Many people are intimidated by the thought of speaking in front of a crowd. It can even outrank death for some people. With how scary it can be, you should be prepared to do it with some good advice. Break down your biggest public speaking fears and learn how to overcome them by reading the following tips and advice.
You can’t speak before an audience and think that others will automatically know what you’re saying. You have to work at getting attention and work hard to keep it. Your speech is a performance, you have to make people want to listen.
In order to make the best presentation when speaking publicly, you must prepare thoroughly. Know what you intend to say. Do your homework to back up your statements, if you must. Write down your speech. Take time to practice your speech beforehand until you know it easily and well. Preparation allows you to be more at ease.
Always look at your audience when speaking. Don’t let yourself get distracted by things occurring around the room. It is important that the audience has your undivided attention, in order for them to get the message that you would like them to get.
Once your speech is memorized, practice it over and over again. This will allow you time to tweak the speech if needed. Try to maintain calm breathing during the speech. Remember to incorporate time into your speech for possible interruptions. Hopefully, some of these interruptions will be for applause. If you can, try to practice using the podium and other equipment you’ll be using when you make the real speech.
When getting ready to engage in public speaking, make sure you are familiar with your topic. Research the topic thoroughly. Narrow down exactly what you are going to say, and what specific topics you want to address, making sure that notes are kept with all the key points. Doing so will help you when it comes time to answer questions.
If you accidentally skipped over a sentence, forget it and keep going. If you stop while speaking to correct the part you missed, it might throw off the rest of the speech. This will make it very difficult for you to keep going.
If public speaking makes you nervous, use deep breathing techniques. Taking deep breaths will allow you to relax yourself before speaking. First, inhale and hold it for 5 seconds. Then slowly exhale for about 5 seconds. Do this approximately five times to feel a difference in how calm you feel.
Rehearse your presentation daily. This will give you confidence because you are very familiar with the material. Even if you have committed your speech to memory, always take some notes with you to the lectern. This will help if you stumble over any part of your speech or forget an important point.
End your speech with something memorable. While some parts are important in a speech, the ending is usually what is most remembered. Do not end with something boring so you can stay memorable.
Utilize note cards. While memorizing a speech can help, a hard copy isn’t a terrible idea. You may not necessarily have the whole thing written out, but having your important points notated can help.
Some find public speaking to be even more intimidating than death itself. As mentioned previously, it is among the five biggest fears that people have. There is no need for this fear to control your life. Use these tips to feel more confident in your public speaking abilities.
Onaolapo Adeyemi is a travel and technology writer. If he’s not on tour, you’ll find him in New York with his wife, and pet parrot hanging out at Starbucks.