If you’d rather go to the supermarket with a 2 year old past dinner time, than get on a stage in front of an audience, you need to read this today.
This month we’ve been talking a LOT about video. We touched on live streaming and doing stories. But really – you can always delete those and never thing about them again. In terms of fear factor, they’re not as bad as you have usually built them up in your mind. . You’re in own environment. The format that most people are actually terrified of, is public speaking.
I’m going to talk about strategies for public speaking that will help you overcome the deadset terror we can feel when walking in front of a large group of people… who all have their eyes on you … and are all eagerly and smarmily listening in to what you’re going to say …
Just the thought is scary huh? I know. I felt the same way. For years.
I was the girl who, literally – no joke, would visibly shake and stutter during an oral presentation at school. I couldn’t help it. I’d turn into this quivering pile of jelly, every single time, without fail. It was like a wave of sheer panic would wash over me. Even if I consciously felt fine. That was the thing – I didn’t NOT want to do the presentation. But my body didn’t want me to. That’s how deep the fear was. It was awful. I was embarrassed and I didn’t know how to overcome it.
If only I knew then what I know now about mindset. And practise. And service. And walking in my purpose to create the impact I was made to make in this world. Not sure that last part would have inspired my in my year 10 geography presentation, but you never know.
So let’s start at the end.
How do you want your audience to feel at the end of your presentation? Because you have to be those words. You have to feel it before they do. How you want them to feel, is more important than what you want them to know. Because they’ll likely forget 90% of what you said the minute they walk out of the room. Sorry, but it’s true. But it’s ok, because they’ll remember how you made them feel.
So get this part sorted, because this is the whole point of why you’re on stage. Also once you know that – you know your purpose. And this can become your focus.
How do we do that?
I recommend writing down the words of the emotions you want them to feel.
Words might be: inspired, joyful, encouraged, comforted, empowered, free.
Then meditate on these. Sit with your eyes closed, in a quiet place or with some instrumental music on. Choose one word and repeat it to yourself over and over in your mind as you inhale. Imagine yourself inhaling the very essence of this word. Give it a colour. What colour is this word? Imagine when you inhale that you’re surrounded by this colour mist. You’re breathing it in to yourself. When you exhale, imagine the colour of fear and uncertainty (for me it’s like smoke) and as you exhale, you breath it out and it floats away. Spend a few minutes on each word, repeating the process until you feel the shift in you.
This is not a one and done practise. Like conditioning your body, training your mind takes time and repetition, and practise.
If you’re scared, it’s because you’re looking inwards. Are they going to resonate with what I’m saying? Do they like me? What if I trip over? What if I stumble over my words, or I forget something, or my jokes aren’t funny. Me me me. I I I.
We need to raise our eyes, and our hearts, to align with why we’re actually there. Why are you the one in front of them? It’s because you have something to offer. You have some value to transfer from your head to theirs. And that’s what you need to focus on.
If we can focus on the reason for being at the front of the stage, we can be grateful for the opportunity. If we truly feel this.. If we’re truly thankful for being able to serve, we’re not going to feel the fear so powerfully. I’m not saying you won’t have butterflies. You probably will. And you know, I think that’s a good thing. Because it means you care. And you feel alive. The opposite of which is, you’re bored. You do not want to be bored on stage because guess what – your audience feel what you feel. Bored. You do not want your audience to be bored.
Once you’re focussed on how you want your audience to feel, and you know why you’re there to impart to them, you’ll already be feeling so much more optimistic about the entire venture.
But those butterflies might still be fluttering and fluttering your new found nerve with them. So what can we do? Thankfully, a few things. Let’s chat about 3.
Visualise your audience thinking and feeling all the things you’d be thrilled to hear them say. Things like, ‘Wow, she’s incredible!’, ‘I’m so glad I came!’ and ‘Oh my gosh – yes! I’ve never thought about it that way.’
Imagine looking out at an audience full of smiling, nodding faces seeing thought bubbles like that on top of everyone’s heads.
Then imagine yourself. What are you going to wearing? How are you going to be standing?
Here is a really useful place to do a grounding meditation.
Stand with your feet slightly apart, straight under your hips. Stand tall and straight with your hands by your sides. Imagine yourself standing on stage.
Now feel that your feet are firmly planted. Imagine living roots growing from the bottom of your feet and growing and burying themselves into the earth. Getting deeper and deeper. Stronger and stronger. You’re stable, and strong and powerful. Feel yourself standing taller in this newfound strength. You have everything you need to perform at your best. You are confident, and capable and ready.
Again, do this simple exercise over and over, daily if you need to, in the lead up to and in preparation for your big day.
The third thing that’s going to totally crush those nerves for you is …
Practise is the thing that’s going to make you own the stage. Once you know what you want to say, and how you want to deliver it, it’s going to be so. much. easier. You’ll be prepared.
Practise in front of the mirror, in the car, record yourself and play it back to yourself … Yes, awkward! But WORTH IT. Whatever it takes to know your material as well as you can. So it becomes known to you in a really deep way. Even if it’s just the dot points and you riff on the rest. Tat’s cool. You don’t have to MEMORISE it, you just have to KNOW it. Because that’s the bit you can control.
You can’t control the weather or the audience or falling over or spilling coffee all over yourself (am I giving you nightmares?? Sorry!) But you can control you. And that’s all you;ve got. Once you’ve done your best, you’ve done you best. And no one can take that away from you. It also kind of doesn’t matter then anyway – because you can’t do better than you best. So you’re golden.
I really hope this helped decrease the size of the monster for you.
You really can grow this skill. I did. Through practise. Over and over. Hating it everytime, until I didn’t. Now I can speak to a room full of people, and feel ok. Good even. If it can happen to me, it really can happen to anyone. I promise.
Now I have 2 podcasts (the other one’s for home builders so don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything!) I’ve taught at a business college, I’ve made speeches at conferences .. and heck now I’m even running my own conference. April 24th in Melbourne if you’re a Melbourne girl – come along. It’s going to be INCREDIBLE. This is some seriously crazy value here. Check out the website mumma.digital/conference
I hope you feel challenged and inspired and take this with you into your week mummas xx