Communications Insight For More Inspiring Leaders What To Do If Your Mind Goes Blank When Speaking In Public

What To Do If Your Mind Goes Blank When Speaking In Public

 30th Jan 2022
**What To Do If Your Mind Goes Blank When Speaking In Public**

9 Top Tips...

1 Be kind to yourself.
Mind going blank WILL happen from time to time. That's ok. Happens to us all. There's no magic bullet but...

2 Remember you have options.
You always have options! And here they are...

3 Use your Neutral Stance.
Re-set yourself into a neutral position. It gives you something to do, helps the mind regroup.

4 Pause.
Might feel like eternity to you, the speaker. For the listener, not so much. They may even think you're pausing for effect!

5 Move
Movement helps reduce the adrenaline, buys you time and again, gives you something to do. If you're standing and presenting in-person, take a few steps across the stage. If you're online, you could reset your papers... or resettle in your chair.

6 "Take another run-up"
This is BIG. Rather than grasping at thin air for the next elusive sentence, take a step back. Briefly recap what you've just been saying. Easier for your brain to handle, helpful for the audience and makes bridging the 'thought chasm' more likely.

7 Don't say "Sorry I've completely lost my train of thought".
YOU might want to say that... but your audience doesn't want to hear it! Distracts them from your value, dilutes your connection.

8 Redirect their attention (if appropriate)
You might get THEM to do something. e.g. "Let me pause there for a moment - what, if any, questions do you have so far?" or... "Now, I realise I've been speaking for a little while now. If you have any questions, do say..." or... "I sense the energy may have dipped a little? Quick break? Open a window?"

9 Cut to a story.
What story might you use to illustrate what you've just been saying? Go personal if possible. Bonus points you have a few up your sleeve to start with.

#communication #presentationskills #personaldevelopment #inspiration #publicspeaking
 

 Simon's masterclass on pitching and effective communication attracted over 60 MBA's and other post-graduate students from across Oxford during the exam period ... testament to how valuable people thought it was. I would recommend it to anyone, especially mid-career professionals, looking to enhance their ability to communicate their ideas with conviction.

 

Soushiant Zangenehpour | Manager, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Said Business School, University of Oxford

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