With this chip on my shoulder my number finally came up and I was called into the studio. Strutting inside I was faced by three rather stern looking judges, given some instructions and then....
Well... then I shrank. I still sang my song, did my duty, and played my part. But there was no charisma, no vigor and no spark. Like so many others, I became intimidated by the cameras, the shiny lights and the judges, and I shrank.
Moral of the story? Prepare yourself and don't get intimidated. This is one of those free public speaking tips that will help prevent you from shrinking on stage.
I'm no natural shrinker, but in the story above I was overconfident and unprepared for what awaited me on stage.
Mediocre Public Speakers shrink on stage, okay ones survive on stage, but great ones shine on stage. To shine is be larger to life, to appear confident, passionate, energetic and excited. To use big headlines and bigger exclamations. To make bold statements and back it up with a confident attitude.
Maybe you've seen a shrinking speaker before... I always feel like walking up to him and asking. So what did you really want to say? Because it didn't come across that well.
Free Public Speaking Tips - How to be a Super-Star...
Here are some free public speaking tips for shining on stage:
- Be bolder than usual. Be willing to step outside your comfort-box and act the part of the confident speaker. This doesn't mean that you fake it till you make it, but that you deliver a performance worthy of the audiences attention. Start Strong!
- Speak louder than usual. A loud, booming voice captures the attention and carries more natural authority.
- Don't be neutral. Don't be grey and emotionless, in fact, be more aggressive on stage then you would normally be offstage.
- Use gestures more often than usual. Hand gestures can drive a point home and should be used wisely and often.
- Use every spectrum of your voice. Monotone will kill any audience, so vary your voice both in tone and in volume.
- Make consistent eye contact with the audience. A speaker who doesn't make eye contact simply betrays the fact that he's shy, fearful or lying. Choose people to look at and look them square in the face when delivering.
- Don't be afraid to leave the lectern. Walk around the podium if your microphone will allow it. This not only makes you appear relaxed and confident, but will warm the audience to you.
- Be more dramatic than usual. This point just summarizes all of the above. Don't shrink on stage, be powerful by being energetic. The lectern is the one place where you don't have to apologize for acting like a super-star, for the 15 minutes that you're up there...
That concludes our list of free public speaking tips as it relates to shining on stage. Read more on the power of speaking with soul & savvy, and exuding passion from behind the lectern.
Some people seem to shrink on stage. Sometimes literally, but usually figuratively.
It's easy to tell when a person is shrinking. He'll speak in soft monotones that are usually too fast, but hold no conviction and no drama. Passion is simply nowhere to be seen.
It's as if one part of his brain is saying "Get this over with and get off stage! while the other part is screaming "What are you doing? This is your moment to shine, and your shrinking!"
Even a person who is a natural extrovert, a sanguine to the bone and a lover of people and conversation may be susceptible to shrinking on stage. A personal story to illustrate:
I once had the opportunity of appearing on a short televised singing contest. As these things go, the shooting was to take place days before the actual airing. Along with the other contestants I had to arrive at a ridiculously early hour and wait outside in the cold and damp weather, all the while thinking how stupid I was for putting myself through this.
Nevertheless, persevering, I found comfort in the fact that I felt pretty confident. I'd never been on TV before, but I'd done multiple public appearances, speaking in front of large crowds and singing in front of larger ones. How different could it be?
A Shining Example
This TED talk, by Ben Goldacre, a research doctor, is a good portrayal of someone shining on stage. Exuding passion and light-hearted energy, all the while talking on a rather serious subject.