The Neurscience Behind Public Speaking
Conquer your fear of public speaking using neuroscience
Being a public speaker is not necessarily the most obvious career choice for someone who spent most of their studying years in a laboratory – but here we are😅! I spend a lot of my time delivering keynote presentations. And, even though it may seem slightly out of sync with my introverted personality, the excitement and rush that I get from presenting to a live audience satisfies my high dopamine neurosignature perfectly. It doesn’t matter if you are speaking to 5 people or 500 – there are some fail-safe ways that you can set yourself up for success and make what is for a lot of people an uncomfortable or overwhelming experience FUN!
Tell a Story
People’s brains are wired to enjoy stories; that’s when our brains sync up. By using stories, we can really draw people into our content and create something that they connect with. We are more likely to retain, and be able to effectively remember information if it is presented to us in the format of a story. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need some long elaborate fictional tale in order to get your point across! But if you can add in a little 1-2 minute personal anecdote that pertains to what you’re speaking on, people will be far more engaged. If we want them to take something away and remember our presentation, they need a good story.
Add a Bit Of Humor
In the way that open-mouth play in the animal world is used to convey that what is currently happening is non-threatening, when we are able to laugh with those around us, we are put at ease. (Kurtz, L. E., & Algoe, S. B. (2015). Putting Laughter in Context: Shared Laughter as Behavioral Indicator of Relationship Well-Being. Personal Relationships, 22(4), 573. https://doi.org/10.1111/pere.12095) Not only that, but when people laugh, they learn! So one of the easiest ways to engage with your audience and keep them focused is to inject a bit of humor into your presentation!
Get Into Flow
You will do your best thinking if you are able to get into flow so this one is really KEY! When you are fully focused on what you are doing, everything else seems to fall away and this is when you know you are in flow. Fun + Fear = Focus©, so by having the right level of Fun and the right level of Fear, you will easily be able to Focus fully on what you are doing and getting into flow will just follow naturally. So add some Fun by speaking about something you are truly passionate about, telling jokes or laughing, or even using memes in your slideshow, and sprinkle in a bit of Fear by pushing yourself just outside of your comfort zone the next time you need to give a speech!
Public speaking does not have to be scary
Not everyone has the kind of neurosignature that will automatically thrive when they are put into the spotlight – and that’s Ok! The good thing is that by using a little bit of neuroscience, even the most introverted people can set themselves up for success, and have a bit of fun at the same time!
Have you ever had to present or speak on something at work, or in your personal life? I’d love to know how it went and how you felt when doing it!
Want more brain-friendly tips?
Check out my Wall Street Journal bestselling book, The Brain-Friendly Workplace: Why Talented People Quit and How to Get Them to Stay. And if you felt inspired, please leave an Amazon review. I read every single one and would love to see yours there!
I also offer virtual keynotes to provide companies with science-based insights that you can put into practice immediately in order to work and live smarter, better, and happier. Find out more about my keynotes here.