For curtain-shy executives who often have to play the role of presenter, public speaking can be wildly intimidating. But like many skills, the only way to get better at giving speeches, regardless of the size of your audience, is to practice!
Abide by Arden Coaching’s speech practice exercises for executives and you’ll be on the fast track to putting your fears of public speaking far behind you.
Envision the Speech
There’s a science-backed reason why athletes are told to envision themselves making the winning goal, running their best time, or scoring a home run. Imagining your success actually sets up the neural pathways in your brain to be convinced that success is more readily attainable. It almost gives you the same experience as actually scoring the winning shot!
So if you can train your brain to see yourself on the stage, hear the audience receive you well, and see yourself making good eye contact, nailing your delivery, and driving your points home, the more likely it is for reality to follow suit.
Practice in the Way That Works for You
There’s no arguing that practice makes perfect when it comes to preparing for a big speech. Equally as important is making sure that you practice in a way that’s beneficial to you and your learning style. Check out these three practicing methods that might work for you:
- Take a video of yourself doing a run-through of your speech. Play it back to evaluate your non-verbal behavior. Then give yourself mental notes for the next take.
- Present your speech for other people. This can help to simulate what it will be like when you’re in front of an audience. There’s no doubt that this practice style takes courage, but it can also help you get over some of your anxiety now instead of later.
- Write out your speech to solidify your points and explore different avenues in which the audiences’ input could lead you.
The key to each of these practice methods is to make sure that you imitate on-stage circumstances as much as possible. For example, practicing in the car is probably not a good way to replicate how everything will play out when you actually give your speech.
Set Yourself Up for a Confidence Boost
What will make you the most comfortable when it’s your turn to address the crowd? You might not have any trouble speaking to a group of say 15 or 20, but when it’s the entire company, your anxiety might take over.
Combat it by setting yourself up for a confidence boost! Wear your power suit or your favorite good luck outfit, or do your hair and makeup in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable on stage. Wear heels if that makes you feel more positive and sure of yourself.
Time to Test Our Tips
We encourage you do all three for your next speech and see how you do! Make sure that you report back to us with your success.
For more helpful posts like this one, check out the posts filed under the leadership category of our blog.