It’s no doubt that public speaking is an easy feat for mastering.
Some make it look so easy, and yet it can paralyse those who are finding their feet. Myself included!
One of my key numbers in 2015 is to share my message on “Knowing your Numbers”, 60 times throughout the year. This will be speaking engagements, webinars, self-hosted events and so on. But a focus is more towards speaking in person.
And I’ve been fortunate to have some guidance from mentors who are seasoned speakers.
Here’s 3 rituals I run through before speaking:
1. Put yourself in a positive frame of mind, focused on delivering value to your audience.
There’s two ways I do this – the first is to listen to some really uplifting music.
I usually bring my phone and some headphones with me pretty much anywhere, and I just find an awesome track and pop a headphone in one ear. Oh, and if I really need a revving, I listen to Eric Thomas.
The second way, one shared by a mentor Paul Dunn (B1G1), is to repeat out loud “FOR THEM” about 5 times before you walk out to present. This one is a little less subtle, so you might want to keep this one for “backstage” but keeps value to your audience at the forefront.
2. Slow your breathing, forcing your body and mind to be calm.
A coach and mentor, Mags Bell of Creating Powerful Results shared this one with me.
This one was honestly a little difficult for me to understand, but it really works.
Basically slow your breathing down to about 6 breaths per minute. That’s 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out. You can do this one pretty much anywhere too, even on stage as you’re being introduced.
This one is good for getting to sleep too I’ve found!
3. Use body language as a key to confidence and getting your message across.
I’ve found that confidence is the hardest thing to front up with when you’re speaking.
And similarly to the breathing technique above, you can trick your mind and body into confidence.
An interesting TED talk by Amy Cuddy shares a little more on the science and the ‘how-to’ on this one.
She details on how a few minutes of “power posing” can lead to instant improvement in our body language and our own confidence, which translates to our audience.
Great to recite with your body in the minutes leading up to showtime.
I hope this helps to some degree when you’ve got your next presentation or speaking gig lined up!