Do you ever feel the ground disappear under you when you have to open your mouth to speak in public? Does your body and voice shake? Do you stop breathing, get dizzy, and feel anxious?
You are NOT ALONE!
In fact, public speaking is rated as one of the top two fears people have. Can you guess what the other is? Other people!
Allow me to conquer that one first. What do people care about the most? Believe it or not, themselves! Knowing that immediately frees one from seeking approval. There is no need for that fear. Of course knowing that and absorbing it organically are two distinct things. Hence Stage Fright!
Here are some simple tips to help you conquer stage fright.
Preparation for your Speech
– Know your material as well as you possibly can. Speaking on a subject you are passionate about is the best way to go. You will exude natural enthusiasm when you love a topic. That authenticity connects with your audience big or small.
– Many speakers also use bullet points or power-point presentations to guide them along. That provides the audience with visual aids and makes for a more interesting presentation.
– Prepare your power stance or warrior- pose: Here we stand with our eyes closed and recall a winning moment. A huge YES! When we have it securely in our mind and capture the feeling, we express it with a physical gesture, stamping our feet one at a time with our legs hip distance apart, for example. This programs one to recall that feeling every time the power stance is repeated.
– Spend some time thinking about the purpose of your speech and how that may benefit others. This will allow you to take the focus away from self and focus on the service you are here to provide.
Now that you know your material, have prepared your presentation, have your power stance set and know the service your are providing, you are ready to create it before you even step onto that stage. Begin by thinking about how you would like it to look, how the audience will respond and how you will ideally feel. What is the ideal situation for you? What is the ultimate outcome?
Now that you have that together, go to a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Sit or lie with your back straight. This will allow your channels to open to your creative source of inspiration. With your back straight, breathe in as much air as you can, slowly and gently and breathe out. Keep this going without a pause. Imagine air going through your whole body, from tip to toe in a perfect circle.
Focusing on your breath, begin now to imagine your speech from the very beginning. Visualize yourself getting ready, travelling there easily and effortlessly, finding parking easily and being on stage feeling open and completely relaxed. Imagine the audience responding to you positively and the love you exude coming back to you. Then imagine your outcome and feel the gratitude for your experience.
Open your eyes and come back to the room giving thanks. The only other thing to do now is to choose your wardrobe and decide on hair and make up if you are female. You have already set the scene, now able to relax in full trust.
At The Event
– As you prepare to go on stage, set your Intention to perform brilliantly and to help your audience, achieving your outcome. You may do this by beginning with “I intend to.” and finishing with your Intention.
– Though event organisers usually take care of technical requirements, it is always best to ensure everything is working for your own peace of mind.
– Check your material, wardrobe, hair, and makeup. It should represent your brand, presenting you at your best.
– Warm your voice. There are voice exercises you can do to relax your face and warm your vocal cords so that you may project your voice and articulate your statements. One of these exercises requires that you sound mmm continually breathing from your diaphragm. If you do this correctly you will feel a vibration. Vocal warm ups is in a future post.
Now remember your Power Stance? The minute before you launch yourself on stage stamp your feet on the ground with that YES feeling. This will help put you in the right frame of mind and help you claim your ground.
You Are On!
– Feel your nerves come up? Take your time, look at your audience, connect with them eye to eye and breathe! You can channel your nerves into creative expression. Use them. The important ingredient here is that you breathe.
– Use three points on stage to travel to and from. Usually it is either side of the stage and the middle.
– If you are speaking from a lectern, ensure you address the entire audience with your eyes
– Connect with the audience with a joke
– Divulging your feelings sometimes brings the audience closer to you. Do not however, make excuses, such as the accident you had on the way for example
– Any time nerves come up, all you need do is remember the service you are here to provide and how you are helping. That will remove the focus from you. Reminding yourself to breathe is vital also.
– Smile, smile and smile.
– If you experience technical difficulties, just apologies, even make a little joke, it happens to everyone.
– People like people they can relate to, it’s ok to be human.
There you have it! You now have all the ingredients to conquer any public speaking fears. Practice makes perfect. The more you practice these tools the easier it will become. If you meditate regularly, you may experience a total connection with everyone and everything around you. If and when you get to that stage, being on stage or in front of people will not make a difference to you at all. I wish you amazing Success!
The Inspiration Genie is here to Unleash Your Full Expression. She is an Author, Speaker, Coach, with a successful acting career behind her, starring in several of Australia’s popular shows. For more information, courses and coaching, please visit www.tulatzoras.com