Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Public Speaking For The Inhibited

Public speaking can be truly terrifying for some. The secret to being confident while speaking in front of an audience, though, is NOT to imagine the audience in their underwear, as that old trick goes.

Ignore that notion completely. It was devised by someone with a sick sense of humor. Someone who wants to see you make a fool of yourself. Someone who wants to see you fail.

The last thing I, for one, need to do is get up there and start picturing people in their underwear, because when I picture underwear it's the "good stuff." Before long I’m imagining lacy thongs and mesh bras, and then next thing I know I’m “sprung.” In front of everyone. And they can tell.

You know what I’m talking about, fellas. The grade school nightmare scenario. Please, dear God, don’t let the teacher call on me right now.

No, that technique creates too much opportunity for disaster.

The way to feel confident while speaking in front of a group is to imagine your entire audience at their most vulnerable – on the toilet. Yup. That puts them in a defenseless position, at least in your mind, and you in a position of power and security.

Ok, ok, you don’t have to imagine the rest of the sensory experience of them on the toilet, just the visual. We don’t need you getting sick on the podium.

But, just try this the next time you have an uncomfortable experience speaking to an audience.

See that bemused looking guy? His facial expression is not a comment on your public speaking skills, he’s just having trouble completing the transaction.

And that woman sitting there rolling her eyes? Someone left the seat up and she forgot to check.

See there? You’re doing much better already.

So, when you try this technique out, if you ever do, think of the helpful guy who shared it with you. But, don’t picture him in his underwear.


rusty shakelford said...

One trick I know if your getting too nervous while in the middle of a speech is to hold your hand at about chest level and put you index finder on you thumb. Then dig you finger nail into your thumb. The pain can take your mind off the audience and give the impression you are speaking with emotion. It is kind of sick but works for me.

Then again I have always wanted to give a speech like a dictator, where you slam you fist on the poteum after each sentence.

Pete Bogs said...

rusty - been reading G. Gordon Liddy again? lol

whatever works... I do feel that the leaders of "first world" countries, when speaking in public, should bang on the podium like those angry dictators... Marcos even used a sword, I think... or was that Noriega?

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

conviction and security in ones self. thats the key. even if they disagree, be lively but relaxed. banging? not so much. elegant. measured. clear. understated. invested, not too invested. etc etc etc. BE PREPARED above all. marcos?you mean the husband of the shoe lady?

what's up? why the thinking on grammar and public speaking?

bogs OT. what? do you have a program that alerts you to dead rock stars? thanks for the heads up on syd. on final examination: you pen a masterpiece like shine on you crazy diamond: you stop. you paint and tend to a garden in an english hamlet. you remember you were in pink floyd!!!! you paint and garden some more. you die. not bad considering the possibilities.

a favorite:" now theres a look in your eyes. like black holes in the skies. "

cake i like.


Pete Bogs said...

k9 - I'm on some kind of academic bent... I have a math blog coming sometime soon, too...

Shine On is one of the Floyd's best works...

Mr Q said...

Bogs, imagine a freaking guy with a heavy accent doing public speaking. Yeah, me. During my own experience with the subject, I have been everything from a manwhore to Jesus with sprinkles of Hitler in between Freddy Mercury's charm and grace. You really have to be prepared for absolutely everything, hey even BS is allowed as long as you end it up with a joke.

Jack K. said...

You want we should visualize him au naturel? LMAO

Having taugh public speaking, I like your ideas.

There is nothing like self-confidence to help you through the experience. (I did not use ordeal purposely.)

One thing I do is realize that everyone in the audience knows something about my subject that I do not. I just hope it is the same thing.

One sure way to overcome the jitters is to have very high needs for attention and recognition.

I guess I am one of those nuts who doesn't mind being in front of a group speaking my mind, or what's left of it.

Humor is always a help.

Keeping in mind you are serving, caring and sharing the love in your heart doesn't hurt either. You can develop quite a reputation from that perspective.

ARRRGGH, the thought of bogs drinking a pint in his jammies just flashed through the old bio-computer. I think it is about time to sign out.


Bird said...

hahahahah - love this.

i look at the foreheads of audience. this provides the illusion that i am establishing eye contact, without actually looking directly into someone eyes (which can sometimes make me laugh).

with students, i don't use illusions - you bet i look them right in the eye - hahaha!

i also divide the room into quarters and then i work the room, turning slightly to each section, gesturing, using my eyes, etc. for each section.

i worked as a professional storyteller (what a blast) for a bit - from which i learned that the adrenanline (flight vs. fight) rush can be harnessed and used - just as an athlete uses it to focus before the race or game begins, then unleashes it as required throughout the game or race.

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...


Aunty Belle said...

Wow, dawg...thas' impressive...I'm waitin' to git an invite to a Rottie speech.!

Yep...conviction and passion fer yer topic is best means of gettin' mind off self and onto topic.

Aunty Belle said...

Bawgs, fer more on grammar, they's a real funny book:

Lapsing into a comma: A Curmudgeon's Guide to the Many THings that Go Wrong in Print--and how to avoid them. It's by Bill Walsh of the WaPo.

Pete Bogs said...

q - como?

jack - in answer to your question: it's best not to focus on the details when you're visualizing the person in a "compromised" state, as that distraction can throw you off... at least, using the Bogsian Method, that's how it is...

bird - I know all about "flight or fight..." those are the two choices I give the airline gate attendant who tells me the plane is overbooked and I can't get on...

flab - it's not for all...

aunt b - thanks for the tip...