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18th of November 2018


Public Speaking Tips To Reduce Anxiety and Overcome Your Fear

Public speaking.

Do those words send a shiver down your spine?

I’ve lost count of the times I’m asked “Antonio, how do I become a good public speaker?”

Have you ever tried public speaking?

Wait… before you answer, I already know the answer.

Yes you have.

How do I know this? And how can I improve your public speaking skills?

Read on to find out.

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Click Here To Watch The Video – Ultimate Guide To Public Speaking

So let’s get back to my question. I know you’ve spoken in public before because every man is a public speaker. Whether you’re standing in front of an auditorium, teaching a class or pitching an idea to your boss  – gentlemen: it’s all public speaking.

Today’s lesson is Public Speaking 101.

Getting your message across clearly is the key to success in life and I’m going to show you how to speak so people listen.

Tip #1. Don’t Be Nervous, Be Excited!

According to the American Institute of Mental Health, 74% of us suffer from speech anxiety. Take a step back and take a deep breath – it’s time to reframe your thoughts.

public speaking

Reframing is a psychological technique that allows you to identify positive alternatives to your negative and irrational thoughts. You need to reframe and rechannel any nervous feelings into feelings of excitement and positivity. By telling yourself that you’re excited, you can change your anxious energy into a positive force for good.

Tip #2. Know Your Content

When you’re speaking, your audience is asking “can I trust this person?”. You need to be credible – an expert in your field – so you feel confident in your ability to answer any questions your audience throws at you.

Tip #3. Public Speaking? You Need Energy!

Gentlemen, it’s better to have too much energy than not enough. (Have you ever met Aaron Marino?!) You need stage presence and nervous body language can kill the energy on stage.

aaron marino speaking

Never be afraid to be theatrical because it shows you’re having fun and you’re in control of the room.

Here’s a tip – if you want to start your presentation off on the right foot, applaud your audience as you’re walking onto the stage. They’ll start clapping back and you will feel the buzz from the energy straight away.

Tip #4. Earn Your Place

Have you ever heard of Imposter Syndrome? It’s a fear you’re going to being exposed as a fraud. People get this fear when they are not confident of their own abilities and it can affect all of us.

The best way to avoid Imposter Syndrome is by earning your place at an event. So put in the effort, put in the work and you will feel you have earned the right to be on stage. You might not be the best, but you’ll feel the best. 

Tip #5. Invest In Yourself Public Speaking

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Investing in yourself in the most important thing you can do. I urge you to read books, take classes and continually seek to better your knowledge and learn new skills. The internet has made this so much easier for us.

There’s a world of information at your fingertips and you can access it all from your mobile phone. Why not add to your knowledge base and take a course on public speaking?

Tip #6. Sell Your Own Event Public Speaking Fear

Menfluential 2018 – Forge lifelong relationships, shake hands with your favorite lifestyle influencers, & jumpstart your online business. Click for ticket info.

Don’t rely on other people to sell your event. It’s your speech so get involved in the sales process! You’re the best person to sell yourself because you know what you’re capable of.

Actively encourage people to attend – friends, colleagues and family members. I found that people I personally invited to Menfluential showed up to support me!

Tip #7: Know Your Audience

This is where selling your own event really helps. If you’ve invited the people in, you’ve already spoken with them and you’ve got a sense of who they are.

This is important – because if you don’t know who you’re talking to, you risk a serious misfire. Imagine showing up and giving a talk on law for beginners… but your audience is full of advanced, seasoned lawyers. You’re going to lose them. That’s why you’ve got to know your audience.

Tip #8: Spot People You Know

And when you’re looking around the room, make eye contact with people you know. I call these people ‘beacons’. These guys are your support squad. You’ll get a smile or a nod of encouragement from a familiar face, just when you need it most.

Tips #9, 10 & 11: Practice, Record & Time Yourself

Forget what you’ve been told. Practice does NOT make perfect. Practice makes permanent.

And this is especially true when it comes to public speaking. If you’re making mistakes and you keep practicing and repeating these mistakes, guess what?  You’re going to keep making the same mistakes.

Record yourself and watch through it to see what you look like from a third person’s perspective. Most importantly, time yourself. It’s very easy to start talking, lose track of time and go over your allocated limit. You don’t want to be in a position where you’re racing through the last 5 minutes of your presentation because you haven’t paced yourself properly.

Remember, to get better, you need to practice, improve and adjust.

Tip #12: Use Visuals (But Don’t Abuse Them) powerpoint presentation

Does your presentation complement your speech? Or does it overpower it?

The most effective presentation visuals are clear, concise and consistent – never flashy. Dancing logos and wild animations detract from your content and prevent you from getting your message across to your audience. Always keep it simple.

Tip #13. Break Your Presentation Into Parts

Public speaking can be nerve-wracking. Let me ask you what sounds more intimidating, one 30 minute presentation or six 5 minute presentations?

It’s the latter because breaking your presentation up into smaller chunks makes it more manageable. This technique is also useful for when you’re practicing your presentation. For example, you can practice the 1st section when you’re walking your dog and the 2nd when sitting in traffic. It’s a great use of your spare time.

Tip #14. Do Your Reconnaissance Public Speaking

Make sure you check your venue out before you go on stage for the first time.

Before you get up on stage for the first time, check the room out. How big is it? What’s the lighting like? Where will the audience be sitting in relation to me? Does the audio work?

You need to ask all these questions so you’re not left with any surprises when it’s your time to shine.

Tip #15. Get A Good Night’s Sleep Speech Anxiety

Get a good night’s sleep before your presentation. If you’re tired, you’re more likely to make mistakes.

Go to bed at a reasonable time and get a good night’s sleep before your big day. If you’re tired, you’ll be irritable and more prone to making mistakes on stage. All of this will add to anxiety and stress and this will be reflected in your speech. If you struggle in the mornings, you need a 5 Step Morning Ritual.

Tip #16. Drink Water And Eat Normally

Drink plenty of water so you’re hydrated and to avoid the dreaded “dry mouth”. And whatever you do, don’t go eating a big heavy meal before your speech because this will make you bloated and lethargic. Oh – and you certainly don’t want to have to excuse yourself mid-speech due to your stomach problems.

Tip #17. Use Body Language

Your body language adds credibility to your speech. Remember Tip #2 – you audience is asking whether they can trust you. Avoid crossing your arms (this is a defensive gesture which puts up a barrier between you and the audience) and try to avoid fiddling with your cuffs, wallet or buttons because this makes you look nervous.

Take time to watch how the professionals do it and remember to “work the room”. That means not standing in one place like a statue – you should be animated to keep your audience’s attention. Check out my article – 3 Secret Body Language Moves That Help You Gain Instant Trust.

Tip #18. Break Unconscious Bad Habits

You’ll spot some bad habits as you work on your body language – things like putting your hands in your pockets or touching your face while speaking.

But I’m willing to bet you also have some bad verbal habits. Watch out for ‘filler words’. Words like:

Uh So Well You know Like I mean Anyway As I was saying

These weaken the impact of what you’re saying and make you come off as unsure, unprepared, and nervous.

How to break yourself of the habit? Try making a game of it. Create a ‘filler word jar’ and drop a quarter in there every time you use a filler word. Speaking without filler words will feel odd, but you can go a long way towards breaking this habit in just one day.

Tip #19. Leverage REHEARSED Stories

Stories can create a powerful connection with people. Information may engage their minds, but stories engage their emotions.

No, really – that’s a scientific fact. Stories engage the creative, emotional right brain; facts engage the logical left brain. If you’ve been dumping a lot of information on your audience, they can go into left-brain overload and tune out.

You can give their left brains a break by switching them over to right-brain mode with a story.

“The more simple and predictable the communication, the easier it is for the brain to digest. Story helps because it is a sense-making mechanism. Essentially, story formulas put everything in order so the brain doesn’t have to work to understand what’s going on.” – Building a Storybrand, Donald Miller

Don’t just tell your stories on the fly – rehearse them. Tell them in front of the mirror. Tell them to other people. Tell them until you know the beats of them off by heart like a favorite bedtime story.

This allows you to forget about remembering them, and focus on making them come alive for your audience.

Tip #20. Get Feedback From A Critic

This just in: you are not an unbiased critic. Recording yourself is no substitute for actually practicing your words on another human being.

You’ll get an invaluable new perspective when you deliver your presentation to someone else – even if it’s just your wife or your best friend. However… they might not be unbiased observers either.

If you’re serious about improving your public speaking, it’s well worth paying for coaching or joining a group – Toastmasters is great.

Tip #21. Dress For Success Dress for success

Dress for success. Do you recognize this successful guy? He’s one of the best dressed men I know…

And finally: you need to look successful. When you look great, you feel great. And when you feel great, you are more confident. What message are you trying to give to your audience? To be successful, you need to Dress For Success.

If you take just one thing from this video, make it this: always invest in yourself. I’m always seeking improvement and I’m constantly improving. Want some proof? Check out my video on public speaking from 2012 – 5 Tips To Improve Your Public Speaking. You gotta watch this! (I can’t believe how bad I was!)

Investing a few minutes a day in learning improves your skills and unlocks new opportunities in life. Click here to check out Skillshare – the first 500 people to sign up will get 2 months of PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP for FREE. 

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