Absolutely! Being able to speak publicly can just rock. I hear you groaning already. We’ve both heard, public speaking is Public Fear #1. #2, Death. If you had to pick one over the other, would you really prefer to be, well, dead, instead of talking to your friends?
Therein lies the real rub, doesn’t it? When you think of public speaking, do you view it as speaking to your friends? Or, are you nervous over what they think of you; the stains under your arms; or, whether you shaved closely enough for the cameras? For most, it is the latter.
In the being of total honesty, I am not saying this is always easy. I get the jitters, nerves, and anxiety too. But what I am saying here helps. A lot. And, it’s important!
My experience has shown me that the only way to improve my comfort level—and deliver better overall—is to change my mindset. It is important to realize that your audience did not come just to see you. In most cases, they could probably care less. Yes, it might be nice to see the person on the marquee. But that is not why they spent the big bucks to be in the chairs in front of you.
Your attendees, if only for the hour you have them, are willing to be your friends. They are there because they are looking for something. It might be information. It might be to be enlightened, inspired, motivate. The reason can be any of a thousand different reasons.
As speaker, your job is to do your best to deliver on their expectations. If you are speaking at a technology conference, there is a good chance they are looking to learn something about [whatever] technology underlies the event theme. It is your job to do your best to deliver something of value to them.
To do this successfully, you need to completely change any self-centered mindset completely around. You need to focus all of you on them!
Focusing on your attendees decreases your anxiety. And, better yet, focusing on what they need, why they spent $$ to be in the seats in front of you, means you are going to deliver a better product (your speech) then would ever be possible otherwise.
For more ideas, take a look a 15 Ways You Can Be a Better Speaker.
When we attend presentations, we experience some that leave us cold. Some leave us warm. Others we absolutely love or…at the very least…enjoyed if only because we connected with the speaker. Audience engagement can only be found when you are presenting for them. It also makes it a lot more fun for everyone.
If you do not already, try applying these ideas in your next presentation. If you don’t have one planned, find a way to speak somewhere. Then leave a comment below and let us know what you thought about the experience.
Bonus tip: Don’t take yourself to seriously. Do your best to loosen up. After the opening 5 minutes, you will realize something: “Hey, nobody is throwing any sticks or stones at me…this is actually fun!”
Engage JT for Business & Public Speaking.
In-post: JT Pedersen
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