Public Speaking - my top tips.

Pubic speaking - my top tips. According to most studies people’s number one fear is public speaking. If this is you, you are in good company!

“There are two kinds of speakers. Those who are nervous and those who are liars.” Mark Twain. 

Fear not, we have tools! 

Before you read on, sit tall, take a nice big breath in, then let it out with a big audible sigh. Shrug your shoulders up and then soften them back and down. Relax your face, your jaw and your eyebrow area. Soften your body and smile. 

1. Visualise your ‘best self’. You, at your most confident, calm, and engaging. Hold this image in place as you plan and prepare for the event. 

2. Express gratitude. First silently to yourself for having this privilege in life, then to your organiser and to your audience. Tell yourself well done for having earned this honour. People want to gather to listen to your words! 

3. Stand tall. Lengthen the crown of your head up and take the tips of your ears up and back slightly. Take a moment to bring yourself to Tad Asana, mountain pose, and root your feet into the earth to maintain a sense of strength and stability in the body. If you feel nervous or shaky, press the feet down into the earth more.  

4. Lightly lift the centre of your upper chest. This relaxes the shoulders back and down, it expands the chest area giving you more breath for the projection of your voice, and it gives you better posture; you will be perceived by your audience as being confident but relaxed. 

5. Relax the jaw, the temples, the frown and the skin on your whole entire face. If necessary, yawn or stretch out the face with facial expressions first. Let your resting, neutral expression be one that is relaxed and calm, maybe even with a bit of a smile to express your happiness at the privilege of being a speaker at the occasion! 

6. Before you start your speech stand tall, make eye contact around the room, smile and command a presence of authority.

7. Take a few slow, deep breaths before you speak, consciously grounding and relaxing. 

8. When you begin, speak a little louder and a little slower than you usually do. Adjust that gradually to find your natural pace and rhythm as you go along, keeping it all a little slower and clearer than your normal speech pattern. But nothing too forced, ideally as you are as close to your normal talking voice as you can be. 

9. Keep the chest lifted and your expression bright as you talk to emit a positive energy. 

10. An occasional short pause is a very effective tool to capture attention, create suspense or emphasise a point. Or simply pause for a breath as you need to. 

11. An occasional smile, or even a spontaneous joke if it’s appropriate, is a great way to keep interest and positivity in the room. 

12. As soon as possible afterwards, in writing, note: What went well? What didn’t go well? What will I do different the next time? 

13. Be prepared to smile at your mistakes, to laugh if there’s a mis-hap and to enjoy every moment.

 

Sylvia Ferguson1 Comment