1. Chunk it down: Think about what you want to say and the break it down, outline it even. In the end, you probably have three or four main points that you will want to get across. Create each idea as a separate section of the overall speech, and treat each one as its own little speech. For direct sellers, this is EASY! I use cards all of the time to keep me on track. It also shows any new potential recruit that they don’t have to be PERFECT to be in business.
2. Over-prepare. Notice I didn’t say “Prepare.” No matter what type of presentation you need to give – whether it is a sales pitch, or a Rotary speech, or a class presentation, of course you will be prepared. Preparation is not enough, especially if public speaking is not your thing. What seems to work best for most people is over-preparation. Know what you want to say and how you want to say it. Practice, and practice some more, and then practice some more. Knowing, really knowing, your speech will do more to ease jitters than almost anything else. And also, all of that practice will help you iron out any kinks in the presentation, and it is far better to do that at home than in front of that big client. Okay, so this is NOT something that I do but I know that there are many out there who find this helpful.
3. Tell stories: People love stories, and love to listen to stories. Stories engage the audience. So, 1) think of some good stories you can tell that personalize the points you want to make, and 2) think of the overall speech as one big story, with a beginning, middle, and end.
4. Visualize: Take a few quiet minutes for the week leading up to the big speech to see it working out just great in your mind’s eye. Watch the movie in your head of you nailing it. Most importantly – make yourself feel the feelings you would feel as you succeed. Feel excited as you watch this movie. Feel confident. See people smiling, laughing at your jokes, nodding in agreement with your points. It works. It ABSOLUTELY does work! I LOVE to do this and actually has helped me a lot. Positive energy flow!
5. Breathe: Right before you start, take a deep breath. Call it a dramatic pause, whatever. Don’t worry if you are nervous, we all get a little nervous before a speech. The trick is to use that energy for you instead of having it work against you. If you notice it, nervousness is just about the same feeling as excitement, so channel that energy positively, into excitement, instead of letting it instinctively be channeled negatively, into nervousness.
6. Be yourself: We’ve all heard it before, but it bears repeating: You will do your best work if you don’t try and copy someone else’s style. Be yourself. Let your personality shine through.
Finally, give yourself a break. You don’t have to be perfect. Don’t worry if you flub a line. Smile and keep going and knock it out of the park.
So who is ready to go out and conquer that FEAR? What are some of your best tips for overcoming a FEAR? We would love to hear it… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!