It’s Wednesday and your manager gives you a new task: write and deliver a speech for 100 people at a public event in two days. You will either react in one of two ways: thrilled at the professional development opportunity — or fearful of speaking publicly in front of large crowds.
Fear of public speaking may happen to anyone at any time. It also happens to veteran speakers because each new public speaking event is a new experience for the speaker. There are a few quick “microphone (mic) check” tips you can use to prepare for your next public speaking event.
Public speaking can bring about great professional development opportunities. For example, public speaking engagements may build speaker confidence. Each time you create an audience-centric approach, you have the ability to engage your listeners using an informative or persuasive message. Another way to enhance your speaker confidence includes incorporating research, audience demographics and concise messaging for the target audience.
In addition, check the speaking event location before your speech as part of your prep work. It is important to know the event logistics, test the microphone and other electronic devices before the speaking engagement. Then conduct a “test run” on your speech to hear the final message aloud and make updates as necessary.
Moreover, according to a Psychology Today article, when a speaker focuses solely on the perfect message, they make the mistake of focusing on the errors instead of messaging. The perfectionist principle is a hindrance that can stop even the most ardent speaker in her tracks. A way to move beyond this type of barriers is by continuing the audience engagement despite any real or perceived missteps. In addition, the ability to avoid high levels of self-criticism may lead to more enjoyable public speaking engagements while boosting one’s confidence.
Also, it is okay to be nervous when you are about to deliver a speech. Instead letting your nerves take you to an extreme fear factor level; try to channel your energy. For example, leverage your internal locust of control to reach a calm and collected mental place before you delivery your speech. In addition, create a “pre-speech” music playlist to help amp up your positive energy so you can deliver an engaging message with your audience.
Tracey Batacan is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.