ng to assume that an entire crowd is behind you, TED curator Chris Anderson advises checking around for a few friendly faces. “Early on in the talk, look out for faces that seem sympathetic,” he writes in TED Talks. “If you can find three or four in different parts of the audience, give the talk to them, moving your gaze from one to the next in turn. Everyone in the audience will see you connecting and the encouragement you get from those faces will bring you calm and confidence.”
And if you trip over a few lines, so what? Anderson suggests it might even work to your benefit.
“Audiences embrace speakers who are nervous, especially if the speaker can find a way to acknowledge it. If you flub or stutter a little in your opening remarks, it’s fine to say, ‘Oops, sorry, a little nervous here,” he advises, extolling the power of vulnerability. “Your listeners will be rooting for you even more.”
Portions of this article originally appeared on the Quartz At Work website.
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