Let’s face it – because of the importance of public speaking, giving a speech involves a great deal of stress. This stress has a way of affecting each of us differently. However, there is one thing that can happen to any of us – our minds can go blank at exactly the wrong point in time. Just like me, I’m sure that this has happened to you at one time or another. You are standing in front of an audience delivering your speech and you just got done saying something clever and now you can’t remember what you want to say next. What’s a speaker to do?
It is very easy to start to panic when we realize that we have no idea what we want to say next. The next time that that your mind goes blank stay calm. Don’t panic. Instead, use this as an opportunity to insert a pause into your speech. The good news is that you know what you want to say next, all you have to do is to remember it. As you pause to collect your thoughts, your audience is going to think that this is a part of the planned speech and they won’t realize what is really going on.
During those times that your brain is failing you, you are going to want to take steps to keep your nerves under control. One great way to go about doing this has to do with eye contact. When your brain goes blank, what you are going to want to do is to maintain eye contact with one person and only one person. By only looking at a single person instead of scanning your entire audience you’ll be able to ignore all of those people who are looking at you and this can produce a calming effect that can help you to remember what you want to say next.
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