Becoming Comfortable as a Public Speaker
By: Jane Gustafson, Account Coordinator
Picture this: You are actively experiencing one of the world’s most feared situations. Your hands are clenched together, anxiety is flowing through your veins, and you feel your face turning a deep shade of red. Your body begins to viscerally express the fear inside your mind. What universal experience causes this fear? Public speaking. If this extremely common fear resonates with you, I encourage you to continue reading.
While public speaking might come naturally to some, for most people it is a finely honed skill. Maintaining composure while simultaneously presenting information to a room full of people is a skill that can be obtained by following three tips.
First, in order to decrease levels of panic, one must calm their mind. It is beneficial to perform deep breathing techniques in the minutes preceding a public speaking experience. Deep breathing grounds the body, turns off fight-or-flight mode, and reminds us that we have no need to be afraid.
The second tip is quite simple: Visualize success. The human brain is complex; however, it is also quite easy to trick. Our inward thoughts and visualizations tend to manifest externally in our actions. It can be valuable to close your eyes for five minutes, visualize yourself perfectly executing your speech, and soak up all the good feelings that accompany a well-executed speech. This visualization is helpful to use when falling asleep the night before a public speaking experience.
The third and final public speaking tip is something you have probably heard before — prepare thoroughly. In order for this tip to be effective, one must utilize the two previously stated tips. Do not just prepare the speech, prepare yourself. Familiarize yourself with the audience and the room in which you will be speaking. Equip yourself with a positive mindset, mindful breathing techniques, and successful visualizations. A well-prepared speech means nothing if the person presenting the speech is unprepared.
In closing, if you consistently practice these three tips, you are bound to become a better public speaker!