The topic of fear of speaking popped up recently during a consultation with a client. During that conversation, I was reminded of how much some people are afraid of public speaking. I’ve sat in the seat where my confidence lacked when it came to speaking out loud but was able to overcome it. I literally had moments when I had mini brain death when the time came to speak to the media. Can you believe that? I cannot recall sharing my fear of interviews and speaking to the media with anyone but I figured out how to speak up.
Confidence has a lot to do with conquering your fears of being interviewed or speaking in public. Strangely, I was able to prepare clients for interviews while I myself had fears. I believe working with them helped me to work on myself.
In my experience here are some things that can be done to help you speak up confidently.
Speak To Yourself
Talk to yourself. Stand in front that mirror and look at yourself speak. Get comfortable with yourself and your voice.
Understand Body Language
It is going to take a while for you to understand body language, yours to be specific. Your facial reaction, hand gestures and body language speak volume. Sometimes, words do not need to be said and the message is heard.
Be aware! Research your interviewers and media outlets that are going to interview and feature you. An understanding of the personalities and their interview styles will make your experience/s better.
No need to be defensive if you are prepared. Plus, an interviewer will push you to get you to break. In the instance of controversial topics relevant to you, an interviewer will push you to speak up but unfavourably. Think about the headlines that will follow “*Insert your name* verbally abuses *inserts another name* during interview.”
Tell the interviewers about yourself. Talking points and profile information can be shared with your interviewer. Help them help you. Do not think for one moment that an interviewer will always go the extra mile to find out about you.
Be sure about your topics. You must be able to speak about yourself best. Be clear about yourself or your project. Remember you are selling yourself.
Look Your Best
Dress up and dress appropriately. I should also emphasize that you should be dressed from head to toe. When I say this I mean that you should not take for granted that your entire body may be visible during the interview. You may be asked to stand, the set layout may change without your knowledge and you should be prepared.
It’s fine if you are not going to be videotaped or photographed just take pride in how you look. You can never tell what opportunities will come about and should always be prepared. Your publicist should be able to clarify appropriate colour requirements etc for live and video recordings.
The extra loud jewellery should stay at home. Small noises can be magnified and become annoying when next to a lavalier microphone (the one that is clipped on you)
I like the idea of putting your best face forward. This does not necessarily mean a fully glammed face for females but some coverage is recommended. As for male clients, some makeup may also be required, in your case, it may just be some translucent powder to take the shine off. Have you seen what high definition television does to you? *laughs* You would thank me later.
After your interviews are done look them over with your publicist and be critical. Go over the points that were missed, misinterpreted or not used. Discuss other approaches moving forward.
Your great publicist (the one I spoke about spotting in last week’s blog) will work with you and your management. Trust me, perfecting interviews may not happen overnight but stick it out.
If you are interested in coaching, I can help.
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