I was an inspirational speaker for United Airlines Leadership Retreat last month. I am a Star Alliance Elite Member, so I fly this airline a lot; I figure I have given them enough of my money, it's time I get some of their's!
Part of my leadership motivational talk is to compel leaders to give regular Motivational Speeches. One of the senior leaders came up to me and said he encourages his department leaders to do this but many of them have fears and reservations about public speaking.
He asked my advice on how to help others overcome their fear of motivational speaking. Here is what I told him:
Remember it is a preoccupation with yourself ( how you look, public humiliation, etc) that is the root of all fear of public speaking. Motivational speaking is about the audience. Care more for the audience than your own self interest and most of your fear will subside.
Some of the best public speaking advice I ever got was from my friend and mentor, canadian motivational speaker Bill Clennan ( the "Dean" of canadian motivational speakers) who said focus on having the best time ever when you are giving a motivational talk. I have followed this advice over and over and found that what often look like fear suddenly become excitement that will fuel your motivational speech.
For years I used visualization to overcome my fear of motivational speaking. I would imagine myself confidently giving a dynamic motivational speech and the audience being really engaged. After awhile imagination became reality as my confidence grew.
Finally, the more you do it, the better you get. The road to confident speaking takes practice. Truth is, it take a long time to become a good motivational speaker, so you may as well enjoy the ride.
The other inspirational speaker for the airlines talked about dressing for success and although this is not a technique I use a lot, props really help take the focus off of you and onto something more concrete ( like clothing or whatever you are demonstrating).
Other than this, focusing on a naked audience is bogus.
Read Canadian motivational speaker, Bill Clennans Poem the Reward is Within