Overcoming a fear of public speaking

Overcoming a fear of public speaking

I don't like public speaking. Yet I do quite a lot of it. As a senior leader in my organisation, it is expected of me. Over the years I have done many public speaking courses. The last thing I did was a one-to-one coaching session with Maggie Eyre. I've seen Maggie work miracles with other speakers. She watched me speak, critiqued my performance and then provided feedback. 

 One of the many photos I have taken to build my own image library for presentations

One of the many photos I have taken to build my own image library for presentations

The feedback has been really helpful and was quite specific:

  1. Bigger gestures - I do hand talk in my presentations but they tend to be smaller gestures. It was liberating to be told. Go bigger.
  2. Speak louder - Maggie says that my modulation is good and I use different tones etc.. but I need to be louder. As a low talker. This one is a struggle but I am working on it.
  3. Metaphor - don't be afraid to use it. There has been an anti-metaphor backlash in some circles and maybe it's because we rely on metaphors that are now cliche. But I do love a good metaphor.
  4. TELL STORIES " ...let me tell you about..." This one is really important and resonated the most with me. 

My personal tips are:

  • PLAN, PLAN and more PLANNING including storyboarding
  • Design your own slide deck if you are going to use one (I like the control and make time)
  • Don't use slide decks unless you have too. I like them. If you use them keep text to a minimum, and use beautiful high resolution images.  I started taking my own to avoid stock photos. 
  • Acknowledge those who contributed
  • Practice again and again
  • Dress to impress
  • Be authentic 
  • Smile 
  • Try and have fun
  • Add glitter if appropriate
  • Be prepared for questions
  • Don't run over time 

I don't think I will totally overcome my fear of public speaking but with public speaking a little bit of anxiety is not a bad thing. For me it means I am very present in the moment when I am up in front of an audience. My next speaking gig is in Sydney at the Edutech Conference. Wish me luck. 

 

#blogjune

#blogjune

This post is about feelings

This post is about feelings