by Dave Gilman
“There are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars.”
― Mark Twain
Most of us can reduce our anxiety of public speaking and increase our confidence by avoiding a few poor habits, while incorporating some helpful tips to reducing public speaking nervousness:
1. Don’t Expect Perfection from Yourself
One of the keys to public speaking success: to keep going gracefully. The audience will never know most of your mistakes, unless you halt your speech, break down, and confess them. Carry on with poise. Give yourself permission not to be perfect.
2. Avoid Equating Public Speaking to Your Self-Worth
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably a successful professional who has worked hard to get to where you are today. Public speaking is only a small part of your overall professional ability. If you’re not confident at it, there are many ways to help you improve. Whether you’re good at public speaking or not has nothing to do with your value as a person. It’s simply a skill that you can learn and become better at with practice.
3. Avoid Being Nervous About Your Nervousness
Nervousness is our adrenaline flowing, that’s all. It’s a form of energy. Successful speakers know how to make this energy work for them, and turn nervousness into enthusiasm, engagement, and charisma. They have fun with it. It’s okay to be nervous. Make the energy work for you.
4. Avoid Trying to Memorize Every Word
Attempting to memorize every word will simply increase stress, and cause greater nervousness if the sequence of the words you’re trying to memorize goes amiss.
5. Avoid Reading Word for Word
Dry reading disseminates information, often at the risk of the audience tuning out. Speaking is creating an impact with your content and personality, so that not only is your message understood, your professional profile rises. I will provide more tips in the future on how to memorize your speech, but not word for word. Donna Denio’s speech tip presented at a recent meeting was right on point and worth trying too.