How you feel effects how you speak, and, if you are feeling poorly, either physically or emotionally, it may be heard in your voice and seen in your facial expression and body language. Another situation that can affect your attitude in public speaking is if you are not pleased with the material you are presenting. If such is the case, then your displeasure with your presentation can have a negative affect on your attitude
In live plays or concerts, do you think every actor or every musician or singer is in the best of spirits for each and every performance? Absolutely not. But as they say in the business: The show must go on. So how do these performers or actors handle their emotional problems or their physical ailments? They concentrate in the beginning and then quickly forget the problem or the discomfort. The excitement and the desire to perform is so great that they can indeed temporarily rid themselves of the problem. Admittedly, the problem may return at the end of the show, but they do not allow it to stand in their way.
So how do you change your attitude when you are not feeling well or you have an emotional problem? The answer lies first in what is causing your problem. If you are unhappy with your material, change it. If you are in pain, make yourself focus through the opening of your presentation. In doing so, it is likely that you will forget your problem because of that extra rush of adrenaline most of us experience in the limelight.
I have given several presentations when my shoes were too tight or my back ached. During the 40-minute presentation or even a 3-hour seminar, I never recognized my discomfort. Upon closing, however, the pain would be in full force. Part of my ability to forget what is ailing me is in the fact that I breathe diaphragmatically, a subject I write about frequently. The breathing allows me to control my nervousness, put the rush of adrenaline to good use, and to focus.
While your adrenaline rush is truly a blessing in disguise, the ability to concentrate on your delivery is as important. I remember one evening in which I was exhausted and had to hold a 2-hour return session for one of my workshops, immediately followed by a 2-hour presentation. I had no idea how I was going to get through that night. What is fascinating is that my return session was so lively, animated and successful, that it gave me renewed strength and focus for my following presentation. What is even more surprising is that it was one of the best presentations I have ever given.
If you can keep yourself focused on your delivery, allow your adrenaline to take you through the pain and it will be no more. The mind is a wondrous thing. Trust it, learn to focus, and you will be able to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.