Jerry Seinfeld got a big laugh when he joked about a survey that found that the fear of public speaking ranks higher in most people’s minds than the fear of death. “In other words,” he deadpanned, “at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.”
So if fear of public speaking surpasses the fear of illness, fear of flying, fear of terrorism, and even fear of death itself – how can we find inner peace before making an important presentation? Yikes!
Here are three simple tips to set you up for serenity in front of the room.
First … remember the Boy Scout’s motto, “Be prepared.” Clarity is power. Know these answers, “Who are you speaking to? What is your outcome? What do you want your audience to walk away with?”
Second … practice, practice, practice. It’s especially useful to know your “opening” and “closing.” And, give special attention to “transitioning” between key points. Rehearsing helps. But, don’t get too caught up in scripting every word – ultimately, speaking from the heart earns you more kudos and connection.
And finally … the single biggest key to finding inner peace during a presentation – CONNECT with your audience. This means, shift your attention from your sweaty palms, rapid heart rate and anxiety-filled body – and FOCUS on connecting heart to heart with your audience, one person at a time.
By focusing outside yourself … you’ll quickly discover presentations and public speaking aren’t much different than one-on-one conversations.