Chris de Diego has been a professional public speaker for many years and is one of the most respected in the industry. But just because he’s a professional now doesn’t mean he’s always been so confident on stage. It also doesn’t mean he doesn’t still get nervous.
Everyone gets nervous, but we can’t let our nerves control us. Chris de Diego has built a fantastic set of tools over the years that have helped him conquer his nerves and speak with confidence.
I asked Chris de Diego for an interview and if he could give us all some tips about how he became so comfortable speaking. Of course, he agreed!
In my opinion, preparation is the most important part. I used to be as nervous as everyone when giving a speech. That is until I realized that I was only nervous because I wasn’t a pro.
Now, I make sure that I’m a pro at every single speech I give, as long as it’s not impromptu, of course. I don’t just memorize my speech; I practice it repeatedly in the mirror. I record it and watch it back. I do it until I know it like the back of my hand.
I’ll be honest; everyone is different. I love having just bullet points and letting myself stay natural. However, I know some speakers that can memorize an entire speech, word for word, and then absolutely kill it.
You have to sort of experiment and get to know yourself and your style. The problem with memorization and reciting is that it is very easy to come off as monotone.
You’re not really in the moment if you’re thinking about the next word or sentence. Some people can pull it off, but not everyone. That’s why I highly recommend recording yourself, so you know how you will sound, no matter which style you choose.
Is there anything you do to keep calm when you’re giving the speech? Imagine the audience in their underwear, maybe?
I don’t do that one, but whatever works, works! Learning how to shake off your nerves is just one of the obstacles you need to overcome to master public speaking.
I keep calm during my speeches by remaining natural. I tell jokes, stories, and things like that. I don’t really get nervous anymore, so I don’t need many tricks.
If you feel nervous, I recommend taking a deep breath and talking about something natural while injecting humor into your speech. Stray away from the speech a little if you have to, but don’t get sidetracked entirely.
Can we take a moment and talk about ways to prepare outside of directly practicing a speech? Lifestyle choices and the like?
Sure! I am a huge advocate for eating and being healthy. In general, I think when you have a healthy mind and body, you’ll be a much better speaker.
But also beyond the philosophy, if you’re on stage and have eaten a burger, fries, and chugged a soda, you’re likely going to have a bad time.
I don’t think so. I think everyone has it in them. Can everyone speak the same way I talk? No, absolutely not. But I can’t speak the same way you could.
It’s all about finding your style and mastering it. It takes time, patience, and confidence in order to master public speaking. But so does everything that’s worth doing.