Nothing, not even death seems to scare people more than standing before an audience and speaking. The fear of public speaking can be paralyzing, yet it is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert or authority in your field. Teri Hart (@TeriHart) is an accomplished reporter and a multi-platform entertainment personality. She has shared her tips and a five step acronym, BRIEF (Belief, Rehearse, Interesting, Edit and Fun), to use as a checklist before making any presentation or public speech to boost your confidence.
1. Believe - Preparation and Belief is Everything
Prepare your speech well. Think carefully about what you want to say. It is important that you, yourself understand and believe what you are talking about. Otherwise the audience will not be able to follow you. Make the words of your lecture or presentation your own by using words you are comfortable with to help you believe in what you are saying.
2. Rehearse - Practice at Home
Practice, but don't do the typical advice of practicing in-front of a mirror. Everyone is their own biggest critic and tend to pay attention to any imagined imperfections about themselves. But the audience will not see what you see because they will be paying attention to what you are saying. Instead, practice your presentation at least two to three days before your event by reading it out loud until you are familiar with what you are saying.
Trust that you are interesting. You are the one presenting the information and the audience is there to listen and hear what you have to say, so believe that what you have to say is interesting. One of the ways to ease your nerves and to connect with the audience is through humor. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. If you're nervous, feel free to let the audience know that you're nervous, your audience will sympathize and find you more interesting.
4. Edit - and Set Goals
Edit your presentation so that it's to the point and entertaining. Ask yourself: "What do I want to achieve with my lecture? What does the audience want to know and what interests do they have?" If you want to convey a certain message, you must define it beforehand. Set a goal to deliver your message in the most concise way. Don't repeat yourself unless it's to emphasize a point and don't stretch your speech longer with content that doesn't need to be there.
You're the expert so enjoy your moment and allow yourself to smile, everyone is more friendly when smiling. And remember that you’ve done the hard work to be here and having people listen to you, that should be FUN! Plus, when you're having fun the audience feels it and they will be more engaged and enjoy your presentation more.
In the video below Teri Hart shares her tips of how to overcome your fear of public speaking.
Mark Twain once said “There are two types of speakers, those who get nervous and those who are liars”.
To help you overcome your fear of public speaking here are 7 Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Public Speaking that you can start to implement right away.