In my last blog post, I looked at the different fears relating to public speaking. Let’s have a look now at the strategies you can use to overcome those fears.
Remember the first step is owning and acknowledging your fear. Everyone gets nervous – you are not alone. In fact, you may find that no-one can actually tell that you have that fear. Their perception of you may be completely different to what you are thinking and feeling.
Fear of the Unknown = Know your audience. Learn as much as you can about your audience. Are they male/female, corporate, business owners, or entrepreneurs? The more you know the more you can shape your words to connect. The more you know the less unknown they are.
Become familiar with where you are speaking and with your equipment. If you know the layout and the position of the equipment you are not walking into a completely strange place.
Ask questions of the event organizer – who is introducing me? When do I need to be there? The more questions you ask, the more knowledge you have the less of fear of the unknown. Handle your nerves by reducing the unknown.
Fear of Rejection = Believe in yourself and your message. Know that you are a subject matter expert. Be comfortable with your knowledge. Accept that the audience wants to hear you; they have come to hear your message.
Be aware of that little voice in your head that says they won’t like me and when it creeps in visualize a big red stop sign. Stop – you are not going to let the fear of rejection overcome you. Wipe out the negative thought and replace it with the positive – they want to hear my message, they are here to hear what I have to say.
Accept that not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is going to resonate with your message however, those that do will be those who will be in the audience. Be comfortable with yourself. It is very empowering when you can accept that not everyone will like you. It’s not rejection – it’s just that your message does not resonate with them at this time.
Fear of Failure = Be prepared. Practice, practice, and practice! The more you practice your presentation the more the speech will become part of you. Don’t try to be word perfect, reduce your speech to key points and stories and speak to those points.
It is okay to make a mistake – to mispronounce a word, forget a word. Just take a deep breath and move on. If you forget a sentence or deliver your points out of synch – don’t apologize just keep on with your presentation. Your audience doesn’t know what you are going to say or in what order so don’t highlight your mistake by apologizing – just continue.
Fear of Success = Visualise your success. Be prepared for success and own it. After all this is what your message and your business was about – to reach people and share it with them.
The more you see yourself succeeding the more comfortable you will be when that happens.
Don’t be selfish. If you let the fear of success stop you from presenting you could be preventing someone in your audience from succeeding. One word, one phrase that you share could be what they need to hear at that time.
Remember to breathe – if you start to feel overwhelmed when presenting and those nerves are making themselves known. Pause, take a breath let your audience feel your message, and then continue.
Don’t forget that Get Out of Jail Card – Smile. When in doubt smile, smile at your audience and they will smile back at you.
The more strategies and techniques you put in place to change your mindset, overcome perceptions and gain knowledge, the more confident you will grow.
Nerves are okay when you know how to make them work for you! Use that adrenaline, grab 60 seconds of insane courage, and wow your audience.
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Multi International Award Winner Speaking Mentor, Coach
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Clients work with Trish because they know she can help them have the confidence and self-belief to leverage their business with speaking and communication. Trish typically works with introverts, authors and advocates helping them to have the confidence to step up and share their message with those who need to hear it. Believe Act Share and become empowered for success become the Influencer you want to be.
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