Public Speaking: How to Speak Under Pressure

Jan 16, 2020 | Blog

At least once in our lives, we will be placed in situations where speaking in front of a crowd is essential. In working as a professional, things, like presenting reports, hosting major events, and persuading customers to purchase products, will be a normal part of our lives. Conveying your thoughts and feelings may already be hard enough in personal interactions, even more so when you’re trying to get a message across people.  

public speaking, how to speak under pressure, public speaking courses

It is not uncommon to have employees or team members who have innate fears in public speaking. These people might experience a crippling feeling whenever they have to face many people. These high-pressure circumstances may take a toll on their mental and emotional well-being. It can derail not only their confidence, but also hamper the performance of your business. 

Take action and encourage them to work around that fear. Can public speaking courses in Sydney help them? Definitely! For now, here are some tips on how to speak under pressure that you can share with your team. 

1. Understand and accept that they have that fear.  

The first step to overcoming something is to first recognise that there is something that needs to be overcome. Without acknowledging this handicap, how are you even going to formulate ways of overcoming it? 

Identify the people in your team who are terrified of public speaking. You can ask them outright or you can make observations on who are having a hard time on stage. Understand that this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad at their jobs, they just need a little nudge in the right direction.

This obstacle is not the end of their career. The greatest public speakers are sometimes those who used to be so scared of the big stage. They can learn. With the guidance of the right people, of course.  

2. Small steps can make a big impact.  

public speaking, how to speak under pressure, public speaking courses

The reason why so many people find themselves giving up on their goals is that they start too big, too fast. The same goes for public speaking. To be able to build up confidence and rapport when speaking in public, start small. Encourage them to talk to close family, friends, or whoever they are comfortable with. They can even do this in front of the mirror with only themselves, their words, and blistering confidence.  

Confidence starts from within. That line gets thrown around too much, but as much as it is cheesy, it is also true. They need to learn to reassure themselves that they are doing a good job and they can spot that by simply talking in front of the mirror.  

3. Know and understand the material. 

Remind them that they can’t just settle with knowing their material on face value. This means they have to go beyond memorising the lines and truly understand the context and insights of their message. Ask them questions related to their material and see how they answer.

In public speaking, the key to successful delivery is to prepare well.  Know the goal of making that speech. Is it to inform? Is it to entertain? Going to that big speech with the necessary knowledge and preparation will help them strike those goals and ace that speech. 

4. Spice up the presentation. 

public speaking, how to speak under pressure, public speaking courses

Don’t fall into the dull trend in public speaking where speeches rigidly follow bullet-points and formats. Spice up presentations with funny or interesting anecdotes. Complement certain lines with the right gestures, and add in pauses for key messages.  

Make use of visuals, audios, or videos to jolt the audience out of the monotonous drone. Amplify the essence of the speech’s message by simply peppering the presentation with entertaining, but still relevant points. Perhaps invite surprise guests into the presentation. Just make sure that these do not come out gimmicky and are still in line with the message. 

5. Focus on one thing or one friend. 

Going back to overcoming their fears, there are some ways they can do to alleviate their stage fright. One of the ways to do this is by thinking that they are giving the presentation to a friend. They can also pretend that they are talking to an empty room.  

It is helpful to be comfortable with just talking while looking at people in the eyes. Practise making eye contact and try not to be intimidated or uncomfortable with the thought. Establishing command in the stage is possible by simply doing this simple exercise.       

6. Practise quick thinking. 

public speaking, how to speak under pressure, public speaking courses

This step is perhaps the most time-consuming part of conquering the fear of public speaking. When people feel under pressure, they can start to spiral into thoughts that hinder them from giving their best while speaking in public. It is vital that they learn how not to drown in their own nerves and anxieties. Instead, they must learn to cope when these situations arise.  

Mindfulness exercises can do them a ton of wonders. Practising regular mindfulness can drive them to focus on the present instead of being eaten up by negative thoughts. Additionally, there are countless seminars and public speaking courses in Sydney that are especially dedicated to this subject. Screenwise, for instance, offers extensive courses on public speaking which they can invest in and learn a lot from. 

7. Learn from experience. 

Previous public speaking experience can be used to be better in the future. Instead of focusing on what went wrong, use those previous experiences as an advantage. Take note of everything that went right as well as things that can be done in a better way. Through this, they can also map their progress and not feel as though they’re stuck. 

Drive your team to success! Help your team conquer their fears in public speaking with Screenwise. 

public speaking, how to speak under pressure, public speaking courses

Screenwise has a wide range of courses that aim to bring out the best version of your team; the version that cuts through the stage and connects them with your target audience. Remember, your team’s success is your business’ success, too. For comprehensive professional public speaking courses in Sydney, work with Screenwise today.  


Subscribe for course and workshop news