Dreaded. Anxious. Nauseated. These all and more, some of us feel utterly deconstructed before public speech of any kind. That being established some, like me, look for help, because at the end of the day there is no chance to be successful without even basic public speaking skills under the belt.
What’s seems to be the problem?
We could break the problem down into two pillars of chicken and egg kind of relation.
Because I’m uneasy, even paralyzed by fear I cannot develop skills to deliver great presentation skills and vice versa: Because I don’t possess certain skills or qualities I feel fearful and overwhelmed even by thought about speaking publicly.
The common root cause to most problems with public speaking abilities
Lack of smart practice. That’s all, let’s click on some cats and porn. Ok, it’s a bit more sophisticated than that. Practice is not enough, like just working harder isn’t enough. If your shovel is empty then I don’t care how fast and hard you swing it – you won’t move much ground. Same goes with any kind of practice.
Best way of learning these skills would be hiring a specialist – it would be like replacing shovel with a excavator. But since we have to rely on one way communication in short blog post let me tell you this:
1. Film yourself giving a 2 minute auto-presentation. Pitch yourself to imaginary prospect. Exactly 2 minutes. No more or less.
A) Take a few looks on what you have produced. Is it that bad? Where you have some reserves? Too much gestures or too little?
B) Your facial expressions: Do you look nervous? Does your facial muscles look tense? Do you smile? How about changes in your expressions – are those consistent with what you are saying?
C) Posture: Do you hunch? Does your posture change over time?
D) Breathing and voice: Does your breathing remain calm or rather too fast for what are you doing (speaking not running in marathon)? Do you take your time to breathe or blast through sentences like your life would depend on how fat you speak? Does your voice sound stagnant, vivid, does your intonation change to consistently with punctuation?
E) Last, but not least – does your content sound thought out and practiced, or are there lots of mmm’s and ohm’s?
2. Practice steady breathing patterns while maintaining an erect posture.
A) Stand by the wall, align your back and head with it. Loosen tensed arm muscles by lowering them down. Take few breaths and take a step forward maintaining this position. This is (in very close approximation) your correct posture. Now breathe steadily.
3. Smile while breathing steadily. And while you stay like this write your new pitch. Try and make it really good. Try few versions, change things, test hypothetically great sounding bits and bites.
4. Now, to get your body more responsive to rhythm of your words and public speaking mood play your favorite tune and move your body a little.
A) Now do the same while maintaining great posture and smiling
B) Now add to it rehearsing your pitch
5. Illustrators: When you present something show it with your hand with palm facing up. If something should have a shape – sculpt it from the thin air before you. If you negate something – draw a line with your palm making “stop” gesture.
6. Film yourself again giving new pitch, using all above and tell me what the difference was.
7. Show it to a friend
Please, like it and share it if you liked it. Every share will make a difference. Thank you!