Try to spot 2 or 3 people with friendly faces , and look at them.
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Their smile and kindness will not only allow you to connect but will also give you more confidence. People relate more easily to someone that smiles than to someone whose teeth are as mysterious as the beginning of the universe. So smile will you and your work legitimate.
Not bad, right? Because smiling is genuinely contagious. People who are excellent at speaking, are not so innately. Hence, they study and rehearse until they have a perfect command of their subject and presentation. Do you think Michael Phelps became time Olympic champion only thanks to his physiological advantages? An easy way to feel more powerful when you give a talk is to stand tall and put equal weight on your both feet. According to the social psychologist Amy Cuddy , your body language will make a great difference both in your own performance and in the people perceive your confidence level.
Dehydration and an empty stomach increase anxiety. In my case, I always had little cookies with me before I had to speak in public in school. Eating them would calm me down. You know how I feel about it, I think breathing is the key! Good breathing is a factor of serenity.
Hence, an important factor of a successful intervention without signs of fear of public speaking. Breathing seems obvious. Now, I invite you to breathe through your stomach , a method used by top athletes. You should watch your abdomen swell as you inhale and deflate as you exhale.
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Do it slowly. Put your hand on your stomach, take a deep breath into your stomach, and let it out slowly. Repeat it 3 times. Abdominal breathing will allow you, among other things, to regulate your heart rate and promote the oxygenation of cells and blood, thus calming your anxiety. But for this abdominal breathing to become a reflex, you must practice it regularly.
Try to do abdominal breathing exercises every day, so that this breathing method becomes a habit. Think of all your personal and professional achievements that foster your self-confidence. Do this just before you speak. It will boost your confidence. When I was hesitant about my ability to speak at work meetings, I would tell myself that if I had been recruited it was because they considered me competent. Therefore, I would repeat to myself that I was as capable and legitimate as my colleagues to speak. Visualization is a technique that uses the resources of the mind, imagination, and intuition to improve performance and well-being.
As part of their mental preparation, top athletes use visualization to improve their performance and increase their self-confidence. The idea is to pre-dispose your mind for good performance and success. Visualization will allow you to better prepare for unexpected situations, manage stress and overcome your fear of public speaking. Imagine the place, the people, the audience and also the other speakers.
Visualize your outfit, your hairstyle, what you feel, the wetness of your hand, your voice on the microphone. You feel confident and your concentration is at its highest. You listen for deep focus just a few minutes before your presentation. Your heart beats fast but it beats well and you see your abdomen swell.
You have a smile on your face because you are sure that your presentation will be a success and crowned with a big round of applause. Your mental attitude is positive and you feel in control of the situation. Visualize yourself on the stage, imagine your interactions with people , your smile, and your eye-to-eye contact with the public.
You are unstoppable. Visualize the detail of your presentation, the speech as fluid as water running in the river. You find your words easily and even make some jokes. Your remarks are incisive, you can see your ideas resonating within the audience. Feel the pride and joy when you finish with an applause and positive comments from the entire room. I understand that this may seem superficial to you, but feeling good in your clothes is the first step to gain confidence and be more comfortable.
Remember that building confidence is one of the keys to overcoming fear of public speaking, and dressing well will steer you towards the right direction. In my case, for example, I would isolate myself and listen to 50 Cent or Doctor Dre to in order to start my presentation as focused as I possibly could. Increasing focus decreases the chances of slipping up or forgetting your speech. As the Head of TED Chris Anderson explains in his book , there is not one way to give a great talk, but there is only your way!
The art of delivering a great speech is not innate. It is acquired through techniques that can be learned. There must be a common theme between each of your ideas. All the elements need to connect: You need a throughline. It is also important to have an original throughline that will arouse the curiosity of your interlocutors.
As Chris Anderson puts it in his book , to define your throughline you need to know your audience so that you can adapt your speech to your target. For your audience to follow your reasoning and overall speech structure, use transition words or phrases like the following:. Inject variety into the way you speak. If your presentation is completely linear and monotonous, you may sedate the person you are speaking to! Elizabeth Gilbert suggests you choose someone that you like and who is not in your field of expertise. We all suffer from cognitive bias.
When we master a subject, we forget to know how it is not to know it. As soon as I stepped on the street, I saw that the Sun would collide with Earth, that everyone would be wiped out in a matter of seconds. The shorter your sentences, the more effective they will be. Less is more.
We have the possibility of using many and diverse visuals to accompany our speech: Slides, videos, graphs, etc. But is it always necessary? Ask yourself this question. Making slides also implies taking the risk of diverting attention from your words. It is better to have no visuals than poor visuals! If you decide that having visuals is indeed relevant for your presentation, there are some guidelines you can follow. Use your slides only to show something that is difficult to describe with words. You know what they say: A picture is worth more than a thousand words.
For example, a graph with key data will be more impactful and clearer than a long block of text. We have all seen and we have all made slides with a big title and bullet points with long sentences, just like the one below:. Moreover, a slide with a question and its respective answer ruins all the suspense. The idea is that your words bring an explanation to the slide and add value. Instead of your slide saying: The Way Factory is a blog to help people finding their way through career and personal advice.
Every word you say that your interlocutor has already read in a slide is like a smartphone without the internet: Useless! It must be readable like Helvetica or Arial.
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Use 24 points at least to make your text is readable. Use the same colors all along your slides and keep them sober, like white, black, gray or blue. We are not at the Rio Carnival yet! The question of whether or not to memorize your presentation is often the subject of lively debates! For some people, memorizing gives the confidence to deliver an incredible speech. Additionally, you will not waste time searching for the right words and will be able to deliver your message to the best of your abilities.
Moreover, learning by heart also means reassuring yourself and reducing anxiety. However, the risk is to lack spontaneity and to give the impression that you are reciting poetry. The technique to avoid this pitfall is precisely to know your text so well that you no longer need to focus on the words , but on the intonation and the passion you transmit. Instead, your conscious effort is allocated to the interaction with the audience. The idea is to know your script so well that it seems natural.
The test that certifies you have memorized your speech is that you should be able to do something totally different while reciting it. But it also implies the risk of getting stuck at a certain part of your talk.