My students often ask me, "How can I improve my public speaking skills?" and "How can I overcome my fear of public speaking?"
Here are couple of myths you need to understand to become good at public speaking:
1. Everybody is analyzing you
Many people become scare of public speaking, thinking everybody is going to analyze their dressing sense, body language, skills, and content. Nothing could be further from the truth. As long as you are able to contribute your best to your audience, and you can help them resolve their concerns; they do not pay attention to your minor shortcomings.
As a matter of fact everyone is more worried about his/her defects.They are so engrossed in themselves that they hardly pay attention to trivial flaws.
2. You should answer every question
Some presenters start losing their confidence level when they fail to answer a few questions. We need to understand that knowledge is sea, and we can never explore the whole sea. Everyone has certain limitations. Take the example of a software company; the company has thousands of software engineers. If one software engineer can do everything, they might not need other software engineers.
I recently attended a seminar where the presenter could hardly answer any question after his speech. However, he gracefully said, "If you want, I can get back to you with an answer." Nobody tried to deprecate him since he was utterly honest.
3. The presenter should be infallible
Many people think they should be infallible before they start addressing a gathering. We have been fighting for ages but still we have not been able to create perfect weapons and warriors. The fact everything on this earth has been evolving. No one is flawless.
No one has time to observe if you are flawless or not. Everyone is concerned about solving his or her problems. If you can provide the right solution to a problem, you should act now.
If you wait until you perfect something, you cannot start anything. Please google the first airplane or train in the world and compare it with modern plane and train.
4. Reading your material word for word
I have seen many speakers who read their scripts or PPTs word for word; observing them I often contemplate, "Why am I sitting here and wasting my time?"
A lot of rich content and PPTs are easily available on websites Slideshare I can do this reading at the comfort of my couch.
Your audience wants to listen to and understand an expert. You need to play the role of an expert. However, when you read a script word for word, you are considered a tyro.
I have also observed speakers who do not write more than one or two words on a slide to ignite curiosity.
5. Speaking without enthusiasm
Have you ever contemplated why we take so much interest in movies, news channels, and soap operas? The reason is all anchors, characters, lead actors, villains are full of enthusiasm. Their enthusiasm and performance make us watch these programs again and again.
When you speak without enthusiasm, people lose interest in your presentation or speech.You may video record and observe yourself if you speak with enthusiasm or not.
6. No authenticity
A salesman with 20 years of experience starts teaching selling to novices. The salesman has experienced many triumphs and failures during this tenure. He happened to read the best books and took training from the best salespeople across the world.
Do you think he will be able to do complete justice with his job?
One might think I can start training people without adequate experience. Your experience brings authenticity, not speaking.
7. The audience will make fun of you
Nobody invests his precious money or time to make fun of a presenter. People come to a conference, seminar, or similar events since they have some serious concerns that they want to resolve.
Only a fool will invest his valuable money and time to laugh at a speaker. One can entertain himself/herself by watching a movie or parody. Can you consider attending a convention to taunt a presenter?
You need to make sure that you are able to benefit your audience beyond their imagination and give them the best value for their time and money.
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