Don’t ever picture Your Audience in Their Underwear!
The one big Public Speaking error that people think it works is picturing everyone watching you in their underwear. If you were ever nervous about public speaking, you might have heard that piece of tired advice. It’s a bad technique. Ignore it! It’s not effective!
Do you really want to be imagining your boss, clients, colleagues or even mother in law in their underwear while you are speaking?
Depending on how vivid your imagination and familiarity with your audience that might make you giggle uncontrollably. Or you might become so distracted that you forget your speech. You will definitely go in blank and if you try to picture everyone in their underwear you will begin to drain your energy much faster because instead of just focusing on the message you are also trying to picture something completely inappropriate that will dis-concentrate you.
Sure, you might be scared of the audience, but let them remain fully clothed in your mind for a while. You are there for your audience, so respect them!
2 Easy to use alternative ways to reduce public speaking anxiety
1) According to “The Expressive Leader” podcast with host Jonathan Li gave a great alternative to overcome your public speaking anxiety quickly and easily. It’s really so easy that I use it before I go and give any workshop/seminar.
“Picture that you’re talking to all you friends in the living room. And they are loving your jokes and finding you interesting. Everyone is having a great time with you but Jonathan Lin mentions that you really have to visualize this scene.
After you visualize the entire thing I want you to now ask yourself how do you feel? Don’t you feel comfortable and like a hero! Of course you do!
2) According to Mignon Fogarty (founder of quickanddirtytips.com) she offers some helpful visualization approaches to calm yourself before stepping on stage.
“Visit the location of your performance. If you can visit the speaking locations before presentation day or get there early. Knowing the venue really helps because you want to Visualize your performance from beginning to end. Don’t miss a step.” How should you do it?
She starts by seeing herself waiting to be introduced. Then she imagine’s the face of the host. You should imagine the audience and how many seats will be empty or full. Then she also advises to walk through your main points so it can be stored in your mind.
Visualize confident body language but most importantly visualize a positive reaction from the audience. You need to continuously think that as soon as you get on that stage people will love you. Don’t stop until you have mentally rehearsed walking off the stage.
Visualize only positive results. Visualizing failure has the same effect. If you’re too focused on potential problems and failures, stop your visualization exercise. Take a break, and then start over.
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