Are you more afraid of public speaking than death? Incredible as it seems – you’re not alone according to a survey on common phobias. A fear of public speaking was found to be a more pressing concern than death, according to a ranking of society’s most pervasive fears. During the workshops I give – we start small with pre-class questions about favourite speakers and past experiences either with the media or public speaking. Then we go over the answers in class and talk about whats the thing that scares them the most about speaking or presenting. It helps us all confirm the fears we focus on – usually feeling like you look stupid – and replacing that feeling with one of calm confidence. Here are the top three tips I give during the workshop to achieve this result:
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. Find out as much as you can about the event or interview. You have the power to ask questions before you have to speak or answer questions yourself. Do that.
- Practice and ask colleagues for a review of your visual appearance and demeanor as well as your vocal tone. They both carry more weight than the actual words/content.
- Identify the key message you want to convey and stick to that. Don’t get tricked into filling “dead air” when a interviewer stops talking and just looks at you.
- Invest in lighting for potential online media interviews – make sure the background is appropriate and raise the device so you don’t look like you are staring down from a great height!
The comfort level someone feels will impact how well the message is received and acted upon. My advice and training is all about understanding you have power over the situation and can make it a much more satisfying experience. Ready to handle any media interview or community appearance with confidence? Contact Big Bang Communications.