Has there ever been a time in your life where you were asked to stand in front of a group of people and present? What was the feeling you experienced just before presenting? I recall the first time I was asked to speak in front of a group of people like it was yesterday. My heart used to pound so hard where I felt that it would leap out of my chest at any moment. I remember time seemed to go by so so slow, and I would experience difficulty in getting my point across; and no matter how hard I tried, my arms and legs would not listen to my instructions. There were even times where my entire body would seize up and I would stand there looking like a statue. Have you ever experienced anything like this before?
Speaking in front of an audience is considered one of the biggest fears most people have; and through modelling some of the biggest and best names in the public speaking game, and practicing over and over again, I have been able to understand what is required to present successfully and with ease.
Step 1: Belief: The best presenters in the world have a tremendous amount of belief in themselves and what they are talking about; this is by far the most important step to come to terms with. When I am training or coaching someone on how to be a “Public Speaker/Presenter” the first thing I always do is see where their belief system currently is and see what is required to instill confidence within them.
Some tips to use in order to increase your confidence are as follows. Some great speakers become extremely familiar with the material they are going to present; for once it’s wired within their memory pattern, they can then concentrate on how they are going to say it rather then what they are going to say. Some belief’s great speakers adopt are that no matter what they have to say or how they say it, people will sincerely want to listen to them. Also, when every great speaker walks into the room, they instantly believe that the audience will want to know what they have to say and that no matter how they say it the end will result in everyone understanding what was said.
Step 2: Physiology: Your body language and internal state are both extremely important when presenting on stage. It would be of value to use the proper gestures and hand movements that are appropriate to the situation you are discussing. This means putting yourself in the right emotional state beforehand. When I go on stage, it is important to me that I put myself in a high energetic state over and over again. So that when I come on stage, I can instantly assume a state of calmness. By doing such, it allows me to become more aware of my internal and external physiology.
Step 3: Purpose: Knowing what your outcome is before you begin is extremely important; Great speakers are always clear with what their purpose is. Knowing what you want to achieve in your presentation will set your brain to act like an arrow and move you towards that outcome; only if you are clear with your purpose.
Step 4: Building Rapport with the audience: I know speakers who are experts in subject matter and are extremely clear with what they want, yet they don’t know how to bond with an audience. Great Speakers understand the importance of connecting with the audience and tend to accomplish this feat within the first two to five minutes. This is critical, for without connecting with the audience, there is a good chance that your message will not get across.
Step 5: Have Fun: Having fun, no matter what you are doing, is my philosophy in life; and the Best Speakers and presenters have this uncanny ability to just go on stage and have a great time. I discovered that the best way to have fun on stage is by just being yourself. It took me many attempts to understand what being myself on stage truly meant, yet once I was able to do so, speaking in front of an audience has become one of my favorite things to do in life.
Delve deeper into each step and learn to have fun while speaking as I did. For you really can’t place a price tag on the feeling that you get when you are aligned with a group of people and having fun doing so.