Public Speaking brings up so much fear. These are some simple ways I have found to handle the fears that arise and overcome the fear. First, love your subject. Talk about what you believe in and are passionate about, otherwise it can be a painful experience. If you inherited a topic that you don’t care about, search for some kernel of interest or approach the topic from a perspective that gives it meaning to you. Secondly, be excited to share it: If you are excited to share it you will find creative ways to make sure your audience absorbs it. If you know what you want to say is there ever a need to search for words?
Thirdly, rehearse! Actors talk a script out loud all the time. If you see someone walking down the street talking to themselves they are either actors rehearsing lines, or they are crazy, or a little bit of both. When you engage the muscular movement of the lips, tongue and jaw, you aid memory, build sense, connect to your emotions, and teach your body to be clear. Most speakers I know spend time organizing PowerPoint, making the handouts and collecting the content. Rehearsal? Oops, haven’t got time. Speak the speech out loud to your plants, pets, and passers-by. Give yourself a practice audience where you can get feedback. Join a Toastmaster’s group.
Next, be sure to make it relevant to your listeners. The drama happens in the minds of the audience, not in your sweat glands. Stimulate their imaginations with stories, inspire them with possibilities, and challenge them with opportunities. Create opportunities for interactivity. Get them to talk about their needs.
Here’s a biggy. Train your voice. Actors train their voices so that night after night they can reach the back of the theater with every human emotion. They need to be heard without shouting and keep their voices throughout a long run of a show. A relaxed, powerful, resonant voice creates comfort in the listeners. They are more willing to believe that you are an authority.
Train your body. A self aware body carries itself with ease and uses itself to direct the attention of the audience, rather than tremble and shake. A body that is in front of a crowd takes the heat and experiences the impulses of fight or flight. Training tames those impulses and re-directs the energy to make an impact on your audience. Practices like yoga, tai chi and other forms of martial art generate strength and confidence in your body no matter what subject you speak on.
Decide that you are a performer. That’s right! Give yourself permission to be a great communicator and a dynamic presence. Take it on with no apology. You will notice an instant change from your listeners who will respond with positive feedback and appreciation.
Finally, give 100% of yourself. Hold nothing back and make it life and death. When you have the privilege of speaking to people make it matter. This day is not like any other day because you are in front of the group. Make it a memorable experience for everyone, not simply an information download. Whenever I am preparing a talk I go through this check list to be sure that I am on target and bringing value to my listeners. Try it yourself.
Jesai Jayhmes helps you be at your best when the stakes are the highest. Whether you are speaking to a crowd to inspire them, to your sales team to provide focus, with your spouse to create deeper intimacy, or with your patients to encourage healing you will surely benefit from Jesai’s coaching. He is a master communicator, listener and teacher who has worked with diverse groups and individuals for 30 years. His clients are some of the top seminar presenters, entrepreneurs, teachers in North America. Jesai has also taught at Yale University Theater Studies and the Banff Centre for the Arts. He has given workshops for the faculty at top Universities. His program You Voice Workout has received rave reviews from users and distinguished Jesai as a communications master.
Check him out on the web http://www.yourvoiceworkout.com, and http://www.jesaijayhmes.com email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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