[Image by Gerd Altmann of Pixabay]

Ever notice that you tend to think about what has already occurred (past) or what may occur (future) but not so much about what is happening at this moment (PRESENT).  If that sounds like you or someone you know, the good news is that you’re not alone. The brain has a way of getting us stuck either in the past or in the future and spending less time in the current moment.

While that’s very natural, it’s not advisable for a speaker.  Here are my tips that you may wish to consider:

  1. Before you speak, do your best to clear your mind.  There are various ways to accomplish this, but one option is to consider daily meditation if only for five minutes.  You can always extend this time frame as you become more comfortable with the process.
  2. Engage in diaphragmatic breathing or abdominal breathing to calm your state of mind and reduce stress you may feel.
  3. Visualize a flashlight.  Turn the flashlight outwards so it is directed towards the listener/audience as opposed to you.  Your goal is to pay close attention to the needs of the audience vs. yourself. When you pay attention to the needs of the audience, it’s one way of taking care of the of the audience.
  4. Practice what you are saying to the listeners by recording segments of your speech.  Recording yourself is one way of helping you to discover what you like about what you hear and what may need improvement. You may record yourself several times until you complete your speech.
  5. As you speak, maintain effective eye-connection with your audience so they feel you are invested in them.  As you look at them it will also help you to better read their reactions. Eye-connection is essential to establishing a sense of trust.
  6. Eliminate, if possible, and certainly minimize, all distractions. One way to accomplish this is by realizing that in the beginning you may find this challenging and if you do, you can implement any of these behaviors as often as needed.  By taking this action you’re refocusing your brain, which is important for any speaker.

By following this guidance, you have a better chance of staying in the present vs. the past or the future. The present is where speakers do their very best!

If you’d like to discuss this topic further or have people on your team who want to speak with me, please either call 518-664-6004 or write [email protected]