Remember one thing before your next public speech: it’s not about you.
Written by Filipe Goncalves
Very often my clients come to me and share how they feel when they have a public speech presentation coming up soon. They feel anxious, stressed, scared, nervous and they can imagine all the worst possible scenarios that will happen once they start their performance.
My very first question is:
What’s the subject you will be speaking about?
Do you understand enough of that subject to teach something valuable to your audience?
The answer is always yes, they have a lot of knowledge to provide with their speech.
Did you see what just happened?
I shifted the focus of their audience! I asked them what the subject was and if they knew enough about it. They always feel super confident about the subject but they are always scared about the speech itself.
So what’s the catch?
Simple. If you focus on yourself you think you will fail but if your focus is your audience and what you can provide to them and how powerful your message can be to possibly change their life forever... Then your fears will disappear and they will be replaced with excitement and joy.
Remember this: you do not matter, they do.
I see a lot of coaches out there teaching voice toning techniques and body language techniques and all sorts of different things.
Now, I am not saying this is bad. Everything you can add to your skill box to make sure you are the very best you can be, is beneficial.
What I am saying is that it can NOT be your focus when you are preparing yourself for a specific speech you have very soon. You must increase your skills as you grow over time but you must focus 80% on your audience and the message you will provide when you are preparing a specific speech.
What I say to my clients is this: just be authentic. Be you. Focus on your message (at the end of your speech, what do you want your audience to leave with?) and (how can you provide that in the most effective way possible?). These two have to be your focus when in preparation for your speech.
The more focus you put in your techniques and your dress/suite and your body language and your hands and your slides and ahhhhhhhh….the more nervous, anxious and scared you feel. As a consequence of that the less your audience will connect with you and the less your audience will like you.
The more you focus on them, the more authentic you become, the better your message is and more people will fall in love with you. They will listen to you, they will follow you and they will buy from you! They become your followers.
If you could take only one advice about your public speaking performance and how to overcome your fears and negative thoughts, this would be the one:
It’s not about you. It’s about them. Forget you, remember them.