“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”- a very famous quote & equally true also.Good knowledge,good personality, good ideologies but everything goes in vain when one finds oneself unable to express effectively before others. In majority of cases, the root cause of our inability lies in our mental conditioning due to our upbringing, domination of elders at home or seniors at workplace forcing one to suppress his/her voice and thoughts.In remaining cases, it is the fear of criticism that keeps one tightly chained and doesn’t allow one to move beyond the comfort zone.
TO THE SPEAKERS:
“If not today,then when”? “If situation is very challenging today,how it will be supportive tomorrow? ”If not you then the person standing behind you in the same queue(may well be facing the same fear,as you) of intense competition ,will always be ready to grab any opportunity.And unfortunately there is no surety that every lost opportunity will knock your door twice.
i. Your outer personality: The moment you enter in a presentation hall /stage ,the first thing that attracts your audience ‘s attention is your outer personality.One need not to be a stunning actor/actress to be a successful speaker.One’s confidence level,grip over the subject matter & dressing sense are sufficient to decide the success of his/her presentation.Even if you have failed once despite having good grip over the subject matter ,this should not harm your self esteem or zest for trying again and again.You can get failure once or twice but not everytime.
ii. You need not to be a part of a big presentation to gain confidence in public speaking. Regional branches of ICAI throughout India organizes various seminar at district/zonal/state /national level on regular basis.There are ample of opportunities to “present your paper on the decided topics”. Not only this will boost your confidence but it will be a big achievement if somehow you manage to win “Best Paper Presenter” award.
iii. Moving out of comfort zone is definitely an important need of hour. Even if paper presentation sounds difficult job,then start from a lower level.In CA classes, generally there is minimum strength of 250-300 people.Start your way from there by asking queries from the concerned faculty.If you can speak in front of 250 people, then there is no doubt on why you can’t speak in corporate seminars/meetings.If this also sounds difficult then make your own group and take permission from your Regional branch of ICAI to conduct study circle meetings on subject related to professional interest. There is no reason why Regional branch should deny your request.
iv. Being a professional, one thing can be taken for granted that is in order to succeed one has to learn the art of presenting himself/herself effectively.Your whole future growth depends upon how effectively you can deal with company’s client,how effectively you can conduct meetings,audio/video conferences, how effectively you can deal with senior management, CEO,CFO of the company. Without effective communication skills,on one hand there is big hindrance in your future growth and on the other hand, if you suppress yourself everytime then your seniors/colleagues can always take your advantage in no time.
v. If its your first presentation, it would rather be better if you invite your friends or known person to sit in the front rows.You will be more confident when known persons are in surroundings. Do ask them to substantiate your knowledge when you are facing lots of cross questioning.
“Practicing in front of mirror” has been considered a very good technique for improving public speaking by many proficient persons but the main thing is nobody is afraid of facing oneself ,issue comes when has to face the outer world.
TO THE AUDIENCE:
i. Its very easy to break the speaker’s confidence by making unnecessary hooting and comments but its difficult to face the same situation at the same time. No one is perfect on this earth.But one can help self & others to reach to a respectable level.
ii. Rather than cursing with your words, it would rather be very supportive for the speaker, if you just stand amongst the cursing crowd & boost the confidence of the person.
iii. Even if you literally don’t like whatever is going, just support the person by substantiating your knowledge with the other person’s knowledge & create a positive environment.
“Never give in... never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force... never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. ~Winston Churchill”
CA Vijeta Verma