To Be a Better Speaker, Get Out of Your Own Head

Everybody’s convinced that they’re bad public speakers - and audiences all over the world pay for it.

In fact, the #1 cause of weak public speaking isn't that people don't know "how" to do it or haven't found the right combination of words and gestures. It's actually a vicious cycle made up of self-defeating beliefs and behaviours:

You believe you’re bad at public speaking >> you feel self-conscious >> you try to make yourself invisible by rushing, mumbling, and apologizing >> you catch yourself rushing, mumbling and apologizing >> you conclude that you’re bad at public speaking.

And so on, and so on.

Luckily, there’s a way out of Public Speaking Purgatory. The trick is to stop thinking of public speaking as a chore, and start thinking of it as a game - one that you play with your audience. When you step out of your comfort zone in a way that feels joyful rather than terrifying, you lose that fear of judgment and find the freedom to be yourself in front of other people.

This is why I start every workshop, and most client sessions, with an improv game. It’s why my first steps with a new client aren’t to talk about eye contact or “um” (you already know this stuff anyway), but rather to tap into the person’s creativity and take steps to replace perfectionism with spontaneity. It’s why clients report that they’ve gotten more confident not only on stage, but also at networking events and even in their personal relationships.

If you’re ready to step up your public-speaking game, you don't need more "tips." You need more freedom and support.

When you start obsessing less, you start noticing more, and you create a better experience for yourself and the people around you. So get out of your own head. Your audience isn't in there.

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Alex KeenanComment