If you work in management, then there are going to be many skills you will need to master if you want to become a better corporate leader. Chances are, you will be asked to get in front if your workers or peers and deliver a presentation which means that you must work on your public speaking skills.
But for some, this can feel quite overwhelming especially if you have not had much practice. One of the most common issues people struggle with is fear and anxiety which can cause a great deal of stress and make it difficult for some to advance in their career.
But did you know that even some of the top business speakers struggled with stage fright? From powerhouses like Ariana Huffington to Richard Branson, they have all had to overcome their fear of speaking in front of people. Like any new skill, it just takes a little practice and the ability to be humble while going through the learning process.
Overcoming Your Fear
An interesting speech that captivates the audience will reduce the stress and anxiety of the public speaker.
How is this done? First, consider the audience. What do they already know of the subject? Can this be built upon somehow instead of just telling them what they already know? Can a new angle be presented, or a viewpoint previously unconsidered? Could the complex subject be explained with unparalleled clarity and simplicity?
Know Your Subject Matter
Of course, speakers will need to know their subject inside out, and appreciate its worth, if they are to effectively communicate its value to others. If the speaker is bored, the audience will follow.
As well, the presenter will need to break the subject down into theme, main points, and sub-points for a coherent speech that has a logical development. Once the orator is confident in the subject matter much of the public speaking anxiety will be alleviated.
According to many leadership speakers, once you understand and master your material, your fears will quickly dissipate because your confidence of the subject matter will supersede any doubts you may have.,
Next, pepper the speech with a variety of teaching techniques. Can one of the points be expounded upon with a concise and true story? Could one of the sub-points be highlighted with an illustration that the audience is familiar with? Are thought provoking questions raised that make the audience think, making them feel part of a mental conversation?
Preparing Your Speech
Not to be forgotten are the beginning and the ending of the speech. Does the introduction grab the audience with a powerful statement or view that engages them well into the body of the talk? What of the conclusion? Is it more than a mere summary of facts? Does it weave the points together with convincing and powerful statements and a call to action?
Have Good Notes
Many erroneously feel that practicing a written speech word for word will create a dynamic speech that will lessen stress since each word is memorized. Such fallacious thinking only exacerbates the anxiety.
The way people write and the manner in which they speak are very different. Chances are, a well rehearsed manuscript will sound forced and unnatural. How much better it is to give the illusion of an extemporaneous speech full of life and conviction. One can only imagine the stress caused on the brain by trying to remember the exact wording of the talk, as well as the boredom of the audience with a canned presentation.
Don’t Memorize Your Speech
That is not to say the speech should be unrehearsed, but it has more to do with the manner in which it is rehearsed. Focus on key thoughts and ideas. Visualize the subject and know it thoroughly. Once this has been achieved, only a few sparse notes need be present to jog the memory and mouth into a thunderous delivery. Memorization of words is what creates the most stress and surprisingly a lack of fluency. When the brain has the key idea in mind, the words will flow much more naturally and with surprising power.
A technique to help in this regard is a mind-map which is a personalized drawing technique that utilizes how the brain functions in the creation of an outline. Colors, patterns, pictures, and thought groups can all be used to remind the brain of key points and to remove impediments between the emotions, brain, and mouth. Brief notes are also acceptable to help a public speaker overcome his phobia as long as they are just that: brief.
Getting Ready to Deliver a Powerful Speech
When the presenter has put much effort into being personally moved by his topic and has found an interesting angle to present it, he can begin creating an outline. The script or mind map should be brief and help the individual recall the theme, main points, illustrations, facts, experiences, and questions to be delivered within the speech.
With careful preparation before the on-stage discourse, people can learn to become a better speaker at work making you a better leader.