Terrified of public speaking? Just make yourself a sandwich
Tell me, what scares the bejeebers out of you?Flying?
If you're like most people – and by most, I mean over 60% of the population of the planet – it's speaking in front of other people. It's the one fear more people share than any other. Even death.
In their unfathomable wisdom, scientists call this fear "Glossophobia" and we can promise you we are certainly not going gloss over it. Symptoms vary from tummy butterflies, sweaty palms, a dry mouth, and a condition commonly called "the shakes".
That's if you're lucky.
More extreme – but far from uncommon – symptoms also include nausea, vomiting, panic attacks, and loss of control of your bladder.
And when you're up there, all alone, exposed – a sitting duck – your audience is going experience a quivering, coughing, sputtering, umming, ahhing, mumbling mess whose only wish is to get the hell offstage.
If you have a fear of flying, you can always take a bus.
If you have a fear of spiders, you can always cancel your trip to Australia.
But you know… when it's your turn… and at some point, it will be. Whether it's a:
· toast at a wedding
· book report at school
· part in a play
· a job interview
· presentation at work
You just won't worm your way out of it.
So the choice is yours – hide in a toilet cubicle, relinquish control of your bladder, curl up in a catatonic ball, and rock yourself to a fitful sleep – or face up to your fear. You'll quickly discover it's nowhere near as scary as the Sydney Funnel Web Spider – nor as dangerous. In fact, you'll discover there was nothing to fear in the first place.
Take it from a massive network of once-terrified speakers – at all ages and from all corners of the globe. We've all been through it and we're all here to show you that YOU CAN DO It.
And not just that, but that YOU CAN DO IT AWESOMELY!
We're going to help you with some super simple steps that you can practice anytime and anyplace.
The first step is to know what you want to say.
In other words: prepare your script.
Do you think Martin Luther King was just winging it when he declared "I Have a Dream"?
If you get a chance watch Gary Oldman's remarkable turn as Winston Churchill in "The Darkest Hour". The entire movie revolves around his obsessive working and reworking his "we will fight them on the beaches" speech – a speech that changed the course of history.
In other words, you're more likely to succeed if you start with something rather than nothing. Take a pen and paper and jot down your thoughts. And take that pen and paper with you – or use Evernote if you're not sure what pen and paper are. And keeping jotting down your thoughts whenever and wherever they pop into your head.
Once you got a bunch of ideas, group those thoughts and ideas into logical chunks. This is where it can be handy to use Microsoft Word (or any other text-editing software).
The next step is to turn each idea into a simple sentence. And then start cutting and pasting those sentences into a simple story (this is a whole other class and we will cover that in another post).
Now that you have all the basic ingredients...
The next task is to make a "presentation sandwich":
A. Have a clear beginning (the top slice of bread)
· Introduce yourself
· Introduce your topic
· State your objective – i.e. tell them what you are going to tell them
B. Have a clear ending (the bottom slice of bread)
· Summarise your key points – i.e. tell them what you just told them
· Propose some sort of action from your audience. For example:
· Raise your glasses
· Read this book
· Open your wallets
· Sign the contract
C. All the other details go into the middle (those lovely, tasty fillings)
· Sandwiched temptingly between the beginning and the end.
· Just cut, paste, sort, and group similar thoughts/themes
· Delete any repetitive stuff
That's it! That's your basic presentation sandwich.
It does NOT have to be any more complicated than that.
Just go light on the mayo and you'll be as good as gold.