Don’t worry, if you get nervous just imagine the audience is naked.
This is the unquestioned advice we have been told at the thought of our nerves getting the better of us while speaking to a crowd.
But I don’t get it.
Every sitcom has depicted this situation – the presenter messing up anyway. And every time, the naked audience has served as the ultimate distraction to their failure.
A good sales presentation comes from good preparation. A confident speaker is not one who is always confident, they just know what the hell they are talking about.
I love public speaking but I understand and respect that there are varying degrees to your comfort with tackling this daunting task.
And we all get nervous because we get one shot – one impression. Then there are things outside of our control that can still make us look stupid – hecklers, tech. screwups, or bad feng shui in the room.
(Ad)Dress the Audience
Don’t discount the fact that they are real people. You have their attention so you are starting with their 100% respect to lose and not from 0% trying to gain it.
Different people will find different things interesting. Realize that some people will like what you have to say and others simply won’t – not because of your presentation abilities but just the content of your presentation itself and the experiences of the person receiving your message.
Confidence is key. To be confident you must address the audience. So don’t try to avoid them by assuming they are in the nude. Embrace the time they are giving you.
The Audience is Smart and so are You
Many presenters are afraid of ‘looking stupid’ to their crowd. When many people are watching you, there is a higher chance of you being questioned.
But regardless of whether you are right or wrong, people are going to question you anyway. This can’t stop you from putting your opinion forward.
Disagreement is not necessarily bad – it sparks debate and addresses an area of mutual interest.
The best way to deconstruct your opinon is by attempting to convey your argument to an audience – and then questioning yourself at the end of it.
Audiences are Honest
Many people fear public speaking because an audience won’t react the way the presenter always wants. But this can be great to improve your potential.
Every comedian has been heckled. Every YouTube video has been disliked.
But for every person who hates what you have to say, there will be plenty more who will love it. And if they don’t, your unique view will still create interest in itself.
Do you get nervous about presenting? What do you do to calm your nerves?
Does a naked audience look better dressed?