Just do your job.
When people say they are afraid of public speaking, what they commonly mean is that they are afraid of being embarrassed in front of a group. That’s completely understandable. Nobody enjoys feeling silly or being thought of as a fool.
Something I learned almost 30 years ago in Dale Carnegie Public Speaking was the idea that “What the audience is thinking about you is none of your business.” This takes a moment to digest, but realize that if you are on stage, you are there for a reason. You have a job to do and the more you worry about what is going in everyone else’s head, the less you are able to focus on doing your job. The audience is there to be educated, entertained, informed, amazed, or whatever you job is. Just do your job and stop worrying about what they are thinking.
What makes people nervous is the thought that the audience is going to criticize every word they say. Unless you are a politician, the audience is usually there to support you and they want you do well. They want you to be the expert that you are. They want you to do your job, so just get up there and do it. You will be great!
“So, what if I make a mistake?” Just keep on truckin’. Keep doing your job. It’s OK and the audience will support you as long as you keep doing your job. Mistakes will happen and it’s how you handle the mistakes with grace and poise that will have the audience sending you positive energy. I’ve seen many presenters lose their notes, have technology glitches, or break down in tears to the point where they can’t even speak. The audience was always there with warm applause and cheers of support…as long as they pulled it together and did their job.
So, stop worrying about what is going in their heads and keep yours together. You have a job to do and you will be great. Just do it!
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If you would like some assistance preparing for your big presentation, contact me. Public speaking can and should be fun. Maybe I can help.