Public speaking. Women faint, children weep, men shard in their trousers.
I’m in a position to witness a lot of average joes try their hand at public speaking. I’m not going to lie, most are piss poor at it. The fear of being in front of others gets the best of them and they fold in crunch time. The worse they feel about it, the worse job they do. The speaker thinks they are the ones suffering but in actuality it is the poor listeners who have to sit through their scatter-brained rants. There is one girl in particular who makes me want to self immolate. She starts and ends EVERY sentence with um, with a healthy dose of other assorted pausers thrown in for good measure. She speaks too fast, looks down at every opportunity, and her voice projects as far as Stephen Hawking throws a baseball. It takes every ounce of energy to not pull a Kanye or bash my head against the table. Chances are you or someone you know has a dreadful fear of public speaking. Since communication is one of the most crucial skills to efficient leadership Exceed and Lead has got your back with my super awesome guide to public speaking.
In part 1 we are going to look at your posture and breathing.
-Posture is very important to how you speak and present yourself to others. If you stand tall with your chest out and a confident stance you will feel more powerful and confident. This is a recurring theme on this site; emotion follows motion. Likewise if you slouch, look downward, and mutter you will feel like shit. In his book Rules of The Game, Neil Strauss outlines the Alexander Technique which will correct many common posture issues (I can vouch, it has worked for me). Basically all you have to do is stand with your back against a wall and make sure your heels, ass, and back of your head touch the wall. Imagine a string running the length of your body pulled taut. Not about to snap, but just tight with little give to it. After holding that position for one minute, walk around your room in the same form. It will seem awkward at first but the more you practice the more natural it will seem.