How do I conquer my fear of public speaking?
In this Is This Mic On? we tackle the question, “How do I conquer my fear of public speaking?” Read on to hear what SNP had to say about clear silence, stance, and volume.
Sorry to Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and Jason Voorhees, but public speaking is my worst nightmare. People (…me) say it’s scarier than death itself. When I stumble on a word or phrase, I can’t seem to move past it. I get flustered, red in the face, and worst of all: sweaty (gross, I know). Behind a screen people couldn’t see my legs trembling, but now that we’re going to a hybrid model my fear is I’ll be at the front of the conference waiting for inevitable doom (think Final Destination). Help!
You’re not alone.
Everyone gets nervous speaking in public. AND almost everyone gets a little sweaty. We’ve gotten used to speaking to a screen. We thought THIS was hard.
Presenting to a sea of squares.
Ever-present distractions – slides, notifications, dogs barking.
But there are some luxuries: the hidden leg tremble, the proximity of a fresh, unsweat soaked shirt.
Both in-person and virtual public speaking have their pros and cons AND both are scary. Sweat, fear, and nerves, mean you care (or you saw a ghost…). You care about presenting well and making your message impactful for your audience.
Polish your in-person speaking skills now to put your public speaking nightmares to bed.
Here’s how you can set yourself up for success.
Silence is a powerful tool.
It might seem counterintuitive, but silence is your best friend. There’s no need to fill every second of your presentation with sound. To do that, make your content succinct. Think headlines and thesis statements so that you can find the end of your sentence – or any punctuation mark. That’s the place to pause.
A good pause helps with three things:
- Gives the audience time to absorb your message
- Let’s you read the room
- Gives you a chance to breathe, collect yourself, and think about what you’re saying next
Embrace the silence and use it to your advantage. If nothing else, you won’t pass out.
Don’t do a bad salsa. Remember your stance.
With in-person presenting, you DO in fact have visible legs, especially if you’re at the front of the conference room. So quit the bad salsa or the anxious pace, and just standstill. It’s easier said than done. Balance your weight and bend your knees, to find a comfortable, stable position.
Press play to quit pacing.
Embracing silence doesn’t mean speaking softly. Increase your volume.
Increasing your volume helps you get out those nerves and channel your energy. You can’t stutter or fidget when you’re putting your focus and energy into your volume. Plus, it will support your enunciation and unlock your gestures and facial expressions.
Watch the video to learn how to get your volume up.
Practice makes permanent
Hybridphobia, you have all the tools you need: silence, volume, and stance. But what it really comes down to is practice.
So put in the reps. If there’s one thing we can learn from horror movie villains, like Jason, Michael, or Freddie, it’s that persistence is key.
So gather your inner circle, practice, and you’ll conquer your fear of public speaking in no time. Worst nightmare be damned.