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6 phrases for no dramaemail: info@thevoicecoach.be

6 down-to-earth phrases to take the drama out of public speaking

Sometimes just the thought of having to present a topic and speak in front of an audience can send our hearts racing. If you are imagining right now that in 30 minutes you will have to present yourself in front of an audience of 100 people – how do you feel? Not very comfortable, right? When we focus on the fact that we have to present something and hold a speech, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and our task becomes very dramatic. Maybe it's because we have had bad experiences with public speaking or no experience at all and it terrifies us to fulfill people's expectations. Luckily there are ways you can take the drama out of public speaking and keep things in perspective. I have put together 6 down-to-earth phrases you can tell yourself before your speech in order to stay with both feet on the ground and don't give in to the drama– it is not a set number, you can also create your own:

Number 1: “I am just sharing informationor “I am just a facilitator of informationMaybe it can help you to think of yourself as just a means to an end. You are the person sharing information that somebody has asked for. Maybe it was you suggesting to present your topic, then you have had at least 1 person in charge say “Yes, that is of interest” to you. So that's what you do. You prepare the information that is relevant and you share it with your audience. Nothing more and nothing less.

Number 2: “I am just one of many (or several) in this room who will be presenting as well”. This obviously just works if there actually are others presenting as well. So if this is the case, it's great. You can think of yourself as part of a group. The reason we get so anxious to step in front of an audience is because we feel singled out and are no longer part of a group. Even if you will be on stage or on the podium on your own, you can still think of yourself as part of a group that will be presenting that day. This way you will feel less pressure on you. The pressure is shared between each member of this group.

Number 3: “ I have prepared this well, I am doing the best I can” This works if you have actually prepared what you are about to present, which I highly recommend. If you got informed on short notice and it wasn't your fault that you didn't prepare anything, stick to the second part of this sentence. You will do the best you can under the given circumstances. If you have prepared your speech well, then that is all you could have done. So, great – no drama! Congratulate yourself on your great preparation work. What comes after that might be beyond your control. You prepared it, you deliver it. End of story.

Number 4: “It just has to happen, it doesn't have to be perfect!” Nobody expects a miracle from you or to have the time of their lives. Depending on the setting of your presentation, chances are quite high that it doesn't have to be an epic performance. If you are presenting your latest project in front of your team or part of your company , don't expect people to hang on to your every word and give you a standing ovation at the end. That just doesn't happen (or let me know if it did, then you must be a genius!). That is a good thing. Since nobody is expecting amazing entertainment (or drama), you can relax and just show what you prepared and do the best you can (see Number 3).

Number 5: “It is not about me, it is about the topic” I know that people say it's just 10% content and the rest is body language and voice . But I don't believe that it helps to train your body language and voice independently of the topic you will speak about. What I have experienced is that it helps to focus on your topic, but not just on an intellectual but emotional level. If you are really motivated and interested by your topic , it will show in the way you deliver your speech . So then you don't have to think what to mechanically do with your hands during you presentation .

Number 6: Some people in the audience will be really interested in what I have to say” The emphasis in this sentence is on SOME - don't take it personally. You don't know how many people in the audience will actually be listening to you or checking their e-mails on their phones. You also cannot really control that. Of course you can deliver a great speech, but there are always some people in the audience who are not interested in what you say. It's just like that. Or some will disagree with you. That's fine. As long as you focus on the people who ARE interested in your presentation, you will get much more energy from them and feel more confident about yourself.

I hope these tips were useful. If you would like to get more tips like these or tried them out, please let me know. You can also subscribe to my newsletter, like my facebook page or read my other blog posts on tips about voice training and feeling confident as a public speaker. You can even join one of my workshops or sign up for individual coaching. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sonja Nannan




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