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Self-Conscious or Freedom in Public Speaking

When many of us began in public speaking, we were so conscious of ourselves being at the front of the room that we could no longer speak (froze), or we no longer made sense (babbling).

What can we do to overcome what we referred to an a previous article as emotional hijacking?  How can we be free from ourselves?

Listen to public speaking trainer, Mary Cheyne, describe what this freedom is like:

How can we move beyond ourselves and care more about the audience, the message, and the audience taking home the message than we do about how we look in front of them?  Here are a few tips:

  • As Darren Lacroix says: Stage time, stage time, stage time.
  • Speak, speak, speak, speak, speak - practice in a place where the result don't matter (not at work or in front of business prospects and clients)
  • When practicing, push yourself to demonstrate your emotions
  • When practicing, exaggerate at first. Eventually, you will find a natural expression
  • When practicing, experiment with crazy costumes or props
  • For some, it might help to practice with an attitude of "Oh what the heck! I don't care! Just go for it!"
  • Breathe. If you tend to breath shallow. Deliberately breathe more deeply than required. Breathe at the end of sentences and clauses.
  • Listen with the audience. As they watch and listen to you, watch and listen to them.
  • Respond to the audience.

"When you no longer care about what you look like in front of the room is when you have that freedom."

Mary Cheyne

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