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.