How many courses have you taken in public speaking that teach you to stare at an object on the wall to calm your fears? Perhaps, you have read articles or books on the subject and were advised to find someone in the audience to focus on in order to quell your nervous jitters. This advice could not be more wrong.
1. Focusing on a particular spot or object on the wall is most definitely not the way to calm your nerves. In truth, this ploy only proceeds to increase your nervousness, not decrease it. By making eye contact with all in your audience, you are then able to acknowledge all in your audience which creates an intimacy that brings them into the fold.
2. Directing your line of vision to one particular person in the audiences screams nervousness. When this happens, you are telling everyone else in the audience that you do not have the ‘cojones’ to look at them. It then makes for a most uncomfortable group of listeners and does nothing for your self-esteem.
3. Staring at the ceiling. Sometimes when we are in conversation, there is a tendency to look up or away when we are searching for the right word or the proper term or our next thought. If you spend your entire delivery looking everywhere but at your audience, they will think you are not interested in them.
4. Glancing furtively throughout the room as if you had something to hide. This scenario tells your audience that you would prefer to be anywhere but where you are at the moment!
5. Imagining that your audience is sitting in their underwear. Unless you are male and speaking to a room full of super models, why would you want to see your audience in their underwear? Nothing would make me more nervous than to be in that situation!
If you are nervous facing a group of people to give a speech or a sales presentation, delivering the quarterly budget or the minutes from your last leads meeting, I suggest you know your material extremely well (which means practicing it out loud), make eye contact with your audience, speak with life and emotion, believe in yourself, and breathe before you run out of air – not after!
You will be amazed at how much more confident you will feel if you can take this advice and put it to good use.
By The Voice Lady