[Quick Public Speaking Tip] You – Me – The Public Speaking Power in Creating “Us”

The Public Speaking Power in Creating

Public Speaking is all about you, isn’t it?

You the speaker.

You creating a speech.

You delivering a speech.

You taking the audience on a journey.

You affecting the outcome.

You presenting stories, humour, information, ideas, products.

Me, the speaker.

Me, facing my fears.

Me, being confident.

Me, remembering the best words to use.

Me, creating energy in the room.

Me, finally achieving success as a speaker.

This blog is aimed at You (and if you are reading this, then it is about “me”).

I am writing and speaking to you, hoping to give you ideas and resources that will be of value to you as a speaker.

Strange, then, that the one sure foundation of success is the ability, once the presentation begins (or even in the marketing beforehand) to make it about us – all of us in the room, all of us on this journey to being better, living better, being and living more easily.

Not just the audience – the “you” to whom we speak – else we become preachers, philosophers, at least one step, if not a whole staircase removed, from that audience, that “you”.

We are all on this journey together, supporting each other.

How can we best ensure that, in our blogs, in our social media, in our speaking?

[Inspiration] … from Sir Edmund Hilary

“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.”
– Sir Edmund Hilary

People do not decide to become extraordinary

It’s quite a powerful distinction, Sir Edmund has made here. I haven’t read a lot about him, but I suspect he was a very humble man. Nevertheless it’s a truth that takes some accepting, when so often we believe that we have to be up to a standard before we can accomplish something. It’s certainly something I am learning – that I can Do, then Be, then Have rather than expecting it to work the other way that I need to Be first.

Does public speaking give you a nervous rash? Here’s how to cure it

I hate public speaking - that rash

About that rash …

Yes that rash … the one you were telling me about at the networking meeting.

“Oh public speaking,” you said, “I hate public speaking. I always get that rash that spreads up my neck. So embarrassing! I have to wear a scarf!”

Is it because of the rash that you hate public speaking or is it that you hate public speaking and consequently get a rash?

Or is it that you don’t mind public speaking, or you wouldn’t mind public speaking? In fact you would probably enjoy it, but somewhere someone said something that gave you the idea that you would be judged every time you spoke or that the stakes are high every time you speak – be careful!

And that created stress. Stress releases cortisol and adrenaline into your system and both are known to affect the skin. Or it could be that you are having an allergic reaction caused by stress.

Either way you need to relieve yourself of the stress. That way you bring back the enjoyment you expect from pubic speaking and the freedom to speak without worrying about that rash.
And in this case, though not for everyone, it was caused by fear of being judged and fear of failure.
And what could you use, what thought pattern could you introduce, what story could you tell yourself so that you lost those fears?

The first step is to lose the focus on you. Yes I know there might be a rash, but there won’t be if you stop focussing on you, your being judged, your risks in the high stakes outcome.
The second step is to focus on having a conversation with our audience. Look at it as a stylised conversation, perhaps, but don’t call it “public speaking”. This is different, if only so that it’s no longer associated in your mind and adrenal glands with the ”thing” (“public speaking’) that causes the anxiety, the stress, the rash.

And in this conversation, just as in any conversation, engagement and connection occur naturally. Be a natural, not someone being judged on a performance.

And while you are focussing on that audience and the conversation, think about what you are doing for them. What are you giving them that they need or want or like? Start with the mindset of service, of win-win for you and them. Research them and uncover what they need/want/like and appreciate and then give that. Make them aware, and reassure yourself, that you are there to serve.

It is not about you. It is about your audience and your service to them.

So while the high stakes may involve making a sale or persuading or impressing, that sale, that persuasion, that impression will all be made so much easier and less stressful if you aim to serve and make it obvious that that is your aim. And the outcomes will be so much more abundant as well.

Win-win for all concerned.

Know that your new techniques will take away the feeling of being judged and the stress of high stakes outcomes. Know that all you need to do is know your audience, hold a stylised conversation with them and offer them service. And the anxiety drops. The stress drops. The adrenalin and the cortisol drop. The rash goes and public speaking becomes something to anticipate with pleasure.

You CAN do this!


Now … about that adrenalin addiction – that adrenalin habit, the one you told me about at the dinner last night – ah that’s a whole other article…!

[Quick public speaking tip] Are you being heard?

If your audience cannot hear you, you have lost them.

If there is no microphone, and even if there is, it is your responsibility, in the end, to make sure people can hear you.

1. Project your voice – right to that back row.

2. Articulate well. Practice overdoing it sometimes – hilarious, I know, but a great way to remind you voice muscles that they are expected to work for you and to say words properly without slurring, mumbling, muttering or leaving off the ends of words. In today’s fast-paced world we sometimes develop lazy habits.

3. Take the time to pronounce each word properly. Research every word you use so you don’t get caught. You may be heard, but it’s going to be distracting if you mispronounce something, or stumble over it.

4. Using abbreviations or acronyms? Unless they are in common usage, they might as well have been whispered if someone in your audience has not idea what you mean.

5. You will have made the effort to visit the venue if at all possible before you present. While you are checking it over for all possibilities, remember to check the accoustics, and the microphone.

6. Have someone you can call on to deal with unforeseen issues like a noisy air conditioner, a noisy audience member or a noisy microphone. If there is no someone, have a disaster management plan in place.

7. Don’t forget to make your audience very aware that you have their interests at heart, that you are meeting their needs, and that you are all in this together, or they will stop listening anyway.

And, in the end, there is always that old tried and true phrase “lend me your ears” – well — maybe!