If you are like thousands of others and dread the prospect of having to speak in public, you just need to pull out your mobile phone and start recording.
Put your phone up on a shelf or have someone hold it for you and record yourself on video giving your presentation to a room full of imaginary people.
When you get to see and hear how you appear when giving a presentation before you get in front of an actual audience, you’re going to be so much more confident when you find yourself on your feet doing the real thing.
Review yourself and keep doing it until you’re satisfied with the results.
During a media training or public speaking workshop, I have everyone appear on-camera at least ten times throughout the day to help build their confidence. By day’s end, everyone gets to see a much more confident and accomplished speaker than they were at the start of the day.
Rehearsing on video is a great way to deal with those public speaking nerves because once you’ve seen yourself succeed on video, your confidence level will soar when you’re in front of an audience.
Some questions to ask when reviewing yourself on video
Do I look calm, confident and relaxed?
Do I build rapport with my audience from the get-go by smiling and putting them at ease?
Am I presenting with sufficient energy to try to keep people engaged?
Am I using my voice correctly to inject colour into my delivery with changes in tone, volume and emphasis?
Do I lock eyes with each person in the room for a full thought (assuming a relatively small audience) so they feel I am talking directly to them?
Do I engage my audience with interesting stories to support all my key points?
Are my visual elements, such as PowerPoint, helping or hindering?
Take some time out beforehand away from any distractions, close your eyes and bring yourself into your mind’s eye and run through the performance elements of your presentation.
See yourself engaging the room and presenting with confidence and poise.
Keep those thoughts positive
It’s so easy to get hung up on what we think isn’t working but negativity is a no-no. If you start beating yourself up mentally with negative thoughts, your performance will suffer and any mistakes you might make will just multiply in an act of self-sabotage.
Keep your mindset positive and save the critical thoughts for well after your presentation.