If you’re about to give a speech and you’re nervous, or sick, or you have an accent you’re self-conscious about, please DO NOT start your speech by apologizing for those things!
When you give a disclaimer before you begin your presentation, you are confusing your audience. They want to love you; they want to learn from you; they want to be inspired by you. Instead, they’ve now become worried about you or, even worse, less interested in what you’re going to tell them. After all, you’ve basically just warned them they aren’t going to have a good time.
Worse than that, in addition to lowering their expectations, you’ve lowered YOUR OWN expectations and essentially given yourself permission to be mediocre. There’s now no reason to strive for greatness, since you – and the audience – are aware of your perceived shortcomings.
Clearly, this is NOT how you want to make a first impression. Even if you are nervous, or sick, or you have an accent, just … start … talking. If you press on, and immerse yourself in your speech, you’ll find that you’ll stop thinking about those “weaknesses” and you’ll get stronger with each word. Momentum when giving a speech is a wonderful thing.
In fact, after all your stress about it, the audience may not even notice what you’re self-conscious about and if they do notice, they probably won’t care. Or, they’ll be even more impressed because you still delivered a great speech, despite your coughing and sneezing! And, as for accents, they usually sound pretty cool.
So, embrace what you’ve got and go for it. You are your own toughest critic. Let the self-doubt go and be bold.
If you’d like to learn more about becoming a more powerful public speaker, just reach out to me here.
Have a great day!