How often have you heard ‘Just imagine the audience is naked!’ bandied about in reference to public speaking?
Take it from someone who knows, this ‘pearl of wisdom’ is completely ridiculous. I understand and agree with the sentiment of categorising the audience as vulnerable people just like you instead of being strong powerful judges who may laugh at you. However, imagining people naked is just one massive distraction, it makes you giggle and feel a bit odd – not exactly empowering.
So here is a truly effective visualisation that will make you feel like Michelle Obama and Beyonce all rolled into one whilst public speaking:
- Visualise that the audience is loving your speech. They are gripped by your every word and nodding along.
- Visualise that the audience gives you a standing ovation because what you are saying is so powerful.
- Visualise yourself being happy and relaxed on stage as you crack jokes and make the audience laugh and smile.
It sounds so simple but taking time out before your speech to visualise these three scenarios really will make them happen. Every time you visualise and imagine something, you create and strengthen neural pathways and your brain starts to believe what you are showing it is true. You can’t argue with science!
So don’t waste your time (And your brain’s time) on constructing a naked audience. Instead, imagine you are hilarious, relaxed and the audience love your speech. This will make you come across as confident, relatable and give your message a lot more power. (And it’s much better than having to visualise genitalia!)
Read more in my bookThe Pocket Survival Guide to Glossophobia (fear of public speaking). If you have any other tried and tested public speaking hints and techniques please send them to email@example.com.