I just spent the last three days attending two important conferences downtown, Phoenix Start Up Week and Digital Summit Phoenix. I listened to speakers like Governor Ducey talk about the impact of small businesses and a digital marketing genius who broke down why we should all take marketing cues from the queen herself, Beyoncé!
I walked away with pages and pages of notes to implement at my day job and even a few pro tips for my blogging adventures. Yet, what I most admired most about the 15+ speakers I heard was their ability to walk on a stage in front of hundreds of people, be comfortable in their own skin and own the moment.
I consider myself an introvert. I fit most of the textbook definitions. I typically listen before I speak, I’d much rather be behind the scenes than the center of attention and I get exhausted from pretending like I’m an extrovert all day. People say I do well at public speaking and although I appreciate the compliment, I know in my heart I’d rather climb under a rock.
So to my fellow introverts, since climbing under a rock isn’t possible, I’m sharing three things I do to get prepared for public speaking.
Smile. A lot. I’m not a doctor but I’m pretty sure I’ve read that dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released when you smile. As a result you may also lower your speedy heart rate. Right before you go up on stage or in front of a group, look at something on your phone that makes you smile.
Don’t tell the audience you are nervous. I always cringe when I hear people admit this when presenting. Why tell the world? I am positive the audience doesn’t know you are nervous, nor cares. You are the only one who needs to know about the turmoil happening in your stomach, heart and head.
Embrace poor vision. If you wear glasses and are nearsighted, I say take them off. If you are doing a small group presentation or on a stage, a monitor should be close enough to read your slides. Who says you have to really make eye contact with the audience? You only need to look like you are doing so. Looking at the blurry faces of your audience takes some of the edge off.
What do you do to prep for public speaking?