Speaking in public
Is there any easy way to take up an ambition of speaking in public? I’ve yet to find any short cuts to bliss, in this most trepidatious of activities.
But, from having been totally phobic about it – sleepless nights, anxious, tremulous voice – I can, I think, now do a better job; and each time I venture to try, it does get easier. Along the way, this is something of what I have discovered works for me. Do you have any other tips or suggestions?
- It helps to remember that most people are in the room because they choose to be, therefore most listeners will be interested in all the contributions.
- It helps me to think of a presentation as simply a prelude to a discussion, that is, a two way process in which the audience have at least as much, if not more, to contribute than the speaker standing at the front of the room. If we can see a presentation in this light, some of the imagined barriers between the speaker and the audience are lowered.
- When I give a reading, as I often do when at an event, I have to remove my driving glasses. (I drive to the event with my driving glasses, but do not need reading glasses.) So the room becomes pleasantly blurred.
- I like to think of everyone at an event as a friend, simply interested in hearing what we can all contribute. I am perfectly relaxed when speaking to groups of friends, so why should any scaling up make a difference?
- I try to remember what was suggested to me years ago, to ‘have the courage to be myself’.
Thanks for reading.