To Eliminate Speaking Jitters: 8 Sure-Fire Strategies To Help You
Be More Natural On The Platform.
Do you fall victim to speaking
nerves? Do you have so much anxiety about performing that you avoid
giving speeches? Do you have a plan for conquering your nervousness
before a speech? Help is on the way! This article gives you eight
tried-and-true ways to overcome the jitters before every speech
How To Eliminate Speaking Jitters
8 Sure-Fire Strategies To Help You
Be More Natural On The Platform
Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California
Do you avoid giving speeches because the stress
drives you up the wall? Do you give speeches, but hate every minute
of it? Do you speak well, yet are held back from reaching your potential
from the fear and self-doubt you experience?
There is help for anyone who suffers from stage fright. Here are
a few of my favorite stress-stopping techniques for speakers.
1. Don't Call Your Event "A Speech". Instead, Frame the Talk
As A Coaching Session, Workshop or Class. Why? "Giving a speech"
feels like a big deal, pressure-packed situation. Also, few audiences
want to be spoken to or at by a "speech maker", but almost everyone
enjoys the spirited give and take of a conversation.
2. Use The Overkill Principle, From Sports and School. If you
have a school test or sports competition coming up, what made you
feel relatively comfortable and confident going into the event?
Overdoing your preparation with extremely hard practice and training.
If you barely practiced, you had a genuine reason to be very nervous--you
were NOT ready! The same is true for a speech.
3. Set Speaking Sub-goals. A speaking event should also be
a learning experience for you, the speaker. One major goal is of
course, to please, motivate, educate and move the audience. Try
some new things, take some risks and make sure YOU learn from the
4. Practice All The Time, In Every Venue Imaginable. Use
your speech material as you have casual conversations with people
the weeks before your talk, in the coffee shop, lobby, stores, malls,
etc. They won't know you are practicing your speech. You'll be able
to practice the pronunciations, phrasing, inflection, timing, jokes
and all else, just as you will do it from the platform.
5. Wear Your Most Confident Outfit and Accessories. Go ahead,
be superstitious. Wear what makes you feel good, natural and energetic.
Stay away from outfits that lower your self-esteem and confidence
level. To be confident, look confident. Simple to do, but powerful.
6. Accept That Nervousness Is A Natural Part Of Any Performing.
Long time well-known performers across many venues STILL get very
nervous before their performances, yet they manage to give very
creditable performances, time and again.
7. You Can Perform Well And Be Very Nervous, Yet The Audience
Will Never Know. You can be terrified inside, but if you go
about your speaking, you can completely hide your fear from the
audience. The few ways the audience will have hints that your nerves
are appearing are when your voice continually cracks, your hands,
arms and legs shake visibly or you stutter and stammer (assuming
you don't do that naturally). Aside from that, they may never know.
Act as if you are confident, and quite often, you will begin to
8. Make the Audience Do Some of the Work. Instead of YOU
speaking the entire time, give your audience some tasks. Ask them
questions, give them a quiz, have them discover answers to tasks
in small groups. Not only will the audience be more engaged and
learn better, but you can take a break and gather your thoughts
as they do their "homework". Try it, you'll like it.
Remember, even top speaking pros get nervous before and during their
speeches. Collect stress-busting strategies like these. Observe
experienced speakers and see what they do to reduce their nerves.
Embrace your stress and it will serve you well.
To learn more about how presentation coaching can help you become
a better, more confident speaker, visit Bill Cole, MS, MA, the Mental
Game Coach at www.mentalgamecoach.com/Services/PresentationCoaching.html.
Copyright © 2011-
Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority
on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and
CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business,
life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com),
an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development,
professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He
is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author
and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For
a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments
visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
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