“The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid.” — Lady Bird Johnson
To be a great speaker, it’s important to be truly authentic. If you’re passionate and excited about your topic, you’ll be able to talk about it. When you get wrapped up and excited about your subject, then you can go up on stage and speak well.
Don’t be so concerned about what other people think. The key to overcoming fear is to be passionate about what you’re talking about.
Lack and fear do not serve business. Obvious desperation and fear is off putting in any social communication. It distracts from your presentation. To get comfortable with your subject create genuine passion through research. Then you can step off the stage without worrying about the result.
Confidence comes through knowing a subject inside and out. Read, study, learn more everyday about your subject matter. Being prepared leaves little room for “Imposter Syndrome”. Your presentation doesn’t need to be perfect. The important thing is knowing your subject inside and out. When you can speak at length on a subject, people assume you are an expert.
This varies from person to person. Some people memorize speeches. But if you lose your concentration, you may lose your place in the speech. Needless to say, getting lost is very stressful.
When you use notes and your genuine subject knowledge then you have greater fluidity. There is less chance for your memory to trip you up. So, don’t memorize and don’t read. This adds unnecessary stress and gives the air of an amateur.
Create value in your speech. People don’t want something they could read themselves or find somewhere else. They want memorable, personal stories plus knowledge. They want your knowledge and experience… And they can only get that from you.
Read The Audience
The largest reason for not reading from a prepared speech or memorizing a speech is to read the audience. When visually connecting with the audience you can read their body language and how they are impacted by your speech.
You will realize that the energy of the group will go through peaks and valleys. With this awareness you can adapt your presentation to control the flow of energy.
In moments of silence you will see people start to pay attention. Silence makes people look up in interest, trying to figure out why you are silent. Once you see the attention is back in your direction you can begin talking again.
Find A Person To Talk To
Pick out at least one person from the crowd to talk to. Speak to one person directly. You want to make that eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart connection.
If you are moving around the stage, choose a multiple people to make eye contact with. It creates a personal connection with those in the audience.
Even pros get nervous when they speak. It’s totally normal. Often nerves come from wanting to do your best. With practice and knowledge, nervousness around giving a speech becomes less over time. This increase in confidence allows you to focus on delivering the best content.
Get involved in groups that can help you practice your public speaking. Use online platforms like ToastMasters, National Speakers Association, or find a coach. Just be aware that each groups has it’s own style and focus when it comes to speaking. Search out the group that has the style that suits you best.