Public speaking has always been and will always be so hard for introverted shy people, like me or some of you. And the best thing that inescapably has to come to introverted people is when they need (or are made) to come up in front or up on the stage to speak, deliver speech, lead, perform or teach.
I’m a shy person. And you don’t know how much I HATE public speaking.
At times I give up on public speaking. Totally. I’m not that eloquent or outspoken to be a personality that stuns everyone in a certain situation or room. I want to! But something holds me back. It’s the FEAR that holds me back, I get chained to the bar and fail miserably to move forward. To be a better version of myself. I have things, messages and ideas on my mind to get across, to get understood or challenged or agreed.
Come what may!!!
Public speaking makes it possible for me to convey my worth-noting messages to more people out there but the fear and public speaking anxiety turns out a little bit too much and I can’t let it be that way.
So I decided to get rid of the fear, though it doesn’t vanish completely. The fear is still inside but at the very least, it has turned more controllable than ever before.
So I have tried public speaking gigs for a few times (several hundreds of times, if teaching for 5 years is included) and never managed to speak like a world-caliber speaker but I get used to it anyway. It is most likely because I have no choice and I can’t leave the responsibility to anyone else. And voila! I find myself speaking in front of hundreds of audience, something that normally makes me tremble to death.
As we’re enough with the preamble, these are my tips for you.
1. Know exactly what you’ll tell your audience.
Master the material you would present like no one else can. You, therefore, can speak like an expert. Experts are not a bunch of geniuses knowing all things. They know merely a few things, but only too well!
Also, it’s important to pick ONLY the topics you have a full grasp of. That said, you know what to do when offered to speak publicly about things you hardly know. Either you say NO immediately or you’d better learn it fast, which puts more pressure on you.
To avoid disappointment in audience, provide clear description in advance what your speech is all about, and if necessary, tell them what you will not cover in upcoming speech or presentation. It’s fine for some to leave if they don’t feel interested in your talks but hey, isn’t that better than speaking and seeing your audience yawning and scratching heads all the time?
This very first point is fundamental to public speaking, regardless of the fact that you’re an introverted or extroverted one.
Once you understand it all, you suddenly feel more relaxed and a lot more outspoken when told to speak in public. It’s because you feel confident enough to say:”Hey everyone, I declare humbly I know this better than you all so please listen to me now. I’m telling you things you will find beneficial sooner or later.”
2. Be honest.
Honesty is the best policy, especially when you are presenting yourselves in front of many people. Once you want to give audience a false impression of you, they’re likely to think,”Does s/he really mean what s/he says? Is that really who s/he is in the reality? Should I believe what s/he utters?”
If you think you can easily impress them with lies, believe me that they won’t be impressed. Once they find out, they’ll loathe you instead. Thus, be blunt and be candid. You’ll impress more if you stick to this.
3. Befriend audience.
Although you’re the authority as the speaker, you can’t speak rudely to audience, telling them unpleasant words you usually keep for yourself or family members. Be their friends. Don’t preach, just share. That way, they’ll listen to you better. So don’t judge them if you find them wrong. Share what you experienced before without giving the impression that you’re the right one, or you have one right solution to the problems they are facing, and claim,”I’m the judge. I’m right, you’re wrong. Period.”
So don’t get cocky even if you have plenty to share and have got more to show off. As a speaker, you need to show off but make sure it’s done wisely. Remain humble and be fully aware of the fact that one or some of audience can know more than you, have more profound understanding than yours. Or else, you will humiliate yourself in the process.