When it comes to public speaking, my most difficult clients are those of the A-type personality who are seeking to deliver a perfect presentation. Let me ask you this. What is perfection in public speaking? Do you have a definition for such a thing? The art of oral communication with an audience is subjective.
One of the 5 greatest pianists of the 20th century was renowned for the mistakes he made when he performed. You can purchase performances of his in which there are mistakes because they were unable to be edited; however, when Arturo Rubenstein gifted his audience with his expertise, his artistry was exquisite – mistakes and all. The man made music.
This is the same approach you should try in public speaking. Wow your audience with your delivery, captivating them with your words, with your passion, and with your enthusiasm. And, if you make a mistake, it is not the end of the world. Your audience is not expecting perfection, why should you?
Seeking perfection places a pressure on you that is not fair to you or your audience. Instead of focusing on trying to deliver a ‘perfect’ presentation or speech, might I suggest that you strive to do the best that you can do?
Mistakes are made in public speaking by the best in the business. It is unavoidable. That, in a nutshell, is the problem for the A-type personality. They are frightened of making a mistake or two. What would happen if you did make a mistake? Do you think your career would be over or you might be fired from your position? Of course not.
Do you not know that radio and TV broadcasters do make mistakes? Do you not think Tony Robbins makes mistakes? Of course they do and of course, he does. It is inevitable; however, they do not focus on the error. Instead they correct it, if need be, and move on.
You are wasting so much time worrying about the possibility of making a mistake that you lose sight of your objective which is to inform or persuade your audience to the best of your ability. Admittedly, if your delivery is replete with mistakes, then you do not know your material.
Practice your material out loud on numerous occasions, video record yourself so that you can see how you are doing, fix what you don’t like, and then move on. Your job in public speaking is to strive to do an excellent job, not a perfect one!
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. For more information on upcoming workshops, visit Voice Dynamic.