Last week I was telling you about a business woman who bravely admitted her fears about speaking on microphone or in front of the camera to the â€śexpertsâ€ť at a workshop.Â IÂ publiclyÂ pondered — okay, I snarked — over the self-serving (and unhelpful) response from those self-same experts.
So today, I want to share with you the tips I shared with that frightened lady.Â Itâ€™s a formula that is invaluable for people who want to defeat their fear of public speaking:Â The 3 Ps — Preparation, Practice, and Passion. Â Â Three simple actions, in no specific order.Â In fact, if we really want to look at the process of effective public speaking, it goes something like this:
Passion:Â Identify and choose a topic about which you feel passionate. Â (Or, find your personal interest, opinion, or emotion in the topic you have been assigned.) Â Positive or negative, you have a feeling attached to it. Â Identify it!
Preparation:Â What ideas do you want to share?Â How are you going to convey them?Â Assemble your notes and write your speech/script with plenty of lead time for practice. Â Make sure that the words you choose are words meant to be heard aloud, not read silently off of a page.
Passion,Â again:Â Think about how you feel about the subject.Â Make sure that you choose words that express your personal emotional connection to the topic. Â If you need to choose again, do it!
Practice:Â Got the words?Â Got the feeling?Â Then get going!Â Speak the words out loud.Â Get comfortable with the words, your body, and your physical space.Â Focus on the meaning of the words, and how you feel about the topic. Â Rehearse with a coach, record and playback with a videocamera, and talk to your pets or plants until the words feel natural coming out of your mouth and through your body!
And then, let the Passion come out of you and through your words and expression! Â (Never skimp on the passion!)
People know this intuitively, but they don’t know how to make it Â work in their favor.Â The same woman said to me, â€śYou know, when I am passionate about something, it’s easy! Â Itâ€™s when I have to speak about something I am NOT passionate about, I freeze up.â€ť
And my answer to her, and to you, is this:
“Why would you ever get up to speak about something you donâ€™t care about? Â You should always have a sense of passion, commitment, opinion,Â or belief about a topic before you share your thoughts about it!! Â Finding the personal meaning in what you want to talk about — even if the topic has been assigned to you by someone else — is the first step in getting your message across.”
Remember the 3 Ps. Â With use, these tools will become your best friends any time you have to “Speak the Speech.” Â But hereâ€™s the disclaimer: Â These are tools, not an instant fix.Â Like any new skills, you need to make them your own!Â Â Will they immediately disappear your fear?Â NO!Â But they will soon give you the foundation you need to head into any speaking experience prepared, centered, and grounded.
And it really helps to know that the “butterflies” you may still feel are caused by a rush of adrenaline â€“ the very same neuro-chemical that causes the feeling of excitement!Â So, YOU get to label the emotion:Â Instead of being consumed by the â€śanxietyâ€ť embrace the feeling of â€śexcitement!â€ť Â Let that rush propel you, encourage you, and keep you sharp!
And that’s a guaranteed result that needs no disclaimer.