They say the nation comes to a stand still for the Melbourne Cup. Millions of people around the world watch the race on TV, listen on the radio or for a lucky few, are able to dress up and attend the event. Before the race, the nerves of the horse owners, trainers and jockeys must be on a knife edge. We mere mortals, who bet on the outcome have dry mouths and hold our breath until the very end – hoping against hope that it’s our day to celebrate.
For some of us, it’s not a dissimilar experience to public speaking. Just before you go out in front of the crowd, your nerves are on a knife edge, you have a dry mouth, you want a great outcome and you’re probably holding your breath! Confidence is often a little lacking.
Well, here’s five tips to help make public speaking easier for you:
#1 Know your topic
I know this sounds like Public Speaking 101 and it should be. Knowing your topic back to front gives you an inner satisfaction that no matter what happens or whatever is question is asked, you’ve got it covered
#2 Practice, Practice, Practice
Ah, Public Speaking 101a do I hear you say? Well, you would be right. But have you noticed that when you practice, you often sound flat and uninspiring. You put it down to the fact you are practicing and all will be fine at the time. Here’s a tip I read somewhere and I found it extraordinarily helpful. Buy books like In Our Time – The speeches that shaped the modern world and Speeches that changed the world. Pick a speech you know and read it out loud, then read it again with more passion and then do it again. Choose another – get the idea? It teaches you rhythm and passion.
#3 Speak in stories
We’re wired to learn by stories, it’s happened since we were children. Whatever points you feel are particularly important – weave a story around it.
#4 Less is more
When we’re passionate about something we want to tell people every little detail about it. Like anything stylish – less is more.
#5 And the final tip – Breathe
Nerves are natural but to manage the pounding heart and dry mouth, remember to keep breathing.
Pop your content around these 5 points and smile throughout, your confidence will soar and when you hit the finish line, you’ll feel like a winner.
Good luck but I don’t think you’ll need it!
Glenise is the Chief Confidence Chick at Self Confident Women, a personal development company helping women around the world create a better life. She is also the Director of SR Group Pty Ltd, a training and development consultancy assisting corporate companies.