Public speaking: How to start with the right foot?

The performance anxiety is natural, even those active responses from stress in the body that allows us to deal with the situation the best, to be effective, energetic and proactive. When anxiety, however, as a silent ally becomes a noisy enemy … that’s how things change. Our capabilities seem annihilated. Anxiety acts like Superman’s kryptonite.

What to do? There are so many solutions to be prepared for the best (emotionally and not only), and to deal with the situation immediately. Let’s talk about what the audience is watching and listening to in the beginning of our speech.

“I apologize for the emotion …”; “I ask you to be kind to the mistakes I will make, the emotion, you know …”; ” I’m not used to talking in public, so you’ll apologize if I’m ineffective …”; ” I’m not an effective speaker, I know, so you will apologize …”

What are you saying, okay? You started by apologizing, you were justified, you put your hands on. Do you think the public will think? “Poor,” or “who is good”, or still “yes, good, go ahead like this …”? No, my dears. The public will think “ah, let’s get started”; or “and this one who sent it,” or still “but to me what to worry if you are not used to it, I’m here to hear something interesting from the plastic”; or else, “I’ll see, we’ll start well today …”.

What do you say, did I still get anxiety now? Relax; we now see how we can better deal with our initial emotion, without “fooling” ourselves publicly (which was, paradoxically, just what we feared in our most subtle mental films).

Excuse me is not good, because it is not a good communicative strategy to start a defensive speech; Moreover, our “problems”, the public are not interested, the more our difficulties (especially if they are manifested in this way). We will not certainly create a “bridge” with the public in this way. This is not the way to create the right climate in the audience or nor to create empathy with the one who listens to us and looks.

So let’s see how to start well if we are anxious, assuming a good strategy is to work first on our emotional state, so that we get into an optimal state of speech. Think, for example, of a sportsman (a tennis player) who has to face the game: the first step is to become emotionally in the ideal condition to give the best of himself.

Once on the scene, however, if you feel the pressure of anxiety we have (at least) two paths …

  • The first is to live that emotion that pervades us without hindering it, trying to send it away, to avoid it, but to associate it with it. As? Imagine, for example, that the emotion (which we are then) is a warm blanket that warms us, just like an athlete’s suit to keep warm muscles up to a few seconds before the sprint.
  • The second possibility is to share with the public the emotion we are experiencing. To share it, do not download it! So do not apologize, but communicate your mood so that those who listen to us can recognize themselves in that human emotion and that, then, all know well. “I’m happy to be here with you today, and I’m always excited to talk to a crowd of colleagues …”; or “I have the privilege to talk about reform and it is always exciting to be here”; or “Every time I am in this magnificent room I feel my heart strong, because it reminds me of so many beautiful moments of comparison with the audience”; or, for those who prefer a more sober approach “I thank you for being here, I always feel the responsibility to relate to colleagues about the normative novelties because I know how important it is for each of us to be up to date to offer excellent professional performance to our customers.”

Whether you are attorneys, accountants, notaries, managers, entrepreneurs, always remember that in front of you, behind your ties and outfits there are always people who are emotionally more than logical.

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