How do I overcome my public speaking nerves?
Dear Ms Manners,
I’m nervous meeting new people at functions and even worse if I have to speak in front of people. Do you have any suggestions on how to overcome this?
Nerves are a funny thing that people seem to think they cann’t overcome, but the truth is that you can in fact control the nerves and the thoughts that bring them on.
Here are my tips on being more refined in every conversation you have.
Public speaking, interviews and small chat should all come down to one question: How do I want to portray myself?
Imagine for a moment that you and I are sitting at a table and I hand you that magical silver platter for work and I said, “What do you want professionally?” and whatever you say will appear on the silver platter and it’s yours.
What would your answer be? A manager, a partner, noticed, more responsibility, a pay raise, to implement your ideas?
Now whatever your answer is, think about what traits successful people in this role have or at least portray - are they confident, are they articulate, well groomed, well mannered, approachable? Really think about it and come up with three words that you would expect from someone in the role you want.
These words are now your new personal branding words. Say to yourself “I am (insert your name here), and I will be in senior management and I will portray myself in every conversation I now have as confident, composed and razor-sharp. This is my personal brand.”
Your branding words are now the thought you should have before each time you speak, write an email or walk into a room.
Enjoy your new confidence and the game of etiquette.