So last week I presented at the Women Living Big Conference on “Public Speaking Hacks”. Public speaking is up there with catching a cold or going to the dentist. According to studies – some of you would rather die than speak on stage (or a meeting etc).
Here are a few of my favourite speaking hack ideas:
- Breathe, breathe, Breathe and drink water. Pause if you have to.
- Move around and don’t keep your hands by your side (embrace your inner Italian)
- Need to use notes? Use bullet points with big fonts and colours for easy reading
- Visual success – get exercise and prioritise SLEEP leading up to your big day
- Have fun, For me, the act of dancing on stage calms my nerves but if that’s not appropriate try and exercise before hand if you can
- Don’t rely on Powerpoint alone and if you use Powerpoint or other AV keep it simple
- Practice first on Facebook Live or Periscope or other mediums where there is a “live” aspect
- If you don’t feel comfortable on the stage by yourself then look for panel opportunities
- Ask questions and be interactive if you can – it uses up time
- Don’t sell on stage – Trust me it never works – if they like you they will buy from you anyway.
- Push the nasty inner critic off your shoulder – if you freeze – who cares – no one will remember later
- Just be yourself. Remember practice breeds confidence. So if you can have a signature talk and get comfortable with it.
- Last but not least don’t take yourself too seriously. This is one of my favourite videos…. “How to sound smart in your TED Talk” by Will Stephen – so funny you will die but not from public speaking.