One of the most feared responsibilities in the workplace is public speaking. The responsibility to talk an audience through your presentation, to entertain and engage them while also conveying facts, and trying to fight that impostor syndrome every step of the way can be quite a difficult thing to do, not least because any mistake you make is often inspected closely by many, at least it certainly feels that way under the spotlight.
However, should public speaking really be that terrifying? If you hope to progress up the ladder of the firm you work at, or if you hope to present your own business to a reliable degree, perhaps it should be seen as the next challenge to overcome, and the next skill to build, rather than a dragon ready to eat you up.
Consider these tips to help you lessen your public speaking fears, and to grow in competence in no time at all:
- Practice. Like anything, practice makes perfect. Choosing to recite your speech in front of a large group of your friends can help, and so can asking to do so in front of understanding members of the office. You may decide to join an amateur dramatics group or Toastmasters for a few weeks to potentially hone your skills, and learn to project your voice. Funnily enough, exercising and meditation can help build your confidence, and as such help you continually get out of your head. Practice makes perfect, especially in challenging requirements, and, therefore, there is probably no better effort than this to familiarize yourself with your presentation.
- Jump in the deep end. Jumping in the deep end and just going for it can help build skill like nothing else. They call this real on-the-job training, perhaps the most prominent example of it. Try to go for small presentation opportunities, like asking your boss if you can present the weekly plan to practice for the main event. They’ll appreciate your initiative. The secret? You’re never going to feel one hundred percent comfortable in front of an audience, but you can certainly feel 95% less anxious. Just like any fear you will face in life, exposure to that fear is often the best remedy bar none. When the trade event 2018 comes for you and your business, you will be prepared and excited to show them what you have.
- Power stance! Just as our thoughts influence how we physically present to the world (such as fear making us hide and curl up,) the opposite is true. If you use dominant power stances, such as standing with your shoulders back and your back straight, and directly keeping your head held high, as well as using the most amount of comfortable space your body can, you automatically tell yourself you are of high status in that environment, and as such your thoughts and emotions will start to change to reflect that. Body language is everything on stage. Remember that, and you’ll start using your body as an ally, not something that weakens with your thinking.
With these simple tips, public speaking will be much less terrifying than you initially envisioned it.
This post contains contributed content.