It is often said that the biggest fear that most people have is the fear of public speaking. The Seinfeld joke is that at a funeral most people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy. But, if we are thrust into the role of speaking in front of a group what can we do to make the experience positive? Below is a list of ideas taken from Susan Cain’s article “10 Public Speaking Tips for Introverts.”
Read them and never fear again.
- If you’re an introvert who must give a speech, seize the opportunity. Start by going online and viewing videos of speakers taken from their vantage point. This helps you visualize what it’s like to look out at a sea of people.
- It also helps to get acquainted with the room where you’ll speak. Arrive early and get comfortable standing at the podium.
- If possible, deliver your speech aloud where you’ll give it.
- Whenever you see great speakers (either in person or via online clips), obtain a transcript of their speech. Analyze how they structure their talks, such as the connection between the introduction and conclusion and their use of evidence or experience to support their claims.
- Don’t keep reminding yourself of how much you dread public speaking. Instead, focus on what you do well and harness it. Example: If you are a precise scientific thinker, lace your talk with fun facts and other interesting tidbits
- Most important…if you are not particularly funny, skip the jokes.
- If you feel stiff reading from notes,devote more time to engaging in Q&A or interacting with the audience