Updated: Feb 25
A speech is very little about what you say, it’s a lot more about the emotion you stir in the audience. Think about the last speech you went to. What do you remember most? The words the speaker said, or the way it made you feel? Do you remember that feeling of being so bored you couldn’t wait for it to end? Or how you felt energised, excited, fired up?
What do you want your audience to feel? Do you want them to feel excited, inspired, moved? The easiest way is to create a speech that makes you feel the same things yourself.
How does that help me overcome the fear of getting on stage? The easiest way to move from a fearful nervous state, is to replace it with a different set of emotions.
It’s hard to feel fear at the same time as being excited. It’s hard to be nervous when you are feeling inspired and passionate.
How on earth do you do that? The easiest way is to connect with your speech. What are you talking about and why? What do you like about this subject? What is your unique view on this? Why am I inspired by this?
If you are sat looking at a slide deck thinking how on earth do I bring this to life, ask yourself why are you talking about this? What’s great about this project, this product – who’s it helping, where is the life that will get better as a result of this?
You will amaze yourself if you approach each presentation, pitch and speech in this way. The times I have been fearful are the times I don’t really know what I’m saying and why. The times I have been excited to share my own story, it’s like the nerves lose all their power and I hardly feel them. The same in comedy, when I love a joke and it amuses me, I totally commit to it and guess what, the audience laugh. When I’m not sure about it, the doubt shows, I don’t commit, I don’t perform it as well and guess what – silence – a comedians worst nightmare!
Yes it requires some work up front. It will require you to stop thinking in slides for a while and think about the story behind the presentation. Its really worth doing though. I’ve had times when I’ve fallen back in love with a job I hated, because this process forced me to look at what I was doing and why. The more passion you have for a subject, the more you understand why you are doing something, the less you worry about what other people think of you, that in itself makes you less fearful of standing up and speaking.
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Our Public Speaking Workshops
Here at Comedy at Work we have public speaking workshops to help individuals and employees reduce nerves and become more confident when it comes to public speaking. Find how we can help you here or fill in the form below to get in touch with us.