Some time ago a friend of mine, John Gross, a fantastic speaker and TV sports reporter interviewed the National Champion for 400 meters, a major upset winner and asked him how he did it. The reply was “Self talk.” And then the athlete explained that his coach told him to run 405 meters, not just 400, so he didn’t slow down at the finish line. Wow! What a great concept. I guess we all have a tendency to slow down near the finish line in any project and the real key to victory is to play all out right through the finish line.
How often have you watched an auto race (especially in the movies) where the lead car is passed just as it approaches the finish line?
My advice to new speakers is to start their speech like they are already ten minutes into it and they will never have stage fright. Walk out there friendly and confident as if they have already accepted you and your message. And now I suppose I will add to that advice, “And finish as if there was a lot more brilliant stuff you wish you could add but will hold back in the interest of their valuable time.”