(This is the last segment in my 3-Part Series. Please see my posts from 9/6/18 and 9/11/18 for Parts 1 and 2.)
Tip 7 – Realize that people want you to succeed
Did you know that? In general, people really do want you to succeed. They are rooting for you. If your talk has humor in it, they really want to laugh. If you have some emotional moments, they really want to be moved. Never think for one second that anyone in the audience is there hoping that you will fall on your face. When you think about it, who in his or her right mind would want to sit through a boring, poorly constructed, or badly-executed speech? They really do want you to succeed. After all, what is the alternative? That one of THEM has to give the talk? Of course they want you to do well – if for no other reason than they will not have to give the talk in your place.
Tip 8 – Don’t apologize
I must admit that I did not see this one coming. I mean, why would I apologize as the speaker anyway? I really had no idea why this was on the Top 10 list…
…until I saw it first hand. Many times.
I need to tell those of you who have not read Part 1 of this series that this list was compiled by Toastmasters™ International. This is NOT a Top 10 list of things I dreamed up. This list was put together by one of the finest, most professional organizations in the WORLD that helps people improve their speaking skills. And THEY are the ones to put this item on the list?
I have witnessed different speakers apologize for:
– their technology not working properly;
– not having spent much time practicing their talk;
– losing their place;
– being too emotional, and;
– becoming angry at the audience for not reacting the way the speaker wanted them to.
I could continue, but you get the point. Instead of apologizing, prepare. Instead of apologizing, have a backup plan in case your technology does not work. You are probably getting my drift. Do NOT apologize. Just prepare your talk, and do the best job you can. That is all the audience expects.
Tip 9 – Concentrate on the message – not the medium
I will keep this one brief. The people in the audience are there for one reason only: to hear your MESSAGE. They are not there to question your attire, your confidence, your nervousness, or your comedic style. Get out of your own way, quit worrying about those things, and go out there and give them the best message you have to give.
Tip 10 – Gain experience
I heard a man years ago say that there were no such things as Mistakes – only Learning Experiences. As long as you are gaining Experience by giving a talk, you are WINNING. I have given some rotten talks in my life, for various reasons. The great news about ALL of these talks is that:
– I lived, and;
– I gained Experience.
You know, it is funny: as scary as it can be to give a talk (and I have heard thousands), I have never seen anyone DIE from giving one. Ever.
My final advice to you about Public Speaking is to go Have Fun. Really. It can be fun – especially when you realize that the audience will never know if you messed up or forgot something unless you tell them.
Practice – a lot.
Focus on giving a message of value, and
Go have some Fun.
You can do it. I believe in you.