Bruce Willis might be fighting terrorists and saving hostages on the screen, but when the time comes to talk to the media, he’s not particularly as enthusiastic. He is one of the millions, who suffer from stage fright. Although ironically he has been facing the camera since his youth. There are several Hollywood stars, famous business owners, company spokespeople and marketing heads, who are afraid of public speaking. It is one of the most common fears, but there is no “cause and cure” for it as of today. There are, however, several ingenious ways of controlling this fear and utilizing the opportunity for marketing your business.
Why should you think about overcoming it?
It might make you queasy to even think about all the microphones and cameras pointed at your direction, but you also need to think about the brand for which you are working. One step inside the podium can translate to hundreds and thousands of likes, shares, and sales. Stepping up on the stage commands attention, and it positions you as an expert on the subject. It is your chance to be memorable and helpful to the hundreds and probably the thousands, who will be watching you. These are significant factors that contribute towards increasing the marketing ROI of your brand.
Is it possible to overcome stage fright?
With sufficient training and professional guidance, it is always possible to overcome your fear of speaking in public. No miracle pill can alleviate it and eliminate it from your system. There are so many celebrities, who used to suffer from it just as much as you do, yet they are successfully facing the questions today. It is all about the quality of guidance. Media Works has the following tips for you today –
- Take small steps
Start by speaking in front of your friends and family. Nothing works better than taking it slow. Experts often insist that speaking in front of local groups and the PTA has an enhancing effect on the confidence level of the speaker.
- Know your audience
You need to know your audience. Whom are you addressing? Are they a high-risk or a low-risk audience? Are they a bunch of seasoned reporters? Are they ordinary folks like your average customer? A professional crowd has a higher expectation as compared to a usual group of buyers. However, that does not give you enough reason to skip the next step.
- Research and prepare
Preparation can help you overcome your fear like nothing else has. Rehearse before your big day and double check your facts. Be very careful not to memorize. Chances are you will end up sounding like a kindergartner or a robot if you rant off facts and figures from memory. Make a list of the facts and figures you need to cover and go over it regularly before the day. Use small anecdotes, tell short stories and speak in a language your target audience will understand.
- Bust the stress
Try to meditate. Take deep breaths and focus on the positive outcome of your interview or speech. Without taking care of your stress level, you can end up speaking too much or too little. Experts always have more than one trick up their sleeves for stress-busting. Check out professional sites and blogs for useful points of advice. Do not even think about drowning your stress in alcohol. It has never been a friend to speakers.
- Engage the audience
Always start off by introducing yourself and making eye contact with the people in the first row. That will help you understand the impact of your words on the audience and at the same time soothe your nerves. Think of the following factors while working on your notes –
- Which ideas are worth sharing?
- Is there something in particular that you want to tell your audience?
- What is one aspect of your business that can be interesting?
- How can people benefit from knowing about your business?
- Why should people turn to your business? What is your USP?
The best way to do this is by transforming your speech into a two-way talk. Encourage people to question you.
Public speaking, press releases, and interviews still work marvelously for boosting market reach and expanding the customer base. Small businesses and start-ups benefit substantially from having a trained media spokesperson, who can convey the brand values, future goals and CSR initiatives to the target audience. You must always remember that while talking to a reporter or a group of people, you are representing your brand. Your words must be in line with your brand ideals and brand value. The only way to perfect the art of speaking on camera or during a public session is with continuous practice and professional training.