If we went around the world saying the same old speech again and again we’d get so good at it the stage fright would eventually disappear altogether.
The old saying “Practice makes perfect” holds just as true here as anywhere.
Practice doesn’t mean writing a script for your speech though, no that won’t help at all. Even the best actors in the world can’t remember massive chunks of dialogue that goes on for hours, so why should you expect it of yourself? A bullet point list is the best way to remember content and then it’s just a case of knowing and understanding what you want to say for each point.
Small manageable, bite-size pieces is the best way to create and learn your content, and better still you can take that single page bullet point list up on stage with you as a reminder for what comes next. Even better if it’s a Power Point presentation you can integrate it into that and nobody will ever know you’ve got it.
Don’t expect to just walk out on stage and have your presentation flow naturally, getting it to look slick takes time and effort. Be an actor. Do a role-play. Get your loved ones to be the audience. The more you practise the easier it will be live on the day.
More practice will give you confidence in your material and more confidence in yourself.
Here are a few preparation tips that’ll help to start breaking down those barriers.
- Know your stuff. Once you do that everything else is just a minor hurdle to overcome.
- Don’t read it, be it! No script when you go live.
- Don’t drag it out, make everything short and to the point.
- Bullet points.
- Make like an actor – rehearse! Take 1 will not be good enough.
- Use a video camera. See it from the audience’s perspective, then do another take.
The video camera is actually an amazing tool for practising. It allows us an out of body experience to see exactly how good or bad we are. Yes many people hate the thought of seeing themselves on camera, but don’t forget you also hate the thought of doing a presentation.
Conquer the camera, learn to look and feel good in front of that single, black eye of the lens then conquering the audience won’t be anywhere near as bad as it first appeared.