It's frightening, but just imagine this scenario at work. With next to no notice your boss asks you to give that really important speech at next month's conference—Covid-19 allowing, of course. What happens? Do your public speaking nerves take over and you refuse point blank? Do you say, "I'll get back to you"? Or, more realistically, do you say, "I'll get that done". If that sounds familiar, then I'm not surprised. Because it happens quite a lot.
And that's pretty much the scenario behind the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, and his 2020 Budget speech. Just a few weeks to go before the Budget and the Chancellor, Sajid Javid, resigns suddenly, and then the Chief Secretary is promoted Chancellor. Of course if you suffer from public speaking nerves that might sound like the stuff of nightmares.
However, you really can do it. You just need a plan. Because when you have a plan, it's strange how your panic and fear just disappear. Since there's no reason to fear something that you control. Yes, it's a loss of control that we fear the most. Being powerless. Is it really any surprise that we fear a PowerPoint failure or the video not loading when we give a presentation? Your presentation technology choices can often be more of a problem than an opportunity.
Don't Panic. It really won't help you at all, so keep calm and appraise your situation.
Do Your Job. Organise your work commitments. Prioritise your tasks now that you have a speech to give. Delegate some of your responsibilities, since you can't do it all. Cajole and persuade others to help you, and borrow their speech material. Everything helps.
Prepare A Draft. Your first draft will certainly set you on the right track and it's something that's easily amended by you and your colleagues. Once you have your first draft then others will quickly follow.
Edit And Refine. As you move from draft to draft you will become more and more familiar with your material. Plus, you have the chance to fine tune your logic, arguments and examples.
Practise And Rehearse. When you give yourself enough time for practice and rehearsal you can expect solid results every time. That's simply because you have the chance to familiarise yourself in depth, check your timings and tease out any stumbling points. However, don't allow yourself to become bored!
It's your plan, your speech and your timescale. So, just do it.
We can't guess at Rishi Sunak's motivation as it's a bit early for an autobiography. Yet we can suggest he's pretty assured and level-headed. And rightly so. Similarly your next speech needs someone equally assured and level-headed. Because you have the chance. Seize it and overcome those public speaking nerves with a working plan.
You can always discover plenty of public speaking tips, podcasts, posts and videos with our online resources. And with more than 100 top tips for speakers, there's something for every type of speech. Plus, when you want to get yourself ready for your next big speech, then you can always plan for some public speaking skills training or coaching. So, when the time is right, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Please don't hesitate to get in touch for public speaking course advice.
"He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear."
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