Did you know that lawyers, of whom up to 64% are introverts, tend to experience speaking anxiety?
That may come as a surprise, as we all think of lawyers as excellent public speakers. But it’s just one more indicator that powerful speakers aren’t born that way; they train themselves to speak with precision and impact.
Below you’ll find four proven tips for entrepreneurs to excel as a public speaker.
1. Don’t Imitate Your Favorite Speakers
Every artist has an idol, and every up-and-coming speaker has a specific person whose speaking prowess they particularly admire. However, it’s all too easy to let this admiration for our favorite speakers turn into mimicking them when we should be finding our own voice, style, and niche.
What we fail to realize is that the thing we find most fascinating about a speaker is not the way they speak. It’s not in the way they carry themselves or how they address a room. We’re drawn to powerful speakers because of the authenticity.
And by patterning your style after that of another speaker, you’re losing your own authenticity. And if you think no one will notice, think again. Sincerity and genuineness aren’t qualities we can easily describe, but we definitely know it when they aren’t there.
So by all means, learn from your favorite international public speakers. Study their movements, their manner, and the way they speak, if you want to. But let these insights about great speakers inspire you to develop your own presence, your own voice, and your own message. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can act someone else’s part better than your own.
2. Practice Mindfulness in Public
If you get on stage and you aren’t 100% present with your audience, they’ll start to notice. Your eyes might wander at random. Your facial expressions might be delayed by a split second. Things like this are signs that you’re stuck inside your head and you aren’t really focused on your audience, the room, or the purpose of your presentation.
On the other hand, your audience members can read facial expressions in as little as seventeen milliseconds and they can tell you’re distracted or nervous.
Instead of trying to ignore distracting thoughts or squelch feelings of nervousness, channel that nervous energy into your speech by focusing completely on the moment. Be present. Be mindful of your audience and how they’re responding to your words.
One way to get over being stuck in your head is to practice mindfulness, especially when you’re in public. Try focusing on your breath while you’re surrounded by distractions. Notice the colors, shapes, and faces in your environment when you’re out and about.
3. Accept the Discomfort and Negative Feelings
Feeling uncomfortable or negative is a natural part of life and it can be especially frequent and distracting when you’re a public speaker. But if we dwell on those feelings, we risk letting them hinder our performance.
It also doesn’t help to try and ignore or resist the negative feelings when they come. If anything, that just tends to make them more forceful. Instead, just accept the negativity and discomfort when it shows up. Recognize that we’re all subject to unpleasant feelings once in a while, and even though you face them more than most people would because of the intensity of your profession, they will pass.
4. Be Conversational
When you’re talking to a friend about a subject you’re interested in, it’s easy to go on for hours without even knowing it. In conversation, your message has a natural flow to it because you aren’t trying to impress your friend. You’re just trying to convey an idea that you love.
You should approach your audience in a similar manner. If you’re trying to give a formulated speech according to a strict system, it’s likely to come out feeling stilted and unnatural, and you’ll be more prone to mistakes. However, if you approach your audience with warmth, love, and a desire to convey your idea with passion and clarity, your speech will flow with a naturalness and ease that will surprise everyone. It may even surprise you.
Follow these tips and you could become a highly paid international speaker.