How Shy People Can Become Good Public Speakers

The trick is to find ways to become comfortable with your audience
The trick is to find ways to become comfortable with your audience
Image Credit: Tom Edgington

Ok, so let’s face it. Not everyone is cut out to be the next Tony Robbins. The thought of launching yourself onto a stage, grabbing the microphone and then delivering a speech is enough to cause many people to shrink away and desperately go looking for something, anything, else to do. However, it turns out that because of the importance of public speaking public speaking is a very powerful way to communicate with a group of people. If you have an important message that you want to share, then you’re going to have to give this public speaking thing a try. If we can agree that it’s something that everyone should be able to do, then perhaps we need to have a talk about how shy people can muster up the courage to become a public speaker.


Get Your Audience To Be On Your Side

So why is this speaking thing so scary for so many people? I think that one of the biggest issues that most of us have with speaking is that we don’t know any of the people that we’ll be talking to! We get up on that stage or we stand up in front of that room and there is that terrible moment where we look out over our audience and think to ourselves “who are these people?” What you are going to have to do is to find a way to transform your next audience from a bunch of strangers into a group of friends.

I think that we can all agree that just as we may feel very nervous speaking to a room of strangers, we have no problems speaking with our friends. What this means for us is that if we were able to fill our audiences with our friends, then we’d feel much more comfortable talking with them. You are going to want to make sure that you know some of the people who will be in your next audience. A simple way to make this happen is to show up early the next time that you will be speaking. Use the time before you take the stage to meet the people who will be in your audience. The more hands that you can shake and the more people that you can greet the better you are going to feel about giving your speech. When you finally do take the stage, you’ll be able to look out into the audience and you’ll recognize a number of faces that you’ve just met and all of sudden that audience won’t seem so scary to you.


Speaking Is All About The Energy That You Bring

If you thought giving a speech was a hard thing to do, then just try giving a speech to an audience that is lethargic or sleepy. You are really going to have your work cut out for you if you find yourself in a situation like this. The trick here is that you don’t want to allow this kind of situation to happen to you. If you do encounter a low-energy audience, it’s going to be your responsibility to pump them up before you give your speech. If you can boost their energy, then you’re going to find that it’s a lot easier for you to give your speech because you’ll be able to use their energy to feel good about what you are saying.

So how does a shy person go about getting some energy into their audience? What you are going to have to understand is that in order to wake an audience up and get them in a good mood you need to make them move. The simplest way to go about making this happen is to have everyone stand up and greet the people who are standing around them. As the speaker you can tell them that introduce themselves and tell the people that they are talking with what their favorite flavor of ice cream is. What will happen is that people will stand, move around, and probably end up laughing as they exchange information. As a speaker this is exactly what you want to have happen. The acts of both moving and laughing will make your audience feel happier and more energized and will make them ready to listen to what you have to tell them.


What All Of This Means For You

It turns out that not everyone was born to become a public speaker. There are a lot of us who consider ourselves to be shy people and public speaking is something that we’d rather run away from then engage in. However, there is no denying the power of public speaking and having the ability to share the benefits of public speaking with others. What this means for shy people is that they need to find ways to overcome their shyness and empower themselves to stand in front of an audience and deliver a really good speech. The good news is that this can be done, all you have to do is find ways to get your audience to be on your side.

One of the main reasons that people don’t like to give speeches is simply because there are so many strangers involved. You are up there getting ready to give your speech and there is a sea of faces that you’ve never seen before and that can make anyone nervous. What we need to do is to place some friends in our audience. We can do this by taking the time to show up early and interact with our audience before our speech starts. Another challenge that shy speakers can have is if they find themselves addressing an audience that is at a low energy point. What the shy speaker needs to do is to get their audience to stand up and interact. Doing this will fill them with energy and humor and get them ready to listen to your speech.

Being shy is not all that big of a deal when it comes to public speaking. This is because most of us are at least somewhat shy – we are all familiar with those feelings of nervousness that everyone feels when we are standing in front of an audience. However, we need to take the time and win our audience over to our side before we start to give our speech. If we can do this then we’ll be able to have a discussion with friends instead of having to talk to a room full of strangers and who wouldn’t want to do that?


– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™


Question For You: If your audience shows up and already has a lot of energy, should you skip the part where you have them stand up?


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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As speakers we all know that if we add humor to our speech, we can get our audience to laugh. With a little luck this means that they are not sleeping and we’ll be able to keep their attention. Something that we probably don’t spend enough time thinking about is the simple fact that when our audience is laughing, they are actually paying attention to what we are saying and ultimately because of the importance of public speaking this is what every speaker wants to have happen. However, the adding of humor to a speech can be a tricky thing to do. There are a number of different things that we have to be able to take into account in order to get this right. Do you feel that you know what it would take to make your next speech funny?

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