Speaking in public is one of the biggest fears people have. Some of the reasons include:
Everyone will laugh at me.
I’ll sound like a fool, or an idiot.
I’ll make a mistake.
I’ll get asked something I won’t have the answer to.
I’ll try to make a joke and no one will laugh.
People will be bored; they’ll be on their phones.
Someone will put my mistake on social media.
If you want to sound better when you speak in public (in any setting) follow these tips.
TIPS: Practice, practice, practice. You absolutely will not get better without consistent practice.
Do short drills. In my ALL IN Social Club we do quick-burst debates. Each person gets handed a topic (e.g. Apples, Movies, Health, etc.) and they have 10 seconds to collect their thoughts and then 30 seconds to present their views on the topic. Then the group provides immediate feedback.
Learn from your mistakes: Write down what went wrong and then work on overcoming those mistakes in your next opportunity.
Think like a warrior: Believe that you will rock this speech & this moment. Don’t internalize the idea that you’re somehow not good enough or worthy enough to be on stage speaking in public. Don’t surrender your potential to these ingrained gender ideas! Before you speak visualize yourself totally succeeding and everyone in the audience responding well.
Video-tape yourself and review: Now that everyone has a smart phone it’s easy to get immediate feedback on how you look & sound. Ask others for feedback. How is your tone, eye contact, hand gestures, and pacing?
Beware of fillers: Eliminate phrases such as “um, you know” “ahh” “oh” ”you know what I mean?” “So.” Silence is always better than fillers.
Get over the fact that you’ll fail at some point. Yes your speeches will suck sometimes, but the bigger issue is what will you do about that?
Don’t become invisible just because you made a mistake or failed at something. Keep pushing forward. Keep putting yourself out there, keep taking risks, it’s the only way.
Take every opportunity to speak up. Ask a question in class or in a meeting. Disagree with something, voice your opinion. Practice, practice, practice.