As a podcaster, you will spend a large portion of your time speaking. Sometimes, this can mean you will be speaking in front of a live audience, perhaps at a TEDx event or something similar. It is always a great idea to find more than one way to get your message to reach your target audience.
Podcast coach Christine interviewed Keynote speaker and National Best-Selling author Erik “Mr. Awesome” Swanson. He shares some helpful unexpected tips that could save your speech. These tips are perfect for podcasters who struggle with public speaking. They are easy to apply during almost any speech you will have to make.
1. Have a prop
Having prop can be a great way to create the impression that you are highly knowledgeable on your subject matter. Erik carries an empty notebook when he makes speeches. Inside the notebook, he places sticky notes with bullet points to remind him what he needs to talk about next. It also helps him transition onto this next point each time he references his notebook. This tactic will not work for everyone, so make sure you practice with the notebook. Another option could be an iPad or something that suggests you have gathered a lot of information on the topic. Find a prop that makes you feel comfortable while concealing your sticky notes from the audience. You will have saved yourself from a potential blunder.
Maintaining a calm demeanor can be very powerful when making a speech. It is easy to get intimated by the crowd and let your anxiety get the best of you. Erik has a solution for this. He uses a breathing technique which he calls ‘Breath 33’. You take a breath in and hold it for 3 seconds, then release it for another 3 seconds and repeat. Ideally, do this exercise before you start your speech. It will get your blood flowing into your brain and help you to calm down and think clearly.
3. Avoid fidgeting
Another way to maintain a calm demeanor is to avoid fidgeting. If you have a tool, such as a pen, avoid franticly clicking it. Erik suggests that if you have pockets, you pick one and keep the pen in there. You will always know where it is and should only pull it out when you need it. It adds a sense of professionalism and gives the audience the impression that you are well prepared.
4. Filler words: The good and the bad
Fillers such as “uhm”, “err”, and “like” are not ideal when trying to maintain professionalism. Erik suggests limiting the number of filler words you use. Concise speech ensures that you do not waste time trying to find your thoughts. There are apps you can use that provide you with real-time analysis of your speech fitness. One of these apps is called Likeso. It gives you a score according to how many filler words you use. Practicing your speech using such apps is encouraged. It will also improve your overall speech fitness for future purposes.
5. Grab a light snack
Erik also suggests eating a bag of Lays chips and drinking twenty minutes before your speech. It can help settle you and even calm your nerves. However, there are many foods you should avoid eating before speaking. Check out this article from publicspeakingsuperpowers.com for which food to avoid before making a speech.
To learn more or work with Erik, Click here.