Stage Fright Safari*

safari.elephants.africaWhen was the last time you got up onstage or in front of some kind of audience? When was the last time you had FUN getting up there? If your answer to both of these questions falls somewhere in the realm of the past few months, you can stop reading right now and move on to the next fantabulously juicy SoulWoman article. Enjoy!

If, however, your answer lies further back in time, or possibly **squeak** “NEVER”, or if you’re the person who would rather eat uncooked slugs than subject your Self to the terror of *gulp* public speaking, then please, dear reader, stay with me.

We are going on safari together.

No worries, I know the terrain so I’ll be your reliable guide. Plus, I’m going to teach you a few tricks that will help you survive the wilds of public speaking. Are you ready?

Let’s hunt for some Big Game right away, shall we? After all, we are here to have fun, right?? We’re on safari for the adventure of it, right?? Right.

That is exactly how I want to you to think about public speaking: As a fun adventure to enjoy!

No, dear reader, I am NOT kidding you.

Okay, wait a sec. I hear you jumping out of your seat and scurrying for the exit. Maybe let’s back up a few steps…

Before we go on safari or on any kind of adventure, we have to prepare first, right? We have to pack our things. Before I pack for any trip, I always make a list (okay, at least one list…) of what I need to bring with me. A list can help us feel more in control and on top of things. Why don’t we start with a list of things you need in order to make your safari (your presentation/speech) a successful one?

map12bHere we go:

1) Map

First things first. Okay, so here’s the deal: Your map is your intro, your elevator pitch, the meat of your speech or presentation. Make sure it has a beginning, middle and end. Be prepared! Prep goes a very long way on the road to successful Big Game hunting.

2) Safari Togs and Accessories

Make sure your clothing and accessories are comfy yet functional. Stylish doesn’t hurt, either. Dress the part! How do you want to feel up there on stage? Do you want to feel professional and in control? Wear the appropriate uniform.

3) Hat and Sunscreen

Protect your Self from too much heat. This translates into knowing your facts, research, sources, etc. Know your material, inside and out. Only talk about what you really know.vicfallshatlady

Don’t get burned.

4) Solid Hiking Shoes

Obvious, right?? Treat your feet like the wonder twins they are. They hold you up, all day, every day.

This point also refers to your dynamic delivery, the “legs” of your presentation, your charisma. Get out there and sizzle! No idea how to do that? More terrified than anything else? Then I’d say it’s time to start building your confidence, my friend!

5) Water

Yeah, you will need water if your presentation will last longer than 10 minutes. It also helps you steady your nerves. Take a tiny water break every now and then. Drink. Swallow. Breathe. In that order.

6) Backpack

You need to carry and store your equipment. Laptop, power cord, water, product samples, biz cards, brochures, CDs/DVDs, books… You get the picture.

Recommendation: Use a tony briefcase or shopper instead of an actual backpack. Here are some fun examples:Coach-x-Krink-Large-Black-and-White-Toteprada-tessuto-patch-shopping-tote

Hmm… I can’t decide which one I like best… However, I digress. Back to business.

7) Bug spray

Repelling bugs is key. Think comedy. Make ‘em laugh! Repel any possibility of negative feedback with a few funny comments or jokes that you prepare in advance. Use slides or other props if you’re not feeling particularly funny.

Bonus: You will feel more confident and in control if you have that protective shield prepared ahead of time.

8) Sunglasses

On safari, sunglasses help to shade your eyes from the sun. Onstage (and after your gig), shades help you to protect your eyes from the glaring flash bulbs of the paparazzi!!! ;) Seriously! Smile, you did it!

Just imagine how great this achievement will feel once you track down and capture your Big Game – your big presentation or speech. You will absolutely float on air! You will smile for days! You might even win a new client, or a big promotion. Imagine how confident that will make you feel!

Feeling confident and comfortable onstage or in front of an audience can catapult your career or business up to the next level in one fell swoop. All it takes is a bit of prep, a dash of confidence and the right guide to help you navigate your safari.

"There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows." – Isak Dinesen

*As previously published in SoulWoman Sanctuary eMagazine, Fun & Adventure Issue, www.SoulWomanSanctuary.com