It’s a packed room, the spotlight is shining on you and you’re a Demo Jam virgin.
There are probably a few words going through your head at this time, although, “I’m going to nail this” is not likely one of them. But why shouldn’t it be?!
Public speaking is a highly underrated skill that many people spend a scarce amount of time on. And by public speaking I don’t mean standing up and spitting a horde of words in front of an audience – anyone can do that.
I’m talking about ACTING in front of the audience.
Just before you buy all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, let’s take a look at these two simple steps countless professionals ensure they do while speaking:
- Connect with the audience
- Exude confidence
Connecting with your audience is vital to ensure they come out thinking, “Wow, that was good”.
Manoj Vasudevan, winner of the 2017 Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking said, “I’m looking at someone and talking to them. It’s a huge audience, but I keep picking some random person who’s interested in listening to me and I look at that person” (businessinsider).
So how do you become the next world champion in public speaking?
Perfect your eye contact. It shows you’re in control of the audience rather than the other way around. Ever wonder why it’s difficult for us to look someone in the eye while lying? It’s human nature to look away when we’re scared or nervous.
Speaking of nervous…
Exuding confidence is essential if you want to capture the attention of the audience. What you don’t realize is that you’ll most likely never be confident in front of large crowds.
Very few people lack nerves before a performance.
That’s ok! In fact, if you type a celebrity’s name into Google followed by, “stage fright”, the results will be surprising. Everyone is nervous before a performance – including the professionals.
“Great, so what’s the solution?”, I hear you ask.
Having the image of confidence doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. But that’s fine because the audience will never notice. You’ll be amazed at how deceptive faking confidence is. I bet you would’ve never known that people like Will Smith, Beyoncé and Nicole Kidman are terrified every time they perform.
Planning for the demo jam.
You have 3 minutes to pitch your company and improvising is an audacious strategy to follow. With no slides/power point/videos at your aid, your public speaking skills will be all you’ve got. Overrunning is unforgivable. Hence, planning your 3-minute script is critical. Plan to do something unique that will stick in people’s minds in a powerful, confident style.
So, while the other presenters are looking down at their screens speaking in a monotone voice, you’ll be smiling to yourself.
Because when that spotlight shines on you, you’ll be ready to dominate the next three minutes.