You tell me not to be nervous, but there they all are
looking right at me!"
That perspective only brings pain: turning panic into poise
requires an attitude adjustment.
Good public speaking is 7 parts attitude and 3 parts technique.
Here are a few attitude pointers that can make speaking
Appreciate the opportunity to speak.
Attitude starts the moment someone asks you (tells you)
to speak. "I'll be glad to" will take you much farther towards
your goal of painless speaking than a groan and grimace.
It's never about you.
It's always about helping the audience. The quicker you
realize the audience doesn't care about you (not in the
way we think they do) that they're only interested in what
you can do for them, the quicker you'll feel poised and
Focus on the benefit to your audience.
Immediately identify how this topic will help this audience.
Why do they need to hear it? Even if you've been asked to
speak so they can judge your speaking ability, find a reason
the audience needs the information. It's never about you.
Organize w/ audience in mind.
If it's not about you, then it's not about telling the audience
everything you know or about impressing them. Find out what
they need to know to satisfy their situation and make their
lives better and organize around that. You'll feel like
you're having a conversation and offering value to their
lives and not like they're focused on you.
Recognize audience focus
Just like you, when your audience arrives they've got other
things on their minds. And when they do get around to thinking
about your presentation, it's more along the lines of "I
wonder if I'll be bored." "I wonder if I'll get anything
out of this that I can use." And even if they notice you're
having a bad hair day, they don't really care. They're just
glad it's not them.
Take your time getting started
Give yourself time to breathe and focus. Remind yourself
they're not staring at you. They're looking in your direction
from habit, while focusing on themselves and their needs.
It ain't over til it's over
Two sentences before the end it's easy to think, "I'm almost
through." Resist that temptation. You're not finished until
you're in the car on the way home. Any deviation from that
will start you thinking it's about you, and wondering how
to get out of there. To stay poised and feeling in control,
stay focused on what you're there for, what you want them
to do, and how they'll benefit from it.
For more information, contact:
Barbara Rocha and Associates
PO Box 60521, Pasadena, California 91116