Confident Leader

How boring 5000 people to sleep helped me become an accomplished public speaker and coach

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Are you really getting your point across to the audience? Do you think you’ll be attacked if people decide they don’t like what you’re saying? Do your words capture the attention of your audience?

Can your speech really connect with the audience and motivate them into action?

It’s not unusual for anxiety and fear to creep into your mind when speaking in front of a large group of people and, you’ll probably find yourself in situations where you can’t fully communicate your personality and ability.

What if you could turn this fear or anxiety into an ally? What if you could effectively get your point across to the audience and connect with them emotionally?

I experienced this same fear and anxiety myself in the past, when speaking in front of 5,000 people, and I learned to overcome it. Here are some tips for successful public speaking that I learned along the way: 

1. Stop the self-criticism

You don’t have to be the most skillful orator. The more you try to perfect your speaking, the more you’ll judge yourself when you don’t achieve your goals. This self-criticism makes you nervous to the point of paralysis, making it difficult to demonstrate your true ability. Try developing the attitude that “you don’t have to be perfect.” Striving for perfection is unattainable, not to mention detrimental and it’s important to continually grow, learn and challenge ourselves, instead.

2. Don’t fight the audience

The audience is not your enemy. Don’t feel like you’re confronting a crowd. The more you try to force your opinions, the more the audience will push back. Let the audience find the merit in what you have to say. Think of it like helping them find what’s useful in your story by motivating them to ask the questions themselves.

3. Accept criticism and move on

Give yourself permission to be criticized by others. You don’t have to decide what’s right or wrong about the criticism you face from others or yourself. You’re just talking about what you want to talk about. 

Being criticized by someone means you’ve started them thinking and got a reaction.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Mother Teresa put it this way, “The opposite of love is indifference.” It’s better to be criticized a thousand times than ignored. When you hear criticism, you should think “SUCCESS.”

4. Converse with your audience and share the relatable

The conversation doesn’t even begin if people don’t understand what you’re saying.  Don’t use hard-to-understand specialist terminology; make it as easy as possible for people to hear what you’re saying by using simple language. Use stories and examples as an effective tool to aid understanding. Use stories the audience can relate to so they can connect what you have to say. What can you inject in your speech from your own experiences? Or perhaps there’s a current affairs story, an example from history or a popular movie, book or fairy tale you can reference. Don’t always rely on facts, statistics and data, it’s important to also be relatable and conversational.

5. Questions to engage people with your message

Rather than telling people what to do and how to do it, communicate your message by inviting the audience to open up to possibilities by noticing things they haven’t before.

When the audience starts to see these new possibilities, you can ask them questions.

“What would happen if you started living this way?”

“What would happen to you if this became commonplace?”

6. Smile when you’re speaking

The final important point. Don’t forget to smile.

Of course, don’t do this during sad stories.

The audience is not your enemy. Public speaking is not adversarial, so there’s no reason to be afraid, anxious or nervous.

Always think kindly of your audience, without judgment. By doing this, as well as changing how you feel, you’ll broaden your possibilities with your audience and really engage them and capture their attention.

About Kazuhiro Hosoya

kazuhiroh@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Kazuhiro Hosoya is a business and speaking coach, counselor and hypnotherapist. Growing up in a small town in Tochigi, Japan, he became fascinated with self expression, communication and the human mind. For the last 11 years Kazuhiro has been a certified trainer for the American NLP Association, coaching people in business and communication. He is also a certified Right Voice For You facilitator, a special program from Access Consciousness, helping open his clients up to endless possibilities in business, careers and relationships. He published his first book in 2017. www.kazuhiro-hosoya.com

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