How To Eliminate Speaking Jitters
Eight Sure-Fire Strategies To Help You
Be More Natural On The Platform
Bill Cole, MS, MA
Do you avoid giving speeches because the stress drives you
up the wall? Do you give speeches, but hate every minute of
it? Do you speak well, yet are held back from reaching your
potential from the fear and self-doubt you experience?
There is help for anyone who suffers from stage fright. Here
are a few of my favorite stress-stopping techniques for speakers.
1. Don't Call Your Event "A Speech". Instead, Frame the
Talk As A Coaching Session, Workshop or Class. Why? "Giving
a speech" feels like a big deal, pressure-packed situation.
Also, few audiences want to be spoken to or at by a "speech
maker", but almost everyone enjoys the spirited give and take
of a conversation.
2. Use The Overkill Principle, From Sports and School.
If you have a school test or sports competition coming up,
what made you feel relatively comfortable and confident going
into the event? Overdoing your preparation with extremely
hard practice and training. If you barely practiced, you had
a genuine reason to be very nervous--you were NOT ready! The
same is true for a speech.
3. Set Speaking Sub-goals. A speaking event should
also be a learning experience for you, the speaker. One major
goal is of course, to please, motivate, educate and move the
audience. Try some new things, take some risks and make sure
YOU learn from the event.
4. Practice All The Time, In Every Venue Imaginable.
Use your speech material as you have casual conversations
with people the weeks before your talk, in the coffee shop,
lobby, stores, malls, etc. They won't know you are practicing
your speech. You'll be able to practice the pronunciations,
phrasing, inflection, timing, jokes and all else, just as
you will do it from the platform.
5. Wear Your Most Confident Outfit and Accessories.
Go ahead, be superstitious. Wear what makes you feel good,
natural and energetic. Stay away from outfits that lower your
self-esteem and confidence level. To be confident, look confident.
Simple to do, but powerful.
6. Accept That Nervousness Is A Natural Part Of Any Performing.
Long time well-known performers across many venues STILL get
very nervous before their performances, yet they manage to
give very creditable performances, time and again.
7. You Can Perform Well And Be Very Nervous, Yet The Audience
Will Never Know. You can be terrified inside, but if you
go about your speaking, you can completely hide your fear
from the audience. The few ways the audience will have hints
that your nerves are appearing are when your voice continually
cracks, your hands, arms and legs shake visibly or you stutter
and stammer (assuming you don't do that naturally). Aside
from that, they may never know. Act as if you are confident,
and quite often, you will begin to feel confident.
8. Make the Audience Do Some of the Work. Instead of
YOU speaking the entire time, give your audience some tasks.
Ask them questions, give them a quiz, have them discover answers
to tasks in small groups. Not only will the audience be more
engaged and learn better, but you can take a break and gather
your thoughts as they do their "homework". Try it, you'll
Remember, even top speaking pros get nervous before and during
their speeches. Collect stress-busting strategies like these.
Observe experienced speakers and see what they do to reduce
their nerves. Embrace your stress and it will serve you well.
To learn more about how presentation coaching can help you
become a better, more confident speaker, visit Bill Cole,
MS, MA, the Mental Game Coach at www.PresentationSkillsCoaching.com.
Copyright © Bill Cole, MS, MA 2005, 2011 All rights reserved.
This article covers only one small part of the mental game.
A complete mental training program includes motivation and
goal-setting, pre-event mental preparation, post-event review
and analysis, mental strengthening, self-regulation training,
breath control training, mental rehearsal, concentration training,
pressure-proofing, communication training, confidence-building,
breaking through mental barriers, slump prevention, mental
toughness training, flow training, relaxation training, psych-out
proofing and media training.
For a comprehensive overview of your mental abilities
you need an assessment instrument that identifies your complete
mental strengths and weaknesses. For a free, easy-to-take
66-item presentation skills assessment tool you can score
right on the spot, visit http://www.presentationskillscoaching.com/presentation_skills_assessment.html.
This assessment gives you a quick snapshot of your strengths
and weaknesses in your mental game. You can use this as a
guide in creating your own mental training program, or as
the basis for a program you undertake with Bill Cole, MS,
MA to improve your mental game. This assessment would be an
excellent first step to help you get the big picture about
your mental game of speaking and giving presentations.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness
and coaching, is founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching
Bill is also founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports.
He is a multiple Hall of Fame honoree, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published
book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive
article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
Article Source: www.PresentationSkillsCoaching.com
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