publicspeaking.school

Some people are born to engage a crowd – they're confident, cool, and collected, even while speaking publicly.

They can get right up there, deliver their spiel, and never seem to break a sweat. No fear, no frets, and no fumbles. If this doesn't sound a thing like you, you're likely lumped in with the rest of the folks who dread public speaking. It's nothing to be ashamed of, but it's also not your destiny. You can get over your fears and turn anxiety into accomplishment.

Face your fears josephcostello.ie

Prepare

If fear of public speaking already weighs on you, "winging it" will only make matters worse. No matter the topic, you must study up on the facts and figures, background, studies, etc. The more you research and learn, the better you'll be able to present the information. You need to know what you're talking about and that it's factual and informative.

As per Mayo Clinic, "The better you understand what you're talking about — and the more you care about the topic — the less likely you'll make a mistake or get off track. And if you do get lost, you'll be able to recover quickly. Take some time to consider what questions the audience may ask and have your responses ready."

Rehearse

Just like a stage actor rehearses his lines before opening night, you should practice your presentation before your "performance." Harvard Business Review suggests, "Enlist your friends to help you rehearse your speech. They can help review your material, ask you tough follow-up questions, or act like an indifferent audience."

The Balance adds, "Rehearse several times before the big talk. Time your presentation and always have back up material in case time is left over."

Practice may not make perfect, but you'll be closer to it.

Envision Success

When you're a ball of nerves, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But with a sunny outlook, you can effectively will your way into doing a job you're proud of. Mayo Clinic explains, "Positive thoughts can help decrease some of your negativity about your social performance and relieve some anxiety."

Huffington Post notes, "By being able to paint a concrete picture of what success looks like to you, it becomes less abstract and more obtainable to you." So, think about yourself standing up there, well-prepared, well-received, and realizing it wasn't so bad after all.

Breathe

Fear and worry can cause anything from sweaty pits to something closer to a panic attack. You need to concentrate on your breathing to calm yourself down and gain clarity and focus. The Balance recommends, "using deep belly breathing to reduce stress and build confidence."

CNBC expands, "Deep breathing before and during your presentation or pitch calms your nerves and adds power and strength to your voice. Deep breathing also keeps your voice centered and prevents dangerous uptalk, which undermines your credibility and confidence. (Allison Shapira, founder, and CEO of Global Public Speaking)."

Be Yourself

Authenticity and ease of yourself will go a long way. You want to connect with your audience, and how better to do that than by being you? Too much memorization and rigidity will cause you to come off as more of a robot than the real thing. Be conversational and friendly. Nobody is waiting/hoping for you to mess up, they just want to be engaged and enlightened.

CNBC advises, "Telling personal, true stories are the best way to impart information and inspire others. (Gary Schmidt, Past International President of Toastmasters International, a nonprofit organization that helps members improve their public speaking skills)."

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Forget the fear and find your place front and center.

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There’s an internet trend that says that everyone has three drinks: one for energy, one for hydration, and one for fun.


Hydration drinks are usually seltzer, a sports drink, or good old-fashioned water. Fun drinks can be anything from boba to kombucha to a refreshing fountain sprite. But the drink you choose for energy says the most about you. Are you a chill tea drinker? An alternative yerba mate devotee? A matcha-obsessed TikTok That Girl wannabe? A chaotic Red Bull chugger? Or are you a lover of the classics, a person after my own heart, who just loves a good cuppa joe?

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

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Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

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We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

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