Do You Feel Nervous About Speaking?

Ewan McGregor - Actor and Jedi Knight - Gets Nervous About Speaking in PublicWell, if you do feel at all nervous about speaking in public, then you’re in good company.  Actor and Jedi Knight, Ewan McGregor, knows exactly how you feel and in the following video, courtesy of BBC Two, he shares with us how being nervous about speaking affects him.

He also gives us a few tips on easing those nerves, makes some observations on engaging with your audience and offers some advice on delivering a powerful speech.

For those that prefer to read rather than watch a video, I’ve summarised his comments, below.  Just scroll down the page a little.

Ewan McGregor – Nervous About Speaking

Ewan has found Public Speaking and speech making to be incredibly difficult and nerve wracking.  Horribly nerve-wracking, in fact.  Surprisingly, or perhaps not so, he says that he finds it much easier to walk on stage to play a part than to walk on stage to make a speech as himself.

Terrifying was the word that he used.  Perhaps you can relate to that?

I guess that, if you’re playing a part, then you’re not exposing yourself to the world in quite the same way as you do when you’re playing yourself.

He says that being nervous about speaking causes him to get that feeling of his heart being in his throat as he approaches the stage.  He said that he has a tendency to speak very fast because of his nerves and rush through what he has to say, frequently, missing parts of his speech out, much to his frustration.

Ewan says that if you get hold of yourself, slow yourself down and speak at a reasonable pace then your speech will, generally, go all right.

A 3D Man Getting Nervous About SpeakingHe doesn’t like to write down what he’s going to say but he does work through the points that he wants to cover and loosely work out how he’s going to say them.  Once he’s prepared suffuciently, he then trusts himself, despite his nerves, to put his points across.

Interestingly, Ewan doesn’t enjoy watching somebody read a speech as he finds it difficult to connect with it.  He says, “it’s a nice piece of writing but it’s not a speech.”

In contrast, when someone’s thought through and prepared, in their mind, all of the points that they want to go through, that allows them to speak freely from something they’re connected to, something they believe in.  The result is a very powerful speech that connects with the audience.

So, what’s his advice for someone who’s nervous about speaking in public?

To prepare, thoroughly. To think through everything that you want to say, the points you want to make and how you’re going to make them. And I just love the phrase he used to put across his last point;

Allow yourself the luxury of thinking through your points as you speak to your audience.  To not panic and not rush and make the points that you want to make – and mean them.  In doing so you will engage your audience.

So there you have it, some good advice from a Jedi Knight.

Have a great one,

Steve Bimpson

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