Almost all of us feel edgy to some extent whilst delivering a public speech. However, for a remarkable number of speakers, just the thought of public speaking sends us into a frenzy. Though many people would like to think otherwise ever since online learning came in, but it is not so. Instances of mind blanks in public speaking persist- be it offline or online.
Although ducking behind network issues has become a staple, we will go back to the public realm at some point. Even though online communication is here to stay, it isn’t a guarantee that mind blanks in public speaking will cease to exist. However, here’s where we come in! Read through these tips for effective public speaking by Podium School to avoid this (literally) tongue-tied situation. Check out our regular advice to aspiring speakers who wish to become more confident.
The Reason Behind Mind Blanks in Public Speaking
For some people, the sinking realization of mind blanks may strike like a bolt from the blue. The mere glance at the audience itself terrifies them to a level that they draw a blank. No matter how mentally prepared they are, mind blanks strike like an assassin- quick and soft-footed enough that you’ll not even know it.
As relieving as it might sound, going blank while delivering a speech isn’t only linked to people who are afraid of public speaking. Even the most confident orators experience it- be it from nerves, lack of concentration, or even overconfidence.
You may be confident in yourself the day before your speech, and the next day you may experience panic. As a result, you keep revising for that elusive one last time from your notes while your mind plays a nasty game with your confidence.
Thus, if we are to diagnose the reason for it, it is that the loss of memory can be caused by sheer mental exhaustion. Also, having a conscience that constantly tells you that you’re the foremost presenter, the mind spirals into a panic. This leads to a shortage in the flow of memory which leads to going blank in just a moment. It is rapid and static.
However, the question still remains. How do you recover from that moment of turning oblivious and go on, without letting the audience know? Fret not! Below are four ways to cope up with the mind blanks in public speaking.
Place the Audience over the Content
As it is portrayed in most crises, the best defense to move on from a blank is to prepare sufficiently beforehand.
Sorry to break your bubble- cramming notes to make sure to dish out words like Eminem is NOT effective. Look at your audience and let your words flow. Imagine being in their shoes and try to think what they would understand from what you say. Then, you will be able to relax when you suddenly feel you have struck a blank.
Trust Yourself and Your Instincts
The brain seems to skyrocket in times of crisis. By building a relationship with your audience, it will most likely be safe to give prompt answers in times of need. It all depends on the trust you have on yourself. The moment you trust yourself, you can turn fearful stuttering to full-blown smooth speech and of course, turn those nasty mind blanks to a greater advantage for yourself.
Everyone has a moment where they lose the train of their thoughts and cannot recall the next word that they were about to say. There are also times when the word just reaches the throat but slips back yet again and it is gone for good.
Contemplate the Significance of Your Speech
Having a clear perception as to why the speech is important to the audience delivers a highly specific reason for why you are speaking what you are speaking. Your speech should be a practical and transparent conversation with your audience.
The moment you go blank, try to catch on the needs of the audience to remind yourself about why are you addressing them. Reflecting on the motives of your speech will help you make sense of how to surge despite the awful mind blank situation.
Lead Yourself in the Right Direction
Dealing with mind blanks in your speech is a trick rather than a strategy. By starting out in the right mindset, you will be confident to handle those moments with utmost ease and grace. So the trick is pretty fundamental. The right mindset will drive your focus on the listeners.
Keep in mind that the purpose of delivering a speech is not satisfy the concern of whether you did well or not, but to satisfy the listeners through your speech. Hence, the moment we get encapsulated in our own reactions to those mind blanks, it should indicate the red flag that we’re facing the wrong direction.
Building a connection to the people you talk to will bring you back to reality. When you go blank, do not panic. Instead, look at your audience and note their behavior and expressions. That will be your cue to decide how to go about your speech. Try to neutralize the situation- ask a question to get the ball rolling and soon, you’ll find yourself operating on a different wavelength. This will help you finish your speech without slogging too much.
Thus, when you hit a mind blank next time (though we don’t wish for that) you know what to do to get the show going.
We absolutely understand that going blank while delivering a speech can be pretty terrifying and sometimes, even inevitable. It may even make you unsure of your ability to continue. However, we have you covered with our advice above. An orator is also a master illusionist as they hide their fears and thoughts behind a spotless veneer of confidence. Therefore, never let the audience think you are lost- because as soon as they realise it, you will lose them and also, your battle with public speaking anxiety.
But, trust Podium School to gently guide you through these roadblocks. With our interactive public speaking course for youngsters, we make sure that your fears are validated and that you learn to conquer them. Also, don’t forget to check out our blog for more tips like these to hone the speaker in you.