Public speaking and leadership
I have a casual job that requires me to lead small tour groups. I lead groups of roughly 10-20 people and I tell them facts, ask them how they're doing and lead them on their way. For me, I find the job both a rush of excitement and a chance to meet and talk to people, but also a terrifying public speaking and leadership challenge. For me, public speaking can be quite hard, and something that requires a lot of effort and concentration.
My personality and leading?
When it comes to public speaking and leadership, I need to mentally psych myself up and put on a different face. The face that I try to put on is sure and confident and seems approachable. Personally, I can find this quite difficult to do. A natural leader might relish in the chance to guide a group and be the voice of confidence. For myself, I prefer hanging out the back and quietly moseying along. Although I struggle doing this naturally, it is proving to be an excellent opportunity to practice and improve. I think I am finding that there is a leader in all of us although not everyone is as comfortable wearing this mask. It is about believing in yourself and not worrying about what others may be thinking. Some people may find doing this easier than others.
What to do when you are overwhelmed?
When you are standing at the front of a group looking across at a sea of eyes all glaring at you, it can seem overwhelming. I seem to stumble over my words more and then that makes me think it will look really bad if I stumble over my words again which of course, I then proceed to do. It can easily spiral out of control for me when I get into a mindset like this. That is why I have been trying some really simple and common techniques to relax. Funnily enough these simples tips actually seem to help.
1. Take a deep breath: Just taking a deep breath and slowing down or taking the time to focus a bit more seems to help. I stutter less, feel less anxious and stressed and everything seems to flow a bit smoother.
2. Slow down: When I slow down my speech i notice some key things change. Firstly, I tend to make less mistakes and think more clearly about what I am saying. And secondly, my voice projects more and sounds more confident.
3. Using my surrounds: This may sound a bit Bear Gryllsy but jumping up onto elevated surfaces from the group is a sure and quick way to make sure everyone can hear and see me. It gives me a sense of authority, confidence and leadership that I wouldn't otherwise have on the level ground.
Leadership and public speaking are something we can all work on and can all get nervous from. This is what I'm telling myself and that there really is nothing to fear. Every chance you get is a chance to improve and at the end of the day, no one really cares how many mistakes you make as long as you have a go.