Public speaking is far from most people’s favorite thing to do. In fact, it’s not just something people don’t want to do, but for many, it’s something they’re legitimately afraid to do. However, with communication being such a critical element of a person’s successful career, one’s attitude toward speaking needs to adjust. Understandably, this change won’t happen overnight. It’ll take repeated effort. But, it is possible to change your attitude and feelings toward public speaking. Here are the top ten ways I frequently share with others that can help you adjust your attitude toward speaking:
- Interpret Your Feelings
Accept the fact that your body is preparing for a challenge. Use the energy created for productive purposes to compose and deliver your presentation.
- Develop Your Skills
You feel comfortable doing things you do well, less comfortable doing things you don’t do well. The more you are pushed out of your comfort zone, the quicker you’ll adjust to the most demanding circumstances.
- Set Realistic Goals
Stop demanding perfection from yourself and others. Strive for progress, not perfection! Remember, every accomplishment is achieved one step at a time—with some setbacks along the way.
Keep telling yourself you are either a terrible or a great presenter. Either way, you’re guaranteed to be right! Your inner voice has so much power—make sure it is a message that helps you achieve what you want. In some cases, this may require you “fake it until you make it.” Also, natural confidence will come as you practice and prepare more.
- Practice at Regular Intervals
Several short presentations are much better conditioning than one or two long ones. No matter the structure or purpose, take advantage of every opportunity to speak that you are given.
- Overcome Challenges
Everyone has weaknesses. You can’t fix all of them all the time. You can, however, compensate for them. Choose the order in which to address them . . . then go fix them!
- Think Positive
Remember that bit about self-confidence? You can improve yours with a positive inner voice. We all talk to ourselves. What do you say to the person in the mirror? There is no failure, only feedback. Stay positive with yourself and good things will happen.
- Take It for a Test Run
When preparing for an opportunity to speak, try out your speech in front of three people you trust to provide constructive criticism. The adjustments made will not only improve the presentation—it’ll boost your confidence.
- Remind Yourself
Your success doesn’t and won’t happen by chance—it is by choice. Your choice.
- You Don’t Stay the Same
Each day we are headed one direction or another in every aspect of our life. You either get better or worse, so choose wisely!
If you integrate these different reminders into preparing for your next public speaking opportunity, you’ll undoubtedly have a better experience than you have had previously.