Would you like to be a better public speaker?
Do you sometimes wonder what it would take for you to become a more confident presenter and public speaker?
At Mindful Presenter we believe that we all have everything we need to connect with confidence, clarity and purpose each time we speak.
Whether you are presenting to your colleagues in a team meeting, your management team at your monthly update or speaking to clients, the one thing we need to connect with our audience is already within our gift.
It’s our mind
I believe that it was the late George Bernard Shaw who once said that, “Two percent of the people think; three percent of the people think they think; and ninety-five percent of the people would rather die than think.”
For me that statement represents a challenge for each of us to pause for a few moments to think about the way we think. It seems to me that what Mr Shaw may have been trying to say is that most of us think that we think, but do we really?
The route to success in becoming a better public speaker is simple but not easy
If you have the courage and presence of mind to take the journey you will find yourself connecting with and inspiring fellow human beings in a way you never imagined possible.
The following 3 steps will set you on your way to becoming a better public speaker
Step 1 – To be a better public speaker, give yourself a break
The number one challenge we have to help people with during our presentation training courses is what we call their own personal ‘head stuff’. It’s the voice of self-criticism that tells us that we are simply not good enough.
We criticize ourselves for way we stand, the way we sound, the way we use our hands and even the way we move.
For the most part it is self-indulgent criticism that is very rarely warranted or true. I wish I knew the percentage of people we train and coach who insist they have a long list of bad habits when they speak, yet most of them simply aren’t visible.
The first step on the journey to becoming a better public speaker is to STOP criticising yourself
That doesn’t mean becoming blissfully unaware of your bad habits and challenges. It means giving yourself a break and finding out whether they are real or simply ‘head stuff’.
If you find they are real, the first step to becoming a better public speaker is to explore alternative strategies.
Step 2 –To be a better public speaker, stop with the ‘bogeyman’
When I was a small boy I remember my parent’s strategy to avoid me entering a certain room in the house was to tell me that ‘the bogeyman’ was in there. On reflection, that wasn’t the kindest of things to say, although from their perspective it served its purpose.
Many professionals have created their own personal bogeyman which stops them from becoming a better public speaker.
It takes the shape of another voice which says:
‘ I bet they don’t like me?’
‘What happens if I freeze?’
‘What if they ask me a question I can’t answer?’
Stop terrorizing yourself with such awful thoughts.
How would you react if your best friend asked you those questions? I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t hesitate in telling them where to go.
Instead of dwelling on such disempowering questions, hold a mental image in your mind of something that you like which looks and feels good instead.
Step 3 –To be a better public speaker, identify your strengths
Instead of investing so much energy and focus worrying about all of the things that you don’t like about yourself as a speaker, focus on what works.
Find someone you trust and respect to listen to you practice your presentation.
Ask them to focus exclusively on only the things they like about the way you speak.
Give them permission to only share the attributes they like and make them promise to not simply make things up to simply satisfy your ego.
As they do so ask them to focus on how you make them feel as you speak
If it’s not exactly what you intended, ask them what needs to change.
Once you know your strengths invest more of your time in harnessing and exploiting them to work for you rather than focusing on your weaknesses.
If you’d like to learn how to become a better public speaker:
– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.
– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.
– Get yourself some excellent presentation training
Image: Courtesy of flickr.com