Public Speaking Made Easy (Part 1)

Imma let you finish, but Fearless says your public speaking skills are weesh.

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.

Yesterday as I escape from the building.

In part 1 we are going to look at your posture and breathing.

Posture

-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.

Stop poking that pancake ass out Mary.

I will do a post on effective body language for leaders later on but for now just follow Alpha Persona’s ALA principle. It is of utmost importance to watch your posture while you sit also. Sit straight up and don’t slouch. Besides the irreversible damage to your spine you are forced to take shallow breaths which ruin your full voice potential. Always be aware of your posture from now on.

Breathing

     -With your posture looking better you can finally utilize your full lung and diaphragm potential. Most people take too many breaths per minute and do not fully oxygenate their brain. Your fight or flight response causes this when you panic (future post we tackle that). Heart rate increases, blood vessels constrict, adrenaline pumps, pupils dilate, you know the deal. Even in relative peace peeps still breathe like they pay for air. From now take only 6 to 7 breaths per minute. Go ahead and time yourself doing it. In through the nose, out through the mouth for 1 minute. As far as breathing in, use your diaphragm (muscle behind your ribcage) more than your lungs. You will feel better, be more relaxed, and naked women will feed you grapes.

The right way
Oh god Brad I am so sorry, please put the grapes down ugggggghhhhhhhh

Utilizing these steps your baseline voice and posture will be higher. 50% of your speaking problems will be eliminated off the bat and public speaking will come naturally soon enough. The key is to practice daily.You are breaking long held beliefs and actions by following these tips and repetition is the only way to win. If you do not become aware of your breathing and posture in daily life you will panic in crunch time. Next post we work on your speech patterns. If you have any tips or questions on posture or breathing drop me a line in the comments. Also if you have cool stories of speaking in public be sure to let me know.

Stay adventurous, stay fearless.