Do you fantasize about getting in front of a large audience and not feeling nervous? What about taking it to the next level and becoming a seasoned public speaker, so you can excel in your position or the public speaking arena?
That’s exactly what the following people on this list have done. They’re experts in the field of public speaking, and they’ve all chosen to blog about their knowledge and experiences.
If you have the goal of one day dominating the speaker stand, then use these thought leaders blogs to motivate you and assist you to take it to the next level.
Without any further ado, let me introduce you to 10 brilliant woman bloggers in the public speaking arena, (in alphabetical order):
Public Speaking Tip from Jane:
“The best tip I can give anyone about putting together a strong speech is to break it down into 3 ideas, 3 main points. People can remember 3 things, they can’t remember 7. And when you give strong stories around each point, that allows people to latch on. They may not remember teambuilding point #2, but they will remember the ‘Sam and George blowing a big client deal’ story.”
Public Speaking Tip from Lisa:
“When you’ve done everything right, when you’ve prepared as much as you needed to, when you know your material inside out, when you’re ready to engage your audience, when all the pieces are in place and you’re about to take the stage, here’s one more thing to add to your toolkit: Gratitude.
Not everything a speaker prepares for a presentation is a physical item like movement, words, and slides. Much of speaker preparation is mental: positive thinking, visualization and reframing negative attitudes. Now add gratitude to your mental preparation.
First, think about how grateful you are for the people who have come to hear you and the people who are organizing the engagement. They are supporting your cause, they are looking forward to learning, they are wishing you success. Be grateful for your audience, because they’re here to take in and spread your message. Be grateful, because without an audience, you aren’t a speaker.
Then think about how grateful you are for the opportunity to share something you care about. Think about how lucky you are to help people and give them something relevant and useful that they can use right now to change and improve their work or their life.
Now, dig down and find the thing that makes you care about your topic. What is it that makes you want to do what you do? What is it that makes you want to share what you’re sharing? Find that motivation, that emotional connection, that energy for your topic, and bring it out. Then give it to your audience.
Turn your gratitude and your motivation into energy, and feed that to the audience. It’s the last piece that will complete your perfect presentation.”
Public Speaking Tip from Sue:
“When you get the itch to pitch, don’t scratch! Stay present and love the customer instead. Have a conversation rather than thinking of giving a presentation (even if you’re giving a presentation).”
“Your attendees might be even more nervous than you are. Odd, but true. Think about how much courage it takes to ask a question (that others may think basic, stupid or selfish). Make asking questions easy and simple and important.”
“The more you can help participants feel safe and smart, the more smart they’ll think you are.”
Public Speaking Tip from Nancy:
This tip will appear in Nancy’s newest tips and tricks book published by HBR: http://amzn.to/NWtLeI
Manage Your Stage Fright
Before you present, does your heart speed up? Do you sweat? Does your mouth go dry and your breathing become erratic? That’s your fight-or-flight instinct kicking in. Your body is telling you to flee because your brain perceives the audience as a possible threat: People might judge, challenge, or resist you.
You may also fear the fact that presentation delivery can’t be undone. It’s live, and it’s final.
A little bit of fear can be a good thing. I actually do a better job of presenting when I’m mildly nervous—it’s like a shot of adrenaline. But don’t let it overwhelm you.
Here are a few ways to manage your stage fright before you present:
- Quiet your mind: Stop the self-critical internal chatter and think instead about something that calms you. Take a short walk outside. Listen to soothing music.
- Breathe: Sit on a chair or the floor, breathe deeply, and hold it in. Then take in one more gasp of air to fill your lungs even more—and let it all out very slowly. By doing this four times in a row, I can calm my body down in less than a minute.
- Laugh: Read your favorite humor website or watch a funny video. Laughing doesn’t just distract you from your fear—it releases tension.
- Visualize: Communication coach Nick Morgan, the author of Trust Me, suggests my favorite fear-busting technique: “Role-play in your mind a communication between you and your favorite person….Form a memory of what that feels like physically, not about what you say. Notice everything you can about your behavior….What are you doing with your hands?…How close are you?…Catalogue and remember the behavior, and then use that behavior.”
- Remember your audience’s flaws: You’ve spent time thinking about how the people in your audience might resist your message—and rightly so. They do have that power. But, having studied them, you should also have insights into what makes them human and frail. Remembering that they’re just as flawed as you are will help calm your nerves.
5) Name: Gershman, Sarah Blog: http://www.greenroomspeakers.com/blog/
Public Speaking Tip from Sarah:
“Pause purposefully. Learning happens in the silence. Give the audience a few seconds to absorb your message.”
Public Speaking Tip from Denise:
“One of the biggest secrets in public speaking is that the people who look most relaxed, unforced and extemporaneous are usually the people who have practiced the most. Ironic though it may seem, it takes practice to look natural–just one more sign that public speaking is not something you’re born able to do well. And because so few speakers practice as much as they should, you can have a real advantage if you do take the time to rehearse. You’ll be better prepared not just for mishaps and technical problems, but more able to roll with the punches and keep talking even when that train of thought has left the station of your mind. Newbie speakers, take note: This is one of your best secret advantages, since new speakers are more likely to take this seriously.”
Public Speaking Tip from Kate:
“Vocal image is how people perceive of you by the sound of your voice. You have 45 seconds to get it right so that you are credible. Give it as much attention as your message and align the two with your intention for greatest impact.”
Public Speaking Tip from Sandra:
“Have you ever thought about how storytelling helps us create a better life and a better place in the real world? Storytelling is becoming increasingly popular, not just with the professional speaker, but with novices. We all have our stories to tell and we now realize that it helps feed our need for connection and more recently for social change. “The story revival is over. The story revolution has begun.” I find audiences are listening to each other better when they have a direct exchange. When we hear a story (without the glitz and manipulation) we begin to delineate our thoughts visually and remember the story long after we hear it. On a neurological level, studies tell us that we really do feel the storyteller’s pain, joy, grief and hope. Do you love your audience enough to tell your story in an authentic and vulnerable way?”
9) Name: Starks,Cynthia J. Blog: http://www.starkscommunications.com/blog/
Public Speaking Tip from Cynthia:
“My ‘unconventional’ tip that can contribute to a lessening of anxiety for public speakers, and it’s the one thing that is very hard, in my experience, to convince corporate executives to do — and that is, invest in developing personal stories with which to pepper your speeches. A personal story or personal experience can illuminate points in your speeches and connect with your audience in a way that facts and statistics do not. In addition, feeling comfortable with a personal story will increase a speaker’s comfort level with his or her material and his or her audience.”
10) Name: Wood, Patti Blog: http://www.bodylanguagelady.blogspot.com/
I again want to thank the above bloggers for adding so much value to the speaking community and the public speaking arena in general with their brilliant blogs.