Public speaking: Five common myths
Studies suggest that you’ve probably faced an audience with your mouth dry, palms sweaty and heart racing. If this happens nearly every time you do a presentation or a talk, you may have dismissed the idea of becoming a public speaker, or simply dread every time your boss asks you to present a project.
If this applies to you, you shouldn’t write yourself off. There are many ways to improve your confidence and public speaking ability, including hypnotherapy.
Five of the most common public speaking myths include:
1. You need to be a natural
If you’re not a competent public speaker now, you will never be. This statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course, there are some personalities that take to public speaking quicker than others. But it’s definitely a skill that can be worked on.
2. Experienced speakers don’t get nervous
Everyone feels a rush of adrenaline before a speech or presentation – it’s a very natural thing to happen. However, it shouldn’t flare up anxieties. If used correctly, it can become empowering.
As you develop your skills, these ‘jitters’ will diminish. But remember, if you genuinely care about it, you will still experience some nervousness beforehand!
3. Introverts cannot excel
Just because introverts may not be ‘at home’ when speaking in front of a lot of people, does not mean that they can’t do it. Many people believe that a good presentation always is set at a high intensity, which introverts may find it hard to mimic – but this isn’t the case. In this instance, presenting at their own pace is key to developing public speaking skills.
4. The best speeches are memorised
Many people with little experience of public speaking approach it like revising a monologue in a play. They will carefully memorise the script perfectly, word for word. However, in a presentation, sometimes it’s better to work off your audience. If you can get your audience engaged, it can really make a difference on the impact your speech has.
5. Speeches should adhere to a strict code of conduct
Just because your speech is on a serious subject, it doesn’t mean you should stay behind the lectern. The more times you give a speech, the better you will understand how to engage your audience. If you appear genuine, your audience will generally listen what you have to say.
It can take a long time to learn how to ‘be yourself’ on stage, but it can be done.
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