Monday, 9 February 2009

Great Public Speaking

Speaking in public can be the most traumatic experience for some people. It is said that many fear having to stand up in front of others to talk, more than they do death itself.

I haven't yet met someone who would prefer to die than present their ideas to someone else, either in a group situation or one-on-one however.

The biggest challenge people face is in fact the "story" they tell themselves about the possible outcome of their speech or presentation. It's the self-talk that causes the problems.

One of the easiest techniques you can adopt in these circumstances, to be great speaking in public, is to prepare yourself before you start. I'm not talking about preparing the material, although that is important of course, or rehearsing the delivery. No, what I'm saying is that it is essential to mentally prepare and get into the "state" of being able to deliver the material just how you would like it to be done in the best possible way.

All one needs to do is take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, remember a time when you felt really confident, happy, excited and on top of your game - and get back into that experience as much as you can.

Breathe in the positive feelings of that memory, see what you saw back then, hear the sounds around you, notice the feelings within yourself and play back the things you said to yourself.

As you get back into the experience, breathe deeply and hold each breath as you make the colours and shapes of the memory sharper and more vivid, turn up the volume and the clarity of the sounds around you and expand the positive feelings inside.

Hold onto these sensations as you visualise your impending audience listening attentively, spellbound by what you have to say, inspired by your message and ready to take action as you conclude. Enjoy your imagination predicting a successful outcome to your talk and allow yourself to be excited by the possibilities unfolding now.

The first time you do this, spend some time on it and really enjoy the process. With a little practice over time, you will be able to recreate the experience in an instant and be great public speaking every time.


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