Leaked: 3 Stage Fright Killers…
Don was shaking, his face bright red.
His audience were silent. Some of them looking at Don. Most looking at the floor or anything else that would take their attention away from the train wreck taking place before them.
Don hated public speaking. He hadn’t wanted to do this presentation. In fact, he’d fought hard against it. His boss had won the fight. He’d convinced Don that getting used to speaking in public was important for his career.
Following the meeting with his boss, Don spent the next three days panicking. What was he going to say to his audience? How would he remember his lines? Were they going to judge him? Were they going to laugh at him? Worry, anxiety, no sleep.
Now he was on stage. Everything he had worried about was now reality. Don could feel his face burning as he struggled to remember what to say and form coherent sentences.
He turned around to his slides and read off a couple of bullet points to his audience. He started to feel a little more comfortable now he was looking at the slides. Yes, this felt better. Despite the occasional sigh from the spectators Don continued reading bullet points.
Have you ever had an experience like this? Public speaking is a challenge for everyone. Stage fright is killer. Worry about how to remember your lines and all the mistakes you might make can keep you awake at night.
Following are the 3 stage fright killers you can implement right now to be more confident and remember what to say.
1. Become a subject matter expert
You know the problem with most business presentations? They are delivered by people who have only a basic understanding of their material. As a result of not knowing the material very well, presenters cause themselves unnecessary stress trying to remember scripts line by line. Worse still, they cause their audiences stress by reading bullet points to them.
Solve the stress by becoming a subject matter expert. The better you understand your topic, the easier it will be to talk about it. If you have to deliver a presentation next week, make sure you understand the subject matter deeply before you start preparing.
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2. Involve the audience
Those first few seconds in the spotlight can be a nightmare! You walk on stage trying to remember what to say while the audience stares back expectantly. The anxiety you experience here is the result of being “the focus.”
To relieve your anxiety, make a plan to involve the audience. Have a question prepared in advance related to your subject matter. When you first walk out on stage, ask the question. This removes the focus from yourself momentarily. It allows you to collect your thoughts and become more comfortable on stage.
3. Embrace mistakes
Accepting that mistakes will happen is a great way of becoming more comfortable on stage. A lot of our anxiety is rooted in our misguided focus of trying to be perfect. When you accept mistakes will happen, the anxiety disappears.
When you make a mistake or forget something most audiences won’t notice. The people who do notice probably won’t care anyway.
Keep these 3 stage fright killers in mind the next time you are preparing to deliver a presentation. You’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed and confident you become.