When you speak in public, what happens? Most of us experience some sort of anxiety, whether it’s subtle or extreme, before delivering to an audience.
We are also fairly familiar with the reasons – our evolutionary past means there’s some level of ‘fight or flight’ response, adrenalin kicks in, cortisol levels rise, there’s an increase in blood pressure and a boost of energy.
What this tells us is that at a very basic level, there’s only one thing the individual is focused on…and that’s survival. If this is the case, it’s unlikely you’ll be focused on your audience, their responses, or their needs.
So, the antidote to anxiety is to focus on the audience, their responses and their needs, not on the yourself. As you look into the faces of your audience, ask yourself: "What’s the core of my message to them? Are they receiving what I’m giving them? If not, what can I change to ensure they do?". This is distinct from worrying about what they think of you.