Today’s sales and marketing managers have to run meetings, lead breakout sessions with an Audience Response System (ARS), present keynote addresses at important conferences and do all that other “communications” stuff. Yes, some people have the “gift of gab,” but public speaking is an art that everyone can learn. Before you start your lessons, though, you must conquer your fear.
Here are eight great ways to overcome public speaking stage fright.
1. Banish doubt – You don’t build confidence with mind games or mantras. If you know your topic and are well prepared, you will feel confident. This, of course, is why CRE Account Executives can confidently set you up with any rental equipment you need for office use or for upcoming events. They know the business, and they know the tools.
2. Change your attitude – Abraham Lincoln wisely reflected that “people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” You really can change your negative mood into a positive one, although it helps to do the footwork concurrently.
3. Focus on value – Work hard to create a first-rate presentation that will be of tremendous value to your audience – and tell them so. Steve Jobs introduced the original iMac (and other products) by telling people, in advance, that they were “insanely great.”
4. Make a good first impression – Your folks said this when you went to meet your prom date’s parents. How we are perceived is decided long before we speak, and first impressions involve dress, hygiene, manners and other intangibles.
5. Practice pacing – Your voice timbre is just as important as your message. Proper (deep) breathing calms your nerves and projects your voice, which is important whether or not you amplify it with audio visual (AV) equipment rentals. Read aloud, pause at commas, breathe after sentences – and time yourself!
6. Act “as if” – Take a page from the character actor’s handbook and “fake it till you make it.” If you notice some eyes glazing over in the audience, get excited about… anything! It’s infectious.
7. Make eye contact – Eye contact makes individuals out of “audience members” and directly involves them in the event. Find someone that’s smiling and nodding, engage them, then find another after a few moments. The presentation thus becomes a series of one-on-one conversations, like private FaceTime video calls on a CRE iPad rental.
8. Schmooze the grouch – If there are some grumps present, make eye contact and smile at them, too. The overwhelming majority of audience members really do want you to succeed (and, after all, they came to learn from you). They want you to do a great job so they can feel the same way about attending!