Does the thought of public speaking leave you shaking at the knees? Do you have nightmares about the audience throwing tomatoes as you fall off the stage? If you’re nodding your head, it's no wonder you're nervous. That anxious feeling is a signal that you are focusing on yourself instead of the value you're giving to your audience.
Focusing on ourselves leaves us vulnerable to disappointment. Focusing on our audience, and how to best serve them, is how we can feel like Rocky Balboa, at the top on the steps, jumping with our hands in the air and our theme song playing.
Here's a story of what not to do…
I recently gave up an entire hour of my precious time, listening to a so-called professional speaker who had just enough engaging energy to keep me curious as to what he would say next. I finally came to accept that he wasn't going to respect my time and give me a beneficial take away. There was no lesson, or inspiration, or unique perspective, or message that would improve my life in any way. He seemed to just like being the centre of attention. Technically, he used all the right actions; he had eye contact, asked questions, used tonal variety, moved with purpose, etc. But, as polished as he was, I felt like I needed to shower afterwards, to cleanse myself of my poor choice to stay and listen.
Speaker Slam sets up success...
Have you noticed that Speaker Slam incorporates a theme with each event? That theme is an element that encourages speakers to give something of value to the audience. We all have a unique perspective that we can share, and successful speeches leave listeners inspired in some way. It may be a lesson on how to overcome adversity, or a message on building resilience, or motivation to stand up for what you believe in.
With a sincere and generous motivation, we’ll feel less anxious about getting on stage. Being genuinely helpful lessens the nervousness around failure and refocuses us on what we know we can contribute. When our motivation is based on giving, sharing and respect for our audience, instead of our desire to be a superstar, our anxiety will decrease.
I just rewatched Michelle Emson’s very personal, Speaker Slam talk about her “butterfly” transformation. Michelle’s talk is successful because she uses her story to enhance the lives of her listeners. She gives her audience a great lesson to ponder about how transformation comes at a price. Then inspires us when she explains it's worth it. And she leaves us with a clear message on loving our own uniqueness, before we can respect the uniqueness of others. She has a smooth delivery, but even if she had completely blundered, tripped on her way to the stage, or did any of the things we get nervous about, she would still be winning because she’s sharing something beneficial with her audience.
If we reframe success as giving our audience something of value, and we do that, then we’ll achieve a great talk 100% of the time. There's no need to get jittery with a 100% success rate. Get on stage and be excited instead.
Written by www.SmartLife.tips blogger, Yvonne Lines. The above post is inspired by a nugget of wisdom found in the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler’s book, The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living.
What is Speaker Slam?
Our Inspirational Speaking Competition features 10 competitors going head to head and heart to heart, to deliver 4-6 minute speeches based on a monthly theme with a chance of winning cash and prizes valued up to $5000. Our winners have gone on to get paid speaking gigs, TEDx talks and online notoriety.