Do these 3 things to help control your nerves when speaking in public.
It has been said that some fear it more than the risk of death.
Even if this is not the case in our case, the feeling of butterflies in the stomach can be uncomfortable to say the least, when facing an audience. Even in the “new normal” of an online presentations world, facing a Zoom gallery of 10, 20 or even a 100 online listeners can be daunting, knowing as we do that they are watching and listening to our every facial expression and word. Or maybe… they are not! Even worse, we fear that we might be boring them into engaging with their phones, instead of listening to our message.
There are many techniques for overcoming or controlling our nerves, if not eliminate them permanently (this last objective might not be entirely possible). However here I am proposing 3 ways in the sense of Habits, or Mind Sets, which I have found to help steady our Public Speaking nerves.
Here they are.
1. Focus your attention on your Message, not your performance.
Instead of thinking about how you are doing, how your performance is going, focus on what it is you want your audience to know or do, or both. In other words, avoid thinking about you – think about them, how are they doing in “getting you”, getting what you are endeavouring to convey to them.
2. Involve your audience
Ask questions, rhetorical or otherwise. If speaking virtually, get the audience to reply via the chat, if not also vocally. Once you have a dialogue going, it will feel more like a conversation and you will feel more confident in knowing what they are thinking. Again it takes your mind off yourself and your performance, back to your message.
3. Speak in public as often as possible
For the nerves to calm down or become more controllable in a stressful situation, we need to do that something often. Through practice a situation becomes more familiar and our comfort zone expands to accommodate it.
This is why joining a Toastmasters Club makes sense. You can get in front of a live audience often, stand up and speak (or sit down too, if it’s an online meeting, if that helps initially) and practice your public speaking in a supportive and safe environment. You will know your audience is on your side, wanting you to succeed; you receive a helpful evaluation to assist with your progress, after each speaking assignment – so you can do better each time.
And joining a Toastmasters Club does not break the bank!
Why not contact Tube Talk Toastmasters for details, or visit us at one of our meetings as our guest, free of charge? We’re online, so you are as close to us as your nearest Internet connection. Hit the Contact Us menu link above, get to experience the 3 ways to control your nerves in Public Speaking, in action, for yourself!
Post by: Massimo
Vice President Education and Membership 2020-21
Immediate Past President
Tube Talk Toastmasters Club