Most people have either had a bad experience with public speaking or have avoided getting up in front of an audience fearing that they may be rejected for one reason or another. In either case the mere thought of getting up in front of an audience and failing or feeling like the audience is scrutinizing their presentation is very daunting. So how does one get over this public speaking fear or how I like to call it –“perceived fear” because all or most of this is in your head? Remember the first thing is that the audience is “your audience” and you are the presenter which means you are in control. The audience is listening to you as they see you as an authority; this may be hard to believe but is true the only person that is the harshest critic is yourself. Ok this is simple to say but how do you get over being your own critic? How do you realize confidence before you step on stage? The answer is knowing some basic fundamentals before you speak and feeling comfortable with not only who you are but the way you will deliver content that will be delivering and using a formula that will give you the assurance that your presentation is being well received. Remember 90% of your nervousness does not show to your audience.
First of all let’s talk content. Is it relevant to the audience and will the audience gains from your presentation. If you feel that your content will be of value to your audience then you have the first step down and you should feel confident that your material is being well received. You can test this by posing rhetorical questions for audience buy in. Let’s back up a second though… The design of the presentation will give you even more self assurance because you will have a sort of script to follow this alone will give you as a speaker great confidence.
You can attend a public speaking workshop to be able to learn to design your presentation, but I will give you a little insight. First of all make sure that your title is presented as “solution” to/for your audience that way you have their undivided attention at the beginning of the presentation. Trust me when you feel you have your audience focused on your topic at the onset of your presentation this will give you the confidence right off the bat. Then you will go into the body of the presentation, this is where you will have the opportunity to back up your solution (title).Once gain, a good public speaking workshop will be able to teach you how to design a good body with the major points of focus. For example you will want to use no more than 3 points and you will back each point up with some evidence or a factual account. The presentation does not end after you have finished with the last point. This is where you have the opportunity to close your audience. You will review or recap your presentation points and then tie them back into the title which was or is your solution.
When participants who take public speaking workshops learn this they become very confident and effective with their presentations and if you choose to take a public speaking class you will eliminate your fear of rejection and never be afraid to speak in public again.