No, it doesn’t. It is one of those stupid urban legends that have been passed on through the years by well-meaning public speaking instructors.
When I teach public speaking skills, I take an opposite approach. Instead of suggesting that the speaker imagine the audience as being naked … I suggest imagining yourself as being naked!
This totally changes the dynamic. If you are naked, you have nothing to hide. You can be yourself.
There is nothing wrong with being anxious. It is a matter of degree that counts. As you get more comfortable with your nakidity, metaphorically speaking of course, you will become more self-confident as a speaker, which in turn will reduce your anxiety.
When I present to a group, I imagine that I am in the spotlight. It is my turn to shine. I envision being successful, with the group appreciating and being in tune what I have to say. They want me to be successful as do I.
When I teach public speaking, I usually bring up the concept of looking at your audience as being naked. I tell them it doesn’t work and that I think of myself as being naked instead. I then tell them that I’m naked under these clothes, then I make a joke about not focusing on that fact. Its always good for some laughs.
For further discussion on public speaking, speech development, communication skills and Toastmasters, visit the Live For Excellence Book Store for the following publications:
Blow Your Own Horn!: Personal Branding for Business Professionals
Power Networking For Shy People: How to Network Like a Pro
The Power of Persuasion: Mastering the Art of Influence
The Power of Promotion: Online Marketing For Toastmasters Club Growth
The Savvy Emcee: How to be a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies
Working With Words: Adding Life to Your Oral Presentations
Rae A. Stonehouse is an author, speaker, and self-publishing consultant dedicated to helping others embrace constant improvement and overcome challenges. With over 40 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in psychiatry and mental health, Rae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for self-development to his writing and presentations.
As a 25+ year member of Toastmasters International, Rae has systematically built his communication abilities and self-confidence to share his insights as an author and speaker. His self-help books and personal development presentations aim to have conversational one-on-one connections with readers and audiences.
Rae is known for his wry sense of humor and sage advice delivered in a relatable coaching style. After four decades as a nurse, Rae has rewired rather than retired, actively writing and pursuing public speaking. He strives to share lessons learned to help others achieve personal and professional growth.