This past weekend, my dad was honored with an award and had to give a speech. He was nervous, having never spoken to a large group of adults. This isn’t surprising as most people’s #1 fear is public speaking, even more than death.
Along the way, he asked me for some advice. Upon further reflection, I think the advice I gave him would benefit anybody who is just starting as a communicator or preacher. Here’s what I told him.
1. Everybody is rooting for you.
The audience wants you to do well. They are not hoping you fail or rooting for your demise. It’s in their best interest for you to succeed, and they’re pulling for you.
2. Nobody has very high expectations.
If you’re new to public speaking or preaching, nobody expects much. If you’re not Billy Graham, Barack Obama or Jerry Seinfeld, don’t worry — nobody thought you were anyway.
3. Most people will forget what you say.
Whether your communication is great or abismal, people will not remember much. They come in with a thimble, you fill it up, and they spill half of it on the way out. The only exception are those who love you most and will appreciate it no matter what. So relax.
What advice would you give to a beginning communicator?