Public speaking. Did a small jolt of fear just run through you? If it did, you’re among the majority. Public speaking can be your friend. But in order to speak confidently, I want you to realize how important it is to do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable.
In almost all situations, having a “go with the flow” attitude is a great and necessary thing. And to be sure, if you speak publicly frequently, you’re going to encounter a bunch of different situations. Adaptation is key. But when you can control a situation to make it the most optimal for you, please, do so.
I was in Australia several months ago on a speaking tour. After one gig, an interviewer remarked that he saw me do something differently than any other speaker. Before I began speaking, I walked around the conference room, talking and shaking hands with members of the audience. I like to do so before every public speaking event. It helps me become more at ease; when I’m on stage, I look out to familiar faces and not complete strangers!
But in Australia, the group that oversaw the conference and how it was organized would have preferred me to walk out at a specific time to some music – not unlike a prize fighter would in the ring. It wasn’t my style. I didn’t make a fuss, but I asked to do things my way. And they were fine with that.
Don’t be afraid to seek out optimal conditions in front of the mike or on stage! They’re worth it. But don’t make these conditions your “make or break” factors either; if you’re used to working with a hand-held mike and are given a headset, don’t freak out. Breathe, tell yourself you’re up for it, and surge on. Practice under a variety of conditions to become more and more comfortable.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed over 20 products in the past 30 years. Along with business partner Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight, a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas and the skills needed to succeed. You can listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.