Public speaking is a common anxiety. However, the more you publicly speak, the less anxious you become, right? Wrong. Even, if you’re a daily public speaker, there will always be an occasion when you feel anxious. This occasion is typically before a “high pressure public speaking window” for example, pitching to new clients, closing a huge deal or before an interview. These high pressure scenarios rely heavily on our performance which in turn increases our anxiety, it’s a vicious cycle. Here are 5 ways to eradicate the pre-nerves, allowing you to perform your best in a high pressure public speaking window.
Mindset; it’s not you, it’s them
The fact is, people don’t remember many of the words you say, but do remember how you make them feel. Do you remember all of the words to your favorite performance at the theatre? Probably not, but you will remember how performance moved you in some way. If you concentrate more on making the audience feel moved or engaged, then you have little or no time to worry about how you are coming across.
This is a scientifically proven method to decrease your cortisol (stress hormone) and increase your testosterone (power/confidence hormone) directly before a high pressure public speaking window. By simply power posing (as shown in above picture) preferably in the mirror, for 2 minutes, before your performance, you can directly impact your chance of success by manipulating your hormones. Read here for more information on power posing.
Have a clear objective
In short, start with the end in mind. Carefully plan your message and practice exactly how you want it to come across. How do you want your audience to feel by the end of your presentation? Avoid PowerPoint and data dumps. Record yourself on your phone, then pick one thing you need to change and do it again. Continue to record yourself until you feel satisfied with your performance.
Chances are you’ve been asked to speak about a particular topic because you know something the audience doesn’t. Remember this before your performance.
Picture yourself receiving a standing ovation.
Positive thinking is crucial before a performance. Positive thoughts create positive actions. It releases feel good hormones into your blood stream which makes you happy and more relaxed during your performance.