According to Psychology Today, “Our fear of standing up in front of people and talking is so great that we fear it more than death.” Jerry Seinfeld captured it perfectly, “Most people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.”
Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking. And yes, Speechification is a real word and one of my new favorites!
To assist you in overcoming Glossophobia, I have developed a 4-step guide that will boost your confidence and decrease your fear. Are you ready to experience Speechification Gratification?
Prepare your material well in advance. I am sure many of you have heard the saying, “Always build a home on a solid foundation.” The same holds true for creating and delivering a presentation. Your planning is the foundation that will ensure both confidence and success.
If you are using PowerPoint, follow the 10-20-30 rule by Guy Kawasaki: 10 OR LESS slides, every 20 minutes with font no smaller than 30. Translation: Use 3 bullets and a visual instead of sentences and paragraphs. The slides are for the audience to make connections to your words, not a crutch for you.
Visualize a presentation like the stages of a romance:
- Starts out with a bang
- Settles into something less intense but still engaging
- Moments of drama and calm
- Climax – you either move forward in a commitment or part ways
The beginning and the climax are ALWAYS the most exciting! That is exactly how you want your presentation structure and delivery to flow! The idea is to continually re-engage the audience and finish with fireworks!
Bill Stainton, executive producer, key note speaker and 29-time Emmy Award winner wants his audience to be very clear in knowing the difference between rehearsing vs. practicing. ‘You practice your lines, but the dress rehearsal is walking through the true process of your performance which includes all of the elements.’ Knowing your material puts you and the audience at ease. Developing trust from the moment you begin allows the audience to relax and enjoy.
Before you take the stage prepare yourself both mentally and physically with a few exercises.
Practice the Power Pose. A scientifically proven way to lower cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone, and elevate testosterone which boosts confidence.
Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Hold this position for 2 minutes. Add a few deep belly breaths and long exhales before taking the stage.
Before starting, open your stance with your feet shoulder width apart and pointing toward the back of the room. Head should be held straight. Roll your shoulders down and back then place your arms at your sides. BREATH and SMILE.
Ditch the typical, boring and over-used opening lines that everyone defaults to:
- Thank you for that…
- I am so happy to be here…
- Good morning
- How about that game yesterday…
Begin speaking by breaking the pattern of expectations so your audience listens immediately. A personal story, a video or reference to a current event that is relevant to your topic. Something you are comfortable with puts you and the audience at ease.
Remember the dating scenario we discussed in the beginning? Your closing should be your most powerful connection of the day. Create the emotional experience you want your audience to remember. Leave them wanting more…not wanting to find the door!
Be gracious and forgiving of yourself.
No presentation is perfect. You may feel a bit awkward or stumble through some areas at first. This is completely normal. The beauty of the plan you created is that you can adjust it. The next time you deliver a message, focus your preparation in the areas you were not as comfortable in. You will improve!
Your audience really does want you to succeed. You are now one step closer to experiencing Speechification Gratification.
For more information on enhancing your communication skills contact Lisa Copeland Communications.