A stage and I are diametrically opposed.
Don't get me wrong: I love getting some attention and being able to engage people...but I feel everyone else in the world would do a better job than me :)
When NOI was born I knew I had to take into account the idea of exposing myself more, in front of larger audiences and on proper stages. I took the risk, it was worth it!
I always thought that speaking in public was an innate art, a talent you just have or don't have. It is partly true, but the amazing thing I have learnt is that you can also master it via tools and tricks!
ok, ok, I am far from mastering it but still...I am slightly getting better! Baby steps!
Here is a list of the things i have read about speaking in public that mostly resonated (and worked) with me. Anything to add?
- be honest about how you feel - I do not think it harms to say you are a bit nervous, your audience will connect with you and maybe even support you!
- prep your speech by recording it and then listen to yourself, your voice (I know, it seems weird but it is just an impression!), your pauses (do more and breathe more if you feel you are rushing!), your emphasis on words
- jot down just a couple of lines to bring with you on stage and not the entire speech - this will make you feel confident (because you have notes) but not worried to lose the line and mess all up
- make some wonderwoman poses before getting on stage - it is proven they give you confidence and calm you down! Don't believe me? ask Louise!
- if you can, explore a bit the space around you and make it yours so you know it once it is time to shine! Should this not be possible, try to imagine the steps you will make and the things you will do, as if you were looking at yourself from the audience. I tried and it really makes you realise that it is just a speech, not a mountain climb
- smile often, look at the people in front of you, connect with them as if they were all your friends. They are there for you and you are there for them. It is simply amazing and should not terrify you. Repeat it to yourself!
- have fun, really. You have surely done harder things in your life
All in all, it is about bringing things back into perspective and acknowledging that this may not be your favourite thing to do...but you can do it!!!