I’m pretty sure 6 months ago the situation we find ourselves in today would have been barely believable as the plot twist of a CGI laden B movie. And yet sadly here we are. And the impact has been colossal. Due to these new unsafe and uncertain times, thousands of people have to find a way to earn a living without being able to leave their living rooms. Needless to say this lack of security can massively affect your confidence.
As a public speaking coach and consultant, I enjoy empowering people by sharing the insights I have learned in my day job as an actor about how to bring presence and authority to the things you say. In case it will bring you any comfort at all, I’d love to share some of these insights with you now…
Public Speaking Tip 1: The ground is important. It’s where your presence and authority as a speaker come from.
Exercise: Try rolling a tennis ball under the sole of your feet. You should set a timer on your phone and massage each foot for 2 minutes.
Benefit: This will remind your brain that the ground exists and you can give your weight to it. The improved alignment and extra room to breathe that you will get as a result should keep you calm and fill your zoom calls with authority for the rest of the day.
Public Speaking Tip 2: Find your breath. It will help you reach out to others
As obvious as that sounds breathing is important and it is often the first thing we forget about when we are anxious or lacking confidence. This often results in tension and keeps the things we are saying from traveling as far as we need them too.
Exercise: Whilst sitting in your chair at your desk, try letting your left arm hang beside you whilst lifting your right arm over your head. Allow your left hand to try and touch the ground without your bottom leaving your seat and enjoy the resulting stretch. Take deep breaths for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side.
Benefit: The increased support from your ribs when you speak will allow your words to land with impact.
Public Speaking Tip 3: Use tongue twisters to keep your words clear.
Knowing that you have the agility to express yourself without having to fear fumbling your words (especially when talking to strangers), will increase your confidence 10 fold! Here are a couple to get you started but why not have fun Googling some more or making up a few of your own!
– A selfish shellfish smelt a stale fish. If the stale fish was a smelt, then the selfish shellfish smelt a smelt.
-Any noise annoys an oyster, but a noisy noise annoys an oyster most.
Benefit: Hopefully these will make you laugh as well as help turn you into a powerful speaker!
See if you can find 5 or 10 minutes in your schedule to run through these exercises. You’ll notice how much more confident you feel after only a few days of paying attention to the details behind your communication. In my day job as an actor, it is exercises like these that have helped me speak complicated Shakespearean words with clarity to audiences of a thousand people a night – even when I’m really nervous and my confidence isn’t there! I hope they prove as useful to you.
Please stay safe and well.
About The Author
Leaphia Darko – Founder & CEO p2 Speaking
For more tips, tricks and public speaking hacks visit p2speaking.com/blog and connect with me at Linkedin.com/LeaphiaDarko
‘Following 18 months as an in-store keynote speaker and trainer for Apple UK, Leaphia Darko trained as an actor graduating in 2017 from The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). She has appeared in many productions including those at The Shakespeare’s Globe and The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). Via her e-course & consulting business p2 Speaking, she works with recent graduate employees and management level teams by using the advanced communication techniques learned from her life on stage to take their public speaking skills to world class levels.’