Sweaty palms and weak knees mark the foundation of performance jitters and never for a second does your mind feel at peace. The thought of ruining your speech is actually what leads to its demise. Overcoming nervousness is an art that many of us have heard of but only a few have learned to master.
Making yourself look confident is critical and going in without breaking a sweat is what you should aim at. It all boils down to convincing the audience and only how you deliver that speech will determine whether they are motivated enough to initiate change. Although it is all in the mind, here are a few things you can do to relieve cold feet before you get on that stage:
While you are doing your homework you collect a lot of data out of which you pick and choose topics of debate that you wish to elaborate further in your speech. Make sure you read out the information that you are not making a part of your script too so that you have edge over yourself, making you more confident when you walk on that stage.
Know Your Topic
Writing and rehearsing are not going to make you succeed, what will though is having an in depth knowledge about your topic. Understand and know why you are opting “for” or “against” the topic, know both sides of the debate. If you are in sync with your topic you will always come out more confident.
Use Audio-Visual Aids
It always helps to have little graphs, pictures or even plain text Slides that provide a livelier portrayal to your speech. Not only does it help you in maintaining a flow but also provides you reference (just in case you forget what you are going to say next).
Practice makes perfect and there is no limit to how many times it is ideal to practice. The more you rehearse the better you will know your speech and the more confident you will feel about yourself. Make note to use hand gestures and modulate your voice frequency. Keep your tone casual.
Before you walk on that stage think of the best, most exciting and exhilarating moment of your life and re-live it. Listen to your favorite peppy song and feel the adrenaline run through your veins. Tell yourself you are going to walk on that stage and captivate your audience with a killer speech, make a fist, pump it in the air and walk right in.