Being a motivational speaker comes with many great rewards yet there is one problem that some can not get over: stage fright.While this fear is quite common, there are steps that can be taken to overcome it. Here are some things to consider if you want to get better at your craft.
1. Come Prepared
“Practice the speech, and know the material cold” says John Rogan of MotivationalSpeakerz.com. “Feeling confident in the subject matter and material boosts confidence, and makes for a more effective presentation.” If possible, professionals should familiarize themselves with the room itself, as well as any technical or visual aids they will be using. Having a practice run can help prepare against unexpected technical glitches.
2. Focus on Connecting With the Audience
For some motivational speakers, it’s easy to focus on the anxiety that comes with stage fright. These individuals should remember that focusing on one’s anxiety makes the experience all about the speaker, when in fact the speech is for the benefit of the audience.
Presenters should remember that the audience is there to be entertained and informed, and is rooting for the speaker to be successful. Taking a few moments before the presentation begins to greet some individual audience members as they arrive can help you that you have a friend in the crowd.
3. Relaxation Translates to Effective Presentations
Many people experience physical symptoms of anxiety when they get nervous about giving a talk or lecture. Pounding heartbeat, sweating and dry mouth are all symptoms of the anxiety some motivational speakers may experience. You can combat nervousness by taking a few deep breaths before beginning your speech. Taking time in the days leading up to the presentation to visualize yourself giving a successful speech can give you a great deal of confidence.
4. Practice Helps Overcome Anxiety
Like any other skill, giving motivational speeches gets easier with practice. Finding opportunities to talk in public can give you the certainty that comes with experience. There may be opportunities to participate in presentations at the office, at church, or with volunteer events or organizations. It’s often easiest to start public speaking in front of small groups and work up to larger crowds.
5. Learn Public Speaking Skills From the Experts
Organizations like Toastmasters can help people not only overcome their fear of public speaking, but can help educate their members on how to give more effective presentations. Those interested in improving their skills can also take professional development workshops in presentation skills training. Taking an interest class in improv, acting, or comedy may also help shake stage fright while having fun.
Like anything, the more you rehearse your new calm and confident technique, the more that poise is embedded in your memory. Your mind can only believe your new calm and confident message if you send that message to it. If your old thoughts butts in with little flurries of fear, let those feelings come. Then, let them go.
On the day itself, deliberately open your mouth a little. Let your tongue feel limp. Recall your rehearsals vividly. The human mind is a marvelous thing. Just triggering that memory will re-produce that relaxed and confident feeling.
Your memories of fear produce those feelings. Your memories of motivational speaking with confidence will produce feelings of being relaxed and centered.