While we all know that communication is key to making connections and advancing in life, many of us still have a fear of it. This is super true when it comes to public speaking. It is said that 75% of people fear standing in front of a crowd and speaking their truth. Public speaking does not have to be scary. In this article I will let you in on 3 secrets about public speaking that will show you that you can relax and to disconnect any roomers you may have heard, then I have 4 tips to reduce the self doubt that we all have from time to time. 3+4=7, Hey….I can add! Once you can move into a new mindset, speaking to others will not look so intimidating.
3 Secret facts about public speaking
1. You do not need to be super articulate
When some people think about speaking in public, they assume that they have to speak perfectly. You may have watched a speech and been impressed by their use of words, but the truth is, you do not have to swallow a dictionary to be a great speaker. The only words you need to know are the words that you already know. Speaking is not about who knows the most 16 letter words or who can string the most complex words together. Its not a contest or a spelling bee. Yes, its true you should speak clearly and at a tone that everybody can hear, but the words you use are the words that you would normally use in everyday speaking. Its your message so the best words are words that come from you. If you already speak in long complex sentences with huge words dancing off your lips, then do so, but most of us don’t speak that way. Relax and allow the words you use to come natural, and let them be your own.
2. You don’t have to read it
I am sure you have seen a speech where a person is reading from a teleprompter. They stand there and give a speech that was already written out word for word. They have to read it without sounding like they are reading it, but it usually sounds just like what you see, somebody reading. The good news is that this is not what public speaking is. If you are the president of the USA and you are giving a 2 hour long state of the union, and somebody else wrote the speech for you anyway, then yes, you would most likely be reading it, but this is not how most speeches are given.
When you give a speech, you usually just write reminder notes or bullet points to follow along with. You do not need to write out every word, in fact, you shouldn’t. You may want to write out the opening and closing, but most of the speech will come due to you moving through the bullet points and speaking from your heart. Of course you want to practice before you speak so things come automatically, but you do not need to write out your speech.
3. You don’t have to be perfect
While you may admire somebody for giving what seams to be a perfect speech, is it really perfect? When people listen to your speech, they are not expecting perfection, they are expecting to learn, be entertained, understand a new concept and so on. They are not looking for perfection. First, do not compare yourself with other speakers and put yourself down. Each person is different. Remember that while you may have heard that you shouldn’t say too many ahhs or ummms, the audience will not care or even notice if you say 1 or 2 filler words in a speech. We all use filler words from time to time, so a speech that has a few will not bother most people. Don’t worry if you forgot to say something in your speech. The audience does not know you forgot it, and you can always write it down in your bullet point notes if it is something you want to include in a future version of your speech.
In summary, relax, you do not have to sound like an old uptight language teacher in order to give a great speech. Don’t put yourself in detention.
4 Techniques for Saying No to Self-Doubt
Self-doubt. You probably cringed when you read the words a moment ago. Don’t you hate it when you get caught up in the world of negative self-talk?
The problem is, it’s so easy to wind up there. One offhand remark from someone you look up to or a reminder of a past failure can cause you to downward spiral all over again. You’re focusing on failure. You’re telling yourself every reason in the world why you should stop now. In short, you’ve just derailed yourself completely.
Don’t get in your own way. Instead, take back control of your life. You start by saying ‘no’ to self-doubt, using these simple techniques.
1. Say the Words
This may sound overly simplistic but just say “no” when self-doubt creeps in. Tell yourself firmly you’re not going to listen. Say it out loud if you need to. The point here is to stop traveling what is very likely a well-worn path you’ve been down a thousand times before. By firmly telling yourself you’re not thinking about this right now, you’re freeing yourself to engage in a new thought, perhaps one about what exciting place you’re going next.
2. Remind Yourself This Isn’t the End
Feeling like a failure because something went wrong? Instead of wallowing in self-doubt (it’s ok to take a minute to feel bad), take a step back and examine the situation. Remind yourself everyone fails from time to time. The important thing is to figure out what you can learn from the experience.
3. Learn Something
Self-doubt creeps in when we don’t feel prepared. What is it about this moment, right now, creating these feelings inside? If you’re worried about failing, what part of the process do you expect to go wrong? This might be an opportunity to learn something new. Mastering a new skill goes a long way toward erasing self-doubt.
4. Change Your Self Talk
Self-doubt is firmly rooted in the things we tell ourselves. So why are you putting yourself down? Here’s where you need to dig out all the negative statements and to replace them with more positive counterparts. For example, if you think you’re going to fail, detail your past successes. This is a process which you have to be very conscious of, so be on the lookout for those negative statements so you can attack them the moment they appear.
With a little practice, you’ll find it’s not as hard as you think to get rid of self-doubt. The key is to pay attention to what you’re telling yourself and act accordingly. In no time at all, you’ll get yourself back on track. In the meantime, hang in there. You’ll have this new attitude down in no time!
Let the world know
If you are ready to put your message into the right words that will make people take action, if you are ready to help people move to their next level in life, I can help you. Lets have a chat so we can talk about the gift you have for your audience.