Updated: Jul 31
In this article, I'll share my top techniques to help you overcome stage fright, deliver impactful presentations and best engage your audience in any scenario. Armed with these universal tools, get ready to embrace the spotlight and captivate the room when you next speak!
What have I learnt?
Glossophobia. The fear of public speaking. Infamously the world's second biggest fear, speech anxiety is apparently only behind the fear of dying. While the jury is still out on that one for me personally, I can't deny that this is a critical life skill that leaves countless people cringing at its mere thought. The sad yet biting truth is that often, delivery matters more than content in this era of short attention spans and shorter fuses. Ever noticed how those with the gift for the gab always get their ideas heard, get their career advancements, get the girl? (or guy or non-binary!) That's because although it may be one of the most dreaded forms of communication, whether you like it or not, public speaking and its related skills, are all vital to both your personal an professional life, no matter your field.
Speaking to and among others allows us to form connections, influence decisions and motivate change. Without communication skills, the ability to progress in the working world and in life itself would be nearly impossible.
What can you do about it?
I was very fortunate to not only lack a fear of public speaking but actually develop an affinity for it as a high school extramural activity - eventually even forging an entire career around it! As an award-winning voice actor, event MC and brand guy, I've conquered stage fright and honed my public speaking skills in various personal and professional settings alike. Here's how I can empower you to do the same:
1. Embrace the Stage 🎭
Embrace the stage with confidence and enthusiasm. Treat the stage as your platform to share your ideas and connect with your audience. Remember, the stage is where your voice can shine and make a lasting impact. So strive to see it as a liberating opportunity for growth and being able to better share your ideas, rather than as an object of your anxiety.
2. Master Your Body Language 💃
Master the art of body language to enhance your presence on stage. Stand tall, maintain eye contact, and use gestures purposefully to express your message. Your body language can convey confidence, passion and engagement, capturing your audience's attention.
3. Harness the Power of Your Voice 🗣️
Your voice is your instrument, so use it to command the room. Project your voice with clarity and conviction, varying your vocal components (volume, pitch, rhythm and tone) to keep your audience engaged. Practice vocal warm-ups and exercises to strengthen your voice and communicate with impact.
4. Connect with Your Audience 🤝
Building a connection with your audience is crucial for effective public speaking. Take the time to understand your audience's needs and interests, and tailor your message accordingly. Use storytelling, humour or personal anecdotes to create an emotional connection and leave a lasting impression.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice! 🎙️💪
The key to overcoming stage fright and becoming a confident speaker is practice. Rehearse your presentation multiple times, focusing on your delivery, timing and transitions. Practice in front of a mirror, record yourself or seek feedback from trusted peers to continuously improve your speaking skills.
Enjoyed the article? Tell me about how you've become a better speaker over time by sharing some of your own tips and techniques for being a more confident speaker.