You shouldn’t act like a jerk to other people, but if you’re feeling nervous before a speech or presentation, a little arrogance can help you fight off the jitters.
Photo by JD Hancock.
Mohammed Qahtani is the 2015 Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking, so he knows a thing or two about mentally preparing for a speech. While it might seem a little conceited, Qahtani suggests you take a moment before your speech to tell yourself that you are better than you’re audience. Of course, Qahtani explains to Richard Feloni at Business Insider that this type of ego isn’t something you carry with you always:
“I don’t mean that in an egotistical way!” he said. Rather, he tells himself that he’s “better” in the sense that he’s courageously speaking in front of people who are sitting there to listen to what he has to say. It’s a mental shift that removes the fear of humiliation. “You don’t need to be afraid of them because they’re the ones admiring you,” Qahtani said.
A lot of public speaking fear comes from the fear of the audience themselves, but if you shift your perspective and convince yourself that you’re above them in some way, you can alleviate a lot of that stress. Most of the time it’s bad to be arrogant, but right before a speech it gives you just enough confidence to feel empowered and capable. When you’re all done, go back to being nice, normal person and save your next ego trip for the next presentation.
7 Presentation Tips from the 2015 World Champion of Public Speaking [Business Insider]