My heart is pounding so hard I think it’s going to jump out of my chest! It’s 3:30 pm on Wednesday afternoon. Our news director is about to explain why he’s called the entire staff together for an “important announcement.”
I wonder if anyone notices that I am the only anxious person in the room. Who knew that it would be hardest to share my news with THIS group of people? He launches into his remarks, saying it’s a sad day at WCVB, for they are about to lose someone who has been on every show at Channel 5 for 20 years.
As he announces my name, I stand up from my chair, almost oblivious to the applause, and it suddenly occurs to me that how I am feeling in that very moment is how MOST people feel when they get up in front of a group of people and need to speak! Your heart is beating so fast you think you can’t breath… You feel the beads of perspiration on your forehead and hope it doesn’t show… And in a nanosecond, questions fill my head: Will I say the right thing? Will the words even come out of my mouth? Will I stumble and feel or look like a fool?
In that very instant, I realized I needed to rely on everything I’d learned in my nearly three decades of being on TV and in the public eye. I realized that THIS is exactly what I am teaching my clients at Brunner Communications.
So what did I do? I followed my own advice, and I’d like to share it with you.
My Top 4 Public Speaking Tips
1) Take a deep breath and pause before speaking.
2) When you begin, consciously speak a little more slowly than your normal pace.
3) Stay “on message” even if you don’t have notes, although I highly recommend you do write down at least a few bullet points.
4) “Fake it ’til you make it!” I don’t know who came up with this quote, but it’s a good one! Believe in yourself and have confidence that you can do it even if it doesn’t FEEL like it on the inside.
Trust me. With time, patience, and practice, you too can overcome your public speaking fears!
Interested in Taking Yourself or Your Executive Team to the Next Level?
Brunner Communications assists high-profile individuals and organizations in sharpening and developing top level business communication, executive presence, and public speaking skills. Our passionate team provides one-on-one executive business coaching, and runs specialized business workshops. Through customized training, clients learn the necessary skills to become great communicators and build a marketable reputation.