Yes, nervousness in public speaking may be man’s greatest fear but those nervous jitters do not mean you cannot exude confidence and composure in the process. We often wrongly believe that the secret to dynamic public speaking is to eliminate our nervousness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nervousness is a blessing and the sooner you can appreciate the rewards of that marvelous rush of adrenaline, the better.
Do you not think Susan Boyle was nervous when she walked on stage to be televised worldwide amidst catcalls and laughter last year? Of course she was nervous and probably embarrassed at the rude response of the audience; however, she believed in herself. And, rightly so. The woman was prepared; she was rehearsed; and, she stood with tremendous composure in spite of the jeering. She also had the last laugh because the moment she began to sing, all in the theatre were hushed as they listened in awe.
What does it take to be able to walk on a stage, to the front of the room, or to the head of the conference table to speak to a group of people? It takes faith in yourself, a belief that your audience wants to hear what you have to say, and a knowledge of your topic that is unquestionable. Without those prerequisites, you will be much less likely to sound confident or establish any type of composure.
Being able to control your nervousness and to allow it to work for you is what you should strive to achieve because the adrenaline that is infusing your body will heighten your senses and sharpen your focus. That is one of the secrets for all great performers, musicians, athletes, and public speakers. Without it, you stand to gain little because you are either overly confident or you are in the ‘wrong zone.’
Because public speaking is a live venue, being overly confident is a mistake; and, your audience will know it. Confidence is believing in yourself. Being overly confident is thinking you are infallible.
Being in the ‘wrong zone,’ however, is the opposite situation in which you have little or no awareness of what is happening. This occurs because of medications, drugs, alcohol, or a hypnotic suggestion, none of which have any benefit in public speaking. You need to know what is happening every moment you are on that stage. Your sharpened awareness of yourself as well as the response of your audience helps build confidence which is the path to establishing composure in any form of public speaking.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, group and corporate training in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit her website at Voice Dynamic and watch as Nancy describes the best means of controlling nervousness in any form of public speaking.