Everyone has to speak in public at some point in their life: when they present a communication in front of classmates, when they present a project during a work meeting, or when they explain to a doctor in his office, assisted by several interns, what you happen to suffer from. And the better you communicate, the clearer your message will be and the more likely you are to achieve your goal, whether it’s a good grade, a promotion, or a solution to a health problem.
A good speaker leaves a mark on the listener and can influence the decisions of others. This skill is especially valuable in the workplace, especially in sales and public relations. Good public speaking produces tangible results: a salesperson, for example, sells more if he knows how to present his products and services in a clear, impactful and impactful way.
However, doing it well is a complex task because fears can assail the speaker when establishing communication with his audience: the fear of being judged, of not knowing how to answer questions from the audience or that something thing is wrong. Negative emotions can ruin a well-prepared presentation.
1. Manage reviews.
One of a speaker’s first thoughts is for audience members to analyze them: from their wardrobe to their physical appearance and the way they speak. It’s much harder than the life of essayists where you are only judged by the things you write.
In our daily lives, we are constantly exposed to the judgment of others in any environment: walking down the street or on social media. And we have to assume that someone will give an opinion about us in any situation and nothing happens because of it.
Poorly managed self-esteem can play a dirty trick. Therefore, it is important to clarify that the audience sees only part of the speaker’s personality on stage. If they applaud, they are not applauding a speaker as a person but as a professional. The foundations upon which self-concept rests are much broader than what the audience sees when you deliver a lecture. If you’re clear about it, it won’t be so threatening to be judged.
2. Be able to laugh at yourself.
The fear of being judged creates another fear – the fear of making a fool of yourself. A stumble or mistake can embarrass the speaker and prevent them from continuing or undermine their confidence for the rest of their speech. Taking the initiative and laughing at the situation is a solution that reduces the importance of failure. A great way to get rid of this fear of ridicule is to learn to laugh at yourself.
If you feel comfortable on stage, the others will also feel comfortable in their seats. Try to be active on social media if you want to train this ability. Uploading videos to a digital platform about something you feel comfortable with is a good start. TikTok is a good channel for this because you’re exposed to other opinions, and you’ll be able to cultivate rhinoceros skin, tough enough for negative comments to slip through. It’s not about exposing personal information but about talking about more friendly topics, like hobbies.
3. Internalize the message of the presentation, not the exact script.
There is often a fear of blanking out, which can happen when you are unclear about the message of your speech. You don’t know what to say as soon as you forget a keyword or phrase. To avoid this, it is better to internalize a presentation plan to follow the thread and externalize your ideas in your own words.
This way of exposing encourages concentration and leaves no room for alarming thoughts. On the other hand, if you have memorized speech, you free up many cognitive resources such as sight or hearing to pay attention to thoughts such as the suspicion that someone is looking disapprovingly or There are hazards, such as unevenness that pose a fall hazard.
4. Respond to public doubts.
The speaker should humbly assume that there will always be someone in the audience who will have a question they did not ask. The best thing to do is to recognize that you don’t have the answer and commit to finding it. You can assure the public that you will seek out the information and pass it on to them through the agreed channel. You can do this by e-mail or via a social network.
5. Capitalize on emotions.
Being moderately excited or nervous is positive as long as that emotion is channeled, as it allows the speaker to focus on what they are doing in the present. When it gets out of control, problems arise. However, only a tiny part of this state of mind is transmitted to the public. If it’s not verbalized to others, they don’t perceive it, so it’s important not to tell them.
What determines whether the nerves play a bad trick on the speaker is the label given to them. If they’re approached negatively – with thoughts like “they’ll find out I don’t know much about it or they’ll fire me” – it triggers a nervousness that stalls the speaker. If confronted positively – “I can finally present this product” or “I believe my words will help the listener” – it generates an exciting commotion that keeps the speaker going. The best way to fight fear is to put something alternative in its place, like passion.
Emotions are contagious, as well as delight and enthusiasm, so adding enthusiasm to the speech arouses the interest of the audience. If you say things lazily, the audience won’t like it. That is why enthusiasm should not be neglected, even if it concerns company accounts and the figures are very bad.
6. Manage the unexpected.
The possibilities of failures in public speaking are endless: technical difficulties, apathetic public, falls. For this reason, as with the fear of making a fool of yourself, you need to deal with these setbacks naturally, recognize that something unexpected has happened, and work to overcome it.
A good speaker can make the most of his personality. If seriousness is their main trait, for example, they shouldn’t fight it but rather guide it to help get the message across. The speaker is not an actor but rather his original self, enriched by the oratorical knowledge he has acquired
Rehearsal is the only way to overcome public speaking fears. Taking a public speaking course helps identify student strengths and areas for improvement, but there will be no improvement without continuous practice. For this reason, the best recommendation is to record yourself, both audio and video, and pay attention to all the elements: intonation, tempo, movements and intensity.
To progress, you have to be constant and persevering. Listening to and watching yourself again and again is the only way to get used to yourself and progress.
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