Public speaking and running a training course can be scary but it is a necessary part of many people’s careers.
Regardless how many attendees, every one of us would develop that anxiety and nervousness just as you are about to go on stage.
To help you prepare for your next training session and possible stage fright, we have come up with a list of guidelines just before you step on stage. Here are some tips to practice before you go on stage for your presentation.
Start drinking water 10 minutes before you start talking. Regardless of how terrible the acoustics of the room is or how bad your microphone could be, the audience will pick up that sticky, cracking sound in your voice.
So moisturise that dry throat of yours.
Ever had a doctor asking you to ‘breathe normally’ during a medical check-up and wondered, how do you actually breathe abnormally?
In other words, focus on your breath when you feel the built up of your nervousness.
Take a couple of evenly-paced, smooth inhalations and exhalations. Try to focus on your thoughts and energy during this breathing. It’s fine to do this throughout your session too; just pick moments between topics to have a longer pause.
Be Aware of Motion
Another tip to practice for your next training presentation is being aware of your motion. Take notice of your movements on stage and know your space well.
Presenters often deal with their nervousness by unconsciously shifting their weight from foot to foot, walking backwards and forwards or waving their hands too much. Take note that repetitive movements are distracting to the audience.
Voice and Tone
You may or may not be equipped with microphone during your training presentation, but remember the saying, “Trash in equals trash out”. If you do not project your voice, no one is able to hear you speak.
Also, take notice of the tone of your voice. Avoid being monotonous or delivering your message too excitedly. You can focus on how your tone can strengthen the message, rather than weaken what you are trying to get across. Remember that monotonous means dull, tedious and lacking in variety and interest. So avoid all those!
Accent Speaks Louder than Words
Not every one of us comes from an English speaking country or English may not be your first language. So give your audience a chance to adjust to your accent (if you have one!).
Start your opening sentences slow and over-articulate, so the audience can adapt to the way you speak, before continuing with your training.
In the best-selling book, ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne, there is the quote that goes, “There is no such thing as a hopeless situation. Every single circumstance of your life can change”. So remember to always think positive!
When you start thinking negative and wondering if bad things are going to happen, bad things WILL happen. Do not start thinking about possible negative ideas when you are waiting for your cue backstage.
Be Excited and Psych Yourself Up
Nothing kills a training presentation or session than a dull presenter giving a speech. So besides thinking positive, get energised just before you go on stage. We are not talking about doing a couple of push-ups or a run around the room.
Psych yourself up with a couple of mantras like, “I’m so excited!” and “This is so great”. Just like an athlete doing stretches and warm-ups before a big race, get yourself ready and eager for the talk or the speech. Maybe a few stretches could help too.
Go With It
Remember that you are the only one with the script. So nobody in the audience is aware if you make a blunder or two. If you realise that you have made a mistake, just keep moving forward; it is very unlikely anyone will notice
Take note that no matter how well you prepare, it is okay with the unexpected. It is common to forget a word or a small section of your presentation – you are human after all.
You can get to the venue earlier to ensure you are comfortable with the space as well as the audio visual setup being used for your presentation. Should there be any technical glitches during your presentation – it is fine! Take a moment, breathe deeply and just go with it.
Nat King Cole once sang “Smile though your heart is aching. Smile even though it’s breaking”. That is one of the best advice anyone could give to you just before you step on stage.
Maintain a positive and pleasant expression on your face as you walk on stage and then take a deep breath and smile at the audience before you begin.
The best thing anyone can do is just get up on stage and take every opportunity to practice your talk.
Other than that, the tips above can help you improve and perfect your training presentation skills so you can reduce stage fright and become a masterful public speaker.