- Know your audience and content: Are you speaking to CEOs? To peers? To adults? To children? Are you speaking to managers – if so, what kind of teams are they currently leading? When you start with identifying your audience, you have a foundation for identifying their needs as well as how you can best engage them and provide value.
- Be yourself: If you are trying to deliver like Tony Robbins and that isn’t your true style, I can guarantee you that others will see right through it. When simply being yourself, you allow others to be themselves and that creates a natural connection and, most importantly, trust between you and your audience.
- Pause: Many of us naturally insert filler words such as “uh”…”um”…”like”… when, instead, we could take a powerful pause and use it as an opportunity for breath control and to connect our thoughts. Pausing keeps your listeners engaged and allows for a message to be better absorbed.
- Breathe: Taking time for deep breathing exercises before public speaking has done wonders for me. And, don’t forget to breathe during, ha! As silly as that sounds, many folks end up losing their breath and that leads to the shaky voice, splotchy skin, and then quickly becomes a distraction for both you and your audience.
- Put yourself aside: Lastly, remember you aren’t up there for yourself – you are up there for others and to share a message with them. When we as speakers get nervous, it tends to be because we are focusing too much on ourselves.
You got this. Now, go do your thing!