There are hundreds of techniques designed to calm your nerves before a speech.
Many are unique, if not border-line stupid, such as sliding a rubber band on your wrist to self-mutilate when you sense anxiety creeping up (the pain is meant to distract you from the fear). Interesting...
Well, a big reason public speaking creates a butterfly mating ground in our stomach is the fear of what others may think about us. You know, like criticism and judgement.
By now you know this world has something called HATERS. And they’re gonna hate. Have you ever read the comments on YouTube??? The hate is strong over there.
Nothing we can do about that, unfortunately. But, you’ve probably also noticed that there are others who aren’t haters, and that are in fact open to your messages and ideas.
Should we try and please the haters or those we can help?
Visualize Your Audience Member
Most people ask themselves these questions before a speech: Will they care what I have to say? Will they like me? What if they think my message is stupid?
But surely there has to be at least one person out there that could benefit from your words, right?
So, before your next presentation, take a minute and think about a single person. The person who your message would be perfectly tailored to. The guy or gal that would benefit the MOST from your message.
It could even be you! Er, the you prior to learning what you are now teaching.
Picture this person in your audience, but only his or her face. Watch as this individual hears your message. Watch the facial expressions of this giddy person and see that you’re lighting a fire.
Then, picture them taking your message and applying it to the problem you sought to solve (with your speech). Voila!
How Does It Work?
It’s a technique more commonly used by writers, and especially ad copywriters. It changes the “feeling” or tone of the writing and turns it into a one on one conversation between the writer and that single reader.
Now, what does this do?
It’s put your mind in a compassionate and empathetic state. A state of” love.” It also takes the focus from “what will they think about me???” to simply helping that one person that needs you and your message.
It’s much better than being in a state of “I don’t care what anybody thinks of me!” which is more combative than anything. That perspective puts you in a defensive state and may rub off onto the audience through your words and demeanor.
In a compassionate state, the audience will feel it. And on top of that, your focus will be on them rather than YOU.
What’s The Alternative?
The crappier alternative is to focus entirely on yourself. Your doubts. Your fears. Maybe even questions about your sanity for signing up to speak…”What was I thinking?”
This technique is effective because it takes the focus off you and your fear, and it puts you in a “warm” state of mind. There’s really no downside. Just don’t actually stare at ONE person the whole time, everyone should merely “look” like your chosen one.
Yet another technique to add to your toolbox for getting control of your nerves before your next speech.
Give it a try.
Share this post because you never know who it might help.
About this guy...
Howdy! My name is Matt Kramer and I used to suffer excruciating death when speaking in front of a group, now I LOVE it. Overcoming this fear has changed my life. In less than a year since, I’ve started this website, Tactical Talks, competed and won 3 separate public speaking contests, wrote a book, and spoke at one of the top universities in southern California (SDSU).
And look, I’m not telling you this to “show off.” My purpose is to show you that it’s possible to start doing the things that YOU want to do. And that’s my goal. My focus is to help you overcome the fear of public speaking so you can build the confidence to go after what you want in life.