If you're stomach turns at the thought of having to stand before the hundreds or thousands of eyes that turn on you as you ruffle your cards and papers like a flailing magician, you might be suffering from the fear of public speaking. So intense is this fear, that people avoid promotions, meetings and entire careers because of the potential public speaking aspect.
However, don’ think you're safe because your job isn't relevant to public speaking or presentations. . . there's always the acceptance speech, the wedding speech and even the proposal of marriage itself. Gulp. . .
Public speaking is shrouded in fear due to the one -way nature of the situation. However, many smaller scale public speaking scenarios (such as a meeting presentation, wedding speech or sales pitch) will always benefit from audience interaction. Audience interaction makes the crowd pay attention, with a more personal feel and incentive to keep their eyes and ears on you.
I see many public speeches start with the question to the audience as the first words out of the speaker's mouth. Such as “Hands up who doesn't like cold calling". As broad questions to encourage the maximum response. Your are not actually trying to find out the answer (you should already know why people are there and what they like/dislike etc) but instead you're simply creating an interaction. Do it early to get people immediately involved and interested. If you leave it too late, you've already lost. Just think of it this way.
These involve your audience's imagination, sense of humour and allows them to connect your world with theirs. This is subtle involvement Humour. Use humour where appropriate. Just having your audience laugh or chuckle involves them and gets those endorphins working which inject motivation and energy into them.
Put them to the test
Can you remember being at school and the teacher would say “At the end of this class, we are having a test on everything we have covered over the next hour?". Well, whether you had that technique squash your plans of drawing a body part in your maths book cover or not, the technique works on a psychological level.
Because nobody wants to look stupid, everyone wants to look clever and win over their peers and finally, we are often embarrassed when caught not paying attention or blatantly showing lack of respect through not paying attention. All you need to do is use the word “quiz" instead of “test", offer an incentive for good measure and boom. . . you now have a room full of newfound “students" at your mercy.
Wouldn't it be nice however, if there were a magic button that you could push TONIGHT, so that your fear of public speaking could be wiped off the slate by tomorrow morning?
Well, I have a little secret that will open your eyes about your public speaking fears and is guaranteed to be your own magic button. Want to know what it is? Too good to be true? There's only one way to find out. . .
click here to speak without fear in public