicing in New York City. He is a noted speaker and has shared his expertise at Harvard University and other notable symposiums and workshops. Sylvain empowers his clients and helps them improve their self-esteem, raise their confidence, reduce their stress and anxiety, and perform better to achieve their goals.