Do butterflies attack your stomach each time you’re about to speak? Tired of standing on stage, gripped by fear and paralysed by nervousness?
How would you like to be able to go through the entire presentation, or speak before a crowd with fear firmly at the back of your mind?
In this very first edition, I’m going to share with everyone some tips and strategies which I employ to calm those frayed and frazzled nerves.
The following are 10 tips to help you overcome stage fright.
F - Focus on your most powerful Experience
Think about the your most memorable and powerful experience. Was it the day your wife agreed to marry you? The day your kid told the world that you were the best mom/dad in the whole wide world? The day your partner agreed to go out with you?
Or how about the day you pulled off that great project – a project that few believed you could pull off?
Relive your most powerful experience and feel the confidence and power flow through your veins again.
Speak with this power in your heart.
E - Energize Yourself
You’ve adrenaline pumping through your veins. Your heart is racing and your muscles are all tensed up. Your eyes are shifty and you are unsettled. You are ready to bolt for the door… or are you?
An adrenaline rush is a built-in defence mechanism for human beings. It is a natural response mechanism that allows us to fight or take flight in the event of danger. That explains the heightened sensitivity we have when we are nervous and excited.
My suggestion for handling this adrenaline rush anxiety involves harnessing this nervous energy and make it work for you! You see, many people tend to suppress this nervous energy and bolt themselves to the ground instead of running away. This suppression causes them to shake and tremble because they are consciously fighting against their subconscious tendency to run away!
So, how can we harness this nervous energy for the benefit of our presentations?
MOVE AROUND! Is there really a need to bolt yourself to the ground? I’ve found that walking around the room and gentle gesticulating from time to time allows me to dissipate my nervous energy.
A - Acknowledge Your Fears
I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a thousand times. Fear is here to protect us, not paralyse us. Don’t run away from being afraid! Acknowledge it as being part of you… use it to identify the possible pitfalls, then work to plug those loopholes that may most likely (you can’t plug all… can you?) go wrong during your presentation.
Being prepared and the knowledge that you’ve covered most angles will prepare you and leave you assured that things will go to plan. And if they don’t, then at least you’re all ready to execute Plan B anyway!
R - Relax… BREATHE!
Take deep breathes and Regulate your breathing! Let the breathing regulate and calm your heart rate!
B - Believe in Your Value!
You’ve got to believe in the value of your message!
Know that your presentation has the potential to change lives! Your words are powerful and can impact lives in more ways than one!
This best works together with Point T below.
U - Understand the Audience
Understand that the audience are here to hear you succeed! They’re here for value and they want you to succeed! They’re not here to sabotage you, or poke fun at you… they’re here to listen to you speak!
You have something they want! You are the god for the moment. Their leader and source of information… and only you can satisfy them. You can make them laugh and fulfil their deepest desires…
YOU ARE POWERFUL!
S - Smile!
Studies have proven that changing one’s physiology will have a pronounced impact on one’s mental state.
These means that, if you slouch and look down and drag your feet most of the time, chances are you’ll be feeling depressed and low most of the time.
Conversely, if you were to quicken your pace, dig in your heels and run around (like your two year old nephew/niece), chances are you’ll be feeling on top of the world!
Smile and pretend that you’re enjoying yourself. Soon enough, your body will tell your brain that you’re happy… and before you know it, fear will be drowning at the back of your head by Little Miss Sunshine! =)
T - Talk to Yourself
Many people will begin telling themselves how they can’t do it and various reasons why they will not be able to speak properly.
Tell yourself that you will be able to do a good job and let yourself in on the reasons why you can.
One of the best ways you can find reasons of why you can succeed is by asking yourself questions like:
“What do I know that they don’t?”
“Have the audience got my experience?”
“What can I offer these people that my competitors can’t?”
Know your niche and build it up. Then share it. You’ll be amazed how many people will pay to learn from you those specialised skills, knowledge and experience which you’ve built up over time!
E - Enjoy Yourself!
Get out on the stage and seek to have fun! Let your hair down and allow your mischievous side to rule for awhile! This will be a great strength if you’re preparing yourself to take up the role as Emcee for a Dinner and Dance event.
R - Rejoice!
Many people begin visualising their worst case scenario as they ready themselves to speak.
Well, I’m ready to counter that!
I want you to visualise yourself victorious at the end of the presentation. Think of the amount of gratitude your audience will have for you sharing such important information with them! Think about the smiles and laughter which you would have created?
Hey, if Mr Negativity can get you to think about the worst case scenario, then I will implore you to summon Mr Positivity to provide you with images of encouragement!
Granted it, the outcome may not resemble 100% as depicted by both Mr N and Mr P, but if you’re going to think about these things anyway, I’d suggest you think about something that EMPOWERS YOU, not Paralyses you!
Well, there you have it! My first edition of 10 tips to help you overcome the fear of public speaking!
Try it out and let me know how well they work for you!
Live with passion!
Speak with life!