I’m not really sure where my show off streak comes from. My mother comes out in a rash at the thought of standing up and speaking in public and my father (despite having no confidence issues) would rather hide in the toilets than get up on stage (< that’s a rather funny story about the circus in Blackpool – one for another day).
Me however, I love it.
Don’t get me wrong I do have that pang of nerves, I remember my first time on live radio – the dry mouth, the worry of not knowing what I’d say if I didn’t understand the question etc.
But overall, I’ve most definitely got the bug.
However, for those who do get anxious when it comes to public speaking I saw a great tip on The Atlantic.
All you need to do is make a fist with your left hand.
Researchers have found that when you freak out it is mostly associated with the left hemisphere of your brain. So by making a fist with your left hand you draw focus away from the left hemisphere and turns off that worrying function.
The picture above is of Yves Saint Laurent being pushed on stage to be acclaimed for his Spring/Summer collection in Paris. I think it says it all really, even the most confident amongst us can get a little shy sometimes.
Also these tips (although intended for writers) from Kurt Vonnegut also work well when it comes to public speaking…
- Find a subject you care about.
2. Do not ramble, though.
3. Keep it simple.
4. Have the guts to cut.
5. Sound like yourself.
6. Say what you mean to say.
7. Pity the readers.
– Kurt Vonnegut
What about you? What are your top tips for public speaking?