Hear you are, perfectly relaxed as you attend the farewell party of Joe.
Your boss comes up and asks,” Would you give the farewell speech to Joe in 10 minutes time?”
“I can’t'” you splutter, “my vocal chords are paralyzed.”
And the fear kicks in.
“I can’t do this!”
I must be crazy!”
That doesn’t work so now you wait for the floor to open up and swallow you.
That doesn’t happen either.
Public Speaking creates a great deal of anxiety in most people and arises when they face the prospect of giving a speech, particularly for the first time.
The truth is that public speaking is always a mixture of terror and exhilaration.
It’s just like snow skiing.
When you start, all you can think about is how awkward you are, how dangerous it is and how you’ll never be able to do this.
You get one turn right, get up a little bit of speed, the snow starts to fly in the sunshine and a tiny bit of excitement pops up.
Later, as you become a more accomplished skier, the balance between terror and exhilaration changes.
Now you are zipping down the slopes, carving those turns and feeling like an Olympic Champion!
But there is always that little bit of anxiety lurking, as you speed across the snow.
Typically for beginners in public speaking, all we experience is the terror.
Waiting for our turn to come, starting our speech, the terror remains.
This seems to consume us, makes us irrational and we often feel paralysed.
Then somehow we get through the presentation, come from the stage and as the numbness wears off, the next feeling we have is relief that the ordeal is over.
However, we still retain a sneaking regard for our courage in making that speech and a small glow of exhilaration starts to burn within.
Particularly if we can stop saying to ourselves, “how bad we were.”
In fact, as you walk from the spotlight, say, “Well done indeed,” to yourself.
Because it’s true.
With more practice, the amount of terror reduces and the amount of excitement increases.
Now you do another speech, another presentation and pretty soon you actually realise that you are enjoying this and you become amazed.
And slowly you become hooked on the excitement of giving a speech.
So much so that when you go to fridge in the night for a drink, the fridge light comes on, and you give a 5-minute presentation!
And then the fun starts to creep in.
And by the way.
If you do not have any nervousness or excitement just before you speak, you will come across to your audience as flat.
Did you know that some of the greatest orators in the world have been known to be physically sick, before giving a stirring speech.
So, always be kind to yourself.
But you have to make the presentations.
So learn the information and then simply “do it!”