If you’re considering launching and running a business, you’ve got a host of things to consider. One that typically slips under the radar is speaking in public. Because you don’t plan on setting up a stage and addressing your adoring employees doesn’t mean you won’t have to orate.
The ability to speak confidently and inspire your staff is essential as it highlights your leadership qualities. A manager who can go into a meeting, whether it’s formal or informal, and get across their message will engage the workforce to follow their example.
Unfortunately, speaking in public is like leading in that it’s perceived to be innate. You either have it or you don’t, according to conventional wisdom. That’s not true. Anything can be taught, as long as you’re a receptive student who is willing to change their spots.
With that in mind, here are four methods you can use to improve your public speaking and inspire confidence throughout the company.
To prepare to speak in front of people can take several forms. The most obvious is to go through your speech so that you know it word for word. When you’re not scared or nervous, you’re less likely to stumble or come across as if you don’t understand your message. Why would anybody listen to you if you’re not a thought leader?
However, pretending to deliver an address isn’t the only way to prepare to speak publically. You should also ensure you have everything you require to see the words and project your voice. Initially, that means packing your prescription glasses and a spare pair in case something goes wrong. Learn more about the best types of lenses and their features here.
From a loudness perspective, something as basic as a glass of water can help you to make your voice louder and clearer as it removes any cobwebs. Understanding how to breathe from your diaphragm is a preparation exercise that works too.
Create Bullet Points
When you watch a speaker deliver a speech or presentation from a piece of paper, what runs through your mind? Usually, it’s that the event is boring because the man or woman spends too much time staring at an object rather than making eye contact with the crowd. It’s a mistake that mediocre speakers make all the time.
To prevent this pitfall, you should eliminate the safety net of your full speech. Instead, you want to rely on bullet points that remind you of the topic and point you’re attempting to debate. Aside from forcing you to be confident with the content, this method allows you to connect with your audience.
It’s only a small tweak, yet it makes a huge impact because an outline of a script means you can concentrate on your body language and ad-lib. Often, the best speakers are natural and react to stimuli.
Put Your Audience First
As soon as you put yourself above your audience, you will lose their focus. Think about it. You’re the boss, the person who’s in charge, so nobody wants to stand there and listen as you wax lyrical about the features that make you great. They want the opposite, and you should too.
Remember that the point of speaking in public is to get your message across in the most entertaining and memorable way possible. To do that, you need to concentrate on the audience’s questions and queries, and you usually have to do it without them giving you an insight into their heads.
If you struggle with this element of oration, you can stay within the lines by asking yourself a selection of simple-yet-powerful questions. They are:
- Who are you?
- What do you need?
- How can I help you?
Embrace Your Nerves
You will be nervous. The good news is that your anxiety isn’t anything to worry about. It’s only debilitating when you let your imagination spiral out of control. Understanding that it’s okay to be nervous about speaking in public should scale your body’s reactions back a little bit.
Of course, the key is to harness the energy into positivity, and an excellent method is to put yourself in the shoes of somebody else. Professional athletes, for example, appear ice-cold on the outside, but did you know that 25% to 40% are better when they deal with high anxiety? When you recognize that even the best of the best deal with nerves, it makes it less scary.
Alternatively, you can relabel your nerves as ‘jitters.’ Words like this are less stigmatized, making your anxiety feel almost casual.