Public speaking is among the most common fears, yet it is also critical to one’s success in the business world. Whether you’re standing in front of a crowd of 500, or giving an important presentation in front of your manager, public speaking doesn’t have to be scary. Here are a few tips on how you can overcome your fear of public speaking.
A huge component of public speaking is confidence. Now, if you’re already thinking about your lack of self confidence, allow me to stop you right there. Think of self confidence as symbolizing your alternate universe, superhero self that only you have access to. And the best part of it is that even if the communication lines between you and your superhero self have been cut, you don’t have to tell anyone. They won’t know the difference. You just have to fake it. Make everyone believe that you are confident. Easier said then done, I know, just bear with me.
Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, suggests that you can trick your brain and jump start it onto the road to confidence by taking a “power pose.” The underlying science is that our body language actually shapes how we see ourselves, as well as how others see us. Cuddy suggests taking a power pose for 2 minutes before a big presentation, meeting, or interview to give yourself the confidence boost you need to succeed.
To help with your stress levels during a presentation, you could:
- Practice before the presentation, then, practice some more
- Open your presentation with a relevant, anecdotal story to ease you into speaking in public
- Breathe, slow dow
- Use trigger words on cue cards
- Make eye contact and look for engagement from your audience, such as nodding heads and smiles
Wonder Woman has her power pose down!
What other life scenarios would warrant a 2 minute power pose?