First things first, you need to know that you’re not as bad as you think. Most people tend to underestimate themselves whilst preforming or speaking to the public. They don’t realise that they actually preform a lot better than they think they do.
Secondly, remember that anxiety is good. If you’re shy it means you care, you just need to remember to talk about the right things and keep the audience engaged; nobody wants to sit there and watch somebody fidget and have difficulty in speaking. People want to see you deliver a smooth and confident speech. After-all if they didn’t they probably wouldn’t be sitting there listening in the first place.
Getting started and the story
- Look at your audience and shoulders back. What do you have to offer them, what do you have that they need. Look at your audience and let them know that you are in control and that they need you.
- The topic might be boring but the story cannot be, you are in charge of the story and use it to keep the audience engaged.
- People won’t miss what isn’t there. Make sure you include all the key and relevant facts which the audience needs to know in order to do business with you or be influenced by your presentation.
Look good – feel good
Be cool and refreshed, be excited to be there. The more positive you feel the more confident you will be. Make sure you get enough sleep the night before, you’re well prepared and make sure you’re well groomed. These factors are sure to make you feel a whole lot better and confident while speaking to a large audience. Nobody wants to be spoken to by a zombie.
Wrap it up
Don’t ask if anybody has any questions, there is nothing more awkward than that silent moment. The problem is the audience do not feel comfortable until once of them volunteers. So the trick to getting people to talk is to tell them to raise their hand or interrupt you in the course of your speech if they have any questions. This allows the audience to feel relaxed and ask questions when they feel ready and not when asked to do so. Once somebody asks a question the others should follow, the aim is to get yourself to a position to say “sorry, we only have room for one more question.”
If you’re going to be in business these are skills you need, if not you need a partner or staff member who has these skills and is knowledgeable enough to portray you and your business. You will need to influence and pitch to people, take it one step at a time if you don’t feel comfortable. Some people are more confident than others and will find this article to be a no-brainer, some people will find this to be a great help (as I did when reading similar articles before starting my own business). All you need to remember is that it could take time and that you could pull it off if you really wanted to. Public speaking is a skill, a skill and skills can be learned and mastered.