We have all been there and experienced those nerve-racking moments where we are put on the spot to speak or present. Those dreaded moments where someone asks a question you were totally unprepared for and in that one split second your mind goes completely and utterly blank. Here are 5 ways to help you overcome those nerves. Talk about a relevant topic- Rather than focusing on what you do not know, focus on something that you do know. Talk about something that you are well informed about that has some relevance to the topic.
1: Relate to your audience – There is no doubt that those who are asking you those tough questions have themselves experienced what you are going through. So RELAX and no need to be so serious! Be yourself and be confident even if you are not prepared. If you have confidence in your knowledge then so will they.
2: Practice makes perfect – Before a presentation, an interview or any other form of public speaking, practice in front of friends, family or even just in front of the mirror. Make sure you are prepared for any questions which someone may throw at you. Remember that sometimes questions link to one another so elaborate on your answers and show them you know what you are talking about!
3: Presentation – Present yourself in an appropriate manner, maintain eye contact with your audience. Ask them open questions that may relate to what you have been asked and use that as a means to answer their question. When someone asks a tough question sometimes your reaction alone will give them their answer, so make sure that you don’t let your nerves get the best of you. If you don’t know the answer either try and deflect it or admit to the audience you may not currently have the info but you will look into it and get back to them. People appreciate when you are honest, and will understand that not everyone knows everything.
4: Talk about yourself – Tell them something interesting about yourself to keep the conversation going until you regain your trail of thought and find a way to relate that to your question.
5: Speak with confidence – Being put on the spot is never easy but always remember to speak as if you are having a conversation with someone you already know. Show the same amount of confidence and ease so not only will you help make yourself more comfortable but also that of those interviewing or watching you present.
We hope these tips are helpful in developing your improvisation skills. Now go out there and nail it!
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